WorldWideScience

Sample records for reef fish communities

  1. Fishing degrades size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, James P W; Williams, Ivor D; Edwards, Andrew M; McPherson, Jana; Yeager, Lauren; Vigliola, Laurent; Brainard, Russell E; Baum, Julia K

    2017-03-01

    Fishing pressure on coral reef ecosystems has been frequently linked to reductions of large fishes and reef fish biomass. Associated impacts on overall community structure are, however, less clear. In size-structured aquatic ecosystems, fishing impacts are commonly quantified using size spectra, which describe the distribution of individual body sizes within a community. We examined the size spectra and biomass of coral reef fish communities at 38 US-affiliated Pacific islands that ranged in human presence from near pristine to human population centers. Size spectra 'steepened' steadily with increasing human population and proximity to market due to a reduction in the relative biomass of large fishes and an increase in the dominance of small fishes. Reef fish biomass was substantially lower on inhabited islands than uninhabited ones, even at inhabited islands with the lowest levels of human presence. We found that on populated islands size spectra exponents decreased (analogous to size spectra steepening) linearly with declining biomass, whereas on uninhabited islands there was no relationship. Size spectra were steeper in regions of low sea surface temperature but were insensitive to variation in other environmental and geomorphic covariates. In contrast, reef fish biomass was highly sensitive to oceanographic conditions, being influenced by both oceanic productivity and sea surface temperature. Our results suggest that community size structure may be a more robust indicator than fish biomass to increasing human presence and that size spectra are reliable indicators of exploitation impacts across regions of different fish community compositions, environmental drivers, and fisheries types. Size-based approaches that link directly to functional properties of fish communities, and are relatively insensitive to abiotic variation across biogeographic regions, offer great potential for developing our understanding of fishing impacts in coral reef ecosystems. © 2016

  2. Effect of Recreational Fish Feeding on Reef Fish Community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... that the reaction to bread at feeding sites was quicker than at control sites, which indicates that some species learn to feed on this novel source of food. Keywords:human-animal interactions, reef fish, recreational fish feeding, tourism impacts, MPAs, coral reefs, Kenya West Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science Vol.

  3. Functionally diverse reef-fish communities ameliorate coral disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymundo, Laurie J; Halford, Andrew R; Maypa, Aileen P; Kerr, Alexander M

    2009-10-06

    Coral reefs, the most diverse of marine ecosystems, currently experience unprecedented levels of degradation. Diseases are now recognized as a major cause of mortality in reef-forming corals and are complicit in phase shifts of reef ecosystems to algal-dominated states worldwide. Even so, factors contributing to disease occurrence, spread, and impact remain poorly understood. Ecosystem resilience has been linked to the conservation of functional diversity, whereas overfishing reduces functional diversity through cascading, top-down effects. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that reefs with trophically diverse reef fish communities have less coral disease than overfished reefs. We surveyed reefs across the central Philippines, including well-managed marine protected areas (MPAs), and found that disease prevalence was significantly negatively correlated with fish taxonomic diversity. Further, MPAs had significantly higher fish diversity and less disease than unprotected areas. We subsequently investigated potential links between coral disease and the trophic components of fish diversity, finding that only the density of coral-feeding chaetodontid butterflyfishes, seldom targeted by fishers, was positively associated with disease prevalence. These previously uncharacterized results are supported by a second large-scale dataset from the Great Barrier Reef. We hypothesize that members of the charismatic reef-fish family Chaetodontidae are major vectors of coral disease by virtue of their trophic specialization on hard corals and their ecological release in overfished areas, particularly outside MPAs.

  4. Fish-derived nutrient hotspots shape coral reef benthic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shantz, Andrew A; Ladd, Mark C; Schrack, Elizabeth; Burkepile, Deron E

    2015-12-01

    Animal-derived nutrients play an important role in structuring nutrient regimes within and between ecosystems. When animals undergo repetitive, aggregating behavior through time, they can create nutrient hotspots where rates of biogeochemical activity are higher than those found in the surrounding environment. In turn, these hotspots can influence ecosystem processes and community structure. We examined the potential for reef fishes from the family Haemulidae (grunts) to create nutrient hotspots and the potential impact of these hotspots on reef communities. To do so, we tracked the schooling locations of diurnally migrating grunts, which shelter at reef sites during the day but forage off reef each night, and measured the impact of these fish schools on benthic communities. We found that grunt schools showed a high degree of site fidelity, repeatedly returning to the same coral heads. These aggregations created nutrient hotspots around coral heads where nitrogen and phosphorus delivery was roughly 10 and 7 times the respective rates of delivery to structurally similar sites that lacked schools of these fishes. In turn, grazing rates of herbivorous fishes at grunt-derived hotspots were approximately 3 times those of sites where grunts were rare. These differences in nutrient delivery and grazing led to distinct benthic communities with higher cover of crustose coralline algae and less total algal abundance at grunt aggregation sites. Importantly, coral growth was roughly 1.5 times greater at grunt hotspots, likely due to the important nutrient subsidy. Our results suggest that schooling reef fish and their nutrient subsidies play an important role in mediating community structure on coral reefs and that overfishing may have important negative consequences on ecosystem functions. As such, management strategies must consider mesopredatory fishes in addition to current protection often offered to herbivores and top-tier predators. Furthermore, our results suggest that

  5. Community Structure Of Reef Fish In Eastern Luwu Water Territory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henny Tribuana Cinnawara

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract One bio-indicators the condition of coral reefs is a presence of reef fish. The purpose of research is to determine species composition abundance distribution and structure of reef fish communities in these waters. Data collection was conducted in April at six locations in the north and the south eastern Luwu. Mechanical Underwater Visual Cencus UVC and transect method Line intercept Transec LIT with SCUBA equipment used for research data collection. Total reef fish species collected as many as 366 species belonging to 31 families consisting of 150 species of fish target fish consumption 10 species of indicator fish indicator species 206 types of major fissh. The most dominant indicator type of fish is Chaetodon octofasciatus while the major dominant family Pomacentridae Labridae and Apogonidae. Diversity index values ranged from 2.145 to 3.408. Dominance index C is in the range of 0.056 to 0.298. The result is expected to be a reference literature as basic data for the management of reef fish especially in the waters of eastern Luwu.

  6. Restoration of a temperate reef: Effects on the fish community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Støttrup, Josianne; Stenberg, Claus; Dahl, Karsten

    2014-01-01

    Trindel in Kattegat, Denmark, has now been re-established with the aim of restoring the reef’s historical structure and function. The effects of the restoration on the local fish community are reported here. Fishing surveys using gillnets and fyke nets were conducted before the restoration (2007) and four...... years after the restoration of the reef (2012). Species of the family Labridae, which have a high affinity for rocky reefs, dominated both before and after the restoration. Commercially important species such as cod Gadus morhua, and saithe Pollachius virens, occurred infrequently in the catches in 2007....... The findings highlight the importance of reef habitats for fish communities and the need for their protection...

  7. Relative and combined effects of habitat and fishing on reef fish communities across a limited fishing gradient at Ningaloo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Shaun K; Babcock, Russ C; Fisher, Rebecca; Holmes, Thomas H; Moore, James A Y; Thomson, Damian P

    2012-10-01

    Habitat degradation and fishing are major drivers of temporal and spatial changes in fish communities. The independent effects of these drivers are well documented, but the relative importance and interaction between fishing and habitat shifts is poorly understood, particularly in complex systems such as coral reefs. To assess the combined and relative effects of fishing and habitat we examined the composition of fish communities on patch reefs across a gradient of high to low structural complexity in fished and unfished areas of the Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia. Biomass and species richness of fish were positively correlated with structural complexity of reefs and negatively related to macroalgal cover. Total abundance of fish was also positively related to structural complexity, however this relationship was stronger on fished reefs than those where fishing is prohibited. The interaction between habitat condition and fishing pressure is primarily due to the high abundance of small bodied planktivorous fish on fished reefs. However, the influence of management zones on the abundance and biomass of predators and target species is small, implying spatial differences in fishing pressure are low and unlikely to be driving this interaction. Our results emphasise the importance of habitat in structuring reef fish communities on coral reefs especially when gradients in fishing pressure are low. The influence of fishing effort on this relationship may however become more important as fishing pressure increases. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Reef fish communities in the central Red Sea show evidence of asymmetrical fishing pressure

    KAUST Repository

    Kattan, Alexander; Coker, Darren James; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    In order to assess human impacts and develop rational restoration goals for corals reefs, baseline estimates of fish communities are required. In Saudi Arabian waters of the Red Sea, widespread unregulated fishing is thought to have been ongoing for decades, but there is little direct evidence of the impact on reef communities. To contextualize this human influence, reef-associated fish assemblages on offshore reefs in Saudi Arabia and Sudan in the central Red Sea were investigated. These reefs have comparable benthic environments, experience similar oceanographic influences, and are separated by less than 300 km, offering an ideal comparison for identifying potential anthropogenic impacts such as fishing pressure. This is the first study to assess reef fish biomass in both these regions, providing important baselines estimates. We found that biomass of top predators on offshore Sudanese reefs was on average almost three times that measured on comparable reefs in Saudi Arabia. Biomass values from some of the most remote reefs surveyed in Sudan’s far southern region even approach those previously reported in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, northern Line Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and other isolated Pacific islands and atolls. The findings suggest that fishing pressure has significantly altered the fish community structure of Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs, most conspicuously in the form of top predator removal. The results point towards the urgent need for enhanced regulation and enforcement of fishing practices in Saudi Arabia, while making a strong case for protection in the form of no-take marine protected areas to maintain preservation of the relatively intact southern Sudanese Red Sea.

  9. Reef fish communities in the central Red Sea show evidence of asymmetrical fishing pressure

    KAUST Repository

    Kattan, Alexander

    2017-03-09

    In order to assess human impacts and develop rational restoration goals for corals reefs, baseline estimates of fish communities are required. In Saudi Arabian waters of the Red Sea, widespread unregulated fishing is thought to have been ongoing for decades, but there is little direct evidence of the impact on reef communities. To contextualize this human influence, reef-associated fish assemblages on offshore reefs in Saudi Arabia and Sudan in the central Red Sea were investigated. These reefs have comparable benthic environments, experience similar oceanographic influences, and are separated by less than 300 km, offering an ideal comparison for identifying potential anthropogenic impacts such as fishing pressure. This is the first study to assess reef fish biomass in both these regions, providing important baselines estimates. We found that biomass of top predators on offshore Sudanese reefs was on average almost three times that measured on comparable reefs in Saudi Arabia. Biomass values from some of the most remote reefs surveyed in Sudan’s far southern region even approach those previously reported in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, northern Line Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and other isolated Pacific islands and atolls. The findings suggest that fishing pressure has significantly altered the fish community structure of Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs, most conspicuously in the form of top predator removal. The results point towards the urgent need for enhanced regulation and enforcement of fishing practices in Saudi Arabia, while making a strong case for protection in the form of no-take marine protected areas to maintain preservation of the relatively intact southern Sudanese Red Sea.

  10. Habitat degradation and fishing effects on the size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, S K; Fisher, R; Pratchett, M S; Graham, N A J; Dulvy, N K; Turner, R A; Cakacaka, A; Polunin, N V C

    2010-03-01

    Overfishing and habitat degradation through climate change pose the greatest threats to sustainability of marine resources on coral reefs. We examined how changes in fishing pressure and benthic habitat composition influenced the size spectra of island-scale reef fish communities in Lau, Fiji. Between 2000 and 2006 fishing pressure declined in the Lau Islands due to declining human populations and reduced demand for fresh fish. At the same time, coral cover declined and fine-scale architectural complexity eroded due to coral bleaching and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. We examined the size distribution of reef fish communities using size spectra analysis, the linearized relationship between abundance and body size class. Spatial variation in fishing pressure accounted for 31% of the variation in the slope of the size spectra in 2000, higher fishing pressure being associated with a steeper slope, which is indicative of fewer large-bodied fish and/or more small-bodied fish. Conversely, in 2006 spatial variation in habitat explained 53% of the variation in the size spectra slopes, and the relationship with fishing pressure was much weaker (approximately 12% of variation) than in 2000. Reduced cover of corals and lower structural complexity was associated with less steep size spectra slopes, primarily due to reduced abundance of fish < 20 cm. Habitat degradation will compound effects of fishing on coral reefs as increased fishing reduces large-bodied target species, while habitat loss results in fewer small-bodied juveniles and prey that replenish stocks and provide dietary resources for predatory target species. Effective management of reef resources therefore depends on both reducing fishing pressure and maintaining processes that encourage rapid recovery of coral habitat.

  11. Structure of Caribbean coral reef communities across a large gradient of fish biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Marah J H; Paredes, Gustavo A; Sala, Enric; Jackson, Jeremy B C

    2006-11-01

    The collapse of Caribbean coral reefs has been attributed in part to historic overfishing, but whether fish assemblages can recover and how such recovery might affect the benthic reef community has not been tested across appropriate scales. We surveyed the biomass of reef communities across a range in fish abundance from 14 to 593 g m(-2), a gradient exceeding that of any previously reported for coral reefs. Increased fish biomass was correlated with an increased proportion of apex predators, which were abundant only inside large marine reserves. Increased herbivorous fish biomass was correlated with a decrease in fleshy algal biomass but corals have not yet recovered.

  12. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Cox, Courtney E; Silbiger, Nyssa J; Bruno, John F

    2017-01-01

    Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0-10 cm total length) at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

  13. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serena Hackerott

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0–10 cm total length at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

  14. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  15. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.

    2017-06-06

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  16. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Maha T; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Berumen, Michael L

    2017-01-01

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3-24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals . All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  17. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maha T. Khalil

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  18. Spatial variation in coral reef fish and benthic communities in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Local-scale ecological information is critical as a sound basis for spatial management and conservation and as support for ongoing research in relatively unstudied areas. We conducted visual surveys of fish and benthic communities on nine reefs (3–24 km from shore) in the Thuwal area of the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Fish biomass increased with increasing distance from shore, but was generally low compared to reefs experiencing minimal human influence around the world. All reefs had a herbivore-dominated trophic structure and few top predators, such as sharks, jacks, or large groupers. Coral cover was considerably lower on inshore reefs, likely due to a 2010 bleaching event. Community analyses showed inshore reefs to be characterized by turf algae, slower-growing corals, lower herbivore diversity, and highly abundant turf-farming damselfishes. Offshore reefs had more planktivorous fishes, a more diverse herbivore assemblage, and faster-growing corals. All reefs appear to be impacted by overfishing, and inshore reefs seem more vulnerable to thermal bleaching. The study provides a description of the spatial variation in biomass and community structure in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea and provides a basis for spatial prioritization and subsequent marine protected area design in Thuwal.

  19. Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Grol, Monique G G; Mumby, Peter J

    2012-01-01

    No-take marine fishery reserves sustain commercial stocks by acting as buffers against overexploitation and enhancing fishery catches in adjacent areas through spillover. Likewise, nursery habitats such as mangroves enhance populations of some species in adjacent habitats. However, there is lack of understanding of the magnitude of stock enhancement and the effects on community structure when both protection from fishing and access to nurseries concurrently act as drivers of fish population dynamics. In this study we test the separate as well as interactive effects of marine reserves and nursery habitat proximity on structure and abundance of coral reef fish communities. Reserves had no effect on fish community composition, while proximity to nursery habitat only had a significant effect on community structure of species that use mangroves or seagrass beds as nurseries. In terms of reef fish biomass, proximity to nursery habitat by far outweighed (biomass 249% higher than that in areas with no nursery access) the effects of protection from fishing in reserves (biomass 21% lower than non-reserve areas) for small nursery fish (≤ 25 cm total length). For large-bodied individuals of nursery species (>25 cm total length), an additive effect was present for these two factors, although fish benefited more from fishing protection (203% higher biomass) than from proximity to nurseries (139% higher). The magnitude of elevated biomass for small fish on coral reefs due to proximity to nurseries was such that nursery habitats seem able to overrule the usually positive effects on fish biomass by reef reserves. As a result, conservation of nursery habitats gains importance and more consideration should be given to the ecological processes that occur along nursery-reef boundaries that connect neighboring ecosystems.

  20. Effects of marine reserves versus nursery habitat availability on structure of reef fish communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Nagelkerken

    Full Text Available No-take marine fishery reserves sustain commercial stocks by acting as buffers against overexploitation and enhancing fishery catches in adjacent areas through spillover. Likewise, nursery habitats such as mangroves enhance populations of some species in adjacent habitats. However, there is lack of understanding of the magnitude of stock enhancement and the effects on community structure when both protection from fishing and access to nurseries concurrently act as drivers of fish population dynamics. In this study we test the separate as well as interactive effects of marine reserves and nursery habitat proximity on structure and abundance of coral reef fish communities. Reserves had no effect on fish community composition, while proximity to nursery habitat only had a significant effect on community structure of species that use mangroves or seagrass beds as nurseries. In terms of reef fish biomass, proximity to nursery habitat by far outweighed (biomass 249% higher than that in areas with no nursery access the effects of protection from fishing in reserves (biomass 21% lower than non-reserve areas for small nursery fish (≤ 25 cm total length. For large-bodied individuals of nursery species (>25 cm total length, an additive effect was present for these two factors, although fish benefited more from fishing protection (203% higher biomass than from proximity to nurseries (139% higher. The magnitude of elevated biomass for small fish on coral reefs due to proximity to nurseries was such that nursery habitats seem able to overrule the usually positive effects on fish biomass by reef reserves. As a result, conservation of nursery habitats gains importance and more consideration should be given to the ecological processes that occur along nursery-reef boundaries that connect neighboring ecosystems.

  1. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-01-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery. PMID:24634720

  2. Non-Random Variability in Functional Composition of Coral Reef Fish Communities along an Environmental Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah G; Taylor, Marc H; Husain, Aidah A A; Teichberg, Mirta C; Ferse, Sebastian C A

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the coral reef complex can affect predator-prey relationships, resource availability and niche utilisation in the associated fish community, which may be reflected in decreased stability of the functional traits present in a community. This is because particular traits may be favoured by a changing environment, or by habitat degradation. Furthermore, other traits can be selected against because degradation can relax the association between fishes and benthic habitat. We characterised six important ecological traits for fish species occurring at seven sites across a disturbed coral reef archipelago in Indonesia, where reefs have been exposed to eutrophication and destructive fishing practices for decades. Functional diversity was assessed using two complementary indices (FRic and RaoQ) and correlated to important environmental factors (live coral cover and rugosity, representing local reef health, and distance from shore, representing a cross-shelf environmental gradient). Indices were examined for both a change in their mean, as well as temporal (short-term; hours) and spatial (cross-shelf) variability, to assess whether fish-habitat association became relaxed along with habitat degradation. Furthermore, variability in individual traits was examined to identify the traits that are most affected by habitat change. Increases in the general reef health indicators, live coral cover and rugosity (correlated with distance from the mainland), were associated with decreases in the variability of functional diversity and with community-level changes in the abundance of several traits (notably home range size, maximum length, microalgae, detritus and small invertebrate feeding and reproductive turnover). A decrease in coral cover increased variability of RaoQ while rugosity and distance both inversely affected variability of FRic; however, averages for these indices did not reveal patterns associated with the environment. These results suggest that increased

  3. The importance of sponges and mangroves in supporting fish communities on degraded coral reefs in Caribbean Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seemann, Janina; Yingst, Alexandra; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Edgar, Graham J; Altieri, Andrew H

    2018-01-01

    Fish communities associated with coral reefs worldwide are threatened by habitat degradation and overexploitation. We assessed coral reefs, mangrove fringes, and seagrass meadows on the Caribbean coast of Panama to explore the influences of their proximity to one another, habitat cover, and environmental characteristics in sustaining biomass, species richness and trophic structure of fish communities in a degraded tropical ecosystem. We found 94% of all fish across all habitat types were of small body size (≤10 cm), with communities dominated by fishes that usually live in habitats of low complexity, such as Pomacentridae (damselfishes) and Gobiidae (gobies). Total fish biomass was very low, with the trend of small fishes from low trophic levels over-represented, and top predators under-represented, relative to coral reefs elsewhere in the Caribbean. For example, herbivorous fishes comprised 27% of total fish biomass in Panama relative to 10% in the wider Caribbean, and the small parrotfish Scarus iseri comprised 72% of the parrotfish biomass. We found evidence that non-coral biogenic habitats support reef-associated fish communities. In particular, the abundance of sponges on a given reef and proximity of mangroves were found to be important positive correlates of reef fish species richness, biomass, abundance and trophic structure. Our study indicates that a diverse fish community can persist on degraded coral reefs, and that the availability and arrangement within the seascape of other habitat-forming organisms, including sponges and mangroves, is critical to the maintenance of functional processes in such ecosystems.

  4. Biogeographic Patterns of Reef Fish Communities in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roberts, May B.

    2014-12-01

    As a region renowned for high biodiversity, endemism and extreme temperature and salinity levels, the Red Sea is of high ecological interest. Despite this, there is relatively little literature on basic broad scale characteristics of the biodiversity or overall reef fish communities and how they change across latitude. We conducted visual transects recording the abundance of over 200 species of fish from 45 reefs spanning over 1000 km of Saudi Arabian coastline and used hierarchical cluster analysis to find that for combined depths from 0m-10m across this geographical range, the reef fish communities are relatively similar. However we find some interesting patterns both at the community level across depth and latitude as well as in endemic community distributions. We find that the communities, much like the environmental factors, shift gradually along latitude but do not show distinct clusters within the range we surveyed (from Al-Wajh in the north to the Farasan Banks in the south). Numbers of endemic species tend to be higher in the Thuwal region and further south. This type of baseline data on reef fish distribution and possible factors that may influence their ranges in the Red Sea are critical for future scientific studies as well as effective monitoring and in the face of the persistent anthropogenic influences such as coastal development, overfishing and climate change.

  5. Consistent nutrient storage and supply mediated by diverse fish communities in coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allgeier, Jacob E; Layman, Craig A; Mumby, Peter J; Rosemond, Amy D

    2014-08-01

    Corals thrive in low nutrient environments and the conservation of these globally imperiled ecosystems is largely dependent on mitigating the effects of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment. However, to better understand the implications of anthropogenic nutrients requires a heightened understanding of baseline nutrient dynamics within these ecosystems. Here, we provide a novel perspective on coral reef nutrient dynamics by examining the role of fish communities in the supply and storage of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). We quantified fish-mediated nutrient storage and supply for 144 species and modeled these data onto 172 fish communities (71 729 individual fish), in four types of coral reefs, as well as seagrass and mangrove ecosystems, throughout the Northern Antilles. Fish communities supplied and stored large quantities of nutrients, with rates varying among ecosystem types. The size structure and diversity of the fish communities best predicted N and P supply and storage and N : P supply, suggesting that alterations to fish communities (e.g., overfishing) will have important implications for nutrient dynamics in these systems. The stoichiometric ratio (N : P) for storage in fish mass (~8 : 1) and supply (~20 : 1) was notably consistent across the four coral reef types (but not seagrass or mangrove ecosystems). Published nutrient enrichment studies on corals show that deviations from this N : P supply ratio may be associated with poor coral fitness, providing qualitative support for the hypothesis that corals and their symbionts may be adapted to specific ratios of nutrient supply. Consumer nutrient stoichiometry provides a baseline from which to better understand nutrient dynamics in coral reef and other coastal ecosystems, information that is greatly needed if we are to implement more effective measures to ensure the future health of the world's oceans. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. How will coral reef fish communities respond to climate-driven disturbances? Insight from landscape-scale perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Thomas C; Brooks, Andrew J; Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Washburn, Libe; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2014-09-01

    Global climate change is rapidly altering disturbance regimes in many ecosystems including coral reefs, yet the long-term impacts of these changes on ecosystem structure and function are difficult to predict. A major ecosystem service provided by coral reefs is the provisioning of physical habitat for other organisms, and consequently, many of the effects of climate change on coral reefs will be mediated by their impacts on habitat structure. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the independent and combined effects of coral mortality and loss of physical habitat on reef-associated biota. Here, we use a unique series of events affecting the coral reefs around the Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia to differentiate between the impacts of coral mortality and the degradation of physical habitat on the structure of reef fish communities. We found that, by removing large amounts of physical habitat, a tropical cyclone had larger impacts on reef fish communities than an outbreak of coral-eating sea stars that caused widespread coral mortality but left the physical structure intact. In addition, the impacts of declining structural complexity on reef fish assemblages accelerated as structure became increasingly rare. Structure provided by dead coral colonies can take up to decades to erode following coral mortality, and, consequently, our results suggest that predictions based on short-term studies are likely to grossly underestimate the long-term impacts of coral decline on reef fish communities.

  7. Individual-based analyses reveal limited functional overlap in a coral reef fish community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Bellwood, David R

    2014-05-01

    Detailed knowledge of a species' functional niche is crucial for the study of ecological communities and processes. The extent of niche overlap, functional redundancy and functional complementarity is of particular importance if we are to understand ecosystem processes and their vulnerability to disturbances. Coral reefs are among the most threatened marine systems, and anthropogenic activity is changing the functional composition of reefs. The loss of herbivorous fishes is particularly concerning as the removal of algae is crucial for the growth and survival of corals. Yet, the foraging patterns of the various herbivorous fish species are poorly understood. Using a multidimensional framework, we present novel individual-based analyses of species' realized functional niches, which we apply to a herbivorous coral reef fish community. In calculating niche volumes for 21 species, based on their microhabitat utilization patterns during foraging, and computing functional overlaps, we provide a measurement of functional redundancy or complementarity. Complementarity is the inverse of redundancy and is defined as less than 50% overlap in niche volumes. The analyses reveal extensive complementarity with an average functional overlap of just 15.2%. Furthermore, the analyses divide herbivorous reef fishes into two broad groups. The first group (predominantly surgeonfishes and parrotfishes) comprises species feeding on exposed surfaces and predominantly open reef matrix or sandy substrata, resulting in small niche volumes and extensive complementarity. In contrast, the second group consists of species (predominantly rabbitfishes) that feed over a wider range of microhabitats, penetrating the reef matrix to exploit concealed surfaces of various substratum types. These species show high variation among individuals, leading to large niche volumes, more overlap and less complementarity. These results may have crucial consequences for our understanding of herbivorous processes on

  8. The importance of sponges and mangroves in supporting fish communities on degraded coral reefs in Caribbean Panama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janina Seemann

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Fish communities associated with coral reefs worldwide are threatened by habitat degradation and overexploitation. We assessed coral reefs, mangrove fringes, and seagrass meadows on the Caribbean coast of Panama to explore the influences of their proximity to one another, habitat cover, and environmental characteristics in sustaining biomass, species richness and trophic structure of fish communities in a degraded tropical ecosystem. We found 94% of all fish across all habitat types were of small body size (≤10 cm, with communities dominated by fishes that usually live in habitats of low complexity, such as Pomacentridae (damselfishes and Gobiidae (gobies. Total fish biomass was very low, with the trend of small fishes from low trophic levels over-represented, and top predators under-represented, relative to coral reefs elsewhere in the Caribbean. For example, herbivorous fishes comprised 27% of total fish biomass in Panama relative to 10% in the wider Caribbean, and the small parrotfish Scarus iseri comprised 72% of the parrotfish biomass. We found evidence that non-coral biogenic habitats support reef-associated fish communities. In particular, the abundance of sponges on a given reef and proximity of mangroves were found to be important positive correlates of reef fish species richness, biomass, abundance and trophic structure. Our study indicates that a diverse fish community can persist on degraded coral reefs, and that the availability and arrangement within the seascape of other habitat-forming organisms, including sponges and mangroves, is critical to the maintenance of functional processes in such ecosystems.

  9. Status of Coral Reef Fish Communities within the Mombasa Marine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The abundance, trophic composition and diversity of fish were investigated in the Mombasa Marine Protected Area (MPA) on the Kenya coast over a period of four years (2004-2007) sixteen years after its establishment to determine its effectiveness. Fish monitoring data collected using belt transects revealed significant ...

  10. Retention of habitat complexity minimizes disassembly of reef fish communities following disturbance: a large-scale natural experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Emslie

    Full Text Available High biodiversity ecosystems are commonly associated with complex habitats. Coral reefs are highly diverse ecosystems, but are under increasing pressure from numerous stressors, many of which reduce live coral cover and habitat complexity with concomitant effects on other organisms such as reef fishes. While previous studies have highlighted the importance of habitat complexity in structuring reef fish communities, they employed gradient or meta-analyses which lacked a controlled experimental design over broad spatial scales to explicitly separate the influence of live coral cover from overall habitat complexity. Here a natural experiment using a long term (20 year, spatially extensive (∼ 115,000 kms(2 dataset from the Great Barrier Reef revealed the fundamental importance of overall habitat complexity for reef fishes. Reductions of both live coral cover and habitat complexity had substantial impacts on fish communities compared to relatively minor impacts after major reductions in coral cover but not habitat complexity. Where habitat complexity was substantially reduced, species abundances broadly declined and a far greater number of fish species were locally extirpated, including economically important fishes. This resulted in decreased species richness and a loss of diversity within functional groups. Our results suggest that the retention of habitat complexity following disturbances can ameliorate the impacts of coral declines on reef fishes, so preserving their capacity to perform important functional roles essential to reef resilience. These results add to a growing body of evidence about the importance of habitat complexity for reef fishes, and represent the first large-scale examination of this question on the Great Barrier Reef.

  11. Biomass and Abundance of Herbivorous Fishes on Coral Reefs off ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    effects of fishing intensity, reef geomorphology and benthic cover. Distance from the .... on herbivorous fish communities relevant to the proposed ... fragments, nearshore coastal fringing reefs ..... Over-fishing and coral bleaching pose the most ...

  12. Fishing down the largest coral reef fish species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenner, Douglas

    2014-07-15

    Studies on remote, uninhabited, near-pristine reefs have revealed surprisingly large populations of large reef fish. Locations such as the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, northern Marianas Islands, Line Islands, U.S. remote Pacific Islands, Cocos-Keeling Atoll and Chagos archipelago have much higher reef fish biomass than islands and reefs near people. Much of the high biomass of most remote reef fish communities lies in the largest species, such as sharks, bumphead parrots, giant trevally, and humphead wrasse. Some, such as sharks and giant trevally, are apex predators, but others such as bumphead parrots and humphead wrasse, are not. At many locations, decreases in large reef fish species have been attributed to fishing. Fishing is well known to remove the largest fish first, and a quantitative measure of vulnerability to fishing indicates that large reef fish species are much more vulnerable to fishing than small fish. The removal of large reef fish by fishing parallels the extinction of terrestrial megafauna by early humans. However large reef fish have great value for various ecological roles and for reef tourism. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Influence of coral cover and structural complexity on the accuracy of visual surveys of coral-reef fish communities

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James

    2017-04-20

    Using manipulated patch reefs with combinations of varying live-coral cover (low, medium and high) and structural complexity (low and high), common community metrics (abundance, diversity, richness and community composition) collected through standard underwater visual census techniques were compared with exhaustive collections using a fish anaesthetic (clove oil). This study showed that reef condition did not influence underwater visual census estimates at a community level, but reef condition can influence the detectability of some small and cryptic species and this may be exacerbated if surveys are conducted on a larger scale.

  14. Influence of coral cover and structural complexity on the accuracy of visual surveys of coral-reef fish communities

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James; Nowicki, J. P.; Graham, N. A. J.

    2017-01-01

    Using manipulated patch reefs with combinations of varying live-coral cover (low, medium and high) and structural complexity (low and high), common community metrics (abundance, diversity, richness and community composition) collected through standard underwater visual census techniques were compared with exhaustive collections using a fish anaesthetic (clove oil). This study showed that reef condition did not influence underwater visual census estimates at a community level, but reef condition can influence the detectability of some small and cryptic species and this may be exacerbated if surveys are conducted on a larger scale.

  15. Human activities as a driver of spatial variation in the trophic structure of fish communities on Pacific coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppert, Jonathan L W; Vigliola, Laurent; Kulbicki, Michel; Labrosse, Pierre; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Meekan, Mark G

    2018-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities such as land-use change, pollution and fishing impact the trophic structure of coral reef fishes, which can influence ecosystem health and function. Although these impacts may be ubiquitous, they are not consistent across the tropical Pacific Ocean. Using an extensive database of fish biomass sampled using underwater visual transects on coral reefs, we modelled the impact of human activities on food webs at Pacific-wide and regional (1,000s-10,000s km) scales. We found significantly lower biomass of sharks and carnivores, where there were higher densities of human populations (hereafter referred to as human activity); however, these patterns were not spatially consistent as there were significant differences in the trophic structures of fishes among biogeographic regions. Additionally, we found significant changes in the benthic structure of reef environments, notably a decline in coral cover where there was more human activity. Direct human impacts were the strongest in the upper part of the food web, where we found that in a majority of the Pacific, the biomass of reef sharks and carnivores were significantly and negatively associated with human activity. Finally, although human-induced stressors varied in strength and significance throughout the coral reef food web across the Pacific, socioeconomic variables explained more variation in reef fish trophic structure than habitat variables in a majority of the biogeographic regions. Notably, economic development (measured as GDP per capita) did not guarantee healthy reef ecosystems (high coral cover and greater fish biomass). Our results indicate that human activities are significantly shaping patterns of trophic structure of reef fishes in a spatially nonuniform manner across the Pacific Ocean, by altering processes that organize communities in both "top-down" (fishing of predators) and "bottom-up" (degradation of benthic communities) contexts. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Reef fish community in presence of the lionfish (Pterois volitans in Santa Marta, Colombian Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocío García-Urueña

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Fish species community structure and benthic organisms coverage were studied in five localities in Santa Marta where the lionfish is present. Materials and methods. Abundance of fish species, including lion fish, was established using 30 m random visual censuses and video transects; trophic guilds were established according to available references. On the other hand benthic coverage was evaluated using the software Coral Point Count (CPCe 4.0. Results. Families with higher species numbers were Serranidae, Labridae, and Pomacentridae. Lionfish abundances were low (2.6±2.1 ind/120 m2, but in any case Pterois volitans was observed as the eleventh more abundant species, surpassing species of commercial value such as Cephalopholis cruentata. Species that were found in larger numbers (>100, Thalassoma bifasciatum, Haemulon aurolineatum, Canthigaster rostrata, Abudefduf saxatilis, Chromis cyanea, and Stegastes partitus were mainly invertebrate eaters, planctivores, and territorial herbivores. Coral coverage showed higher coral percentages in Chengue (69.9% and Cinto (27.4%, larger sponge percentages in Morro (32.7%; Isla Aguja and Remanso showed the larger figures for abiotic substrate (41.6 and 37%, respectively; corals, sponges, and gorgonians were the components best explaining fish community, but not for the lion fish, which inhabit all studied reef formations. Conclusions. Lion fish is ranked between the 20 more abundant species, with none commercially important species larger, hence no species may qualify as a natural control. Lion fish has as well become a relatively abundant species in Santa Marta reefs, independent of benthic coverage.

  17. Struktur Komunitas Ikan Karang di Perairan Kendari (Community Structure of Coral Reef Fishes at Kendari Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Adrim

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Keberadaan ikan karang merupakan salah satu bioindikator terhadap kondisi terumbu karang yang baik. Penelitian ikan karang di perairan Kendari bertujuan untuk mengetahui komposisi jenis, kelimpahan, sebaran, dan struktur komunitas ikan karang di perairan tersebut. Pengumpulan data dilakukan bulan Juli 2011 pada lima lokasi di bagian utara dan selatan Kendari. Data dihimpun dengan menggunakan teknik Underwater Visual Census (UVC dan metode transek (Line Intersept Transect, LIT dengan peralatan SCUBA. Total jenis ikan karang terkumpul sebanyak 111 jenis yang mewakili 24 famili, terdiri dari 31 jenis ikan target (ikan konsumsi, 17 jenis ikan indikator (indicator species, dan kelompok major 63 jenis. Kelornpok ikan pangan (target yang dominan; Caesio cuning, Siganus vulpinus dan Ctenochaetus striatus. Jenis yang paling dominan dari ikan indikator adalah Chaetodon octofasciatus. Sedangkan kelompok lainnya (major yang dominan adalah Pomacentrus smithii, Chrysiptera rollandi, Chrysiptera springeri, dan Pomacentrus alexanderae. Nilai Indeks keanekaragaman berkisar 1,36– 3,23. Indeks dominasi Margalef (d berkisar 4,74–8,66. Indeks kemerataan Pielou (J’=H’/logeS diperololeh pada kisaran 0,38–0,81 . Hasil analisis kluster pada matrik kesamaan Bray-Curtis 37 % diperoleh dendrograrn yang menunjukkan dua pengelompokan stasiun. Berdasarkan ordinasi sampel dengan MDS diperoleh dari kesamaan (stress= 0 dengan jelas menunjukkan dua komunitas yang berbeda. Hasil penelitian ini diharapkan dapat menjadi masukan sebagai data dasar untuk pengelolaan daerah pesisir bagi pemerintahan daerah (PEMDA. Kata kunci: ikan karang, struktur komunitas, indeks ekologi, perairan Kendari. Coral reef Fishes is one of bio-indicators for good condition coral reef ecosystem. A study on coral reef fishes in the Kendari waters was aimed to find out species composition, abundance, distribution and community structure of coral reef fishes in that area. The study was conducted in

  18. Assessing Caribbean Shallow and Mesophotic Reef Fish Communities Using Baited-Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) and Diver-Operated Video (DOV) Survey Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macaya-Solis, Consuelo; Exton, Dan A.; Gress, Erika; Wright, Georgina; Rogers, Alex D.

    2016-01-01

    Fish surveys form the backbone of reef monitoring and management initiatives throughout the tropics, and understanding patterns in biases between techniques is crucial if outputs are to address key objectives optimally. Often biases are not consistent across natural environmental gradients such as depth, leading to uncertainty in interpretation of results. Recently there has been much interest in mesophotic reefs (reefs from 30–150 m depth) as refuge habitats from fishing pressure, leading to many comparisons of reef fish communities over depth gradients. Here we compare fish communities using stereo-video footage recorded via baited remote underwater video (BRUV) and diver-operated video (DOV) systems on shallow and mesophotic reefs in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Caribbean. We show inconsistent responses across families, species and trophic groups between methods across the depth gradient. Fish species and family richness were higher using BRUV at both depth ranges, suggesting that BRUV is more appropriate for recording all components of the fish community. Fish length distributions were not different between methods on shallow reefs, yet BRUV recorded more small fish on mesophotic reefs. However, DOV consistently recorded greater relative fish community biomass of herbivores, suggesting that studies focusing on herbivores should consider using DOV. Our results highlight the importance of considering what component of reef fish community researchers and managers are most interested in surveying when deciding which survey technique to use across natural gradients such as depth. PMID:27959907

  19. [Changes in fish communities of coral reefs at Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago, Cuba].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claro, Rodolfo; Cantelar, Karel; Amargós, Fabián Pina; García-Arteaga, Juan P

    2007-06-01

    A comparison of fish community structure in the Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago (1988-1989 and 2000) using visual census surveys (eight belt transects 2x50 m in each site) suggests a notable decrease on species richness, and a two thirds reduction in fish density and biomass on coral reefs. This decrease in fish populations may be related to the alarming decrease of scleractinian coral cover, and an enormous proliferation of algae, which currently covers 70-80% of the hard substrate, impeding the recovery of corals and other benthic organisms. High coral mortalities occurred between the study periods, which correlate with the high temperatures caused by the ENSO events of 1995, 1997 and 1998. These events caused massive bleaching of corals and subsequent algae overgrowth. Evidence of nutrient enrichment from the inner lagoons and overfishing are also present. Collectively, these effects have provoked a marked degradation of reef habitats. These changes appear to have affected the availability of refuges and food for fishes, and may be constraining individual growth potential and population size.

  20. The influence of fire-coral colony size and agonistic behaviour of territorial damselfish on associated coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Isabela Carolina Silva; de Araújo, Maria Elisabeth; da Cunha, Simone Rabelo; Pereira, Pedro Henrique Cipresso

    2015-07-01

    Branching hydrocorals from the genus Millepora play an important ecological role in South Atlantic reefs, where branching scleractinian corals are absent. Previous studies have shown a high proportion of reef fish species using branching fire-coral colonies as shelter, breeding, and feeding sites. However, the effects of Millepora spp. colony size and how the agonistic behaviour of a competitive damselfish affect the associated reef fish community are still unknown. The present study examined how fire-coral colony volume and the presence of a highly territorial and aggressive damselfish (Brazilian endemic Stegastes fuscus) affects the reef fish community associated with the fire-coral Millepora alcicornis. M. alcicornis colonies were surveyed from September 2012 to April 2013 at Tamandaré Reefs off Northeast Brazil. Our results show that the abundance and richness of coral associated fish was positively correlated with M. alcicornis coral colony volume. Additionally, behaviour of S. fuscus, the most abundant reef fish species found associated with fire-coral colonies (almost 57% of the fish community), was also influenced by fire-coral colony volume. There was a clear trend of increased agonistic behaviour and feeding on coral polyps as colony volume increased. This trend was reversed for the non-occupational swimming category, which decreased as M. alcicornis colony volume increased. Behavioural ontogenetic changes were also detected for S. fuscus individuals. Juveniles mainly showed two distinct behaviours: sheltered on coral branches and feeding on coral polyps. In contrast, adults presented greater equitability among the behavioural categories, mostly non-occupational swimming around coral colonies and agonistic behaviour. Lastly, S. fuscus individuals actively defended fire-coral colonies from intruders. A large number of agonistic interactions occurred against potential food competitors, which were mainly roving herbivores, omnivores, and sessile

  1. Biscayne National Park study on reef fish community changes over time

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish assemblage structure was assessed in 20062007 (recent period) in Biscayne National Park, Florida, USA , and compared with data collected from 1977 to 1981...

  2. Local Biomass Baselines and the Recovery Potential for Hawaiian Coral Reef Fish Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelvin D. Gorospe

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the influence of multiple ecosystem drivers, both natural and anthropogenic, and how they vary across space is critical to the spatial management of coral reef fisheries. In Hawaii, as elsewhere, there is uncertainty with regards to how areas should be selected for protection, and management efforts prioritized. One strategy is to prioritize efforts based on an area's biomass baseline, or natural capacity to support reef fish populations. Another strategy is to prioritize areas based on their recovery potential, or in other words, the potential increase in fish biomass from present-day state, should management be effective at restoring assemblages to something more like their baseline state. We used data from 717 fisheries-independent reef fish monitoring surveys from 2012 to 2015 around the main Hawaiian Islands as well as site-level data on benthic habitat, oceanographic conditions, and human population density, to develop a hierarchical, linear Bayesian model that explains spatial variation in: (1 herbivorous and (2 total reef fish biomass. We found that while human population density negatively affected fish assemblages at all surveyed areas, there was considerable variation in the natural capacity of different areas to support reef fish biomass. For example, some areas were predicted to have the capacity to support ten times as much herbivorous fish biomass as other areas. Overall, the model found human population density to have negatively impacted fish biomass throughout Hawaii, however the magnitude and uncertainty of these impacts varied locally. Results provide part of the basis for marine spatial planning and/or MPA-network design within Hawaii.

  3. Extinction vulnerability of coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Nicholas A J; Chabanet, Pascale; Evans, Richard D; Jennings, Simon; Letourneur, Yves; Aaron Macneil, M; McClanahan, Tim R; Ohman, Marcus C; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Wilson, Shaun K

    2011-04-01

    With rapidly increasing rates of contemporary extinction, predicting extinction vulnerability and identifying how multiple stressors drive non-random species loss have become key challenges in ecology. These assessments are crucial for avoiding the loss of key functional groups that sustain ecosystem processes and services. We developed a novel predictive framework of species extinction vulnerability and applied it to coral reef fishes. Although relatively few coral reef fishes are at risk of global extinction from climate disturbances, a negative convex relationship between fish species locally vulnerable to climate change vs. fisheries exploitation indicates that the entire community is vulnerable on the many reefs where both stressors co-occur. Fishes involved in maintaining key ecosystem functions are more at risk from fishing than climate disturbances. This finding is encouraging as local and regional commitment to fisheries management action can maintain reef ecosystem functions pending progress towards the more complex global problem of stabilizing the climate. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  4. Understanding the Spatio-Temporal Response of Coral Reef Fish Communities to Natural Disturbances: Insights from Beta-Diversity Decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, Thomas; Legendre, Pierre; Chancerelle, Yannick; Siu, Gilles; Claudet, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how communities respond to natural disturbances is fundamental to assess the mechanisms of ecosystem resistance and resilience. However, ecosystem responses to natural disturbances are rarely monitored both through space and time, while the factors promoting ecosystem stability act at various temporal and spatial scales. Hence, assessing both the spatial and temporal variations in species composition is important to comprehensively explore the effects of natural disturbances. Here, we suggest a framework to better scrutinize the mechanisms underlying community responses to disturbances through both time and space. Our analytical approach is based on beta diversity decomposition into two components, replacement and biomass difference. We illustrate this approach using a 9-year monitoring of coral reef fish communities off Moorea Island (French Polynesia), which encompassed two severe natural disturbances: a crown-of-thorns starfish outbreak and a hurricane. These disturbances triggered a fast logistic decline in coral cover, which suffered a 90% decrease on all reefs. However, we found that the coral reef fish composition remained largely stable through time and space whereas compensatory changes in biomass among species were responsible for most of the temporal fluctuations, as outlined by the overall high contribution of the replacement component to total beta diversity. This suggests that, despite the severity of the two disturbances, fish communities exhibited high resistance and the ability to reorganize their compositions to maintain the same level of total community biomass as before the disturbances. We further investigated the spatial congruence of this pattern and showed that temporal dynamics involved different species across sites; yet, herbivores controlling the proliferation of algae that compete with coral communities were consistently favored. These results suggest that compensatory changes in biomass among species and spatial

  5. Biodiversity and spatial patterns of benthic habitat and associated demersal fish communities at two tropical submerged reef ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Wahab, Muhammad Azmi; Radford, Ben; Cappo, Mike; Colquhoun, Jamie; Stowar, Marcus; Depczynski, Martial; Miller, Karen; Heyward, Andrew

    2018-06-01

    Submerged reef ecosystems can be very diverse and may serve as important refugia for shallow-water conspecifics. This study quantified the benthic and fish communities of two proximate, predominantly mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs), Glomar Shoal and Rankin Bank, which are geographically isolated from other similar features in the region. Glomar Shoal is identified as a key ecological feature (KEF) in the North West Marine Region of Australia. Multibeam surveys were performed to characterise the seafloor and to derive secondary environmental variables, used to explain patterns in benthic and fish communities. Towed video surveys quantified benthic cover, and stereo baited remote underwater stations were used to survey fish abundance and diversity. Surveys were completed in depths of 20-115 m. The two MCEs exhibited distinct communities; Rankin Bank consistently had higher cover (up to 30×) of benthic taxa across depths, and fish communities that were twice as abundant and 1.5× more diverse than Glomar Shoal. The location of the MCEs, depth and rugosity were most influential in structuring benthic communities. Phototrophic taxa, specifically macroalgae and hard corals, had up to 22 × higher cover at Rankin Bank than at Glomar Shoal and were dominant to 80 m (compared to 60 m at Glomar Shoal), presumably due to greater light penetration (lower turbidity) and lower sand cover at greater depths. The 20% coral cover at Rankin Bank was comparable to that reported for shallow reefs. The cover of sand, hard corals and sponges influenced fish communities, with higher abundance and diversity of fish associated with shallow hard coral habitats. This study demonstrated that the two MCEs were unique within the local context, and when coupled with their geographical isolation and biodiversity, presents compelling support for the additional recognition of Rankin Bank as a KEF.

  6. Fish Community Characterization on Shallow (less than 30m) Hardbottom Shelf Habitats in St. Croix, USVI. A preliminary field survey to assess operational and logistical approaches to implement the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) in the USVI.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish populations are a conspicuous and essential component of USVI coral reef ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, striking population and community level...

  7. Fish Community Characterization on Shallow (<30m) Hardbottom Shelf Habitats in St. Croix, USVI. A preliminary field survey to assess operational and logistical approaches to implement the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) in the USVI. (NODC Accession 0125237)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish populations are a conspicuous and essential component of USVI coral reef ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, striking population and community level...

  8. Spatio-temporal patterns in the coral reef communities of the Spermonde Archipelago, 2012–2014, II: Fish assemblages display structured variation related to benthic condition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah Grahm; Teichberg, Mirta; Bednarz, Vanessa N.

    2018-01-01

    The Spermonde Archipelago is a complex of ~70 mostly populated islands off Southwest Sulawesi, Indonesia, in the center of the Coral Triangle. The reefs in this area are exposed to a high level of anthropogenic disturbances. Previous studies have shown that variation in the benthos is strongly...... with distance, while few species were present across the entire range of sites. Relating fish communities to benthic composition using a multivariate generalized linear model confirmed that fish groups relate to structural complexity (rugosity) or differing benthic groups; either algae, reef builders (coral...... and crustose coralline algae) or invertebrates and rubble. From these relationships we can identify sets of fish species that may be lost given continued degradation of the Spermonde reefs. Lastly, the incorporation of water quality, benthic and fish indices indicates that local coral reefs responded...

  9. Tortugas Reef Fish Census (CRCP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This is a long term data set collecting visual census transect data on reef fishes at staions located at Rileys Hump, Tortugas South Ecological Reservee.

  10. Reef fish community in presence of the lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Santa Marta, Colombian Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    García-Urueña, Rocío; Acero P, Arturo; Coronado-Carrascal, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objective. Fish species community structure and benthic organisms coverage were studied in five localities in Santa Marta where the lionfish is present. Materials and methods. Abundance of fish species, including lion fish, was established using 30 m random visual censuses and video transects; trophic guilds were established according to available references. On the other hand benthic coverage was evaluated using the software Coral Point Count (CPCe) 4.0. Results. Families with highe...

  11. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of fish communities in the Florida Reef Tract from 2014-05-01 to 2014-10-01 (NCEI Accession 0156445)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Divers conducted reef visual census (RVC) fish surveys and habitat assessments at 433 sites in the Florida Keys, 436 sites in the Dry Tortugas and 320 sites in the...

  12. Congruence in demersal fish, macroinvertebrate, and macroalgal community turnover on shallow temperate reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Russell J; Hill, Nicole A; Leaper, Rebecca; Ellis, Nick; Pitcher, C Roland; Barrett, Neville S; Edgar, Graham J

    2014-03-01

    To support coastal planning through improved understanding of patterns of biotic and abiotic surrogacy at broad scales, we used gradient forest modeling (GFM) to analyze and predict spatial patterns of compositional turnover of demersal fishes, macroinvertebrates, and macroalgae on shallow, temperate Australian reefs. Predictive models were first developed using environmental surrogates with estimates of prediction uncertainty, and then the efficacy of the three assemblages as biosurrogates for each other was assessed. Data from underwater visual surveys of subtidal rocky reefs were collected from the southeastern coastline of continental Australia (including South Australia and Victoria) and the northern coastline of Tasmania. These data were combined with 0.01 degree-resolution gridded environmental variables to develop statistical models of compositional turnover (beta diversity) using GFM. GFM extends the machine learning, ensemble tree-based method of random forests (RF), to allow the simultaneous modeling of multiple taxa. The models were used to generate predictions of compositional turnover for each of the three assemblages within unsurveyed areas across the 6600 km of coastline in the region of interest. The most important predictor for all three assemblages was variability in sea surface temperature (measured as standard deviation from measures taken interannually). Spatial predictions of compositional turnover within unsurveyed areas across the region of interest were remarkably congruent across the three taxa. However, the greatest uncertainty in these predictions varied in location among the different assemblages. Pairwise congruency comparisons of observed and predicted turnover among the three assemblages showed that invertebrate and macroalgal biodiversity were most similar, followed by fishes and macroalgae, and lastly fishes and invertebrate biodiversity, suggesting that of the three assemblages, macroalgae would make the best biosurrogate for

  13. Fish Biodiversity Patterns in Reef Communities of the Southeastern Coast of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf Riedel

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Marine Protected Areas are increasingly becoming a tool of choice for conservation and management of marine resources and ecosystems. Data on biodiversity are necessary to assist in establishing protected areas for conservation objectives to be met. Toward that effect, we investigated reef biodiversity patterns in three large-scale coastal regions of Brazil. The study areas comprised of an upwelling region, an adjacent high impacted region, and a more distant marine park. We surveyed four reef sites in each study region. Fish species and abundance, substrate relief, and water temperature were recorded during the surveys. Biodiversity was estimated using Simpson’s and Shannon’s indices on species richness and abundance. Fish diversity was highest at the upwelling area. No difference in diversity was observed between the high impacted region and the marine park. No substrate relief patterns were found. Temperature readings showed higher frequency of low temperature episodic events at the upwelling region. Our results favor the upwelling region for establishment of a Marine Protected Area. Moreover, the similar diversity between the high impacted region and the marine park showed evidence of spillover effects from the upwelling into the high impacted region, further demonstrating the importance of the upwelling region for conservation.

  14. Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how predators select their prey can provide important insights into community structure and dynamics. However, the suite of prey species available to a predator is often spatially and temporally variable. As a result, species-specific selectivity data are of limited use for predicting novel predator-prey interactions because they are assemblage specific. We present a method for predicting diet selection that is applicable across prey assemblages, based on identifying general morphological and behavioural traits of prey that confer vulnerability to predation independent of species identity. We apply this trait-based approach to examining prey selection by Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), invasive predators that prey upon species-rich reef fish communities and are rapidly spreading across the western Atlantic. We first generate hypotheses about morphological and behavioural traits recurring across fish species that could facilitate or deter predation by lionfish. Constructing generalized linear mixed-effects models that account for relatedness among prey taxa, we test whether these traits predict patterns of diet selection by lionfish within two independent data sets collected at different spatial scales: (i) in situ visual observations of prey consumption and availability for individual lionfish and (ii) comparisons of prey abundance in lionfish stomach contents to availability on invaded reefs at large. Both analyses reveal that a number of traits predicted to affect vulnerability to predation, including body size, body shape, position in the water column and aggregation behaviour, are important determinants of diet selection by lionfish. Small, shallow-bodied, solitary fishes found resting on or just above reefs are the most vulnerable. Fishes that exhibit parasite cleaning behaviour experience a significantly lower risk of predation than non-cleaning fishes, and fishes that are nocturnally active are at significantly

  15. Interoceanic differences in the reproduction of coral-reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thresher, R E

    1982-10-01

    Eggs of demersal spawning coral-reef fishes of the tropical western Atlantic are smaller than those of related species in the western Pacific. Decreased egg volume may result in increased fecundity per unit body weight of Atlantic species, a factor that may underlie apparent differences in the stability of the respective coral-reef fish communities.

  16. Spatio-Temporal Patterns in the Coral Reef Communities of the Spermonde Archipelago, 2012–2014, II: Fish Assemblages Display Structured Variation Related to Benthic Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremiah G. Plass-Johnson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The Spermonde Archipelago is a complex of ~70 mostly populated islands off Southwest Sulawesi, Indonesia, in the center of the Coral Triangle. The reefs in this area are exposed to a high level of anthropogenic disturbances. Previous studies have shown that variation in the benthos is strongly linked to water quality and distance from the mainland. However, little is known about the fish assemblages of the region and if their community structure also follows a relationship with benthic structure and distance from shore. In this study, we used eight islands of the archipelago, varying in distance from 1 to 55 km relative to the mainland, and 3 years of surveys, to describe benthic and fish assemblages and to examine the spatial and temporal influence of benthic composition on the structure of the fish assemblages. Cluster analysis indicated that distinct groups of fish were associated with distance, while few species were present across the entire range of sites. Relating fish communities to benthic composition using a multivariate generalized linear model confirmed that fish groups relate to structural complexity (rugosity or differing benthic groups; either algae, reef builders (coral and crustose coralline algae or invertebrates and rubble. From these relationships we can identify sets of fish species that may be lost given continued degradation of the Spermonde reefs. Lastly, the incorporation of water quality, benthic and fish indices indicates that local coral reefs responded positively after an acute disturbance in 2013 with increases in reef builders and fish diversity over relatively short (1 year time frames. This study contributes an important, missing component (fish community structure to the growing literature on the Spermonde Archipelago, a system that features environmental pressures common in the greater Southeast Asian region.

  17. Phylogenetic perspectives on reef fish functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floeter, Sergio R; Bender, Mariana G; Siqueira, Alexandre C; Cowman, Peter F

    2018-02-01

    Functional traits have been fundamental to the evolution and diversification of entire fish lineages on coral reefs. Yet their relationship with the processes promoting speciation, extinction and the filtering of local species pools remains unclear. We review the current literature exploring the evolution of diet, body size, water column use and geographic range size in reef-associated fishes. Using published and new data, we mapped functional traits on to published phylogenetic trees to uncover evolutionary patterns that have led to the current functional diversity of fishes on coral reefs. When examining reconstructed patterns for diet and feeding mode, we found examples of independent transitions to planktivory across different reef fish families. Such transitions and associated morphological alterations may represent cases in which ecological opportunity for the exploitation of different resources drives speciation and adaptation. In terms of body size, reconstructions showed that both large and small sizes appear multiple times within clades of mid-sized fishes and that extreme body sizes have arisen mostly in the last 10 million years (Myr). The reconstruction of range size revealed many cases of disparate range sizes among sister species. Such range size disparity highlights potential vicariant processes through isolation in peripheral locations. When accounting for peripheral speciation processes in sister pairs, we found a significant relationship between labrid range size and lineage age. The diversity and evolution of traits within lineages is influenced by trait-environment interactions as well as by species and trait-trait interactions, where the presence of a given trait may trigger the development of related traits or behaviours. Our effort to assess the evolution of functional diversity across reef fish clades adds to the burgeoning research focusing on the evolutionary and ecological roles of functional traits. We argue that the combination of a

  18. Community structure and coral status across reef fishing intensity gradients in Palk Bay reef, southeast coast of India.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Manikandan, B.; Ravindran, J.; Shrinivaasu, S.; Marimuthu, N.; Paramasivam, K.

    to the reefs (McClanahan et al. 2006). However, majority of the MPAs lack effective enforcement of laws leading to reef damage and over exploitation (Mora et al. 2006). Climate change and Ocean acidification are chronic processes that exert their effects at a... availability for macroalgal attachment and nutrient enrichment will enhance the algal population in the coral ecosystems (McManus and Polsenberg 2004). Algal domination in a coral ecosystem has severe ecological implications including coral bleaching (Hughes...

  19. Three dimensional marine seismic survey has no measurable effect on species richness or abundance of a coral reef associated fish community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, Ian; Cripps, Edward

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • A marine seismic survey was conducted at Scott Reef, North Western Australia. • Effects of the survey on demersal fish were gauged using underwater visual census. • There was no detectable impact of the seismic survey on species abundance. • There was no detectable impact of the seismic survey on species richness. -- Abstract: Underwater visual census was used to determine the effect of a three dimensional seismic survey on the shallow water coral reef slope associated fish community at Scott Reef. A census of the fish community was conducted on six locations at Scott Reef both before and after the survey. The census included small site attached demersal species belonging to the family Pomacentridae and larger roving demersal species belonging to the non-Pomacentridae families. These data were combined with a decade of historical data to assess the impact of the seismic survey. Taking into account spatial, temporal, spatio-temporal and observer variability, modelling showed no significant effect of the seismic survey on the overall abundance or species richness of Pomacentridae or non-Pomacentridae. The six most abundant species were also analysed individually. In all cases no detectable effect of the seismic survey was found on the abundance of these fish species at Scott Reef

  20. Effects of fishing on a temperate reef community in South Africa 2 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Crinoidea, the principal food source of roman Chrysoblephus laticeps, was scarce at protected sites where this species was most abundant. Low algal abundance at protected sites was negatively correlated with grazer abundance within the fish communities encountered there, suggesting a high potential for coexistence of ...

  1. Relationships between structural complexity, coral traits, and reef fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darling, Emily S.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Januchowski-Hartley, Fraser A.; Nash, Kirsty L.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Wilson, Shaun K.

    2017-06-01

    With the ongoing loss of coral cover and the associated flattening of reef architecture, understanding the links between coral habitat and reef fishes is of critical importance. Here, we investigate whether considering coral traits and functional diversity provides new insights into the relationship between structural complexity and reef fish communities, and whether coral traits and community composition can predict structural complexity. Across 157 sites in Seychelles, Maldives, the Chagos Archipelago, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef, we find that structural complexity and reef zone are the strongest and most consistent predictors of reef fish abundance, biomass, species richness, and trophic structure. However, coral traits, diversity, and life histories provided additional predictive power for models of reef fish assemblages, and were key drivers of structural complexity. Our findings highlight that reef complexity relies on living corals—with different traits and life histories—continuing to build carbonate skeletons, and that these nuanced relationships between coral assemblages and habitat complexity can affect the structure of reef fish assemblages. Seascape-level estimates of structural complexity are rapid and cost effective with important implications for the structure and function of fish assemblages, and should be incorporated into monitoring programs.

  2. A comparison of visual and collection-based methods for assessing community structure of coral reef fishes in the tropical Eastern Pacific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alzate, Adriana; Zapata, Fernando A.; Giraldo, Alan

    Gorgona Island, the major insular area in the Colombian Pacific Ocean, is characterized by a remarkably high biological and ecosystem diversity for this area of the world. Coral reefs are well developed and their fish communities have been described using conventional visual surveys. These methods,

  3. Conventional and technical diving surveys reveal elevated biomass and differing fish community composition from shallow and upper mesophotic zones of a remote United States coral reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roldan C Muñoz

    Full Text Available The world's coral reefs appear to be in a global decline, yet most previous research on coral reefs has taken place at depths shallower than 30 m. Mesophotic coral ecosystem (depths deeper than ~30 m studies have revealed extensive, productive habitats and rich communities. Despite recent advances, mesophotic coral ecosystems remain understudied due to challenges with sampling at deeper depths. The few previous studies of mesophotic coral ecosystems have shown variation across locations in depth-specific species composition and assemblage shifts, potentially a response to differences in habitat or light availability/water clarity. This study utilized scuba to examine fish and benthic communities from shallow and upper mesophotic (to 45 m zones of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS, 28°0'N; 93°50'W from 2010-2012. Dominant planktivores were ubiquitous in shallow and upper mesophotic habitats, and comparisons with previous shallow research suggest this community distribution has persisted for over 30 years. Planktivores were abundant in shallow low-relief habitats on the periphery of the coral reef, and some of these sites that contained habitat transitioning from high to low relief supported high biomass of benthic predators. These peripheral sites at FGBNMS may be important for the trophic transfer of oceanic energy to the benthic coral reef. Distinct differences between upper mesophotic and shallow communities were also observed. These included greater overall fish (as well as apex predator biomass in the upper mesophotic, differences in apex predator community composition between depth zones, and greater percent cover of algae, rubble, sand, and sponges in the upper mesophotic. Greater fish biomass in the upper mesophotic and similar fish community composition between depth zones provide preliminary support that upper mesophotic habitats at FGBNMS have the capacity to serve as refugia for the shallow-water reefs. Diving

  4. Conventional and technical diving surveys reveal elevated biomass and differing fish community composition from shallow and upper mesophotic zones of a remote United States coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Roldan C; Buckel, Christine A; Whitfield, Paula E; Viehman, Shay; Clark, Randy; Taylor, J Christopher; Degan, Brian P; Hickerson, Emma L

    2017-01-01

    The world's coral reefs appear to be in a global decline, yet most previous research on coral reefs has taken place at depths shallower than 30 m. Mesophotic coral ecosystem (depths deeper than ~30 m) studies have revealed extensive, productive habitats and rich communities. Despite recent advances, mesophotic coral ecosystems remain understudied due to challenges with sampling at deeper depths. The few previous studies of mesophotic coral ecosystems have shown variation across locations in depth-specific species composition and assemblage shifts, potentially a response to differences in habitat or light availability/water clarity. This study utilized scuba to examine fish and benthic communities from shallow and upper mesophotic (to 45 m) zones of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS, 28°0'N; 93°50'W) from 2010-2012. Dominant planktivores were ubiquitous in shallow and upper mesophotic habitats, and comparisons with previous shallow research suggest this community distribution has persisted for over 30 years. Planktivores were abundant in shallow low-relief habitats on the periphery of the coral reef, and some of these sites that contained habitat transitioning from high to low relief supported high biomass of benthic predators. These peripheral sites at FGBNMS may be important for the trophic transfer of oceanic energy to the benthic coral reef. Distinct differences between upper mesophotic and shallow communities were also observed. These included greater overall fish (as well as apex predator) biomass in the upper mesophotic, differences in apex predator community composition between depth zones, and greater percent cover of algae, rubble, sand, and sponges in the upper mesophotic. Greater fish biomass in the upper mesophotic and similar fish community composition between depth zones provide preliminary support that upper mesophotic habitats at FGBNMS have the capacity to serve as refugia for the shallow-water reefs. Diving surveys of the

  5. Exploring the nature of ecological specialization in a coral reef fish community: morphology, diet and foraging microhabitat use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Robbins, William D; Bellwood, David R

    2015-09-22

    Patterns of ecological specialization offer invaluable information about ecosystems. Yet, specialization is rarely quantified across several ecological niche axes and variables beyond the link between morphological and dietary specialization have received little attention. Here, we provide a quantitative evaluation of ecological specialization in a coral reef fish assemblage (f. Acanthuridae) along one fundamental and two realized niche axes. Specifically, we examined ecological specialization in 10 surgeonfish species with regards to morphology and two realized niche axes associated with diet and foraging microhabitat utilization using a recently developed multidimensional framework. We then investigated the potential relationships between morphological and behavioural specialization. These relationships differed markedly from the traditional ecomorphological paradigm. While morphological specialization showed no relationship with dietary specialization, it exhibited a strong relationship with foraging microhabitat specialization. However, this relationship was inverted: species with specialized morphologies were microhabitat generalists, whereas generalized morphotypes were microhabitat specialists. Interestingly, this mirrors relationships found in plant-pollinator communities and may also be applicable to other ecosystems, highlighting the potential importance of including niche axes beyond dietary specialization into ecomorphological frameworks. On coral reefs, it appears that morphotypes commonly perceived as most generalized may, in fact, be specialized in exploiting flat and easily accessible microhabitats. © 2015 The Author(s).

  6. Assessing the effect of marine reserves on household food security in Kenyan coral reef fishing communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S Darling

    Full Text Available Measuring the success or failure of natural resource management is a key challenge to evaluate the impact of conservation for ecological, economic and social outcomes. Marine reserves are a popular tool for managing coastal ecosystems and resources yet surprisingly few studies have quantified the social-economic impacts of marine reserves on food security despite the critical importance of this outcome for fisheries management in developing countries. Here, I conducted semi-structured household surveys with 113 women heads-of-households to investigate the influence of two old, well-enforced, no-take marine reserves on food security in four coastal fishing communities in Kenya, East Africa. Multi-model information-theoretic inference and matching methods found that marine reserves did not influence household food security, as measured by protein consumption, diet diversity and food coping strategies. Instead, food security was strongly influenced by fishing livelihoods and household wealth: fishing families and wealthier households were more food secure than non-fishing and poorer households. These findings highlight the importance of complex social and economic landscapes of livelihoods, urbanization, power and gender dynamics that can drive the outcomes of marine conservation and management.

  7. Influence of landscape structure on reef fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grober-Dunsmore, R.; Frazer, T.K.; Beets, J.P.; Lindberg, W.J.; Zwick, P.; Funicelli, N.A.

    2008-01-01

    Management of tropical marine environments calls for interdisciplinary studies and innovative methodologies that consider processes occurring over broad spatial scales. We investigated relationships between landscape structure and reef fish assemblage structure in the US Virgin Islands. Measures of landscape structure were transformed into a reduced set of composite indices using principal component analyses (PCA) to synthesize data on the spatial patterning of the landscape structure of the study reefs. However, composite indices (e.g., habitat diversity) were not particularly informative for predicting reef fish assemblage structure. Rather, relationships were interpreted more easily when functional groups of fishes were related to individual habitat features. In particular, multiple reef fish parameters were strongly associated with reef context. Fishes responded to benthic habitat structure at multiple spatial scales, with various groups of fishes each correlated to a unique suite of variables. Accordingly, future experiments should be designed to test functional relationships based on the ecology of the organisms of interest. Our study demonstrates that landscape-scale habitat features influence reef fish communities, illustrating promise in applying a landscape ecology approach to better understand factors that structure coral reef ecosystems. Furthermore, our findings may prove useful in design of spatially-based conservation approaches such as marine protected areas (MPAs), because landscape-scale metrics may serve as proxies for areas with high species diversity and abundance within the coral reef landscape. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  8. Transport of Calcareous Fragments by Reef Fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardach, J E

    1961-01-13

    The weight of sand, coral scrapings, algal fragments, and other calcareous materials which pass through the intestines of reef fishes was calculated on a hectare-per-year basis. It was found that browsing omnivorous reef fishes which rely, in part, on a plant diet ingested and redeposited at least 2300 kg of such material on a 1-hectare study reef near Bermuda. Reasons are presented why this estimate, certainly in order of magnitude, should be applicable to coral reefs in general.

  9. Reef-fish larval dispersal patterns validate no-take marine reserve network connectivity that links human communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abesamis, Rene A.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Berumen, Michael L.; Bode, Michael; Jadloc, Claro Renato L.; Solera, Leilani A.; Villanoy, Cesar L.; Bernardo, Lawrence Patrick C.; Alcala, Angel C.; Russ, Garry R.

    2017-09-01

    Networks of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are a widely advocated strategy for managing coral reefs. However, uncertainty about the strength of population connectivity between individual reefs and NTMRs through larval dispersal remains a major obstacle to effective network design. In this study, larval dispersal among NTMRs and fishing grounds in the Philippines was inferred by conducting genetic parentage analysis on a coral-reef fish ( Chaetodon vagabundus). Adult and juvenile fish were sampled intensively in an area encompassing approximately 90 km of coastline. Thirty-seven true parent-offspring pairs were accepted after screening 1978 juveniles against 1387 adults. The data showed all types of dispersal connections that may occur in NTMR networks, with assignments suggesting connectivity among NTMRs and fishing grounds ( n = 35) far outnumbering those indicating self-recruitment ( n = 2). Critically, half (51%) of the inferred occurrences of larval dispersal linked reefs managed by separate, independent municipalities and constituent villages, emphasising the need for nested collaborative management arrangements across management units to sustain NTMR networks. Larval dispersal appeared to be influenced by wind-driven seasonal reversals in the direction of surface currents. The best-fit larval dispersal kernel estimated from the parentage data predicted that 50% of larvae originating from a population would attempt to settle within 33 km, and 95% within 83 km. Mean larval dispersal distance was estimated to be 36.5 km. These results suggest that creating a network of closely spaced (less than a few tens of km apart) NTMRs can enhance recruitment for protected and fished populations throughout the NTMR network. The findings underscore major challenges for regional coral-reef management initiatives that must be addressed with priority: (1) strengthening management of NTMR networks across political or customary boundaries; and (2) achieving adequate population

  10. Reef-fish larval dispersal patterns validate no-take marine reserve network connectivity that links human communities

    KAUST Repository

    Abesamis, Rene A.

    2017-03-24

    Networks of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are a widely advocated strategy for managing coral reefs. However, uncertainty about the strength of population connectivity between individual reefs and NTMRs through larval dispersal remains a major obstacle to effective network design. In this study, larval dispersal among NTMRs and fishing grounds in the Philippines was inferred by conducting genetic parentage analysis on a coral-reef fish (Chaetodon vagabundus). Adult and juvenile fish were sampled intensively in an area encompassing approximately 90 km of coastline. Thirty-seven true parent-offspring pairs were accepted after screening 1978 juveniles against 1387 adults. The data showed all types of dispersal connections that may occur in NTMR networks, with assignments suggesting connectivity among NTMRs and fishing grounds (n = 35) far outnumbering those indicating self-recruitment (n = 2). Critically, half (51%) of the inferred occurrences of larval dispersal linked reefs managed by separate, independent municipalities and constituent villages, emphasising the need for nested collaborative management arrangements across management units to sustain NTMR networks. Larval dispersal appeared to be influenced by wind-driven seasonal reversals in the direction of surface currents. The best-fit larval dispersal kernel estimated from the parentage data predicted that 50% of larvae originating from a population would attempt to settle within 33 km, and 95% within 83 km. Mean larval dispersal distance was estimated to be 36.5 km. These results suggest that creating a network of closely spaced (less than a few tens of km apart) NTMRs can enhance recruitment for protected and fished populations throughout the NTMR network. The findings underscore major challenges for regional coral-reef management initiatives that must be addressed with priority: (1) strengthening management of NTMR networks across political or customary boundaries; and (2) achieving adequate population

  11. Fishing-gear restrictions and biomass gains for coral reef fishes in marine protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Stuart J; Edgar, Graham J; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Soler, German; Bates, Amanda E

    2018-04-01

    Considerable empirical evidence supports recovery of reef fish populations with fishery closures. In countries where full exclusion of people from fishing may be perceived as inequitable, fishing-gear restrictions on nonselective and destructive gears may offer socially relevant management alternatives to build recovery of fish biomass. Even so, few researchers have statistically compared the responses of tropical reef fisheries to alternative management strategies. We tested for the effects of fishery closures and fishing gear restrictions on tropical reef fish biomass at the community and family level. We conducted 1,396 underwater surveys at 617 unique sites across a spatial hierarchy within 22 global marine ecoregions that represented 5 realms. We compared total biomass across local fish assemblages and among 20 families of reef fishes inside marine protected areas (MPAs) with different fishing restrictions: no-take, hook-and-line fishing only, several fishing gears allowed, and sites open to all fishing gears. We included a further category representing remote sites, where fishing pressure is low. As expected, full fishery closures, (i.e., no-take zones) most benefited community- and family-level fish biomass in comparison with restrictions on fishing gears and openly fished sites. Although biomass responses to fishery closures were highly variable across families, some fishery targets (e.g., Carcharhinidae and Lutjanidae) responded positively to multiple restrictions on fishing gears (i.e., where gears other than hook and line were not permitted). Remoteness also positively affected the response of community-level fish biomass and many fish families. Our findings provide strong support for the role of fishing restrictions in building recovery of fish biomass and indicate important interactions among fishing-gear types that affect biomass of a diverse set of reef fish families. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Social interactions among grazing reef fish drive material flux in a coral reef ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Michael A; Hein, Andrew M

    2017-05-02

    In human financial and social systems, exchanges of information among individuals cause speculative bubbles, behavioral cascades, and other correlated actions that profoundly influence system-level function. Exchanges of information are also widespread in ecological systems, but their effects on ecosystem-level processes are largely unknown. Herbivory is a critical ecological process in coral reefs, where diverse assemblages of fish maintain reef health by controlling the abundance of algae. Here, we show that social interactions have a major effect on fish grazing rates in a reef ecosystem. We combined a system for observing and manipulating large foraging areas in a coral reef with a class of dynamical decision-making models to reveal that reef fish use information about the density and actions of nearby fish to decide when to feed on algae and when to flee foraging areas. This "behavioral coupling" causes bursts of feeding activity that account for up to 68% of the fish community's consumption of algae. Moreover, correlations in fish behavior induce a feedback, whereby each fish spends less time feeding when fewer fish are present, suggesting that reducing fish stocks may not only reduce total algal consumption but could decrease the amount of algae each remaining fish consumes. Our results demonstrate that social interactions among consumers can have a dominant effect on the flux of energy and materials through ecosystems, and our methodology paves the way for rigorous in situ measurements of the behavioral rules that underlie ecological rates in other natural systems.

  13. Assessing the utility of eDNA as a tool to survey reef-fish communities in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiBattista, Joseph D.; Coker, Darren J.; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H.; Stat, Michael; Berumen, Michael L.; Bunce, Michael

    2017-12-01

    Relatively small volumes of water may contain sufficient environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect target aquatic organisms via genetic sequencing. We therefore assessed the utility of eDNA to document the diversity of coral reef fishes in the central Red Sea. DNA from seawater samples was extracted, amplified using fish-specific 16S mitochondrial DNA primers, and sequenced using a metabarcoding workflow. DNA sequences were assigned to taxa using available genetic repositories or custom genetic databases generated from reference fishes. Our approach revealed a diversity of conspicuous, cryptobenthic, and commercially relevant reef fish at the genus level, with select genera in the family Labridae over-represented. Our approach, however, failed to capture a significant fraction of the fish fauna known to inhabit the Red Sea, which we attribute to limited spatial sampling, amplification stochasticity, and an apparent lack of sequencing depth. Given an increase in fish species descriptions, completeness of taxonomic checklists, and improvement in species-level assignment with custom genetic databases as shown here, we suggest that the Red Sea region may be ideal for further testing of the eDNA approach.

  14. Assessing the utility of eDNA as a tool to survey reef-fish communities in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    DiBattista, Joseph; Coker, Darren James; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane; Stat, Michael; Berumen, Michael L.; Bunce, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Relatively small volumes of water may contain sufficient environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect target aquatic organisms via genetic sequencing. We therefore assessed the utility of eDNA to document the diversity of coral reef fishes in the central Red Sea. DNA from seawater samples was extracted, amplified using fish-specific 16S mitochondrial DNA primers, and sequenced using a metabarcoding workflow. DNA sequences were assigned to taxa using available genetic repositories or custom genetic databases generated from reference fishes. Our approach revealed a diversity of conspicuous, cryptobenthic, and commercially relevant reef fish at the genus level, with select genera in the family Labridae over-represented. Our approach, however, failed to capture a significant fraction of the fish fauna known to inhabit the Red Sea, which we attribute to limited spatial sampling, amplification stochasticity, and an apparent lack of sequencing depth. Given an increase in fish species descriptions, completeness of taxonomic checklists, and improvement in species-level assignment with custom genetic databases as shown here, we suggest that the Red Sea region may be ideal for further testing of the eDNA approach.

  15. Assessing the utility of eDNA as a tool to survey reef-fish communities in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    DiBattista, Joseph D.

    2017-08-23

    Relatively small volumes of water may contain sufficient environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect target aquatic organisms via genetic sequencing. We therefore assessed the utility of eDNA to document the diversity of coral reef fishes in the central Red Sea. DNA from seawater samples was extracted, amplified using fish-specific 16S mitochondrial DNA primers, and sequenced using a metabarcoding workflow. DNA sequences were assigned to taxa using available genetic repositories or custom genetic databases generated from reference fishes. Our approach revealed a diversity of conspicuous, cryptobenthic, and commercially relevant reef fish at the genus level, with select genera in the family Labridae over-represented. Our approach, however, failed to capture a significant fraction of the fish fauna known to inhabit the Red Sea, which we attribute to limited spatial sampling, amplification stochasticity, and an apparent lack of sequencing depth. Given an increase in fish species descriptions, completeness of taxonomic checklists, and improvement in species-level assignment with custom genetic databases as shown here, we suggest that the Red Sea region may be ideal for further testing of the eDNA approach.

  16. The importance of spatial fishing behavior for coral reef resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rassweiler, A.; Lauer, M.; Holbrook, S. J.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs are dynamic systems in which disturbances periodically reduce coral cover but are normally followed by recovery of the coral community. However, human activity may have reduced this resilience to disturbance in many coral reef systems, as an increasing number of reefs have undergone persistent transitions from coral-dominated to macroalgal-dominated community states. Fishing on herbivores may be one cause of reduced reef resilience, as lower herbivory can make it easier for macroalgae to become established after a disturbance. Despite the acknowledged importance of fishing, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential for feedbacks between ecosystem state and fisher behavior. Here we couple methods from environmental anthropology and ecology to explore these feedbacks between small-scale fisheries and coral reefs in Moorea, French Polynesia. We document how aspects of ecological state such as the abundance of macroalgae affect people's preference for fishing in particular lagoon habitats. We then incorporate biases towards fishing in certain ecological states into a spatially explicit bio-economic model of ecological dynamics and fishing in Moorea's lagoons. We find that feedbacks between spatial fishing behavior and ecological state can have critical effects on coral reefs. Presence of these spatial behaviors consistently leads to more coherence across the reef-scape. However, whether this coherence manifests as increased resilience or increased fragility depends on the spatial scales of fisher movement and the magnitudes of disturbance. These results emphasize the potential importance of spatially-explicit fishing behavior for reef resilience, but also the complexity of the feedbacks involved.

  17. Coral Reef Community Composition in the Context of Disturbance History on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Chong-Seng, Karen M.; Huchery, Cindy; Januchowski-Hartley, Fraser A.; Nash, Kirsty L.

    2014-01-01

    Much research on coral reefs has documented differential declines in coral and associated organisms. In order to contextualise this general degradation, research on community composition is necessary in the context of varied disturbance histories and the biological processes and physical features thought to retard or promote recovery. We conducted a spatial assessment of coral reef communities across five reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with known disturbance histories, and assessed patterns of coral cover and community composition related to a range of other variables thought to be important for reef dynamics. Two of the reefs had not been extensively disturbed for at least 15 years prior to the surveys. Three of the reefs had been severely impacted by crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and coral bleaching approximately a decade before the surveys, from which only one of them was showing signs of recovery based on independent surveys. We incorporated wave exposure (sheltered and exposed) and reef zone (slope, crest and flat) into our design, providing a comprehensive assessment of the spatial patterns in community composition on these reefs. Categorising corals into life history groupings, we document major coral community differences in the unrecovered reefs, compared to the composition and covers found on the undisturbed reefs. The recovered reef, despite having similar coral cover, had a different community composition from the undisturbed reefs, which may indicate slow successional processes, or a different natural community dominance pattern due to hydrology and other oceanographic factors. The variables that best correlated with patterns in the coral community among sites included the density of juvenile corals, herbivore fish biomass, fish species richness and the cover of macroalgae. Given increasing impacts to the Great Barrier Reef, efforts to mitigate local stressors will be imperative to encouraging coral communities to persist into

  18. Say what? Coral reef sounds as indicators of community assemblages and reef conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, T. A.; Kaplan, M. B.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs host some of the highest diversity of life on the planet. Unfortunately, reef health and biodiversity is declining or is threatened as a result of climate change and human influences. Tracking these changes is necessary for effective resource management, yet estimating marine biodiversity and tracking trends in ecosystem health is a challenging and expensive task, especially in many pristine reefs which are remote and difficult to access. Many fishes, mammals and invertebrates make sound. These sounds are reflective of a number of vital biological processes and are a cue for settling reef larvae. Biological sounds may be a means to quantify ecosystem health and biodiversity, however the relationship between coral reef soundscapes and the actual taxa present remains largely unknown. This study presents a comparative evaluation of the soundscape of multiple reefs, naturally differing in benthic cover and fish diversity, in the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park. Using multiple recorders per reef we characterized spacio-temporal variation in biological sound production within and among reefs. Analyses of sounds recorded over 4 summer months indicated diel trends in both fish and snapping shrimp acoustic frequency bands with crepuscular peaks at all reefs. There were small but statistically significant acoustic differences among sites on a given reef raising the possibility of potentially localized acoustic habitats. The strength of diel trends in lower, fish-frequency bands were correlated with coral cover and fish density, yet no such relationship was found with shrimp sounds suggesting that fish sounds may be of higher relevance to tracking certain coral reef conditions. These findings indicate that, in spite of considerable variability within reef soundscapes, diel trends in low-frequency sound production reflect reef community assemblages. Further, monitoring soundscapes may be an efficient means of establishing and monitoring reef conditions.

  19. Characterizing the diversity of coral reef habitats and fish communities found in a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the strategy developed for Lagoons of New Caledonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andréfouët, S; Wantiez, L

    2010-01-01

    Since 1972, the UNESCO "World Heritage Convention" offers an international canvas for conservation and management that targets areas of high cultural and environmental significance. To support the designation of areas within the 36.000 km(2) of New Caledonia coral reefs and lagoons as a World Heritage Site, the natural value and diversity of the proposed zones needed to be demonstrated. To exhaustively identify each configuration of shallow habitats, high resolution remote sensing images were used to select the sampling sites. This optimal scheme resulted in the selection of nearly 1300 sampling sites, and was then simplified to render its application realistic. In the final sampling plan, only the most common or the most remarkable coral zones were selected. Following this selection, in situ habitat and fish surveys were conducted in 2006-2008 in five large areas spanning a 600 km-long latitudinal gradient. Habitats were described using line-intercept transects in parallel with underwater visual census of indicator and commercial coral reef fish species. We report here on the results achieved in terms of: (i) the actual diversity of coral habitats captured by the remote sensing based sampling strategy, (ii) the different reef fish communities captured from the different sites, and (iii) how well they represent New Caledonia diversity. We discuss the possible generalization of this scheme to other sites, in the context of World Heritage Site selection and for other large-scale conservation planning activities. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Reef Fish of Navassa Island 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This record refers to reef fish data collected on the 2004 cruise to Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge. The random point count method (Bohnsack-Bannerot 1986)...

  1. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1999 - Present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set of Excel files contain data from visual sampling of coral reef fish species in the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The dataset...

  2. Hierarchical drivers of reef-fish metacommunity structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNeil, M Aaron; Graham, Nicholas A J; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Kulbicki, Michel; Galzin, René; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Rushton, Steven P

    2009-01-01

    Coral reefs are highly complex ecological systems, where multiple processes interact across scales in space and time to create assemblages of exceptionally high biodiversity. Despite the increasing frequency of hierarchically structured sampling programs used in coral-reef science, little progress has been made in quantifying the relative importance of processes operating across multiple scales. The vast majority of reef studies are conducted, or at least analyzed, at a single spatial scale, ignoring the implicitly hierarchical structure of the overall system in favor of small-scale experiments or large-scale observations. Here we demonstrate how alpha (mean local number of species), beta diversity (degree of species dissimilarity among local sites), and gamma diversity (overall species richness) vary with spatial scale, and using a hierarchical, information-theoretic approach, we evaluate the relative importance of site-, reef-, and atoll-level processes driving the fish metacommunity structure among 10 atolls in French Polynesia. Process-based models, representing well-established hypotheses about drivers of reef-fish community structure, were assembled into a candidate set of 12 hierarchical linear models. Variation in fish abundance, biomass, and species richness were unevenly distributed among transect, reef, and atoll levels, establishing the relative contribution of variation at these spatial scales to the structure of the metacommunity. Reef-fish biomass, species richness, and the abundance of most functional-groups corresponded primarily with transect-level habitat diversity and atoll-lagoon size, whereas detritivore and grazer abundances were largely correlated with potential covariates of larval dispersal. Our findings show that (1) within-transect and among-atoll factors primarily drive the relationship between alpha and gamma diversity in this reef-fish metacommunity; (2) habitat is the primary correlate with reef-fish metacommunity structure at

  3. Caught in the middle: combined impacts of shark removal and coral loss on the fish communities of coral reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan L W Ruppert

    Full Text Available Due to human activities, marine and terrestrial ecosystems face a future where disturbances are predicted to occur at a frequency and severity unprecedented in the recent past. Of particular concern is the ability of systems to recover where multiple stressors act simultaneously. We examine this issue in the context of a coral reef ecosystem where increases in stressors, such as fisheries, benthic degradation, cyclones and coral bleaching, are occurring at global scales. By utilizing long-term (decadal monitoring programs, we examined the combined effects of chronic (removal of sharks and pulse (cyclones, bleaching disturbances on the trophic structure of coral reef fishes at two isolated atoll systems off the coast of northwest Australia. We provide evidence consistent with the hypothesis that the loss of sharks can have an impact that propagates down the food chain, potentially contributing to mesopredator release and altering the numbers of primary consumers. Simultaneously, we show how the effects of bottom-up processes of bleaching and cyclones appear to propagate up the food chain through herbivores, planktivores and corallivores, but do not affect carnivores. Because their presence may promote the abundance of herbivores, the removal of sharks by fishing has implications for both natural and anthropogenic disturbances involving the loss of corals, as herbivores are critical to the progress and outcome of coral recovery.

  4. The influence of coral reef benthic condition on associated fish assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen M Chong-Seng

    Full Text Available Accumulative disturbances can erode a coral reef's resilience, often leading to replacement of scleractinian corals by macroalgae or other non-coral organisms. These degraded reef systems have been mostly described based on changes in the composition of the reef benthos, and there is little understanding of how such changes are influenced by, and in turn influence, other components of the reef ecosystem. This study investigated the spatial variation in benthic communities on fringing reefs around the inner Seychelles islands. Specifically, relationships between benthic composition and the underlying substrata, as well as the associated fish assemblages were assessed. High variability in benthic composition was found among reefs, with a gradient from high coral cover (up to 58% and high structural complexity to high macroalgae cover (up to 95% and low structural complexity at the extremes. This gradient was associated with declining species richness of fishes, reduced diversity of fish functional groups, and lower abundance of corallivorous fishes. There were no reciprocal increases in herbivorous fish abundances, and relationships with other fish functional groups and total fish abundance were weak. Reefs grouping at the extremes of complex coral habitats or low-complexity macroalgal habitats displayed markedly different fish communities, with only two species of benthic invertebrate feeding fishes in greater abundance in the macroalgal habitat. These results have negative implications for the continuation of many coral reef ecosystem processes and services if more reefs shift to extreme degraded conditions dominated by macroalgae.

  5. 2015 Carbbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1505, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2015 Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate length-frequency...

  6. SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1202, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate...

  7. 2012 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1201, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to collect video data of reef fish on western Gulf of Mexico shelf-edge banks to facilitate assessments of...

  8. 2012 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1201, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to collect video data of reef fish on western Gulf of Mexico shelf-edge banks to facilitate assessments of...

  9. SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1202, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2012 SEAMAP Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate...

  10. 2013 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1302, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2013 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to collect video data of reef fish on western Gulf of Mexico shelf-edge banks to facilitate assessments of...

  11. 2015 Carbbean Reef Fish Survey (PC1505, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2015 Caribbean Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species around the US Caribbean Islands, estimate length-frequency...

  12. 2016 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1601, ME70)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2016 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to assess relative abundance of reef fish species on continental shelf-edge banks of the Gulf of Mexico, estimate...

  13. 2013 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey (PC1302, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives of the 2013 SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey were to collect video data of reef fish on western Gulf of Mexico shelf-edge banks to facilitate assessments of...

  14. Parasite infestation increases on coral reefs without cleaner fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grutter, A. S.; De Brauwer, M.; Bshary, R.; Cheney, K. L.; Cribb, T. H.; Madin, E. M. P.; McClure, E. C.; Meekan, M. G.; Sun, D.; Warner, R. R.; Werminghausen, J.; Sikkel, P. C.

    2018-03-01

    Mutualisms are pivotal in shaping ecological communities. Iconic images of cleaner fish entering the mouths of predatory fish clients to remove ectoparasites epitomize their mutual benefit. Experimental manipulations of cleaner wrasse reveal declines in fish size and growth, and population abundance and diversity of client fishes in the absence of cleaner wrasse. Fishes grow more slowly and are less abundant and diverse on reefs without cleaner wrasse, both for larger species that are regularly cleaned and have high ectoparasite loads ("attractive species"), and for those smaller species that are rarely cleaned and are rarely infested with parasites ("unattractive species"). We therefore considered whether these previously observed declines in individual and population parameters on reefs without cleaners were related to increased ectoparasite infestation using an attractive species ( Hemigymnus melapterus, Labridae) and an unattractive species ( Pomacentrus amboinensis, Pomacentridae). Traps with these fish as a form of bait were deployed to sample blood-sucking gnathiid ectoparasites (Gnathiidae: Isopoda) on reefs from which cleaners ( Labroides dimidiatus, Labridae) have been removed for 13 yr. Cleaner fish could not enter traps to access the clients/hosts, but gnathiids could enter the traps to infest hosts; thus, this method sampled the indirect effect of cleaners on gnathiid infestation of fish. Infestation was higher on reefs without cleaners than on those with them. The effect was only detected during the daytime when cleaners are active and only on the attractive species ( H. melapterus). Thus, cleaner presence indirectly reduced fish exposure to parasites in a species that is highly susceptible to parasites, but not in one that is rarely infested with parasites. This suggests that cleaner presence indirectly reduces exposure of a common fish species to harmful parasites, which may explain some observed benefits in fishes at this location.

  15. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Coral Reef Fish collected in Fl Keys Reef Tract (2014)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Divers conducted reef visual census (RVC) fish surveys and habitat assessments at 433 sites in the Florida Keys, 436 sites in the Dry Tortugas and 320 sites in the...

  16. Reef-fish larval dispersal patterns validate no-take marine reserve network connectivity that links human communities

    KAUST Repository

    Abesamis, Rene A.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Berumen, Michael L.; Bode, Michael; Jadloc, Claro Renato L.; Solera, Leilani A.; Villanoy, Cesar L.; Bernardo, Lawrence Patrick C.; Alcala, Angel C.; Russ, Garry R.

    2017-01-01

    Networks of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are a widely advocated strategy for managing coral reefs. However, uncertainty about the strength of population connectivity between individual reefs and NTMRs through larval dispersal remains a major

  17. Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, J Emmett; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Navarrete, Sergio A; Edgar, Graham J

    2016-05-31

    Fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates, play key functional roles in aquatic ecosystems, and provide protein for a billion people, especially in the developing world. Those functions are compromised by mounting pressures on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Because of its economic and food value, fish biomass production provides an unusually direct link from biodiversity to critical ecosystem services. We used the Reef Life Survey's global database of 4,556 standardized fish surveys to test the importance of biodiversity to fish production relative to 25 environmental drivers. Temperature, biodiversity, and human influence together explained 47% of the global variation in reef fish biomass among sites. Fish species richness and functional diversity were among the strongest predictors of fish biomass, particularly for the large-bodied species and carnivores preferred by fishers, and these biodiversity effects were robust to potentially confounding influences of sample abundance, scale, and environmental correlations. Warmer temperatures increased biomass directly, presumably by raising metabolism, and indirectly by increasing diversity, whereas temperature variability reduced biomass. Importantly, diversity and climate interact, with biomass of diverse communities less affected by rising and variable temperatures than species-poor communities. Biodiversity thus buffers global fish biomass from climate change, and conservation of marine biodiversity can stabilize fish production in a changing ocean.

  18. Climate-driven coral reorganisation influences aggressive behaviour in juvenile coral-reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kok, Judith E.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.

    2016-06-01

    Globally, habitat degradation is altering the abundance and diversity of species in a variety of ecosystems. This study aimed to determine how habitat degradation, in terms of changing coral composition under climate change, affected abundance, species richness and aggressive behaviour of juveniles of three damselfishes ( Pomacentrus moluccensis, P. amboinensis and Dischistodus perspicillatus, in order of decreasing reliance on coral). Patch reefs were constructed to simulate two types of reefs: present-day reefs that are vulnerable to climate-induced coral bleaching, and reefs with more bleaching-robust coral taxa, thereby simulating the likely future of coral reefs under a warming climate. Fish communities were allowed to establish naturally on the reefs during the summer recruitment period. Climate-robust reefs had lower total species richness of coral-reef fishes than climate-vulnerable reefs, but total fish abundance was not significantly different between reef types (pooled across all species and life-history stages). The nature of aggressive interactions, measured as the number of aggressive chases, varied according to coral composition; on climate-robust reefs, juveniles used the substratum less often to avoid aggression from competitors, and interspecific aggression became relatively more frequent than intraspecific aggression for juveniles of the coral-obligate P. moluccensis. This study highlights the importance of coral composition as a determinant of behaviour and diversity of coral-reef fishes.

  19. Invasive Lionfish Drive Atlantic Coral Reef Fish Declines

    OpenAIRE

    Green, Stephanie; Akins, John; Maljković, Aleksandra; Cote, Isabelle

    2012-01-01

    Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) have spread swiftly across the Western Atlantic, producing a marine predator invasion of unparalleled speed and magnitude. There is growing concern that lionfish will affect the structure and function of invaded marine ecosystems, however detrimental impacts on natural communities have yet to be measured. Here we document the response of native fish communities to predation by lionfish populations on nine coral reefs off New Providence Isl...

  20. Reef fishes of Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles: assemblage structure across a gradient of habitat types.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wes Toller

    Full Text Available Saba Bank is a 2,200 km(2 submerged carbonate platform in the northeastern Caribbean Sea off Saba Island, Netherlands Antilles. The presence of reef-like geomorphic features and significant shelf edge coral development on Saba Bank have led to the conclusion that it is an actively growing, though wholly submerged, coral reef atoll. However, little information exists on the composition of benthic communities or associated reef fish assemblages of Saba Bank. We selected a 40 km(2 area of the bank for an exploratory study. Habitat and reef fish assemblages were investigated in five shallow-water benthic habitat types that form a gradient from Saba Bank shelf edge to lagoon. Significant coral cover was restricted to fore reef habitat (average cover 11.5% and outer reef flat habitat (2.4% and declined to near zero in habitats of the central lagoon zone. Macroalgae dominated benthic cover in all habitats (average cover: 32.5--48.1% but dominant algal genera differed among habitats. A total of 97 fish species were recorded. The composition of Saba Bank fish assemblages differed among habitat types. Highest fish density and diversity occurred in the outer reef flat, fore reef and inner reef flat habitats. Biomass estimates for commercially valued species in the reef zone (fore reef and reef flat habitats ranged between 52 and 83 g/m(2. The composition of Saba Bank fish assemblages reflects the absence of important nursery habitats, as well as the effects of past fishing. The relatively high abundance of large predatory fish (i.e. groupers and sharks, which is generally considered an indicator of good ecosystem health for tropical reef systems, shows that an intact trophic network is still present on Saba Bank.

  1. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program - Assessment of coral reef fish communities in Puerto Rico from 2014-05-19 to 2014-12-03 (NCEI Accession 0131260)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan (NCRMP) is a framework for conducting sustained observations of biological, climate, and socioeconomic indicators at 10...

  2. Mass coral bleaching causes biotic homogenization of reef fish assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Laura E; Graham, Nicholas A J; Pratchett, Morgan S; Eurich, Jacob G; Hoey, Andrew S

    2018-04-06

    Global climate change is altering community composition across many ecosystems due to nonrandom species turnover, typically characterized by the loss of specialist species and increasing similarity of biological communities across spatial scales. As anthropogenic disturbances continue to alter species composition globally, there is a growing need to identify how species responses influence the establishment of distinct assemblages, such that management actions may be appropriately assigned. Here, we use trait-based analyses to compare temporal changes in five complementary indices of reef fish assemblage structure among six taxonomically distinct coral reef habitats exposed to a system-wide thermal stress event. Our results revealed increased taxonomic and functional similarity of previously distinct reef fish assemblages following mass coral bleaching, with changes characterized by subtle, but significant, shifts toward predominance of small-bodied, algal-farming habitat generalists. Furthermore, while the taxonomic or functional richness of fish assemblages did not change across all habitats, an increase in functional originality indicated an overall loss of functional redundancy. We also found that prebleaching coral composition better predicted changes in fish assemblage structure than the magnitude of coral loss. These results emphasize how measures of alpha diversity can mask important changes in the structure and functioning of ecosystems as assemblages reorganize. Our findings also highlight the role of coral species composition in structuring communities and influencing the diversity of responses of reef fishes to disturbance. As new coral species configurations emerge, their desirability will hinge upon the composition of associated species and their capacity to maintain key ecological processes in spite of ongoing disturbances. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Homogeneity of coral reef communities across 8 degrees of latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roberts, May B.; Jones, Geoffrey P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Munday, Philip L.; Neale, Stephen; Thorrold, Simon; Robitzch, Vanessa S.N.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Coral reef communities between 26.8°N and 18.6°N latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were surveyed to provide baseline data and an assessment of fine-scale biogeography of communities in this region. Forty reefs along 1100 km of coastline were surveyed using depth-stratified visual transects of fish and benthic communities. Fish abundance and benthic cover data were analyzed using multivariate approaches to investigate whether coral reef communities differed with latitude. A total of 215 fish species and 90 benthic categories were recorded on the surveys. There were no significant differences among locations in fish abundance, species richness, or among several diversity indices. Despite known environmental gradients within the Red Sea, the communities remained surprisingly similar. The communities do, however, exhibit subtle changes across this span of reefs that likely reflect the constrained distributions of several species of reef fish and benthic fauna.

  4. Homogeneity of coral reef communities across 8 degrees of latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, May B; Jones, Geoffrey P; McCormick, Mark I; Munday, Philip L; Neale, Stephen; Thorrold, Simon; Robitzch, Vanessa S N; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-04-30

    Coral reef communities between 26.8 °N and 18.6 °N latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were surveyed to provide baseline data and an assessment of fine-scale biogeography of communities in this region. Forty reefs along 1100 km of coastline were surveyed using depth-stratified visual transects of fish and benthic communities. Fish abundance and benthic cover data were analyzed using multivariate approaches to investigate whether coral reef communities differed with latitude. A total of 215 fish species and 90 benthic categories were recorded on the surveys. There were no significant differences among locations in fish abundance, species richness, or among several diversity indices. Despite known environmental gradients within the Red Sea, the communities remained surprisingly similar. The communities do, however, exhibit subtle changes across this span of reefs that likely reflect the constrained distributions of several species of reef fish and benthic fauna. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Homogeneity of coral reef communities across 8 degrees of latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Roberts, May B.

    2015-11-20

    Coral reef communities between 26.8°N and 18.6°N latitude in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea were surveyed to provide baseline data and an assessment of fine-scale biogeography of communities in this region. Forty reefs along 1100 km of coastline were surveyed using depth-stratified visual transects of fish and benthic communities. Fish abundance and benthic cover data were analyzed using multivariate approaches to investigate whether coral reef communities differed with latitude. A total of 215 fish species and 90 benthic categories were recorded on the surveys. There were no significant differences among locations in fish abundance, species richness, or among several diversity indices. Despite known environmental gradients within the Red Sea, the communities remained surprisingly similar. The communities do, however, exhibit subtle changes across this span of reefs that likely reflect the constrained distributions of several species of reef fish and benthic fauna.

  6. Length-weight relationships of coral reef fishes from the Alacran Reef, Yucatan, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalez-Gandara, C.; Perez-Diaz, E.; Santos-Rodriguez, L.; Arias-Gonzalez, J.E.

    2003-01-01

    Length-weight relationships were computed for 42 species of coral reef fishes from 14 families from the Alacran Reef (Yucatan, Mexico). A total of 1 892 individuals was used for this purpose. The fish species were caught by different fishing techniques such as fishhooks, harpoons, gill and trawl nets. The sampling period was from March 1998 to January 2000.

  7. Behavioral Ecology of Coral Reef Fishes at Spawning Aggregation Sites

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sancho, Gorka

    1998-01-01

    This thesis is an extensive investigation of the behavioral and ecological relationships between spawning reef fishes, their predators, and various environmental parameters at spawning aggregation sites...

  8. Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena L.E.S. Wagner

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes, live coral cover and patch size (volume. The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region.

  9. Evidence for protection of targeted reef fish on the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pina-Amargós, Fabián; González-Sansón, Gaspar; Martín-Blanco, Félix; Valdivia, Abel

    2014-01-01

    Marine reserves can restore fish abundance and diversity in areas impacted by overfishing, but the effectiveness of reserves in developing countries where resources for enforcement are limited, have seldom been evaluated. Here we assess whether the establishment in 1996 of the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean, Gardens of the Queen in Cuba, has had a positive effect on the abundance of commercially valuable reef fish species in relation to neighboring unprotected areas. We surveyed 25 sites, including two reef habitats (reef crest and reef slope), inside and outside the marine reserve, on five different months, and over a one-and-a-half year period. Densities of the ten most frequent, highly targeted, and relatively large fish species showed a significant variability across the archipelago for both reef habitats that depended on the month of survey. These ten species showed a tendency towards higher abundance inside the reserve in both reef habitats for most months during the study. Average fish densities pooled by protection level, however, showed that five out of these ten species were at least two-fold significantly higher inside than outside the reserve at one or both reef habitats. Supporting evidence from previously published studies in the area indicates that habitat complexity and major benthic communities were similar inside and outside the reserve, while fishing pressure appeared to be homogeneous across the archipelago before reserve establishment. Although poaching may occur within the reserve, especially at the boundaries, effective protection from fishing was the most plausible explanation for the patterns observed.

  10. Ocular media transmission of coral reef fish--can coral reef fish see ultraviolet light?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siebeck, U E; Marshall, N J

    2001-01-15

    Many coral reef fish are beautifully coloured and the reflectance spectra of their colour patterns may include UVa wavelengths (315-400 nm) that are largely invisible to the human eye (Losey, G. S., Cronin, T. W., Goldsmith, T. H., David, H., Marshall, N. J., & McFarland, W.N. (1999). The uv visual world of fishes: a review. Journal of Fish Biology, 54, 921-943; Marshall, N. J. & Oberwinkler, J. (1999). The colourful world of the mantis shrimp. Nature, 401, 873-874). Before the possible functional significance of UV patterns can be investigated, it is of course essential to establish whether coral reef fishes can see ultraviolet light. As a means of tackling this question, in this study the transmittance of the ocular media of 211 coral reef fish species was measured. It was found that the ocular media of 50.2% of the examined species strongly absorb light of wavelengths below 400 nm, which makes the perception of UV in these fish very unlikely. The remaining 49.8% of the species studied possess ocular media that do transmit UV light, making the perception of UV possible.

  11. Comparison of coral reef ecosystems along a fishing pressure gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariska Weijerman

    Full Text Available Three trophic mass-balance models representing coral reef ecosystems along a fishery gradient were compared to evaluate ecosystem effects of fishing. The majority of the biomass estimates came directly from a large-scale visual survey program; therefore, data were collected in the same way for all three models, enhancing comparability. Model outputs-such as net system production, size structure of the community, total throughput, production, consumption, production-to-respiration ratio, and Finn's cycling index and mean path length-indicate that the systems around the unpopulated French Frigate Shoals and along the relatively lightly populated Kona Coast of Hawai'i Island are mature, stable systems with a high efficiency in recycling of biomass. In contrast, model results show that the reef system around the most populated island in the State of Hawai'i, O'ahu, is in a transitional state with reduced ecosystem resilience and appears to be shifting to an algal-dominated system. Evaluation of the candidate indicators for fishing pressure showed that indicators at the community level (e.g., total biomass, community size structure, trophic level of the community were most robust (i.e., showed the clearest trend and that multiple indicators are necessary to identify fishing perturbations. These indicators could be used as performance indicators when compared to a baseline for management purposes. This study shows that ecosystem models can be valuable tools in identification of the system state in terms of complexity, stability, and resilience and, therefore, can complement biological metrics currently used by monitoring programs as indicators for coral reef status. Moreover, ecosystem models can improve our understanding of a system's internal structure that can be used to support management in identification of approaches to reverse unfavorable states.

  12. Mangroves Enhance Reef Fish Abundance at the Caribbean Regional Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serafy, Joseph E; Shideler, Geoffrey S; Araújo, Rafael J; Nagelkerken, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Several studies conducted at the scale of islands, or small sections of continental coastlines, have suggested that mangrove habitats serve to enhance fish abundances on coral reefs, mainly by providing nursery grounds for several ontogenetically-migrating species. However, evidence of such enhancement at a regional scale has not been reported, and recently, some researchers have questioned the mangrove-reef subsidy effect. In the present study, using two different regression approaches, we pursued two questions related to mangrove-reef connectivity at the Caribbean regional scale: (1) Are reef fish abundances limited by mangrove forest area?; and (2) Are mean reef fish abundances proportional to mangrove forest area after taking human population density and latitude into account? Specifically, we tested for Caribbean-wide mangrove forest area effects on the abundances of 12 reef fishes that have been previously characterized as "mangrove-dependent". Analyzed were data from an ongoing, long-term (20-year) citizen-scientist fish monitoring program; coastal human population censuses; and several wetland forest information sources. Quantile regression results supported the notion that mangrove forest area limits the abundance of eight of the 12 fishes examined. Linear mixed-effects regression results, which considered potential human (fishing and habitat degradation) and latitudinal influences, suggested that average reef fish densities of at least six of the 12 focal fishes were directly proportional to mangrove forest area. Recent work questioning the mangrove-reef fish subsidy effect likely reflects a failure to: (1) focus analyses on species that use mangroves as nurseries, (2) consider more than the mean fish abundance response to mangrove forest extent; and/or (3) quantitatively account for potentially confounding human impacts, such as fishing pressure and habitat degradation. Our study is the first to demonstrate at a large regional scale (i.e., the Wider

  13. Mangroves Enhance Reef Fish Abundance at the Caribbean Regional Scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E Serafy

    Full Text Available Several studies conducted at the scale of islands, or small sections of continental coastlines, have suggested that mangrove habitats serve to enhance fish abundances on coral reefs, mainly by providing nursery grounds for several ontogenetically-migrating species. However, evidence of such enhancement at a regional scale has not been reported, and recently, some researchers have questioned the mangrove-reef subsidy effect. In the present study, using two different regression approaches, we pursued two questions related to mangrove-reef connectivity at the Caribbean regional scale: (1 Are reef fish abundances limited by mangrove forest area?; and (2 Are mean reef fish abundances proportional to mangrove forest area after taking human population density and latitude into account? Specifically, we tested for Caribbean-wide mangrove forest area effects on the abundances of 12 reef fishes that have been previously characterized as "mangrove-dependent". Analyzed were data from an ongoing, long-term (20-year citizen-scientist fish monitoring program; coastal human population censuses; and several wetland forest information sources. Quantile regression results supported the notion that mangrove forest area limits the abundance of eight of the 12 fishes examined. Linear mixed-effects regression results, which considered potential human (fishing and habitat degradation and latitudinal influences, suggested that average reef fish densities of at least six of the 12 focal fishes were directly proportional to mangrove forest area. Recent work questioning the mangrove-reef fish subsidy effect likely reflects a failure to: (1 focus analyses on species that use mangroves as nurseries, (2 consider more than the mean fish abundance response to mangrove forest extent; and/or (3 quantitatively account for potentially confounding human impacts, such as fishing pressure and habitat degradation. Our study is the first to demonstrate at a large regional scale (i

  14. Baselines and Comparison of Coral Reef Fish Assemblages in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Kattan, Alexander

    2014-12-01

    In order to properly assess human impacts and appropriate restoration goals, baselines of pristine conditions on coral reefs are required. In Saudi Arabian waters of the central Red Sea, widespread and heavy fishing pressure has been ongoing for decades. To evaluate this influence, we surveyed the assemblage of offshore reef fishes in both this region as well as those of remote and largely unfished southern Sudan. At comparable latitudes, of similar oceanographic influence, and hosting the same array of species, the offshore reefs of southern Sudan provided an ideal location for comparison. We found that top predators (jacks, large snappers, groupers, and others) dominated the reef fish community biomass in Sudan’s deep south region, resulting in an inverted (top-heavy) biomass pyramid. In contrast, the Red Sea reefs of central Saudi Arabia exhibited the typical bottom-heavy pyramid and show evidence for trophic cascades in the form of mesopredator release. Biomass values from Sudan’s deep south are quite similar to those previously reported in the remote and uninhabited Northwest Hawaiian Islands, northern Line Islands, Pitcairn Islands, and other remote Pacific islands and atolls. The findings of this study suggest that heavy fishing pressure has significantly altered the fish community structure of Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs. The results point towards the urgent need for enhanced regulation and enforcement of fishing practices in Saudi Arabia while simultaneously making a strong case for protection in the form of marine protected areas in the southern Sudanese Red Sea.

  15. ENERGETIC EXTREMES IN REEF FISH OCCUPYING HARSH HABITATS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffensen, John Fleng

    2009-01-01

    document how relatively small changes in fin morphology has afforded some coral reef fish taxa with exceptional locomotor performance and energetic efficiency, and how this key attribute may have played a key role in the evolution and ecology of several diverse Indo-Pacific reef fish families. Using......-finned counterparts. We discuss how such differences in locomotor efficiency are pivotal to the habitat-use of these fishes, and how eco-energetic models may be used to provide new insights into spatial variations in fish demography and ecology among coral reef habitat zones....

  16. Seaweed beds support more juvenile reef fish than seagrass beds in a south-western Atlantic tropical seascape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggertsen, L.; Ferreira, C. E. L.; Fontoura, L.; Kautsky, N.; Gullström, M.; Berkström, C.

    2017-09-01

    Seascape connectivity is regarded essential for healthy reef fish communities in tropical shallow systems. A number of reef fish species use separate adult and nursery habitats, and hence contribute to nutrient and energy transfer between habitats. Seagrass beds and mangroves often constitute important nursery habitats, with high structural complexity and protection from predation. Here, we investigated if reef fish assemblages in the tropical south-western Atlantic demonstrate ontogenetic habitat connectivity and identify possible nurseries on three reef systems along the eastern Brazilian coast. Fish were surveyed in fore reef, back reef, Halodule wrightii seagrass beds and seaweed beds. Seagrass beds contained lower abundances and species richness of fish than expected, while Sargassum-dominated seaweed beds contained significantly more juveniles than all other habitats (average juvenile fish densities: 32.6 per 40 m2 in Sargassum beds, 11.2 per 40 m2 in back reef, 10.1 per 40 m2 in fore reef, and 5.04 per 40 m2 in seagrass beds), including several species that are found in the reef habitats as adults. Species that in other regions worldwide (e.g. the Caribbean) utilise seagrass beds as nursery habitats were here instead observed in Sargassum beds or back reef habitats. Coral cover was not correlated to adult fish distribution patterns; instead, type of turf was an important variable. Connectivity, and thus pathways of nutrient transfer, seems to function differently in east Brazil compared to many tropical regions. Sargassum-dominated beds might be more important as nurseries for a larger number of fish species than seagrass beds. Due to the low abundance of structurally complex seagrass beds we suggest that seaweed beds might influence adult reef fish abundances, being essential for several keystone species of reef fish in the tropical south-western Atlantic.

  17. Additive diversity partitioning of fish in a Caribbean coral reef undergoing shift transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta-González, Gilberto; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián A; Hernández-Landa, Roberto C; Arias-González, Jesús E

    2013-01-01

    Shift transitions in dominance on coral reefs from hard coral cover to fleshy macroalgae are having negative effects on Caribbean coral reef communities. Data on spatiotemporal changes in biodiversity during these modifications are important for decision support for coral reef biodiversity protection. The main objective of this study is to detect the spatiotemporal patterns of coral reef fish diversity during this transition using additive diversity-partitioning analysis. We examined α, β and γ fish diversity from 2000 to 2010, during which time a shift transition occurred at Mahahual Reef, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Data on coral reef fish and benthic communities were obtained from 12 transects per geomorphological unit (GU) in two GUs (reef slope and terrace) over six years (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010). Spatial analysis within and between the GUs indicated that the γ-diversity was primarily related to higher β-diversity. Throughout the six study years, there were losses of α, β and γ-diversity associated spatially with the shallow (reef slope) and deeper (reef terrace) GUs and temporally with the transition in cover from mound corals to fleshy macroalgae and boulder corals. Despite a drastic reduction in the number of species over time, β-diversity continues to be the highest component of γ-diversity. The shift transition had a negative effect on α, β and γ-diversity, primarily by impacting rare species, leading a group of small and less vulnerable fish species to become common and an important group of rare species to become locally extinct. The maintenance of fish heterogeneity (β-diversity) over time may imply the abetment of vulnerability in the face of local and global changes.

  18. Additive diversity partitioning of fish in a Caribbean coral reef undergoing shift transition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Acosta-González

    Full Text Available Shift transitions in dominance on coral reefs from hard coral cover to fleshy macroalgae are having negative effects on Caribbean coral reef communities. Data on spatiotemporal changes in biodiversity during these modifications are important for decision support for coral reef biodiversity protection. The main objective of this study is to detect the spatiotemporal patterns of coral reef fish diversity during this transition using additive diversity-partitioning analysis. We examined α, β and γ fish diversity from 2000 to 2010, during which time a shift transition occurred at Mahahual Reef, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Data on coral reef fish and benthic communities were obtained from 12 transects per geomorphological unit (GU in two GUs (reef slope and terrace over six years (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010. Spatial analysis within and between the GUs indicated that the γ-diversity was primarily related to higher β-diversity. Throughout the six study years, there were losses of α, β and γ-diversity associated spatially with the shallow (reef slope and deeper (reef terrace GUs and temporally with the transition in cover from mound corals to fleshy macroalgae and boulder corals. Despite a drastic reduction in the number of species over time, β-diversity continues to be the highest component of γ-diversity. The shift transition had a negative effect on α, β and γ-diversity, primarily by impacting rare species, leading a group of small and less vulnerable fish species to become common and an important group of rare species to become locally extinct. The maintenance of fish heterogeneity (β-diversity over time may imply the abetment of vulnerability in the face of local and global changes.

  19. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruttenberg, B.I.; Hamilton, S.L.; Walsh, S.M.; Donovan, M.K.; Friedlander, A.; DeMartini, E.; Sala, E.; Sandin, S.A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ~10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. ?? 2011 Ruttenberg et al.

  20. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin I Ruttenberg

    Full Text Available In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ∼10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management.

  1. Abrolhos bank reef health evaluated by means of water quality, microbial diversity, benthic cover, and fish biomass data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Bruce

    Full Text Available The health of the coral reefs of the Abrolhos Bank (Southwestern Atlantic was characterized with a holistic approach using measurements of four ecosystem components: (i inorganic and organic nutrient concentrations, [1] fish biomass, [1] macroalgal and coral cover and (iv microbial community composition and abundance. The possible benefits of protection from fishing were particularly evaluated by comparing sites with varying levels of protection. Two reefs within the well-enforced no-take area of the National Marine Park of Abrolhos (Parcel dos Abrolhos and California were compared with two unprotected coastal reefs (Sebastião Gomes and Pedra de Leste and one legally protected but poorly enforced coastal reef (the "paper park" of Timbebas Reef. The fish biomass was lower and the fleshy macroalgal cover was higher in the unprotected reefs compared with the protected areas. The unprotected and protected reefs had similar seawater chemistry. Lower vibrio CFU counts were observed in the fully protected area of California Reef. Metagenome analysis showed that the unprotected reefs had a higher abundance of archaeal and viral sequences and more bacterial pathogens, while the protected reefs had a higher abundance of genes related to photosynthesis. Similar to other reef systems in the world, there was evidence that reductions in the biomass of herbivorous fishes and the consequent increase in macroalgal cover in the Abrolhos Bank may be affecting microbial diversity and abundance. Through the integration of different types of ecological data, the present study showed that protection from fishing may lead to greater reef health. The data presented herein suggest that protected coral reefs have higher microbial diversity, with the most degraded reef (Sebastião Gomes showing a marked reduction in microbial species richness. It is concluded that ecological conditions in unprotected reefs may promote the growth and rapid evolution of opportunistic

  2. Atoll-scale patterns in coral reef community structure: Human signatures on Ulithi Atoll, Micronesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Nicole L; Nelson, Peter; Abelson, Avigdor; Precoda, Kristin; Rulmal, John; Bernardi, Giacomo; Paddack, Michelle

    2017-01-01

    The dynamic relationship between reefs and the people who utilize them at a subsistence level is poorly understood. This paper characterizes atoll-scale patterns in shallow coral reef habitat and fish community structure, and correlates these with environmental characteristics and anthropogenic factors, critical to conservation efforts for the reefs and the people who depend on them. Hierarchical clustering analyses by site for benthic composition and fish community resulted in the same 3 major clusters: cluster 1-oceanic (close proximity to deep water) and uninhabited (low human impact); cluster 2-oceanic and inhabited (high human impact); and cluster 3-lagoonal (facing the inside of the lagoon) and inhabited (highest human impact). Distance from village, reef exposure to deep water and human population size had the greatest effect in predicting the fish and benthic community structure. Our study demonstrates a strong association between benthic and fish community structure and human use across the Ulithi Atoll (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia) and confirms a pattern observed by local people that an 'opportunistic' scleractinian coral (Montipora sp.) is associated with more highly impacted reefs. Our findings suggest that small human populations (subsistence fishing) can nevertheless have considerable ecological impacts on reefs due, in part, to changes in fishing practices rather than overfishing per se, as well as larger global trends. Findings from this work can assist in building local capacity to manage reef resources across an atoll-wide scale, and illustrates the importance of anthropogenic impact even in small communities.

  3. Atoll-scale patterns in coral reef community structure: Human signatures on Ulithi Atoll, Micronesia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole L Crane

    Full Text Available The dynamic relationship between reefs and the people who utilize them at a subsistence level is poorly understood. This paper characterizes atoll-scale patterns in shallow coral reef habitat and fish community structure, and correlates these with environmental characteristics and anthropogenic factors, critical to conservation efforts for the reefs and the people who depend on them. Hierarchical clustering analyses by site for benthic composition and fish community resulted in the same 3 major clusters: cluster 1-oceanic (close proximity to deep water and uninhabited (low human impact; cluster 2-oceanic and inhabited (high human impact; and cluster 3-lagoonal (facing the inside of the lagoon and inhabited (highest human impact. Distance from village, reef exposure to deep water and human population size had the greatest effect in predicting the fish and benthic community structure. Our study demonstrates a strong association between benthic and fish community structure and human use across the Ulithi Atoll (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia and confirms a pattern observed by local people that an 'opportunistic' scleractinian coral (Montipora sp. is associated with more highly impacted reefs. Our findings suggest that small human populations (subsistence fishing can nevertheless have considerable ecological impacts on reefs due, in part, to changes in fishing practices rather than overfishing per se, as well as larger global trends. Findings from this work can assist in building local capacity to manage reef resources across an atoll-wide scale, and illustrates the importance of anthropogenic impact even in small communities.

  4. 77 FR 56168 - Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Mexico Individual Fishing Quota Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-12

    .... 090206140-91081-03] RIN 0648-XC227 Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Mexico Individual... red snapper and grouper/tilefish components of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), the... INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for Reef...

  5. Order of arrival affects competition in two reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geange, Shane W; Stier, Adrian C

    2009-10-01

    Many communities experience repeated periods of colonization due to seasonally regenerating habitats or pulsed arrival of young-of-year. When an individual's persistence in a community depends upon the strength of competitive interactions, changes in the timing of arrival relative to the arrival of a competitor can modify competitive strength and, ultimately, establishment in the community. We investigated whether the strength of intracohort competitive interactions between recent settlers of the reef fishes Thalassoma hardwicke and T. quinquevittatum are dependent on the sequence and temporal separation of their arrival into communities. To achieve this, we manipulated the sequence and timing of arrival of each species onto experimental patch reefs by simulating settlement pulses and monitoring survival and aggressive interactions. Both species survived best in the absence of competitors, but when competitors were present, they did best when they arrived at the same time. Survival declined as each species entered the community progressively later than its competitor and as aggression by its competitor increased. Intraspecific effects of resident T. hardwicke were similar to interspecific effects. This study shows that the strength of competition depends not only on the identity of competitors, but also on the sequence and timing of their interactions, suggesting that when examining interaction strengths, it is important to identify temporal variability in the direction and magnitude of their effects. Furthermore, our findings provide empirical evidence for the importance of competitive lotteries in the maintenance of species diversity in demographically open marine systems.

  6. Crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes

    KAUST Repository

    Wilson, S. K.

    2010-02-26

    Expert opinion was canvassed to identify crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes. Scientists that had published three or more papers on the effects of climate and environmental factors on reef fishes were invited to submit five questions that, if addressed, would improve our understanding of climate change effects on coral reef fishes. Thirty-three scientists provided 155 questions, and 32 scientists scored these questions in terms of: (i) identifying a knowledge gap, (ii) achievability, (iii) applicability to a broad spectrum of species and reef habitats, and (iv) priority. Forty-two per cent of the questions related to habitat associations and community dynamics of fish, reflecting the established effects and immediate concern relating to climate-induced coral loss and habitat degradation. However, there were also questions on fish demographics, physiology, behaviour and management, all of which could be potentially affected by climate change. Irrespective of their individual expertise and background, scientists scored questions from different topics similarly, suggesting limited bias and recognition of a need for greater interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Presented here are the 53 highest-scoring unique questions. These questions should act as a guide for future research, providing a basis for better assessment and management of climate change impacts on coral reefs and associated fish communities.

  7. Reef fish and coral assemblages at Maptaput, Rayong Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Voravit Cheevaporn

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the structure of coral and fish assemblages of a group of small islands and pinnacles in the vicinity of Maptaput deep sea port, Rayong Province, Thailand during 2002. The coral and fish assemblages at Saket Island and nearby pinnacle, Hin-Yai, which are located less than 1 km from the deep sea port, had changed. Living coral cover in 2002 was 8% at Hin-Yai and 4% at Saket Island which decreased from 33% and 64%, respectively in the previous report in 1992. Numbers of coral species at Saket Island decreased from 41 species to 13 species. Acropora spp. that previously dominated the area had nearly disappeared. For fishes, a total of 40 species were found in 2002 the numbers decreased to only 6 species at Saket Island and 36 species at Hin-Yai. Fishes that dominated the area are small pomacentrids. After 1997, the conditions of coral and fish assemblages at Saket Island and Hin-Yai had markedly changed, whereas, the conditions found in the nearby area are much better. Sediment load from port construction was the primary cause of the degradation. This should indicate the adverse effect of sedimentation on coral and reef fish assemblages at Maptaput. Coral communities developed on rock pinnacles west of Maptaput deep-sea port are reported and described herein for the first time.

  8. Invasive lionfish drive Atlantic coral reef fish declines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie J Green

    Full Text Available Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles have spread swiftly across the Western Atlantic, producing a marine predator invasion of unparalleled speed and magnitude. There is growing concern that lionfish will affect the structure and function of invaded marine ecosystems, however detrimental impacts on natural communities have yet to be measured. Here we document the response of native fish communities to predation by lionfish populations on nine coral reefs off New Providence Island, Bahamas. We assessed lionfish diet through stomach contents analysis, and quantified changes in fish biomass through visual surveys of lionfish and native fishes at the sites over time. Lionfish abundance increased rapidly between 2004 and 2010, by which time lionfish comprised nearly 40% of the total predator biomass in the system. The increase in lionfish abundance coincided with a 65% decline in the biomass of the lionfish's 42 Atlantic prey fishes in just two years. Without prompt action to control increasing lionfish populations, similar effects across the region may have long-term negative implications for the structure of Atlantic marine communities, as well as the societies and economies that depend on them.

  9. Invasive lionfish drive Atlantic coral reef fish declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Akins, John L; Maljković, Aleksandra; Côté, Isabelle M

    2012-01-01

    Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) have spread swiftly across the Western Atlantic, producing a marine predator invasion of unparalleled speed and magnitude. There is growing concern that lionfish will affect the structure and function of invaded marine ecosystems, however detrimental impacts on natural communities have yet to be measured. Here we document the response of native fish communities to predation by lionfish populations on nine coral reefs off New Providence Island, Bahamas. We assessed lionfish diet through stomach contents analysis, and quantified changes in fish biomass through visual surveys of lionfish and native fishes at the sites over time. Lionfish abundance increased rapidly between 2004 and 2010, by which time lionfish comprised nearly 40% of the total predator biomass in the system. The increase in lionfish abundance coincided with a 65% decline in the biomass of the lionfish's 42 Atlantic prey fishes in just two years. Without prompt action to control increasing lionfish populations, similar effects across the region may have long-term negative implications for the structure of Atlantic marine communities, as well as the societies and economies that depend on them.

  10. Patterns in reef fish assemblages: Insights from the Chagos Archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samoilys, Melita; Roche, Ronan; Koldewey, Heather; Turner, John

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of variability in the composition of fish assemblages across the Indo-Pacific region is crucial to support coral reef ecosystem resilience. Whilst numerous relationships and feedback mechanisms between the functional roles of coral reef fishes and reef benthic composition have been investigated, certain key groups, such as the herbivores, are widely suggested to maintain reefs in a coral-dominated state. Examining links between fishes and reef benthos is complicated by the interactions between natural processes, disturbance events and anthropogenic impacts, particularly fishing pressure. This study examined fish assemblages and associated benthic variables across five atolls within the Chagos Archipelago, where fishing pressure is largely absent, to better understand these relationships. We found high variability in fish assemblages among atolls and sites across the archipelago, especially for key groups such as a suite of grazer-detritivore surgeonfish, and the parrotfishes which varied in density over 40-fold between sites. Differences in fish assemblages were significantly associated with variable levels of both live and recently dead coral cover and rugosity. We suggest these results reflect differing coral recovery trajectories following coral bleaching events and a strong influence of 'bottom-up' control mechanisms on fish assemblages. Species level analyses revealed that Scarus niger, Acanthurus nigrofuscus and Chlorurus strongylocephalos were key species driving differences in fish assemblage structure. Clarifying the trophic roles of herbivorous and detritivorous reef fishes will require species-level studies, which also examine feeding behaviour, to fully understand their contribution in maintaining reef resilience to climate change and fishing impacts.

  11. Patterns in reef fish assemblages: Insights from the Chagos Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche, Ronan; Koldewey, Heather; Turner, John

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of variability in the composition of fish assemblages across the Indo-Pacific region is crucial to support coral reef ecosystem resilience. Whilst numerous relationships and feedback mechanisms between the functional roles of coral reef fishes and reef benthic composition have been investigated, certain key groups, such as the herbivores, are widely suggested to maintain reefs in a coral-dominated state. Examining links between fishes and reef benthos is complicated by the interactions between natural processes, disturbance events and anthropogenic impacts, particularly fishing pressure. This study examined fish assemblages and associated benthic variables across five atolls within the Chagos Archipelago, where fishing pressure is largely absent, to better understand these relationships. We found high variability in fish assemblages among atolls and sites across the archipelago, especially for key groups such as a suite of grazer-detritivore surgeonfish, and the parrotfishes which varied in density over 40-fold between sites. Differences in fish assemblages were significantly associated with variable levels of both live and recently dead coral cover and rugosity. We suggest these results reflect differing coral recovery trajectories following coral bleaching events and a strong influence of ‘bottom-up’ control mechanisms on fish assemblages. Species level analyses revealed that Scarus niger, Acanthurus nigrofuscus and Chlorurus strongylocephalos were key species driving differences in fish assemblage structure. Clarifying the trophic roles of herbivorous and detritivorous reef fishes will require species-level studies, which also examine feeding behaviour, to fully understand their contribution in maintaining reef resilience to climate change and fishing impacts. PMID:29351566

  12. Fish survey data from Uva Island reef, Panama

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project examines an eastern Pacific fish assemblage associated with a 2.5 hectare coral reef located within the boundaries of Coiba National Park, Panama. From...

  13. Reef Fishes at All Trophic Levels Respond Positively to Effective Marine Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, German A.; Edgar, Graham J.; Thomson, Russell J.; Kininmonth, Stuart; Campbell, Stuart J.; Dawson, Terence P.; Barrett, Neville S.; Bernard, Anthony T. F.; Galván, David E.; Willis, Trevor J.; Alexander, Timothy J.; Stuart-Smith, Rick D.

    2015-01-01

    Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) offer a unique opportunity to test the assumption that fishing pressure affects some trophic groups more than others. Removal of larger predators through fishing is often suggested to have positive flow-on effects for some lower trophic groups, in which case protection from fishing should result in suppression of lower trophic groups as predator populations recover. We tested this by assessing differences in the trophic structure of reef fish communities associated with 79 MPAs and open-access sites worldwide, using a standardised quantitative dataset on reef fish community structure. The biomass of all major trophic groups (higher carnivores, benthic carnivores, planktivores and herbivores) was significantly greater (by 40% - 200%) in effective no-take MPAs relative to fished open-access areas. This effect was most pronounced for individuals in large size classes, but with no size class of any trophic group showing signs of depressed biomass in MPAs, as predicted from higher predator abundance. Thus, greater biomass in effective MPAs implies that exploitation on shallow rocky and coral reefs negatively affects biomass of all fish trophic groups and size classes. These direct effects of fishing on trophic structure appear stronger than any top down effects on lower trophic levels that would be imposed by intact predator populations. We propose that exploitation affects fish assemblages at all trophic levels, and that local ecosystem function is generally modified by fishing. PMID:26461104

  14. Reef Fishes at All Trophic Levels Respond Positively to Effective Marine Protected Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    German A Soler

    Full Text Available Marine Protected Areas (MPAs offer a unique opportunity to test the assumption that fishing pressure affects some trophic groups more than others. Removal of larger predators through fishing is often suggested to have positive flow-on effects for some lower trophic groups, in which case protection from fishing should result in suppression of lower trophic groups as predator populations recover. We tested this by assessing differences in the trophic structure of reef fish communities associated with 79 MPAs and open-access sites worldwide, using a standardised quantitative dataset on reef fish community structure. The biomass of all major trophic groups (higher carnivores, benthic carnivores, planktivores and herbivores was significantly greater (by 40% - 200% in effective no-take MPAs relative to fished open-access areas. This effect was most pronounced for individuals in large size classes, but with no size class of any trophic group showing signs of depressed biomass in MPAs, as predicted from higher predator abundance. Thus, greater biomass in effective MPAs implies that exploitation on shallow rocky and coral reefs negatively affects biomass of all fish trophic groups and size classes. These direct effects of fishing on trophic structure appear stronger than any top down effects on lower trophic levels that would be imposed by intact predator populations. We propose that exploitation affects fish assemblages at all trophic levels, and that local ecosystem function is generally modified by fishing.

  15. Habitat associations of juvenile fish at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia: the importance of coral and algae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun K Wilson

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Habitat specificity plays a pivotal role in forming community patterns in coral reef fishes, yet considerable uncertainty remains as to the extent of this selectivity, particularly among newly settled recruits. Here we quantified habitat specificity of juvenile coral reef fish at three ecological levels; algal meadows vs. coral reefs, live vs. dead coral and among different coral morphologies. In total, 6979 individuals from 11 families and 56 species were censused along Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Juvenile fishes exhibited divergence in habitat use and specialization among species and at all study scales. Despite the close proximity of coral reef and algal meadows (10's of metres 25 species were unique to coral reef habitats, and seven to algal meadows. Of the seven unique to algal meadows, several species are known to occupy coral reef habitat as adults, suggesting possible ontogenetic shifts in habitat use. Selectivity between live and dead coral was found to be species-specific. In particular, juvenile scarids were found predominantly on the skeletons of dead coral whereas many damsel and butterfly fishes were closely associated with live coral habitat. Among the coral dependent species, coral morphology played a key role in juvenile distribution. Corymbose corals supported a disproportionate number of coral species and individuals relative to their availability, whereas less complex shapes (i.e. massive & encrusting were rarely used by juvenile fish. Habitat specialisation by juvenile species of ecological and fisheries importance, for a variety of habitat types, argues strongly for the careful conservation and management of multiple habitat types within marine parks, and indicates that the current emphasis on planning conservation using representative habitat areas is warranted. Furthermore, the close association of many juvenile fish with corals susceptible to climate change related disturbances suggests that identifying and

  16. 78 FR 66683 - Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-06

    ... the Western Pacific; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries... special coral reef ecosystem fishing permit. SUMMARY: NMFS issued a Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit that authorizes Kampachi Farms, LLC, to culture and harvest a coral reef ecosystem management unit...

  17. Flat and complex temperate reefs provide similar support for fish: Evidence for a unimodal species-habitat relationship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avery B Paxton

    Full Text Available Structural complexity, a form of habitat heterogeneity, influences the structure and function of ecological communities, generally supporting increased species density, richness, and diversity. Recent research, however, suggests the most complex habitats may not harbor the highest density of individuals and number of species, especially in areas with elevated human influence. Understanding nuances in relationships between habitat heterogeneity and ecological communities is warranted to guide habitat-focused conservation and management efforts. We conducted fish and structural habitat surveys of thirty warm-temperate reefs on the southeastern US continental shelf to quantify how structural complexity influences fish communities. We found that intermediate complexity maximizes fish abundance on natural and artificial reefs, as well as species richness on natural reefs, challenging the current paradigm that abundance and other fish community metrics increase with increasing complexity. Naturally occurring rocky reefs of flat and complex morphologies supported equivalent abundance, biomass, species richness, and community composition of fishes. For flat and complex morphologies of rocky reefs to receive equal consideration as essential fish habitat (EFH, special attention should be given to detecting pavement type rocky reefs because their ephemeral nature makes them difficult to detect with typical seafloor mapping methods. Artificial reefs of intermediate complexity also maximized fish abundance, but human-made structures composed of low-lying concrete and metal ships differed in community types, with less complex, concrete structures supporting lower numbers of fishes classified largely as demersal species and metal ships protruding into the water column harboring higher numbers of fishes, including more pelagic species. Results of this study are essential to the process of evaluating habitat function provided by different types and shapes of

  18. Reef odor: a wake up call for navigation in reef fish larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire B Paris

    Full Text Available The behavior of reef fish larvae, equipped with a complex toolbox of sensory apparatus, has become a central issue in understanding their transport in the ocean. In this study pelagic reef fish larvae were monitored using an unmanned open-ocean tracking device, the drifting in-situ chamber (DISC, deployed sequentially in oceanic waters and in reef-born odor plumes propagating offshore with the ebb flow. A total of 83 larvae of two taxonomic groups of the families Pomacentridae and Apogonidae were observed in the two water masses around One Tree Island, southern Great Barrier Reef. The study provides the first in-situ evidence that pelagic reef fish larvae discriminate reef odor and respond by changing their swimming speed and direction. It concludes that reef fish larvae smell the presence of coral reefs from several kilometers offshore and this odor is a primary component of their navigational system and activates other directional sensory cues. The two families expressed differences in their response that could be adapted to maintain a position close to the reef. In particular, damselfish larvae embedded in the odor plume detected the location of the reef crest and swam westward and parallel to shore on both sides of the island. This study underlines the critical importance of in situ Lagrangian observations to provide unique information on larval fish behavioral decisions. From an ecological perspective the central role of olfactory signals in marine population connectivity raises concerns about the effects of pollution and acidification of oceans, which can alter chemical cues and olfactory responses.

  19. DIVERSITY OF REEF FISH FUNGSIONAL GROUPS IN TERMS OF CORAL REEF RESILIENCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isa Nagib edrus

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Infrastructure development in the particular sites of  Seribu Islands as well as those in main land of Jakarta City increased with coastal population this phenomenon is likely to increase the effects to the adjacent coral waters of Seribu Islands.  Chemical pollutants, sedimentation, and domestic wastes are the common impact and threatening, the survival of coral reef ecosystem. Coral reef resiliences naturaly remained on their processes under many influences of supporting factors. One of the major factor is the role of reef fish functional groups on controling algae growth to recolonize coral juveniles. The  aim of this study to obtain data of a herbivory and other fish functional groups of reef fishes in the Pari Islands that are resilience indicators, or that may indicate the effectiveness of management actions. A conventional scientific approach on fish diversity and abundance data gathering was conducted by the underwater visual cencus. Diversity values of the reef fish functional groups, such as the abundance of individual fish including species, were collected and tabulated by classes and weighted as a baseline to understand the resilience of coral reed based on Obura and Grimsditch (2009 techniques. The results succesfully identified several fish functional groups such as harbivores (21 species, carnivores (13 species and fish indicator (5 species occurred in the area. Regarding the aspects of fish density and its diversity, especially herbivorous fish functional group, were presumably in the state of rarely available to support the coral reef resiliences. Resilience indices ranged from 1 (low level to 3 (moderate level and averages of the quality levels ranged from 227 to 674. These levels were inadequate to support coral reef recolonization.

  20. Distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs track algal resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tootell, Jesse S; Steele, Mark A

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore distribution can impact community structure and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, herbivores are thought to play an important role in promoting coral dominance, but how they are distributed relative to algae is not well known. Here, we evaluated whether the distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes correlated with algal resource availability at six sites in the back reef environment of Moorea, French Polynesia. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that increased algal turf availability would coincide with (1) increased biomass, (2) altered foraging behavior, and (3) increased energy reserves of herbivorous fishes. Fish biomass and algal cover were visually estimated along underwater transects; behavior of herbivorous fishes was quantified by observations of focal individuals; fish were collected to assess their condition; and algal turf production rates were measured on standardized tiles. The best predictor of herbivorous fish biomass was algal turf production, with fish biomass increasing with algal production. Biomass of herbivorous fishes was also negatively related to sea urchin density, suggesting competition for limited resources. Regression models including both algal turf production and urchin density explained 94 % of the variation in herbivorous fish biomass among sites spread over ~20 km. Behavioral observations of the parrotfish Chlorurus sordidus revealed that foraging area increased as algal turf cover decreased. Additionally, energy reserves increased with algal turf production, but declined with herbivorous fish density, implying that algal turf is a limited resource for this species. Our findings support the hypothesis that herbivorous fishes can spatially track algal resources on coral reefs.

  1. Coral-macroalgal phase shifts or reef resilience: links with diversity and functional roles of herbivorous fishes on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheal, A. J.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; Cripps, E.; Emslie, M. J.; Jonker, M.; Schaffelke, B.; Sweatman, H.

    2010-12-01

    Changes from coral to macroalgal dominance following disturbances to corals symbolize the global degradation of coral reefs. The development of effective conservation measures depends on understanding the causes of such phase shifts. The prevailing view that coral-macroalgal phase shifts commonly occur due to insufficient grazing by fishes is based on correlation with overfishing and inferences from models and small-scale experiments rather than on long-term quantitative field studies of fish communities at affected and resilient sites. Consequently, the specific characteristics of herbivorous fish communities that most promote reef resilience under natural conditions are not known, though this information is critical for identifying vulnerable ecosystems. In this study, 11 years of field surveys recorded the development of the most persistent coral-macroalgal phase shift (>7 years) yet observed on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This shift followed extensive coral mortality caused by thermal stress (coral bleaching) and damaging storms. Comparisons with two similar reefs that suffered similar disturbances but recovered relatively rapidly demonstrated that the phase shift occurred despite high abundances of one herbivore functional group (scraping/excavating parrotfishes: Labridae). However, the shift was strongly associated with low fish herbivore diversity and low abundances of algal browsers (predominantly Siganidae) and grazers/detritivores (Acanthuridae), suggesting that one or more of these factors underpin reef resilience and so deserve particular protection. Herbivorous fishes are not harvested on the GBR, and the phase shift was not enhanced by unusually high nutrient levels. This shows that unexploited populations of herbivorous fishes cannot ensure reef resilience even under benign conditions and suggests that reefs could lose resilience under relatively low fishing pressure. Predictions of more severe and widespread coral mortality due to global

  2. Evidence for protection of targeted reef fish on the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabián Pina-Amargós

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Marine reserves can restore fish abundance and diversity in areas impacted by overfishing, but the effectiveness of reserves in developing countries where resources for enforcement are limited, have seldom been evaluated. Here we assess whether the establishment in 1996 of the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean, Gardens of the Queen in Cuba, has had a positive effect on the abundance of commercially valuable reef fish species in relation to neighboring unprotected areas. We surveyed 25 sites, including two reef habitats (reef crest and reef slope, inside and outside the marine reserve, on five different months, and over a one-and-a-half year period. Densities of the ten most frequent, highly targeted, and relatively large fish species showed a significant variability across the archipelago for both reef habitats that depended on the month of survey. These ten species showed a tendency towards higher abundance inside the reserve in both reef habitats for most months during the study. Average fish densities pooled by protection level, however, showed that five out of these ten species were at least two-fold significantly higher inside than outside the reserve at one or both reef habitats. Supporting evidence from previously published studies in the area indicates that habitat complexity and major benthic communities were similar inside and outside the reserve, while fishing pressure appeared to be homogeneous across the archipelago before reserve establishment. Although poaching may occur within the reserve, especially at the boundaries, effective protection from fishing was the most plausible explanation for the patterns observed.

  3. Challenges of transferring models of fish abundance between coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequeira, Ana M M; Mellin, Camille; Lozano-Montes, Hector M; Meeuwig, Jessica J; Vanderklift, Mathew A; Haywood, Michael D E; Babcock, Russell C; Caley, M Julian

    2018-01-01

    Reliable abundance estimates for species are fundamental in ecology, fisheries, and conservation. Consequently, predictive models able to provide reliable estimates for un- or poorly-surveyed locations would prove a valuable tool for management. Based on commonly used environmental and physical predictors, we developed predictive models of total fish abundance and of abundance by fish family for ten representative taxonomic families for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) using multiple temporal scenarios. We then tested if models developed for the GBR (reference system) could predict fish abundances at Ningaloo Reef (NR; target system), i.e., if these GBR models could be successfully transferred to NR. Models of abundance by fish family resulted in improved performance (e.g., 44.1% fish abundance (9% fish species richness from the GBR to NR, transferability for these fish abundance models was poor. When compared with observations of fish abundance collected in NR, our transferability results had low validation scores ( R 2   0.05). High spatio-temporal variability of patterns in fish abundance at the family and population levels in both reef systems likely affected the transferability of these models. Inclusion of additional predictors with potential direct effects on abundance, such as local fishing effort or topographic complexity, may improve transferability of fish abundance models. However, observations of these local-scale predictors are often not available, and might thereby hinder studies on model transferability and its usefulness for conservation planning and management.

  4. Predator effects on reef fish settlement depend on predator origin and recruit density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2017-04-01

    During major life-history transitions, animals often experience high mortality rates due to predation, making predator avoidance particularly advantageous during these times. There is mixed evidence from a limited number of studies, however, regarding how predator presence influences settlement of coral-reef fishes and it is unknown how other potentially mediating factors, including predator origin (native vs. nonnative) or interactions among conspecific recruits, mediate the non-consumptive effects of predators on reef fish settlement. During a field experiment in the Caribbean, approximately 52% fewer mahogany snapper (Lutjanus mahogoni) recruited to reefs with a native predator (graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata) than to predator-free control reefs and reefs with an invasive predator (red lionfish, Pterois volitans) regardless of predator diet. These results suggest that snapper recruits do not recognize nonnative lionfish as a threat. However, these effects depended on the density of conspecific recruits, with evidence that competition may limit the response of snapper to even native predators at the highest recruit densities. In contrast, there was no effect of predator presence or conspecific density on the recruitment of bicolor damselfish (Stegastes partitus). These context-dependent responses of coral-reef fishes to predators during settlement may influence individual survival and shape subsequent population and community dynamics. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. [Trophic webs of reef fishes in northwestern Cuba. I. Stomach contents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Ivet; Aguilar, Consuelo; González Sanón, Gaspar

    2008-06-01

    Trophic webs of reef fishes in northwestern Cuba. I. Stomach contents. Studies on the reef fishes of Cuba are not rare, but most have two basic limitations: small sample sizes and exclusion of small species. Our study sampled more species and larger samples in the sublitoral region of Havana city (23 degrees 7.587' N, 82 degrees 25.793' W), 2-18 m deep. We collected fish weekly from October 2004 through February 2006 with traps and harpoon. Overfishing has modified the fish communities. We used the relative importance index to describe the diets of carnivore and omnivore species, and a modification of the relative abundance method for the herbivores and sponge-eating species. The main food items are benthonic crustaceans (crabs, shrimp, copepods) and bony fish (mainly demersal species). Most species are eurifagous and thus, less affected by anthropic disturbance than specialist feeders.

  6. Invasive lionfish preying on critically endangered reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Luiz A.; Rocha, Claudia R.; Baldwin, Carole C.; Weigt, Lee A.; McField, Melanie

    2015-09-01

    Caribbean coral reef ecosystems are at the forefront of a global decline and are now facing a new threat: elimination of vulnerable species by the invasive lionfish ( Pterois spp.). In addition to being threatened by habitat destruction and pollution, the critically endangered social wrasse ( Halichoeres socialis), endemic to Belize's inner barrier reef, has a combination of biological traits (small size, schooling, and hovering behavior) that makes it a target for the invasive lionfish. Based on stomach content analyses, this small fish comprises almost half of the lionfish diet at the inner barrier reef in Belize. The combination of lionfish predation, limited range, and ongoing habitat destruction makes the social wrasse the most threatened coral reef fish in the world. Other species with small range and similar traits occur elsewhere in the Caribbean and face similar risks.

  7. The hidden half: ecology and evolution of cryptobenthic fishes on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Goatley, Christopher H R; Bellwood, David R; Tornabene, Luke

    2018-05-07

    Teleost fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates on Earth. On tropical coral reefs, their species richness exceeds 6000 species; one tenth of total vertebrate biodiversity. A large proportion of this diversity is composed of cryptobenthic reef fishes (CRFs): bottom-dwelling, morphologically or behaviourally cryptic species typically less than 50 mm in length. Yet, despite their diversity and abundance, these fishes are both poorly defined and understood. Herein we provide a new quantitative definition and synthesise current knowledge on the diversity, distribution and life history of CRFs. First, we use size distributions within families to define 17 core CRF families as characterised by the high prevalence (>10%) of small-bodied species (fishes, in which virtually no small-bodied species have evolved. We posit that small body size has allowed CRFs to diversify at extremely high rates, primarily by allowing for fine partitioning of microhabitats and facilitation of allopatric reproductive isolation; yet, we are far from understanding and documenting the biodiversity of CRFs. Using rates of description since 1758, we predict that approximately 30 new species of cryptobenthic species will be described per year until 2050 (approximately twice the annual rate compared to large fishes). Furthermore, we predict that by the year 2031, more than half of the described coral reef fish biodiversity will consist of CRFs. These fishes are the 'hidden half' of vertebrate biodiversity on coral reefs. Notably, global geographic coverage and spatial resolution of quantitative data on CRF communities is uniformly poor, which further emphasises the remarkable reservoir of biodiversity that is yet to be discovered. Although small body size may have enabled extensive diversification within CRF families, small size also comes with a suite of ecological challenges that affect fishes' capacities to feed, survive and reproduce; we identify a range of life-history adaptations that

  8. Community Change within a Caribbean Coral Reef Marine Protected Area following Two Decades of Local Management

    KAUST Repository

    Noble, Mae M.

    2013-01-14

    Structural change in both the habitat and reef-associated fish assemblages within spatially managed coral reefs can provide key insights into the benefits and limitations of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). While MPA zoning effects on particular target species are well reported, we are yet to fully resolve the various affects of spatial management on the structure of coral reef communities over decadal time scales. Here, we document mixed affects of MPA zoning on fish density, biomass and species richness over the 21 years since establishment of the Saba Marine Park (SMP). Although we found significantly greater biomass and species richness of reef-associated fishes within shallow habitats (5 meters depth) closed to fishing, this did not hold for deeper (15 m) habitats, and there was a widespread decline (38% decrease) in live hard coral cover and a 68% loss of carnivorous reef fishes across all zones of the SMP from the 1990s to 2008. Given the importance of live coral for the maintenance and replenishment of reef fishes, and the likely role of chronic disturbance in driving coral decline across the region, we explore how local spatial management can help protect coral reef ecosystems within the context of large-scale environmental pressures and disturbances outside the purview of local MPA management. © 2013 Noble et al.

  9. Community change within a Caribbean coral reef Marine Protected Area following two decades of local management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mae M Noble

    Full Text Available Structural change in both the habitat and reef-associated fish assemblages within spatially managed coral reefs can provide key insights into the benefits and limitations of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs. While MPA zoning effects on particular target species are well reported, we are yet to fully resolve the various affects of spatial management on the structure of coral reef communities over decadal time scales. Here, we document mixed affects of MPA zoning on fish density, biomass and species richness over the 21 years since establishment of the Saba Marine Park (SMP. Although we found significantly greater biomass and species richness of reef-associated fishes within shallow habitats (5 meters depth closed to fishing, this did not hold for deeper (15 m habitats, and there was a widespread decline (38% decrease in live hard coral cover and a 68% loss of carnivorous reef fishes across all zones of the SMP from the 1990s to 2008. Given the importance of live coral for the maintenance and replenishment of reef fishes, and the likely role of chronic disturbance in driving coral decline across the region, we explore how local spatial management can help protect coral reef ecosystems within the context of large-scale environmental pressures and disturbances outside the purview of local MPA management.

  10. A role for partially protected areas on coral reefs: Maintaining fish diversity?

    KAUST Repository

    Tyler, Elizabeth; Manica, Andrea; Jiddawi, Narriman S.; Speight, Martin R.

    2011-01-01

    1. Completely banning fishing from coral reefs is now accepted to have significant benefits for marine biodiversity and in many cases, fisheries. However, the benefits of regulating fishing on coral reefs, by restricting the methods used

  11. ReefLink Database: A decision support tool for Linking Coral Reefs and Society Through Systems Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs provide the ecological foundation for productive and diverse fish and invertebrate communities that support multibillion dollar reef fishing and tourism industries. Yet reefs are threatened by growing coastal development, climate change, and over-exploitation. A key i...

  12. The abundance of herbivorous fish on an inshore Red Sea reef following a mass coral bleaching event

    KAUST Repository

    Khalil, Maha T.

    2013-01-08

    A healthy herbivore community is critical for the ability of a reef to resist and recover from severe disturbances and to regain lost coral cover (i.e., resilience). The densities of the two major herbivorous fish groups (the family Acanthuridae and scarine labrids) were comparatively studied for an inshore reef that was severely impacted by a mass coral bleaching event in 2010 and an unaffected reef within the same region. Densities were found to be significantly higher on the affected reef, most likely due to the high algal densities on that reef. However, densities of herbivores on both reefs were found to be on average about 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than previously published reports from some Pacific reefs and from Red Sea reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba and only slightly higher than Caribbean reefs. Thus, it is predicted that recovery for this reef and similarly affected reefs may be very slow. The protection of herbivores from overfishing and the introduction of other management strategies that maximize reef resilience in Saudi Arabian waters are highly recommended. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

  13. Correlation Between Existence of Reef Sharks with Abundance of Reef Fishes in South Waters of Morotai Island (North Moluccas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukharror, Darmawan Ahmad; Tiara Baiti, Isnaini; Ichsan, Muhammad; Pridina, Niomi; Triutami, Sanny

    2017-10-01

    Despite increasing academic research citation on biology, abundance, and the behavior of the blacktip reef sharks, the influence of reef fish population on the density of reef sharks: Carcharhinus melanopterus and Triaenodon obesus population in its habitat were largely unassessed. This present study examined the correlation between abundance of reef fishes family/species with the population of reef sharks in Southern Waters of Morotai Island. The existence of reef sharks was measured with the Audible Stationary Count (ASC) methods and the abundance of reef fishes was surveyed using Underwater Visual Census (UVC) combined with Diver Operated Video (DOV) census. The coefficient of Determination (R2) was used to investigate the degree of relationships between sharks and the specific reef fishes species. The research from 8th April to 4th June 2015 showed the strong positive correlations between the existence of reef sharks with abundance of reef fishes. The correlation values between Carcharhinus melanopterus/Triaenodon obesus with Chaetodon auriga was 0.9405, blacktip/whitetip reef sharks versus Ctenochaetus striatus was 0.9146, and Carcharhinus melanopterus/Triaenodon obesus to Chaetodon kleinii was 0.8440. As the shark can be worth more alive for shark diving tourism than dead in a fish market, the abundance of these reef fishes was important as an early indication parameter of shark existence in South Water of Morotai Island. In the long term, this highlights the importance of reef fishes abundance management in Morotai Island’s Waters to enable the establishment of appropriate and effective reef sharks conservation.

  14. 78 FR 49258 - Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-13

    ... the Western Pacific; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries... Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit that would authorize Kampachi Farms, LLC, to culture and harvest a coral reef ecosystem management unit fish species in a floating pen moored about 5.5 nm off the west coast of...

  15. Avoiding conflicts and protecting coral reefs: Customary management benefits marine habitats and fish biomass

    KAUST Repository

    Campbell, Stuart J.

    2012-10-01

    Abstract One of the major goals of coral reef conservation is to determine the most effective means of managing marine resources in regions where economic conditions often limit the options available. For example, no-take fishing areas can be impractical in regions where people rely heavily on reef fish for food. In this study we test whether coral reef health differed among areas with varying management practices and socio-economic conditions on Pulau Weh in the Indonesian province of Aceh. Our results show that gear restrictions, in particular prohibiting the use of nets, were successful in minimizing habitat degradation and maintaining fish biomass despite ongoing access to the fishery. Reef fish biomass and hard-coral cover were two- to eight-fold higher at sites where fishing nets were prohibited. The guiding principle of the local customary management system, Panglima Laot, is to reduce conflict among community members over access to marine resources. Consequently, conservation benefits in Aceh have arisen from a customary system that lacks a specific environmental ethic or the means for strong resource-based management. Panglima Laot includes many of the features of successful institutions, such as clearly defined membership rights and the opportunity for resource users to be involved in making, enforcing and changing the rules. Such mechanisms to reduce conflict are the key to the success of marine resource management, particularly in settings that lack resources for enforcement. © 2012 Fauna & Flora International.

  16. Does herbivorous fish protection really improve coral reef resilience? A case study from new caledonia (South Pacific).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carassou, Laure; Léopold, Marc; Guillemot, Nicolas; Wantiez, Laurent; Kulbicki, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Parts of coral reefs from New Caledonia (South Pacific) were registered at the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008. Management strategies aiming at preserving the exceptional ecological value of these reefs in the context of climate change are currently being considered. This study evaluates the appropriateness of an exclusive fishing ban of herbivorous fish as a strategy to enhance coral reef resilience to hurricanes and bleaching in the UNESCO-registered areas of New Caledonia. A two-phase approach was developed: 1) coral, macroalgal, and herbivorous fish communities were examined in four biotopes from 14 reefs submitted to different fishing pressures in New Caledonia, and 2) results from these analyses were challenged in the context of a global synthesis of the relationship between herbivorous fish protection, coral recovery and relative macroalgal development after hurricanes and bleaching. Analyses of New Caledonia data indicated that 1) current fishing pressure only slightly affected herbivorous fish communities in the country, and 2) coral and macroalgal covers remained unrelated, and macroalgal cover was not related to the biomass, density or diversity of macroalgae feeders, whatever the biotope or level of fishing pressure considered. At a global scale, we found no relationship between reef protection status, coral recovery and relative macroalgal development after major climatic events. These results suggest that an exclusive protection of herbivorous fish in New Caledonia is unlikely to improve coral reef resilience to large-scale climatic disturbances, especially in the lightly fished UNESCO-registered areas. More efforts towards the survey and regulation of major chronic stress factors such as mining are rather recommended. In the most heavily fished areas of the country, carnivorous fish and large targeted herbivores may however be monitored as part of a precautionary approach.

  17. Comparing relative abundance, lengths, and habitat of temperate reef fishes using simultaneous underwater visual census, video, and trap sampling

    KAUST Repository

    Bacheler, NM; Geraldi, NR; Burton, ML; Muñ oz, RC; Kellison, GT

    2017-01-01

    of the reef fish community along the southeastern US Atlantic coast. In total, 117 taxa were observed by underwater visual census (UVC), stationary video, and chevron fish traps, with more taxa being observed by UVC (100) than video (82) or traps (20

  18. Facilitation in Caribbean coral reefs: high densities of staghorn coral foster greater coral condition and reef fish composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, Brittany E; Miller, Margaret W; Pausch, Rachel; Richter, Lee

    2017-05-01

    Recovery of the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is posited to play a key role in Caribbean reef resilience. At four Caribbean locations (including one restored and three extant populations), we quantified characteristics of contemporary staghorn coral across increasing conspecific densities, and investigated a hypothesis of facilitation between staghorn coral and reef fishes. High staghorn densities in the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly less partial mortality, higher branch growth, and supported greater fish abundances compared to lower densities within the same population. In contrast, partial mortality, branch growth, and fish community composition did not vary with staghorn density at the three other study locations where staghorn densities were lower overall. This suggests that density-dependent effects between the coral and fish community may only manifest at high staghorn densities. We then evaluated one facilitative mechanism for such density-dependence, whereby abundant fishes sheltering in dense staghorn aggregations deliver nutrients back to the coral, fueling faster coral growth, thereby creating more fish habitat. Indeed, dense staghorn aggregations within the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly higher growth rates, tissue nitrogen, and zooxanthellae densities than sparse aggregations. Similarly, higher tissue nitrogen was induced in a macroalgae bioassay outplanted into the same dense and sparse aggregations, confirming greater bioavailability of nutrients at high staghorn densities. Our findings inform staghorn restoration efforts, suggesting that the most effective targets may be higher coral densities than previously thought. These coral-dense aggregations may reap the benefits of positive facilitation between the staghorn and fish community, favoring the growth and survivorship of this threatened species.

  19. Norwegian deep-water coral reefs: cultivation and molecular analysis of planktonic microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Sigmund; Lynch, Michael D J; Ray, Jessica L; Neufeld, Josh D; Hovland, Martin

    2015-10-01

    Deep-sea coral reefs do not receive sunlight and depend on plankton. Little is known about the plankton composition at such reefs, even though they constitute habitats for many invertebrates and fish. We investigated plankton communities from three reefs at 260-350 m depth at hydrocarbon fields off the mid-Norwegian coast using a combination of cultivation and small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene and transcript sequencing. Eight months incubations of a reef water sample with minimal medium, supplemented with carbon dioxide and gaseous alkanes at in situ-like conditions, enabled isolation of mostly Alphaproteobacteria (Sulfitobacter, Loktanella), Gammaproteobacteria (Colwellia) and Flavobacteria (Polaribacter). The relative abundance of isolates in the original sample ranged from ∼ 0.01% to 0.80%. Comparisons of bacterial SSU sequences from filtered plankton of reef and non-reef control samples indicated high abundance and metabolic activity of primarily Alphaproteobacteria (SAR11 Ia), Gammaproteobacteria (ARCTIC96BD-19), but also of Deltaproteobacteria (Nitrospina, SAR324). Eukaryote SSU sequences indicated metabolically active microalgae and animals, including codfish, at the reef sites. The plankton community composition varied between reefs and differed between DNA and RNA assessments. Over 5000 operational taxonomic units were detected, some indicators of reef sites (e.g. Flavobacteria, Cercozoa, Demospongiae) and some more active at reef sites (e.g. Gammaproteobacteria, Ciliophora, Copepoda). © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Fishing Community Profiles

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To enable fisheries managers to comply with National Standard 8 (NS8), NMFS social scientists around the nation are preparing fishing community profiles that present...

  1. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally J Holbrook

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia. Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  2. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Messmer, Vanessa; Brooks, Andrew J; Srinivasan, Maya; Munday, Philip L; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2015-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia). Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity) in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  3. The status of coral reefs and associated fishes and invertebrates of commercial importance in Pedro Bank, Jamaica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew W. Bruckner

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The coral reefs located off the north coast of the Jamaican mainland are some of the best and most studied reefs in the world. Coral reefs of Pedro Bank, Jamaica were assessed in March, 2012 as part of the KSLOF Global Reef Expedition using a modified Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA protocol. The main objectives were to: 1 characterize the distribution, structure and health of coral reefs; and 2 evaluate the population status of commercially important reef fishes and invertebrates. This work was conducted to assist in characterizing coral reef habitats within and outside a proposed fishery reserve, and identify other possible conservation zones. Within 20 reefs, live coral cover ranged from 4.9% to 19.2%. Coral communities were dominated by small corals (esp. Agaricia, Porites and Siderastrea although many sites had high abundances of large colonies of Montastraea annularis and M. faveolata, and these were generally in good condition. A single area, within the proposed fishery reserve, had extensive Acropora cervicornis thickets, and several shallow locations had small, but recovering A. palmata stands. Macroalgal cover at all sites was relatively low, with only three sites having greater than 30% cover; crustose coralline algae (CCA was high, with eight sites exceeding 20% cover. Fish biomass at all sites near the Cays was low, with a dominance of herbivores (parrotfish and surgeonfish and a near absence of groupers, snappers and other commercially important species. While parrotfish were the most abundant fish, these were all extremely small (mean size= 12cm; <4% over 29cm, and they were dominated by red band parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum followed by striped parrotfish (Scarus iseri. While coral communities remain in better condition than most coastal reefs in Jamaica, intense fishing pressure using fish traps (main target species: surgeonfish and hookah/spear fishing (main target: parrotfish is of grave concern to the

  4. Energetic and ecological constraints on population density of reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barneche, D R; Kulbicki, M; Floeter, S R; Friedlander, A M; Allen, A P

    2016-01-27

    Population ecology has classically focused on pairwise species interactions, hindering the description of general patterns and processes of population abundance at large spatial scales. Here we use the metabolic theory of ecology as a framework to formulate and test a model that yields predictions linking population density to the physiological constraints of body size and temperature on individual metabolism, and the ecological constraints of trophic structure and species richness on energy partitioning among species. Our model was tested by applying Bayesian quantile regression to a comprehensive reef-fish community database, from which we extracted density data for 5609 populations spread across 49 sites around the world. Our results indicate that population density declines markedly with increases in community species richness and that, after accounting for richness, energetic constraints are manifested most strongly for the most abundant species, which generally are of small body size and occupy lower trophic groups. Overall, our findings suggest that, at the global scale, factors associated with community species richness are the major drivers of variation in population density. Given that populations of species-rich tropical systems exhibit markedly lower maximum densities, they may be particularly susceptible to stochastic extinction. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. Coral reef fish populations can persist without immigration

    KAUST Repository

    Salles, Océ ane C.; Maynard, Jeffrey A.; Joannides, Marc; Barbu, Corentin M.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Almany, Glenn R.; Berumen, Michael L.; Thorrold, Simon R.; Jones, Geoffrey P.; Planes, Serge

    2015-01-01

    and this was stable through the sampling period. Stability in the proportion of local and immigrant settlers is likely due to: low annual mortality rates and stable egg production rates, and the short larval stages and sensory capacities of reef fish larvae. Biannual

  6. Comparison of Coral Reef Ecosystems along a Fishing Pressure Gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijerman, M.W.; Fulton, E.A.; Parrish, F.A.

    2013-01-01

    Three trophic mass-balance models representing coral reef ecosystems along a fishery gradient were compared to evaluate ecosystem effects of fishing. The majority of the biomass estimates came directly from a large-scale visual survey program; therefore, data were collected in the same way for all

  7. The distribution and abundance of reef-associated predatory fishes on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emslie, Michael J.; Cheal, Alistair J.; Logan, Murray

    2017-09-01

    Predatory fishes are important components of coral-reef ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) through both the ecological functions they perform and their high value to recreational and commercial fisheries, estimated at 30 million in 2014. However, management of GBR predatory fish populations is hampered by a lack of knowledge of their distribution and abundance, aside from that of the highly targeted coral trout ( Plectropomus spp. and Variola spp.). Furthermore, there is little information on how these fishes respond to environmental stressors such as coral bleaching, outbreaks of coral-feeding starfishes ( Acanthaster planci) and storms, which limits adaptive management of their populations as the frequency or severity of such natural disturbances increases under climate change. Here, we document the distribution and abundance of 48 species of reef-associated predatory fishes and assess their vulnerability to a range of natural disturbances. There were clear differences in predatory fish assemblages across the continental shelf, but many species were widespread, with few species restricted to either inshore or offshore waters. There was weak latitudinal structure with only a few species restricted to either the northern or southern GBR. On the whole, predatory fishes were surprisingly resistant to the effects of disturbance, with few clear changes in abundance or species richness following 66 documented disturbances of varying magnitudes.

  8. Ontogenetic dietary changes of coral reef fishes in the mangrove-seagress-reef continuum: stable isotope and gut-content analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cocheret de la Morinière, E.; Pollux, B.J.A.; Nagelkerken, I.; Hemminga, M.A.; Huiskes, A.H.L.; Van der Velde, G.

    2003-01-01

    Juveniles of a number of reef fish species develop in shallow-water 'nursery' habitats such as mangroves and seagrass beds, and then migrate to the coral reef. This implies that some reef fish species are distributed over the mangrove-seagrass-reef continuum in subpopulations with different size

  9. Crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes

    KAUST Repository

    Wilson, S. K.; Adjeroud, M.; Bellwood, D. R.; Berumen, Michael L.; Booth, D.; Bozec, Y.-M.; Chabanet, P.; Cheal, A.; Cinner, J.; Depczynski, M.; Feary, D. A.; Gagliano, M.; Graham, N. A. J.; Halford, A. R.; Halpern, B. S.; Harborne, A. R.; Hoey, A. S.; Holbrook, S. J.; Jones, G. P.; Kulbiki, M.; Letourneur, Y.; De Loma, T. L.; McClanahan, T.; McCormick, M. I.; Meekan, M. G.; Mumby, P. J.; Munday, P. L.; Ohman, M. C.; Pratchett, M. S.; Riegl, B.; Sano, M.; Schmitt, R. J.; Syms, C.

    2010-01-01

    Expert opinion was canvassed to identify crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes. Scientists that had published three or more papers on the effects of climate and environmental factors on reef

  10. Investigating functional redundancy versus complementarity in Hawaiian herbivorous coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Emily L A; Eynaud, Yoan; Clements, Samantha M; Gleason, Molly; Sparks, Russell T; Williams, Ivor D; Smith, Jennifer E

    2016-12-01

    Patterns of species resource use provide insight into the functional roles of species and thus their ecological significance within a community. The functional role of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs has been defined through a variety of methods, but from a grazing perspective, less is known about the species-specific preferences of herbivores on different groups of reef algae and the extent of dietary overlap across an herbivore community. Here, we quantified patterns of redundancy and complementarity in a highly diverse community of herbivores at a reef on Maui, Hawaii, USA. First, we tracked fish foraging behavior in situ to record bite rate and type of substrate bitten. Second, we examined gut contents of select herbivorous fishes to determine consumption at a finer scale. Finally, we placed foraging behavior in the context of resource availability to determine how fish selected substrate type. All species predominantly (73-100 %) foraged on turf algae, though there were differences among the types of macroalgae and other substrates bitten. Increased resolution via gut content analysis showed the composition of turf algae consumed by fishes differed across herbivore species. Consideration of foraging behavior by substrate availability revealed 50 % of herbivores selected for turf as opposed to other substrate types, but overall, there were variable foraging portfolios across all species. Through these three methods of investigation, we found higher complementarity among herbivorous fishes than would be revealed using a single metric. These results suggest differences across species in the herbivore "rain of bites" that graze and shape benthic community composition.

  11. Benthic Community Characterization on Shallow (<30m) Hardbottom Shelf Habitats in St. Croix, USVI. A preliminary field survey to assess operational and logistical approaches to implement the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) in the USVI. (NODC Accession 0125237)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish populations are a conspicuous and essential component of USVI coral reef ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, striking population and community level...

  12. Benthic Community Characterization on Shallow (less than 30m) Hardbottom Shelf Habitats in St. Croix, USVI. A preliminary field survey to assess operational and logistical approaches to implement the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) in the USVI.

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish populations are a conspicuous and essential component of USVI coral reef ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, striking population and community level...

  13. Comparative visual ecophysiology of mid-Atlantic temperate reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrij Z. Horodysky

    2013-11-01

    The absolute light sensitivities, temporal properties, and spectral sensitivities of the visual systems of three mid-Atlantic temperate reef fishes (Atlantic spadefish [Ephippidae: Chaetodipterus faber], tautog [Labridae: Tautoga onitis], and black sea bass [Serranidae: Centropristis striata] were studied via electroretinography (ERG. Pelagic Atlantic spadefish exhibited higher temporal resolution but a narrower dynamic range than the two more demersal foragers. The higher luminous sensitivities of tautog and black sea bass were similar to other benthic and demersal coastal mid-Atlantic fishes. Flicker fusion frequency experiments revealed significant interspecific differences at maximum intensities that correlated with lifestyle and habitat. Spectral responses of the three species spanned 400–610 nm, with high likelihood of cone dichromacy providing the basis for color and contrast discrimination. Significant day-night differences in spectral responses were evident in spadefish and black sea bass but not tautog, a labrid with characteristic structure-associated nocturnal torpor. Atlantic spadefish responded to a wider range of wavelengths than did deeper-dwelling tautog or black sea bass. Collectively, these results suggest that temperate reef-associated fishes are well-adapted to their gradient of brighter to dimmer photoclimates, representative of their unique ecologies and life histories. Continuing anthropogenic degradation of water quality in coastal environments, at a pace faster than the evolution of visual systems, may however impede visual foraging and reproductive signaling in temperate reef fishes.

  14. Fish assemblages on fringing reefs in the southern Caribbean: biodiversity, biomass and feeding types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jahson B. Alemu I.

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Reef fish assemblages in the Caribbean are under increasing pressure from human activities. Inadequate enforcement of legislation coupled with unreliable and data-poor landings in Tobago have led to the unregulated exploitation of reef fish for decades. This study addresses the lack of data on major reefs. Visual observations of fish fauna were conducted from November 2011-May 2013 at open access reef sites (Speyside, Charlotteville, Culloden, Arnos Vale, Mt. Irvine, La Guira, Kilgwyn, Plymouth and Black Rock and one protected area (Buccoo Reef Marine Park. Belt transects surveys were used to determine fish density, species diversity and abundance at the 10-15m depth contour. Fish sizes were converted to biomass using the length-weight relationship of fish W=aLb. Most fish assemblages were dominated by small herbivores (40cm e.g. Serranidae, were noted, which is indicative of fishing pressure. MDS ordination identified three fish assemblages: i northeastern, ii southwestern and iii intermediate. The northwestern cluster (Speyside and Charlotteville were most representative of reef fish assemblages across the entire island, and exhibited the highest species richness, diversity and biomass. However, the southwestern cluster the highest numerical abundance. The marine protected area contained higher fish biomass, abundance, diversity and richness, but it was only representative of reef fish assemblages on the southwest of the island and not the entire Tobago. Research on the reef fishery, particularly spear fishing, is recommended to determine impact.

  15. Red fluorescence in reef fish: A novel signalling mechanism?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siebeck Ulrike E

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background At depths below 10 m, reefs are dominated by blue-green light because seawater selectively absorbs the longer, 'red' wavelengths beyond 600 nm from the downwelling sunlight. Consequently, the visual pigments of many reef fish are matched to shorter wavelengths, which are transmitted better by water. Combining the typically poor long-wavelength sensitivity of fish eyes with the presumed lack of ambient red light, red light is currently considered irrelevant for reef fish. However, previous studies ignore the fact that several marine organisms, including deep sea fish, produce their own red luminescence and are capable of seeing it. Results We here report that at least 32 reef fishes from 16 genera and 5 families show pronounced red fluorescence under natural, daytime conditions at depths where downwelling red light is virtually absent. Fluorescence was confirmed by extensive spectrometry in the laboratory. In most cases peak emission was around 600 nm and fluorescence was associated with guanine crystals, which thus far were known for their light reflecting properties only. Our data indicate that red fluorescence may function in a context of intraspecific communication. Fluorescence patterns were typically associated with the eyes or the head, varying substantially even between species of the same genus. Moreover red fluorescence was particularly strong in fins that are involved in intraspecific signalling. Finally, microspectrometry in one fluorescent goby, Eviota pellucida, showed a long-wave sensitivity that overlapped with its own red fluorescence, indicating that this species is capable of seeing its own fluorescence. Conclusion We show that red fluorescence is widespread among marine fishes. Many features indicate that it is used as a private communication mechanism in small, benthic, pair- or group-living fishes. Many of these species show quite cryptic colouration in other parts of the visible spectrum. High inter

  16. Length-weight relationship of fishes from coral reefs and lagoons of New Caledonia: an update

    OpenAIRE

    Letourneur, Y.; Kulbicki, M.; Labrosse, P.

    1998-01-01

    Length-weight relationships of 316 reef and lagoon fish from New Caledonia (SW Pacific Ocean) belonging to 68 families are computed. A total of 43,750 individuals was used for this purpose. Fish were sampled by different techniques such as rotenone poisoning, handline and bottom longline fishing, gill and trammel nets, and trawling in various isotopes (coral reefs, lagoon bottoms and mangroves).

  17. Local extinction of a coral reef fish explained by inflexible prey choice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, R. M.; Munday, P. L.; Brandl, S. J.; Jones, G. P.

    2014-12-01

    While global extinctions of marine species are infrequent, local extinctions are becoming common. However, the role of habitat degradation and resource specialisation in explaining local extinction is unknown. On coral reefs, coral bleaching is an increasingly frequent cause of coral mortality that can result in dramatic changes to coral community composition. Coral-associated fishes are often specialised on a limited suite of coral species and are therefore sensitive to these changes. This study documents the local extinction of a corallivorous reef fish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris, following a mass bleaching event that altered the species composition of associated coral communities. Local extinction only occurred on reefs that also completely lost a key prey species, Acropora millepora, even though coral cover remained high. In an experimental test, fish continued to select bleached A. millepora over the healthy, but less-preferred prey species that resisted bleaching. These results suggest that behavioural inflexibility may limit the ability of specialists to cope with even subtle changes to resource availability.

  18. ENERGETIC EXTREMES IN A HOSTILE HABITAT: FISH LOCOMOTION ON WAVE-SWEPT CORAL REEFS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffensen, John Fleng

    2010-01-01

    , and wing-like fins that generate lift-based thrust at high speed. Literally flying underwater, Stethojulis and other winged-fin species are the most abundant fish in wave-swept coral reef habitats. We discuss the extreme swimming performance of these reef fishes within the context of other non......-scombrid and scombrid fishes, and illustrate how such performance has contributed to their domination of shallow coral reef habitats worldwide....

  19. Bomb-cratered coral reefs in Puerto Rico, the untold story about a novel habitat: from reef destruction to community-based ecological rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin A. Hernández-Delgado

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Ecological impacts of military bombing activities in Puerto Rico have often been described as minimal, with recurrent allegations of confounding effects by hurricanes, coral diseases and local anthropogenic stressors. Reef craters, though isolated, are associated with major colony fragmentation and framework pulverization, with a net permanent loss of reef bio-construction. In contrast, adjacent non-bombarded reef sections have significantly higher benthic spatial relief and biodiversity. We compared benthic communities on 35-50 year-old bomb-cratered coral reefs at Culebra and Vieques Islands, with adjacent non-impacted sites; 2 coral recruit density and fish community structure within and outside craters; and 3 early effects of a rehabilitation effort using low-tech Staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis farming. Reef craters ranged in size from approximately 50 to 400m² and were largely dominated by heavily fragmented, flattened benthos, with coral cover usually below 2% and dominance by non-reef building taxa (i.e., filamentous algal turfs, macroalgae. Benthic spatial heterogeneity was lower within craters which also resulted in a lowered functional value as fish nursery ground. Fish species richness, abundance and biomass, and coral recruit density were lower within craters. Low-tech, community-based approaches to culture, harvest and transplant A. cervicornis into formerly bombarded grounds have proved successful in increasing percent coral cover, benthic spatial heterogeneity, and helping rehabilitate nursery ground functions.

  20. Do reef fish habituate to diver presence? Evidence from two reef sites with contrasting historical levels of SCUBA intensity in the Bay Islands, Honduras.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin M Titus

    Full Text Available Contact between humans and the marine environment is increasing, but the capacity of communities to adapt to human presence remains largely unknown. The popularization of SCUBA diving has added a new dimension to human impacts in aquatic systems and, although individual-level impacts have been identified, cumulative effects on ecosystem function and community-wide responses are unclear. In principle, habituation may mitigate the consequences of human presence on the biology of an individual and allow the quick resumption of its ecological roles, but this has not been documented in aquatic systems. Here, we investigate the short-term impact of human presence and the long-term habituation potential of reef-fish communities to recreational SCUBA divers by studying symbiotic cleaning interactions on coral reefs with differing levels of historical contact with divers. We show that incidences of human contact result in a smaller decline in ecosystem function and more rapid resumption of baseline services on a reef in Utila, Honduras that has heavy historical levels of SCUBA diver presence, compared to an un-dived reef site in the Cayos Cochinos Marine Protected Area (CCMPA. Nonetheless, despite the generally smaller change in ecosystem function and decades of regular contact with divers, cleaning behavior is suppressed by >50% at Utila when divers are present. We hypothesize that community-wide habituation of reef fish is not fully achievable and may be biologically restricted to only partial habituation. Differential responses to human presence impacts the interpretation and execution of behavioral research where SCUBA is the predominant means of data collection, and provides an important rationale for future research investigating the interplay between human presence, ecosystem function, and community structure on coral reefs.

  1. Do reef fish habituate to diver presence? Evidence from two reef sites with contrasting historical levels of SCUBA intensity in the Bay Islands, Honduras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titus, Benjamin M; Daly, Marymegan; Exton, Dan A

    2015-01-01

    Contact between humans and the marine environment is increasing, but the capacity of communities to adapt to human presence remains largely unknown. The popularization of SCUBA diving has added a new dimension to human impacts in aquatic systems and, although individual-level impacts have been identified, cumulative effects on ecosystem function and community-wide responses are unclear. In principle, habituation may mitigate the consequences of human presence on the biology of an individual and allow the quick resumption of its ecological roles, but this has not been documented in aquatic systems. Here, we investigate the short-term impact of human presence and the long-term habituation potential of reef-fish communities to recreational SCUBA divers by studying symbiotic cleaning interactions on coral reefs with differing levels of historical contact with divers. We show that incidences of human contact result in a smaller decline in ecosystem function and more rapid resumption of baseline services on a reef in Utila, Honduras that has heavy historical levels of SCUBA diver presence, compared to an un-dived reef site in the Cayos Cochinos Marine Protected Area (CCMPA). Nonetheless, despite the generally smaller change in ecosystem function and decades of regular contact with divers, cleaning behavior is suppressed by >50% at Utila when divers are present. We hypothesize that community-wide habituation of reef fish is not fully achievable and may be biologically restricted to only partial habituation. Differential responses to human presence impacts the interpretation and execution of behavioral research where SCUBA is the predominant means of data collection, and provides an important rationale for future research investigating the interplay between human presence, ecosystem function, and community structure on coral reefs.

  2. 78 FR 18273 - Draft Guidance for Industry on Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With the Hazard of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-26

    .... FDA-2013-D-0269] Draft Guidance for Industry on Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With the... availability of a draft guidance entitled ``Guidance for Industry: Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With... seafood processors who purchase reef fish how to minimize the risk of ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) from...

  3. The impacts of tourism on coral reef conservation awareness and support in coastal communities in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, A.

    2007-12-01

    Marine recreational tourism is one of a number of threats to the Belize Barrier Reef but, conversely, represents both a motivation and source of resources for its conservation. The growth of tourism in Belize has resulted in the fact that many coastal communities are in varying stages of a socio-economic shift from dependence on fishing to dependence on tourism. In a nation becoming increasingly dependent on the health of its coral reef ecosystems for economic prosperity, a shift from extractive uses to their preservation is both necessary and logical. Through examining local perception data in five coastal communities in Belize, each attracting different levels of coral reef related tourism, this analysis is intended to explore the relationship between tourism development and local coral reef conservation awareness and support. The results of the analysis show a positive correlation between tourism development and coral reef conservation awareness and support in the study communities. The results also show a positive correlation between tourism development and local perceptions of quality of life, a trend that is most likely the source of the observed relationship between tourism and conservation. The study concludes that, because the observed relationship may be dependent on continued benefits from tourism as opposed to a perceived crisis in coral reef health, Belize must pay close attention to tourism impacts in the future. Failure to do this could result in a destructive feedback loop that would contribute to the degradation of the reef and, ultimately, Belize’s diminished competitiveness in the ecotourism market.

  4. Project O.R.B (Operation Reef Ball): Creating Artificial Reefs, Educating the Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, A.

    2012-04-01

    of this artificial reef. Over 3,000 students have been reached through the educational outreach endeavors of Project O.R.B. This successful STEM project models the benefits of partnerships with universities, local K-12 public schools and community conservation organizations and provides students with authentic learning experiences. Students are able to have a positive impact on their local coral reef environment, their peers and their community through this comprehensive service-learning project.

  5. Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, St Croix, US Virgin Islands 2012-05-07 to 2012-05-18 (NODC Accession 0125237)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Reef fish populations are a conspicuous and essential component of USVI coral reef ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, striking population and community level...

  6. School is out on noisy reefs: the effect of boat noise on predator learning and survival of juvenile coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Maud C O; McCormick, Mark I; Meekan, Mark G; Simpson, Stephen D; Nedelec, Sophie L; Chivers, Douglas P

    2018-01-31

    Noise produced by anthropogenic activities is increasing in many marine ecosystems. We investigated the effect of playback of boat noise on fish cognition. We focused on noise from small motorboats, since its occurrence can dominate soundscapes in coastal communities, the number of noise-producing vessels is increasing rapidly and their proximity to marine life has the potential to cause deleterious effects. Cognition-or the ability of individuals to learn and remember information-is crucial, given that most species rely on learning to achieve fitness-promoting tasks, such as finding food, choosing mates and recognizing predators. The caveat with cognition is its latent effect: the individual that fails to learn an important piece of information will live normally until the moment where it needs the information to make a fitness-related decision. Such latent effects can easily be overlooked by traditional risk assessment methods. Here, we conducted three experiments to assess the effect of boat noise playbacks on the ability of fish to learn to recognize predation threats, using a common, conserved learning paradigm. We found that fish that were trained to recognize a novel predator while being exposed to 'reef + boat noise' playbacks failed to subsequently respond to the predator, while their 'reef noise' counterparts responded appropriately. We repeated the training, giving the fish three opportunities to learn three common reef predators, and released the fish in the wild. Those trained in the presence of 'reef + boat noise' playbacks survived 40% less than the 'reef noise' controls over our 72 h monitoring period, a performance equal to that of predator-naive fish. Our last experiment indicated that these results were likely due to failed learning, as opposed to stress effects from the sound exposure. Neither playbacks nor real boat noise affected survival in the absence of predator training. Our results indicate that boat noise has the potential to cause

  7. Chemical defenses and resource trade-offs structure sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loh, Tse-Lynn; Pawlik, Joseph R

    2014-03-18

    Ecological studies have rarely been performed at the community level across a large biogeographic region. Sponges are now the primary habitat-forming organisms on Caribbean coral reefs. Recent species-level investigations have demonstrated that predatory fishes (angelfishes and some parrotfishes) differentially graze sponges that lack chemical defenses, while co-occurring, palatable species heal, grow, reproduce, or recruit at faster rates than defended species. Our prediction, based on resource allocation theory, was that predator removal would result in a greater proportion of palatable species in the sponge community on overfished reefs. We tested this prediction by performing surveys of sponge and fish community composition on reefs having different levels of fishing intensity across the Caribbean. A total of 109 sponge species was recorded from 69 sites, with the 10 most common species comprising 51.0% of sponge cover (3.6-7.7% per species). Nonmetric multidimensional scaling indicated that the species composition of sponge communities depended more on the abundance of sponge-eating fishes than geographic location. Across all sites, multiple-regression analyses revealed that spongivore abundance explained 32.8% of the variation in the proportion of palatable sponges, but when data were limited to geographically adjacent locations with strongly contrasting levels of fishing pressure (Cayman Islands and Jamaica; Curaçao, Bonaire, and Martinique), the adjusted R(2) values were much higher (76.5% and 94.6%, respectively). Overfishing of Caribbean coral reefs, particularly by fish trapping, removes sponge predators and is likely to result in greater competition for space between faster-growing palatable sponges and endangered reef-building corals.

  8. Effects of human population density and proximity to markets on coral reef fishes vulnerable to extinction by fishing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, T D; Cinner, J E; Green, A; Pressey, R L

    2013-06-01

    Coral reef fisheries are crucial to the livelihoods of tens of millions of people; yet, widespread habitat degradation and unsustainable fishing are causing severe depletion of stocks of reef fish. Understanding how social and economic factors, such as human population density, access to external markets, and modernization interact with fishing and habitat degradation to affect fish stocks is vital to sustainable management of coral reef fisheries. We used fish survey data, national social and economic data, and path analyses to assess whether these factors explain variation in biomass of coral reef fishes among 25 sites in Solomon Islands. We categorized fishes into 3 groups on the basis of life-history characteristics associated with vulnerability to extinction by fishing (high, medium, and low vulnerability). The biomass of fish with low vulnerability was positively related to habitat condition. The biomass of fishes with high vulnerability was negatively related to fishing conducted with efficient gear. Use of efficient gear, in turn, was strongly and positively related to both population density and market proximity. This result suggests local population pressure and external markets have additive negative effects on vulnerable reef fish. Biomass of the fish of medium vulnerability was not explained by fishing intensity or habitat condition, which suggests these species may be relatively resilient to both habitat degradation and fishing. © 2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. Sand-mediated divergence between shallow reef communities on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sand-mediated divergence between shallow reef communities on horizontal and vertical substrata in the western Indian Ocean. SN Porter, GM Branch, KJ Sink. Abstract. Distinctions are rarely made between vertical and horizontal surfaces when assessing reef community composition, yet physical differences are expected ...

  10. Oyster Reef Communities in the Chesapeake Bay: A Brief Primer. VORTEX: Virginia's Oyster Reef Teaching EXperience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Juliana M.; Mann, Roger; Clark, Vicki P.

    This document introduces Virginia's Oyster Reef Teaching EXperience (VORTEX), which is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the importance of oyster reef communities in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The VORTEX program uses field and laboratory experience supported by multimedia instruction. This document presents an overview on the biology of…

  11. Microhabitat Association of Cryptobenthic Reef Fishes (Teleostei: Gobiidae) in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Troyer, Emily

    2018-05-01

    Knowledge of biodiversity within an ecosystem is essential when trying to understand the function and importance of that ecosystem. A challenge when assessing biodiversity of reef habitats is cryptobenthic fishes, which encompass many groups that have close associations with the substrate. These fishes can be behaviorally cryptic, by seeking refuge within the reef matrix, or visually cryptic, using cryptic coloration to match the surrounding habitat. These factors make visual surveys inadequate for sampling these fishes. One such group of cryptobenthic fishes are the gobies, family Gobiidae, which currently represent over 1600 species, although new species are continually being discovered. Gobies are often small (less than 5 cm), and many species will be associated with a very specific microhabitat type. Due to the understudied nature of the Red Sea, little is known about habitat preferences of gobies within the region. In order to determine the differences in goby community structure within the central Red Sea, fishes were sampled at one reef using 1 m² enclosed rotenone stations from three distinct microhabitats: hard coral, rubble, and sand. Following collection, specimens were photographed and sequenced using COI, to aid in species identification. 232 individuals were collected representing 31 species of goby. Rubble microhabitats were found to host the majority of collected gobies (69%), followed by hard coral (20.6%), then sand (9.9%). Goby assemblages in the three microhabitats were significantly different from each other, and evidence of habitat-specialists was found. These results provide essential baseline information about the ecology of understudied cryptobenthic fishes that can be used in future large-scale studies in the Red Sea region.

  12. Spatial patterns of cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, Darren J.; DiBattista, Joseph D.; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane H.; Berumen, Michael L.

    2018-03-01

    Surveys to document coral-reef fish assemblages are often limited to visually conspicuous species, thus excluding a significant proportion of the biodiversity. Through standardized collections of cryptobenthic reef fishes in the central and southern Red Sea, a total of 238 species and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 35 families were collected. Abundance and species richness increased by 60 and 30%, respectively, from north to south, and fish community composition differed between the two regions and with proximity to shore in the central region. Models suggest regional influences in fish communities, with latitudinal patterns influenced by key coral groups ( Acropora, Pocilloporidae) and variation in environmental parameters (chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, salinity). This study illustrates the limited taxonomic resolution in this group and in this region, and the need to expand baseline data for this under-studied assemblage. To assist in advancing this initiative, we have produced a catalogue of specimens, archived photographs, and established a DNA sequence library based on cytochrome-c oxidase subunit-I barcodes for all OTUs.

  13. Spatial patterns of cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James; DiBattista, Joseph; Sinclair-Taylor, Tane; Berumen, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Surveys to document coral-reef fish assemblages are often limited to visually conspicuous species, thus excluding a significant proportion of the biodiversity. Through standardized collections of cryptobenthic reef fishes in the central and southern Red Sea, a total of 238 species and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 35 families were collected. Abundance and species richness increased by 60 and 30%, respectively, from north to south, and fish community composition differed between the two regions and with proximity to shore in the central region. Models suggest regional influences in fish communities, with latitudinal patterns influenced by key coral groups (Acropora, Pocilloporidae) and variation in environmental parameters (chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, salinity). This study illustrates the limited taxonomic resolution in this group and in this region, and the need to expand baseline data for this under-studied assemblage. To assist in advancing this initiative, we have produced a catalogue of specimens, archived photographs, and established a DNA sequence library based on cytochrome-c oxidase subunit-I barcodes for all OTUs.

  14. Spatial patterns of cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Coker, Darren James

    2017-11-23

    Surveys to document coral-reef fish assemblages are often limited to visually conspicuous species, thus excluding a significant proportion of the biodiversity. Through standardized collections of cryptobenthic reef fishes in the central and southern Red Sea, a total of 238 species and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 35 families were collected. Abundance and species richness increased by 60 and 30%, respectively, from north to south, and fish community composition differed between the two regions and with proximity to shore in the central region. Models suggest regional influences in fish communities, with latitudinal patterns influenced by key coral groups (Acropora, Pocilloporidae) and variation in environmental parameters (chlorophyll a, sea surface temperature, salinity). This study illustrates the limited taxonomic resolution in this group and in this region, and the need to expand baseline data for this under-studied assemblage. To assist in advancing this initiative, we have produced a catalogue of specimens, archived photographs, and established a DNA sequence library based on cytochrome-c oxidase subunit-I barcodes for all OTUs.

  15. Conservation and management applications of the REEF volunteer fish monitoring program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattengill-Semmens, Christy V; Semmens, Brice X

    2003-01-01

    The REEF Fish Survey Project is a volunteer fish monitoring program developed by the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). REEF volunteers collect fish distribution and abundance data using a standardized visual method during regular diving and snorkeling activities. Survey data are recorded on preprinted data sheets that are returned to REEF and optically digitized. Data are housed in a publicly accessible database on REEF's Web site (http://www.reef.org). Since the project's inception in 1993, over 40,000 surveys have been conducted in the coastal waters of North America, tropical western Atlantic, Gulf of California and Hawaii. The Fish Survey Project has been incorporated into existing monitoring programs through partnerships with government agencies, scientists, conservation organizations, and private institutions. REEF's partners benefit from the educational value and increased stewardship resulting from volunteer data collection. Applications of the data include an evaluation of fish/habitat interactions in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the development of a multi-species trend analysis method to identify sites of management concern, assessment of the current distribution of species, status reports on fish assemblages of marine parks, and the evaluation of no-take zones in the Florida Keys. REEF's collaboration with a variety of partners, combined with the Fish Survey Project's standardized census method and database management system, has resulted in a successful citizen science monitoring program.

  16. Not finding Nemo: limited reef-scale retention in a coral reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Nanninga, Gerrit B.

    2015-02-03

    The spatial scale of larval dispersal is a key predictor of marine metapopulation dynamics and an important factor in the design of reserve networks. Over the past 15 yr, studies of larval dispersal in coral reef fishes have generated accumulating evidence of consistently high levels of self-recruitment and local retention at various spatial scales. These findings have, to a certain degree, created a paradigm shift toward the perception that large fractions of locally produced recruitment may be the rule rather than the exception. Here we examined the degree of localized settlement in an anemonefish, Amphiprion bicinctus, at a solitary coral reef in the central Red Sea by integrating estimates of self-recruitment obtained from genetic parentage analysis with predictions of local retention derived from a biophysical dispersal model parameterized with real-time physical forcing. Self-recruitment at the reef scale (c. 0.7 km2) was virtually absent during two consecutive January spawning events (1.4 % in 2012 and 0 % in 2013). Predicted levels of local retention at the reef scale varied temporally, but were comparatively low for both simulations (7 % in 2012 and 0 % in 2013). At the same time, the spatial scale of simulated dispersal was restricted to approximately 20 km from the source. Model predictions of reef-scale larval retention were highly dependent on biological parameters, underlining the need for further empirical validations of larval traits over a range of species. Overall, our findings present an urgent caution when assuming the potential for self-replenishment in small marine reserves.

  17. Coastal rocky reef fishes of Santa Catarina's northern islands, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnatas Adelir Alves

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The coast of the state of Santa Catarina only has non-biogenic reefs, i.e. rocky and artificial reefs, and is considered the geographic south limit for many reef fish species. At present the diversity of organisms associated with reef environments is threatened. This study aimed to record the number of families and species of reef fish fauna of the north coast of the state of Santa Catarina. The data were collected through underwater visual census performed on Graças archipelago (26°12'S /48º29'W, Tamboretes archipelago (26°22'S/48°31'W and Barra do Sul islands (26°27'S/48º35'W. A total of 166 species was observed (6 elasmobranchii and 160 actinopterygii belonging to 66 families. The families with more species richness were Carangidae (16, Epinephelidae (9, Blenidae (8, Serranidae (7, Haemulidae (6, Sparidae (6 Tetraodontidae (6, Labridae-Scarini (5, Labrisomidae (5 Pomacentridae (5, Lutjanidae (5 and Muraenidae (5. This study add to the current published list, new 115 species, including new occurrences (e.g. Chromis limbata, and some endemic (e.g. Sparisoma amplum, exotic (e.g. Omobranchus punctatus, endangered (e.g. Hippocampus erectus and overexploited (e.g. Lutjanus analis species. Twenty one species are present in the IUCN’s list, twelve in the IBAMA’s list and four in the local list. All elasmobranchii recorded here are considered threatened species, like the brazilian guitarfish (Rhinobatos horkelii, which appears in three red lists, and it is considered critically endangered. All species of Epinephelidae are mentioned in the list of risk categories of the IUCN and five are cited as overexploited or threatened with overexploitation by IBAMA. Among Epinephelidae, the goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara, is present in all red lists and has specific protection rules in Brazil. The gathered information will allow to take appropriate conservation measures, such as the establishment of marine protected areas, monitoring of fishing

  18. Changes in Reef Fish Abundances Associated with the Introduction of Indo-Pacific Lionfish to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: a Twenty Year Time Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepner, M.; Muller-Karger, F. E.; Gittings, S.; Stallings, C.

    2016-02-01

    The Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) is a partnership between academic, private, and government researchers seeking to understand how marine biodiversity changes over long periods of time. In this context, a study of the multi-agency Reef Visual Census (RVC) data, collected over twenty years in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), was analyzed to measure possible changes in reef fish abundances as a result of possible predation by lionfish predation or due to related trophic cascading. Lionfish were first sighted in the FKNMS in January 2009, with abundances and frequency of occurrence increasing three to six fold throughout the sanctuary by 2011. Their high consumption rates of smaller fish, coupled with their rapidly increasing densities may be having a significant effect on coral reef fish communities. The study compares the natural variability in reef fish abundances from 1994-2009 in the FKNMS, 15 years prior to the first lionfish detected in the sanctuary, to changes in reef fish abundances 5 years after the invasion. The MBON project also aims to develop environmental DNA (eDNA) technology for conducting biodiversity assessments. eDNA is an emerging technique that seeks to quantify biodiversity in an area by obtaining genetic material directly from environmental samples (soil, sediment, water, etc.) without any obvious signs of biological source material. All marine organisms shed DNA into their surrounding habitat, leaving a "fingerprint." Similar to forensic science, the DNA can be collected from seawater and analyzed to determine what species were recently present. The MBON team is evaluating whether eDNA can be used to adequately monitor reef fish biodiversity in coral reef ecosystems. We will compare species detected in our samples to the taxonomic composition of reef fish communities at the sample site as recorded over the past twenty years in the Reef Visual Census data.

  19. Visual Census of the Reef Fishes in the Natural Reserve of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: visual census, reef fishes, natural reserve, Glorieuses Islands, western Indian Ocean This paper constitutes the first qualitative study of coral reef fish populations in the archipelago of the Glorieuses Islands (northern Mozambique Channel). Sampling by visual census techniques, at depths between 0 and 15 ...

  20. Spatial patterns of fish standing biomass across Brazilian reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morais, R A; Ferreira, C E L; Floeter, S R

    2017-12-01

    A large fish-count dataset from the Brazilian province was used to describe spatial patterns in standing biomass and test if total biomass, taxonomic and functional trophic structure vary across nested spatial scales. Taxonomic and functional structure varied more among localities and sites than among regions. Total biomass was generally higher at oceanic islands and remote or protected localities along the coast. Lower level carnivores comprised a large part of the biomass at almost all localities (mean of 44%), zooplanktivores never attained more than 14% and omnivores were more representative of subtropical reefs and oceanic islands (up to 66% of total biomass). Small and large herbivores and detritivores varied greatly in their contribution to total biomass, with no clear geographical patterns. Macrocarnivores comprised less than 12% of the biomass anywhere, except for two remote localities. Top predators, such as sharks and very large groupers, were rare and restricted to a few reefs, suggesting that their ecological function might have already been lost in many Brazilian reefs. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  1. Assessing the effects of marine protected area (MPA) on a reef fish assemblage in a northwestern Mediterranean marine reserve: Identifying community-based indicators

    OpenAIRE

    Claudet, Joachim; Pelletier, Dominique; Jouvenel, J.y; Bachet, F; Galzin, R

    2006-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly envisaged as a tool to manage coastal ecosystems and fisheries. Assessment of their performance with respect to management objectives is therefore important. A number of WAS provided conservation benefits for fished species. Observed benefits do not apply to all species at all times, and responses to protection are also highly variable among fish taxa. Among the many empirical studies on marine reserves, only a few designs considered 'before and ...

  2. Marine ecosystem appropriation in the Indo-Pacific: a case study of the live reef fish food trade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, Kimberley; Sadovy, Yvonne; Cesar, Herman

    2003-01-01

    Our ecological footprint analyses of coral reef fish fisheries and, in particular, the live reef fish food trade (FT), indicate many countries' current consumption exceeds estimated sustainable per capita global, regional and local coral reef production levels. Hong Kong appropriates 25% of SE Asia's annual reef fish production of 135 260-286 560 tonnes (t) through its FT demand, exceeding regional biocapacity by 8.3 times; reef fish fisheries demand out-paces sustainable production in the Indo-Pacific and SE Asia by 2.5 and 6 times. In contrast, most Pacific islands live within their own reef fisheries means with local demand at Indo-Pacific.

  3. Microbial and sponge loops modify fish production in phase-shifting coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silveira, Cynthia B; Silva-Lima, Arthur W; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B; Marques, Jomar S M; Almeida, Marcelo G; Thompson, Cristiane C; Rezende, Carlos E; Paranhos, Rodolfo; Moura, Rodrigo L; Salomon, Paulo S; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2015-10-01

    Shifts from coral to algae dominance of corals reefs have been correlated to fish biomass loss and increased microbial metabolism. Here we investigated reef benthic and planktonic primary production, benthic dissolved organic carbon (DOC) release and bacterial growth efficiency in the Abrolhos Bank, South Atlantic. Benthic DOC release rates are higher while water column bacterial growth efficiency is lower at impacted reefs. A trophic model based on the benthic and planktonic primary production was able to predict the observed relative fish biomass in healthy reefs. In contrast, in impacted reefs, the observed omnivorous fish biomass is higher, while that of the herbivorous/coralivorous fish is lower than predicted by the primary production-based model. Incorporating recycling of benthic-derived carbon in the model through microbial and sponge loops explains the difference and predicts the relative fish biomass in both reef types. Increased benthic carbon release rates and bacterial carbon metabolism, but decreased bacterial growth efficiency could lead to carbon losses through respiration and account for the uncoupling of benthic and fish production in phase-shifting reefs. Carbon recycling by microbial and sponge loops seems to promote an increase of small-bodied fish productivity in phase-shifting coral reefs. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Calibration of Community-based Coral Reef Monitoring Protocols ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Coral reef monitoring (CRM) has been recognised as an important management tool and has consequently been incorporated in Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM) programmes in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). Community-based coral reef monitoring (CB-CRM), which uses simplified procedures suitable for ...

  5. Long-term monitoring of coral reef fish assemblages in the Western central pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heenan, Adel; Williams, Ivor D; Acoba, Tomoko; DesRochers, Annette; Kosaki, Randall K; Kanemura, Troy; Nadon, Marc O; Brainard, Russell E

    2017-12-05

    Throughout the tropics, coral reef ecosystems, which are critically important to people, have been greatly altered by humans. Differentiating human impacts from natural drivers of ecosystem state is essential to effective management. Here we present a dataset from a large-scale monitoring program that surveys coral reef fish assemblages and habitats encompassing the bulk of the US-affiliated tropical Pacific, and spanning wide gradients in both natural drivers and human impact. Currently, this includes >5,500 surveys from 39 islands and atolls in Hawaii (including the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands) and affiliated geo-political regions of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Pacific Remote Islands Areas. The dataset spans 2010-2017, during which time, each region was visited at least every three years, and ~500-1,000 surveys performed annually. This standardised dataset is a powerful resource that can be used to understand how human, environmental and oceanographic conditions influence coral reef fish community structure and function, providing a basis for research to support effective management outcomes.

  6. Sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs are structured by factors that are top-down, not bottom-up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawlik, Joseph R; Loh, Tse-Lynn; McMurray, Steven E; Finelli, Christopher M

    2013-01-01

    Caribbean coral reefs have been transformed in the past few decades with the demise of reef-building corals, and sponges are now the dominant habitat-forming organisms on most reefs. Competing hypotheses propose that sponge communities are controlled primarily by predatory fishes (top-down) or by the availability of picoplankton to suspension-feeding sponges (bottom-up). We tested these hypotheses on Conch Reef, off Key Largo, Florida, by placing sponges inside and outside predator-excluding cages at sites with less and more planktonic food availability (15 m vs. 30 m depth). There was no evidence of a bottom-up effect on the growth of any of 5 sponge species, and 2 of 5 species grew more when caged at the shallow site with lower food abundance. There was, however, a strong effect of predation by fishes on sponge species that lacked chemical defenses. Sponges with chemical defenses grew slower than undefended species, demonstrating a resource trade-off between growth and the production of secondary metabolites. Surveys of the benthic community on Conch Reef similarly did not support a bottom-up effect, with higher sponge cover at the shallower depth. We conclude that the structure of sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs is primarily top-down, and predict that removal of sponge predators by overfishing will shift communities toward faster-growing, undefended species that better compete for space with threatened reef-building corals.

  7. Sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs are structured by factors that are top-down, not bottom-up.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph R Pawlik

    Full Text Available Caribbean coral reefs have been transformed in the past few decades with the demise of reef-building corals, and sponges are now the dominant habitat-forming organisms on most reefs. Competing hypotheses propose that sponge communities are controlled primarily by predatory fishes (top-down or by the availability of picoplankton to suspension-feeding sponges (bottom-up. We tested these hypotheses on Conch Reef, off Key Largo, Florida, by placing sponges inside and outside predator-excluding cages at sites with less and more planktonic food availability (15 m vs. 30 m depth. There was no evidence of a bottom-up effect on the growth of any of 5 sponge species, and 2 of 5 species grew more when caged at the shallow site with lower food abundance. There was, however, a strong effect of predation by fishes on sponge species that lacked chemical defenses. Sponges with chemical defenses grew slower than undefended species, demonstrating a resource trade-off between growth and the production of secondary metabolites. Surveys of the benthic community on Conch Reef similarly did not support a bottom-up effect, with higher sponge cover at the shallower depth. We conclude that the structure of sponge communities on Caribbean coral reefs is primarily top-down, and predict that removal of sponge predators by overfishing will shift communities toward faster-growing, undefended species that better compete for space with threatened reef-building corals.

  8. Environmental factors affecting large-bodied coral reef fish assemblages in the Mariana Archipelago.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin L Richards

    Full Text Available Large-bodied reef fishes represent an economically and ecologically important segment of the coral reef fish assemblage. Many of these individuals supply the bulk of the reproductive output for their population and have a disproportionate effect on their environment (e.g. as apex predators or bioeroding herbivores. Large-bodied reef fishes also tend to be at greatest risk of overfishing, and their loss can result in a myriad of either cascading (direct or indirect trophic and other effects. While many studies have investigated habitat characteristics affecting populations of small-bodied reef fishes, few have explored the relationship between large-bodied species and their environment. Here, we describe the distribution of the large-bodied reef fishes in the Mariana Archipelago with an emphasis on the environmental factors associated with their distribution. Of the factors considered in this study, a negative association with human population density showed the highest relative influence on the distribution of large-bodied reef fishes; however, depth, water temperature, and distance to deep water also were important. These findings provide new information on the ecology of large-bodied reef fishes can inform discussions concerning essential fish habitat and ecosystem-based management for these species and highlight important knowledge gaps worthy of additional research.

  9. A role for partially protected areas on coral reefs: Maintaining fish diversity?

    KAUST Repository

    Tyler, Elizabeth

    2011-04-15

    1. Completely banning fishing from coral reefs is now accepted to have significant benefits for marine biodiversity and in many cases, fisheries. However, the benefits of regulating fishing on coral reefs, by restricting the methods used, or the total amount of fishing, are less well understood, even though such regulations are much more likely to be supported by fishermen. 2. This study assesses whether banning illegal, destructive fishing methods and reducing the numbers of fishermen visiting from outside an area benefits a coral reef fishery, despite unregulated fishing by local fishermen using non-destructive methods. 3. The abundance, biomass, mean length, and species richness of nine commercially important fish families are compared across ten independent patch reefs inside and outside the 470km2 Menai Bay Conservation Area in Zanzibar, Tanzania. 4. Even after taking into account the effect of differences in habitat and the distance between reefs, 61% (±19.7%) more fish species were found in regulated than unregulated reefs. Fish abundance, biomass, and length were not affected, suggesting that banning destructive fishing may improve biodiversity, but that further regulations may be required to improve fish stocks. © 2011 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  10. Parrotfish size: a simple yet useful alternative indicator of fishing effects on Caribbean reefs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallès, Henri; Oxenford, Hazel A

    2014-01-01

    There is great need to identify simple yet reliable indicators of fishing effects within the multi-species, multi-gear, data-poor fisheries of the Caribbean. Here, we investigate links between fishing pressure and three simple fish metrics, i.e. average fish weight (an estimate of average individual fish size), fish density and fish biomass, derived from (1) the parrotfish family, a ubiquitous herbivore family across the Caribbean, and (2) three fish groups of "commercial" carnivores including snappers and groupers, which are widely-used as indicators of fishing effects. We hypothesize that, because most Caribbean reefs are being heavily fished, fish metrics derived from the less vulnerable parrotfish group would exhibit stronger relationships with fishing pressure on today's Caribbean reefs than those derived from the highly vulnerable commercial fish groups. We used data from 348 Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) reef-surveys across the Caribbean to assess relationships between two independent indices of fishing pressure (one derived from human population density data, the other from open to fishing versus protected status) and the three fish metrics derived from the four aforementioned fish groups. We found that, although two fish metrics, average parrotfish weight and combined biomass of selected commercial species, were consistently negatively linked to the indices of fishing pressure across the Caribbean, the parrotfish metric consistently outranked the latter in the strength of the relationship, thus supporting our hypothesis. Overall, our study highlights that (assemblage-level) average parrotfish size might be a useful alternative indicator of fishing effects over the typical conditions of most Caribbean shallow reefs: moderate-to-heavy levels of fishing and low abundance of highly valued commercial species.

  11. Bacterial communities associated with three Brazilian endemic reef corals (Mussismilia spp.) in a coastal reef of the Abrolhos shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Castro, Alinne Pereira; Araújo, Samuel Dias; Reis, Alessandra M. M.; Pompeu, Maira; Hatay, Mark; de Moura, Rodrigo Leão; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B.; Thompson, Fabiano L.; Krüger, Ricardo H.

    2013-11-01

    The diversity of bacterial communities associated with three Brazilian endemic reef corals from genus Mussismilia (M. hispida, M. braziliensis, and M. harttii) at a single site was assessed using 16S rRNA clone libraries. The study site, Pedra do Leste, is a coastal reef within the largest and richest South Atlantic coralline reef complex (Abrolhos Bank) and is subject to high fishing pressure, high sedimentation loads, and other land-based stressors. The three coral species are Neogene relicts with unique biological and morphological traits that enable them to survive relatively high sedimentation levels. Our results show that sequences affiliated with γ-Proteobacteria predominated, accounting for more than 60% of the examined sequences. Indeed, the most frequent species were related to Alteromonas, Marinomonas, Neptuniibacter, and Vibrio, which are copiotrophic microorganisms common in environments highly affected by anthropogenic stress. Principal component analysis revealed that bacterial communities of M. braziliensis and M. hispida were more similar to each other than to M. harttii-associated bacteria. Such pattern is likely related to distinct morphological properties of M. harttii, such as the existence of phaceloid colonies, in which polyps are not connected by soft tissue. This is the first investigation assessing the bacterial communities of the three Brazilian endemic Mussismilia species at the same location.

  12. Large-scale, multidirectional larval connectivity among coral reef fish populations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    KAUST Repository

    Williamson, David H.

    2016-11-15

    Larval dispersal is the key process by which populations of most marine fishes and invertebrates are connected and replenished. Advances in larval tagging and genetics have enhanced our capacity to track larval dispersal, assess scales of population connectivity, and quantify larval exchange among no-take marine reserves and fished areas. Recent studies have found that reserves can be a significant source of recruits for populations up to 40 km away, but the scale and direction of larval connectivity across larger seascapes remain unknown. Here, we apply genetic parentage analysis to investigate larval dispersal patterns for two exploited coral reef groupers (Plectropomus maculatus and Plectropomus leopardus) within and among three clusters of reefs separated by 60–220 km within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia. A total of 69 juvenile P. maculatus and 17 juvenile P. leopardus (representing 6% and 9% of the total juveniles sampled, respectively) were genetically assigned to parent individuals on reefs within the study area. We identified both short-distance larval dispersal within regions (200 m to 50 km) and long-distance, multidirectional dispersal of up to ~250 km among regions. Dispersal strength declined significantly with distance, with best-fit dispersal kernels estimating median dispersal distances of ~110 km for P. maculatus and ~190 km for P. leopardus. Larval exchange among reefs demonstrates that established reserves form a highly connected network and contribute larvae for the replenishment of fished reefs at multiple spatial scales. Our findings highlight the potential for long-distance dispersal in an important group of reef fishes, and provide further evidence that effectively protected reserves can yield recruitment and sustainability benefits for exploited fish populations.

  13. Large-scale, multidirectional larval connectivity among coral reef fish populations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    KAUST Repository

    Williamson, David H.; Harrison, Hugo B.; Almany, Glenn R.; Berumen, Michael L.; Bode, Michael; Bonin, Mary C.; Choukroun, Severine; Doherty, Peter J.; Frisch, Ashley J.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Jones, Geoffrey P.

    2016-01-01

    Larval dispersal is the key process by which populations of most marine fishes and invertebrates are connected and replenished. Advances in larval tagging and genetics have enhanced our capacity to track larval dispersal, assess scales of population connectivity, and quantify larval exchange among no-take marine reserves and fished areas. Recent studies have found that reserves can be a significant source of recruits for populations up to 40 km away, but the scale and direction of larval connectivity across larger seascapes remain unknown. Here, we apply genetic parentage analysis to investigate larval dispersal patterns for two exploited coral reef groupers (Plectropomus maculatus and Plectropomus leopardus) within and among three clusters of reefs separated by 60–220 km within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia. A total of 69 juvenile P. maculatus and 17 juvenile P. leopardus (representing 6% and 9% of the total juveniles sampled, respectively) were genetically assigned to parent individuals on reefs within the study area. We identified both short-distance larval dispersal within regions (200 m to 50 km) and long-distance, multidirectional dispersal of up to ~250 km among regions. Dispersal strength declined significantly with distance, with best-fit dispersal kernels estimating median dispersal distances of ~110 km for P. maculatus and ~190 km for P. leopardus. Larval exchange among reefs demonstrates that established reserves form a highly connected network and contribute larvae for the replenishment of fished reefs at multiple spatial scales. Our findings highlight the potential for long-distance dispersal in an important group of reef fishes, and provide further evidence that effectively protected reserves can yield recruitment and sustainability benefits for exploited fish populations.

  14. Water flow and fin shape polymorphism in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binning, Sandra A; Roche, Dominique G

    2015-03-01

    Water flow gradients have been linked to phenotypic differences and swimming performance across a variety of fish assemblages. However, the extent to which water motion shapes patterns of phenotypic divergence within species remains unknown. We tested the generality of the functional relationship between swimming morphology and water flow by exploring the extent of fin and body shape polymorphism in 12 widespread species from three families (Acanthuridae, Labridae, Pomacentridae) of pectoral-fin swimming (labriform) fishes living across localized wave exposure gradients. The pectoral fin shape of Labridae and Acanthuridae species was strongly related to wave exposure: individuals with more tapered, higher aspect ratio (AR) fins were found on windward reef crests, whereas individuals with rounder, lower AR fins were found on leeward, sheltered reefs. Three of seven Pomacentridae species showed similar trends, and pectoral fin shape was also strongly related to wave exposure in pomacentrids when fin aspect ratios of three species were compared across flow habitats at very small spatial scales (fish body fineless ratio across habitats or depths. Contrary to our predictions, there was no pattern relating species' abundances to polymorphism across habitats (i.e., abundance was not higher at sites where morphology is better adapted to the environment). This suggests that there are behavioral and/or physiological mechanisms enabling some species to persist across flow habitats in the absence of morphological differences. We suggest that functional relationships between swimming morphology and water flow not only structure species assemblages, but are yet another important variable contributing to phenotypic differences within species. The close links between fin shape polymorphism and local water flow conditions appear to be important for understanding species' distributions as well as patterns of diversification across environmental gradients.

  15. Impact of global warming and rising CO2 levels on coral reef fishes: what hope for the future?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munday, Philip L; McCormick, Mark I; Nilsson, Göran E

    2012-11-15

    Average sea-surface temperature and the amount of CO(2) dissolved in the ocean are rising as a result of increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO(2). Many coral reef fishes appear to be living close to their thermal optimum, and for some of them, even relatively moderate increases in temperature (2-4°C) lead to significant reductions in aerobic scope. Reduced aerobic capacity could affect population sustainability because less energy can be devoted to feeding and reproduction. Coral reef fishes seem to have limited capacity to acclimate to elevated temperature as adults, but recent research shows that developmental and transgenerational plasticity occur, which might enable some species to adjust to rising ocean temperatures. Predicted increases in P(CO(2)), and associated ocean acidification, can also influence the aerobic scope of coral reef fishes, although there is considerable interspecific variation, with some species exhibiting a decline and others an increase in aerobic scope at near-future CO(2) levels. As with thermal effects, there are transgenerational changes in response to elevated CO(2) that could mitigate impacts of high CO(2) on the growth and survival of reef fishes. An unexpected discovery is that elevated CO(2) has a dramatic effect on a wide range of behaviours and sensory responses of reef fishes, with consequences for the timing of settlement, habitat selection, predator avoidance and individual fitness. The underlying physiological mechanism appears to be the interference of acid-base regulatory processes with brain neurotransmitter function. Differences in the sensitivity of species and populations to global warming and rising CO(2) have been identified that will lead to changes in fish community structure as the oceans warm and becomes more acidic; however, the prospect for acclimation and adaptation of populations to these threats also needs to be considered. Ultimately, it will be the capacity for species to adjust to environmental

  16. Coral reef fish assemblages at Clipperton Atoll (Eastern Tropical Pacific and their relationship with coral cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurora M. Ricart

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Clipperton Atoll, one of the most isolated coral reefs worldwide, is of great scientific interest due to its geomorphology and high levels of endemism. This study explored the reef fish assemblage structure of Clipperton Atoll and its relationship with live coral cover. Nine stations were sampled at three sites and three depths (6, 12 and 20 m around the reef, measuring fish species richness and biomass and hermatypic coral cover (at genus level. We evaluated variation in species richness, biomass and diversity of fish assemblages among sites and depths, as well as the relationship between the entire fish assemblage composition and live coral cover. The results showed that species richness and biomass were similar among sites, but differed across depths, increasing with depth. In contrast, diversity differed among sites but not among depths. Multivariate analyses indicated that fish assemblage composition differed among sites and depths in relation to changes in cover of coral of the genera Pocillopora, Porites, Pavona and Leptoseris, which dominate at different depths. The results showed that fish species richness and diversity were low at Clipperton Atoll and that, in isolated coral reefs with a low habitat heterogeneity and low human disturbance, live coral cover has a significant influence on the spatial variation of the reef fish assemblages. This study highlights the importance of coral habitat structure in shaping coral reef fish assemblages.

  17. SPECTRAL AND SPATIAL SELECTIVITY OF LUMINANCE VISION IN REEF FISH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike E Siebeck

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Luminance vision has high spatial resolution and is used for form vision and texture discrimination. In humans, birds and bees luminance channel is spectrally selective – it depends on the signals of the long-wavelength sensitive photoreceptors (bees or on the sum of long- and middle- wavelength sensitive cones (humans, but not on the signal of the short-wavelength sensitive (blue photoreceptors. The reasons of such selectivity are not fully understood. The aim of this study is to reveal the inputs of cone signals to high resolution luminance vision in reef fish. 16 freshly caught damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, were trained to discriminate stimuli differing either in their colour or in their fine patterns (stripes vs. cheques. Three colours (‘bright green’, ‘dark green’ and ‘blue’ were used to create two sets of colour and two sets of pattern stimuli. The ‘bright green’ and ‘dark green’ were similar in their chromatic properties for fish, but differed in their lightness; the ‘dark green’ differed from ‘blue’ in the signal for the blue cone, but yielded similar signals in the long-wavelength and middle-wavelength cones. Fish easily learned to discriminate ‘bright green’ from ‘dark green’ and ‘dark green’ from ‘blue’ stimuli. Fish also could discriminate the fine patterns created from ‘dark green’ and ‘bright green’. However, fish failed to discriminate fine patterns created from ‘blue’ and ‘dark green’ colours, i.e. the colours that provided contrast for the blue-sensitive photoreceptor, but not for the long-wavelength sensitive one. High resolution luminance vision in damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, does not have input from the blue-sensitive cone, which may indicate that the spectral selectivity of luminance channel is a general feature of visual processing in both aquatic and terrestrial animals.

  18. The Impact of Marine Protected Areas on Reef-Wide Population Structure and Fishing-Induced Phenotypes in Coral-Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fidler, Robert Young, III

    Overfishing and destructive fishing practices threaten the sustainability of fisheries worldwide. In addition to reducing population sizes, anthropogenic fishing effort is highly size-selective, preferentially removing the largest individuals from harvested stocks. Intensive, size-selective mortality induces widespread phenotypic shifts toward the predominance of smaller and earlier-maturing individuals. Fish that reach sexual maturity at smaller size and younger age produce fewer, smaller, and less viable larvae, severely reducing the reproductive capacity of exploited populations. These directional phenotypic alterations, collectively known as "fisheries-induced evolution" (FIE) are among the primary causes of the loss of harvestable fish biomass. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are one of the most widely utilized components of fisheries management programs around the world, and have been proposed as a potential mechanism by which the impacts of FIE may be mitigated. The ability of MPAs to buffer exploited populations against fishing pressure, however, remains debated due to inconsistent results across studies. Additionally, empirical evidence of phenotypic shifts in fishes within MPAs is lacking. This investigation addresses both of these issues by: (1) using a categorical meta-analysis of MPAs to standardize and quantify the magnitude of MPA impacts across studies; and (2) conducting a direct comparison of life-history phenotypes known to be influenced by FIE in six reef-fish species inside and outside of MPAs. The Philippines was used as a model system for analyses due to the country's significance in global marine biodiversity and reliance on MPAs as a fishery management tool. The quantitative impact of Philippine MPAs was assessed using a "reef-wide" meta-analysis. This analysis used pooled visual census data from 39 matched pairs of MPAs and fished reefs surveyed twice over a mean period of 3 years. In 17 of these MPAs, two additional surveys were conducted

  19. Body Size Shifts in Philippine Reef Fishes: Interfamilial Variation in Responses to Protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Y. Fidler

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available As a consequence of intense fishing pressure, fished populations experience reduced population sizes and shifts in body size toward the predominance of smaller and early maturing individuals. Small, early-maturing fish exhibit significantly reduced reproductive output and, ultimately, reduced fitness. As part of resource management and biodiversity conservation programs worldwide, no-take marine protected areas (MPAs are expected to ameliorate the adverse effects of fishing pressure. In an attempt to advance our understanding of how coral reef MPAs meet their long-term goals, this study used visual census data from 23 MPAs and fished reefs in the Philippines to address three questions: (1 Do MPAs promote shifts in fish body size frequency distribution towards larger body sizes when compared to fished reefs? (2 Do MPA size and (3 age contribute to the efficacy of MPAs in promoting such shifts? This study revealed that across all MPAs surveyed, the distribution of fishes between MPAs and fished reefs were similar; however, large-bodied fish were more abundant within MPAs, along with small, young-of-the-year individuals. Additionally, there was a significant shift in body size frequency distribution towards larger body sizes in 12 of 23 individual reef sites surveyed. Of 22 fish families, eleven demonstrated significantly different body size frequency distributions between MPAs and fished reefs, indicating that shifts in the size spectrum of fishes in response to protection are family-specific. Family-level shifts demonstrated a significant, positive correlation with MPA age, indicating that MPAs become more effective at increasing the density of large-bodied fish within their boundaries over time.

  20. High prevalence of homing behaviour among juvenile coral-reef fishes and the role of body size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streit, Robert P.; Bellwood, David R.

    2017-12-01

    Adult coral-reef fishes display a remarkable ability to return home after being displaced. However, we know very little about homing behaviour in juvenile fishes. Homing behaviour in juvenile fishes is of interest because it will shape subsequent spatial distributions of adult fish communities. Comparing multiple species, families and functional groups allows us to distinguish between species-specific traits and more generalised, species-independent traits that may drive homing behaviour. Using displacement experiments of up to 150 m, we quantified homing behaviour of juvenile, newly recruited reef fishes of seven species in three families, including herbivorous parrotfishes and rabbitfishes, carnivorous wrasse and planktivorous damselfishes. All species showed the ability to home successfully, but success rates differed among species. Juvenile parrotfishes were the most successful (67% returning home), while return rates in the other species ranged from 10.5% ( Siganus doliatus) to 28.9% ( Coris batuensis). However, across all species body size appeared to be the main driver of homing success, rather than species-specific traits. With every cm increase in body size, odds of returning home almost tripled (170% increase) across all species. Interestingly, the probability of getting lost was not related to body size, which suggests that mortality was not a major driver of unsuccessful homing. Homing probability halved beyond displacement distances of 10 m and then remained stable. Higher likelihood of homing over short distances may suggest that different sensory cues are used to navigate. Overall, our results suggest that homing ability is a widespread trait among juvenile reef fishes. A `sense of home' and site attachment appear to develop early during ontogeny, especially above taxon-specific size thresholds. Hence, spatial flexibility exists only in a brief window after settlement, with direct implications for subsequent patterns of connectivity and ecosystem

  1. Coral reef fish biomass and benthic cover data from Timor-Leste in June 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral reef fish and benthos were surveyed at 150 shallow-water coral reef sites across the north coast of Timor-Leste and around Atauro Island in June 2013 during a...

  2. Community Change within a Caribbean Coral Reef Marine Protected Area following Two Decades of Local Management

    KAUST Repository

    Noble, Mae M.; van Laake, Gregoor; Berumen, Michael L.; Fulton, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    and replenishment of reef fishes, and the likely role of chronic disturbance in driving coral decline across the region, we explore how local spatial management can help protect coral reef ecosystems within the context of large-scale environmental pressures

  3. Fish with Chips: Tracking Reef Fish Movements to Evaluate Size and Connectivity of Caribbean Marine Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Simon J.; Monaco, Mark E.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Legare, Bryan; Nemeth, Richard S.; Kendall, Matthew S.; Poti, Matthew; Clark, Randall D.; Wedding, Lisa M.; Caldow, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves) for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families) moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40–64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness. PMID:24797815

  4. Fish with chips: tracking reef fish movements to evaluate size and connectivity of Caribbean marine protected areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon J Pittman

    Full Text Available Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40-64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness.

  5. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1981 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  6. Acoustic Tracking of Fish Movements in Coral Reef Ecosystems in St John (USVI), 2006-2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Acoustic Tracking of Reef Fishes to Elucidate Habitat Utilization Patterns and Residence Times Inside and Outside Marine Protected Areas Around the Island of St....

  7. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1985 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  8. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1994 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  9. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1998 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  10. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1993 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  11. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1996 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  12. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1982 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  13. Microhabitat Association of Cryptobenthic Reef Fishes (Teleostei: Gobiidae) in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Troyer, Emily

    2018-01-01

    that have close associations with the substrate. These fishes can be behaviorally cryptic, by seeking refuge within the reef matrix, or visually cryptic, using cryptic coloration to match the surrounding habitat. These factors make visual surveys inadequate

  14. Avoiding conflicts and protecting coral reefs: Customary management benefits marine habitats and fish biomass

    KAUST Repository

    Campbell, Stuart J.; Cinner, Joshua E.; Ardiwijaya, Rizya L.; Pardede, Shinta T.; Kartawijaya, Tasrif; Mukmunin, Ahmad; Herdiana, Yudi; Hoey, Andrew; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Baird, Andrew Hamilton

    2012-01-01

    Abstract One of the major goals of coral reef conservation is to determine the most effective means of managing marine resources in regions where economic conditions often limit the options available. For example, no-take fishing areas can

  15. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1984 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  16. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1989 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  17. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1997 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  18. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1983 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  19. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1980 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  20. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1988 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  1. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1992 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  2. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1990 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  3. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1991 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  4. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1986 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  5. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1987 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  6. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1979 Species Site Matrix (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida Keys. The...

  7. Fish survey data from Uva Island reef, Panama collected between 1980 and 2010 (NCEI Accession 0157563)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data contains an eastern Pacific fish assemblage associated with a 2.5 hectare coral reef located within the boundaries of Coiba National Park, Panama. From...

  8. Prediction of reef fish spawning aggregations using remote sensing: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosli, M R; Ibrahim, A L; Masron, T

    2014-01-01

    Spawning aggregation is a very important occurrence to particular reef fish species as they use this opportunity to reproduce. However, due to their predictable nature, these aggregations have always been vulnerable to overexploitation. This problem leads to the importance of identifying the exact time and location for reef fish spawning aggregation. Thus, this paper review a little bit about spawning aggregation of reef fish as well as their characteristics, and problems regarding this phenomena. The use of remote sensing in marine applications is also described here in order to discuss how remote sensing can be utilize to predict reef fish spawning aggregation. Based on the unique geomorphological characteristics of the spawning aggregation, remote sensing seems to be a powerful tool to determine their exact times and locations. It has been proved that satellite imagery was able to delineate specific reef geomorphologies such as shelf edges and reef promontories. Despite of the widely use of remote sensing in marine applications, in fact there are still lack of studies had been carried out regarding spawning aggregations of reef fish due to the skeptical point-of-view by certain researchers over the capability of this technique. However, there is actually no doubt that the use of remote sensing will provide a better hand to the authorities in order to establish a more effective monitoring and conservation plan for these spawning aggregations

  9. Oysters and Oyster Reef Communities in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Jean; Bly, Joe

    1989-01-01

    The habitat, life history, feeding, classification, anatomy and pearl production of the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica) are presented. A list of other oyster reef inhabitants and predators is provided. Harvest and habitat loss are discussed. (CW)

  10. 76 FR 59377 - Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-26

    ... lobster, and aquarium trade species identified by the Secretary as not undergoing overfishing; allocate... effect of the 2011 Caribbean ACL Amendment is prevent overfishing of reef fish, spiny lobster and... be subject to overfishing, ACLs must be established at a level that prevents overfishing and helps to...

  11. Depth Refuge and the Impacts of SCUBA Spearfishing on Coral Reef Fishes

    OpenAIRE

    Lindfield, Steven J.; McIlwain, Jennifer L.; Harvey, Euan S.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, spearfishing with SCUBA has emerged as an efficient method for targeting reef fish in deeper waters. However, deeper waters are increasingly recognised as a potential source of refuge that may help sustain fishery resources. We used a combination of historical catch data over a 20-year time period and fishery-independent surveys to investigate the effects of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fish populations in the southern Mariana Islands. Two jurisdictions were studied; Gu...

  12. Seasonal variability of rocky reef fish assemblages: Detecting functional and structural changes due to fishing effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriques, Sofia; Pais, Miguel Pessanha; Costa, Maria José; Cabral, Henrique Nogueira

    2013-05-01

    The present study analyzed the effects of seasonal variation on the stability of fish-based metrics and their capability to detect changes in fish assemblages, which is yet poorly understood despite the general idea that guilds are more resilient to natural variability than species abundances. Three zones subject to different levels of fishing pressure inside the Arrábida Marine Protected Area (MPA) were sampled seasonally. The results showed differences between warm (summer and autumn) and cold (winter and spring) seasons, with the autumn clearly standing out. In general, the values of the metrics density of juveniles, density of invertebrate feeders and density of omnivores increased in warm seasons, which can be attributed to differences in recruitment patterns, spawning migrations and feeding activity among seasons. The density of generalist/opportunistic individuals was sensitive to the effect of fishing, with higher values at zones with the lowest level of protection, while the density of individuals with high commercial value only responded to fishing in the autumn, due to a cumulative result of both juveniles and adults abundances during this season. Overall, this study showed that seasonal variability affects structural and functional features of the fish assemblage and that might influence the detection of changes as a result of anthropogenic pressures. The choice of a specific season, during warm sea conditions after the spawning period (July-October), seems to be more adequate to assess changes on rocky-reef fish assemblages.

  13. Fish attraction to artificial reefs not always harmful: a simulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James A; Lowry, Michael B; Suthers, Iain M

    2015-10-01

    The debate on whether artificial reefs produce new fish or simply attract existing fish biomass continues due to the difficulty in distinguishing these processes, and there remains considerable doubt as to whether artificial reefs are a harmful form of habitat modification. The harm typically associated with attraction is that fish will be easier to harvest due to the existing biomass aggregating at a newly deployed reef. This outcome of fish attraction has not progressed past an anecdotal form, however, and is always perceived as a harmful process. We present a numerical model that simulates the effect that a redistributed fish biomass, due to an artificial reef, has on fishing catch per unit effort (CPUE). This model can be used to identify the scenarios (in terms of reef, fish, and harvest characteristics) that pose the most risk of exploitation due to fish attraction. The properties of this model were compared to the long-standing predictions by Bohnsack (1989) on the factors that increase the risk or the harm of attraction. Simulations revealed that attraction is not always harmful because it does not always increase maximum fish density. Rather, attraction sometimes disperses existing fish biomass making them harder to catch. Some attraction can be ideal, with CPUE lowest when attraction leads to an equal distribution of biomass between natural and artificial reefs. Simulations also showed that the outcomes from attraction depend on the characteristics of the target fish species, such that transient or pelagic species are often at more risk of harmful attraction than resident species. Our findings generally agree with Bohnsack's predictions, although we recommend distinguishing "mobility" and "fidelity" when identifying species most at risk from attraction, as these traits had great influence on patterns of harvest of attracted fish biomass.

  14. Freshwater Fish Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freshwater fish are ecologically important in stream ecosystems, and they provide people with significant food, recreation, and conservation value as biological indicator of freshwater streams. Historically, the streams and rivers of southern New England supported moderately dive...

  15. Extraordinary aggressive behavior from the giant coral reef fish, Bolbometopon muricatum, in a remote marine reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Roldan C; Zgliczynski, Brian J; Laughlin, Joseph L; Teer, Bradford Z

    2012-01-01

    Human impacts to terrestrial and marine communities are widespread and typically begin with the local extirpation of large-bodied animals. In the marine environment, few pristine areas relatively free of human impact remain to provide baselines of ecosystem function and goals for restoration efforts. Recent comparisons of remote and/or protected coral reefs versus impacted sites suggest remote systems are dominated by apex predators, yet in these systems the ecological role of non-predatory, large-bodied, highly vulnerable species such as the giant bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) has received less attention. Overfishing of Bolbometopon has lead to precipitous declines in population density and avoidance of humans throughout its range, contributing to its status as a candidate species under the U. S. Endangered Species Act and limiting opportunities to study unexploited populations. Here we show that extraordinary ecological processes, such as violent headbutting contests by the world's largest parrotfish, can be revealed by studying unexploited ecosystems, such as the coral reefs of Wake Atoll where we studied an abundant population of Bolbometopon. Bolbometopon is among the largest of coral reef fishes and is a well known, charismatic species, yet to our knowledge, no scientific documentation of ritualized headbutting exists for marine fishes. Our observations of aggressive headbutting by Bolbometopon underscore that remote locations and marine reserves, by inhibiting negative responses to human observers and by allowing the persistence of historical conditions, can provide valuable opportunities to study ecosystems in their natural state, thereby facilitating the discovery, conservation, and interpretation of a range of sometimes remarkable behavioral and ecological processes.

  16. Extraordinary aggressive behavior from the giant coral reef fish, Bolbometopon muricatum, in a remote marine reserve.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roldan C Muñoz

    Full Text Available Human impacts to terrestrial and marine communities are widespread and typically begin with the local extirpation of large-bodied animals. In the marine environment, few pristine areas relatively free of human impact remain to provide baselines of ecosystem function and goals for restoration efforts. Recent comparisons of remote and/or protected coral reefs versus impacted sites suggest remote systems are dominated by apex predators, yet in these systems the ecological role of non-predatory, large-bodied, highly vulnerable species such as the giant bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum has received less attention. Overfishing of Bolbometopon has lead to precipitous declines in population density and avoidance of humans throughout its range, contributing to its status as a candidate species under the U. S. Endangered Species Act and limiting opportunities to study unexploited populations. Here we show that extraordinary ecological processes, such as violent headbutting contests by the world's largest parrotfish, can be revealed by studying unexploited ecosystems, such as the coral reefs of Wake Atoll where we studied an abundant population of Bolbometopon. Bolbometopon is among the largest of coral reef fishes and is a well known, charismatic species, yet to our knowledge, no scientific documentation of ritualized headbutting exists for marine fishes. Our observations of aggressive headbutting by Bolbometopon underscore that remote locations and marine reserves, by inhibiting negative responses to human observers and by allowing the persistence of historical conditions, can provide valuable opportunities to study ecosystems in their natural state, thereby facilitating the discovery, conservation, and interpretation of a range of sometimes remarkable behavioral and ecological processes.

  17. 78 FR 37208 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-20

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Exempted Fishing Permit AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... implementing the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands...

  18. Oceanographic and behavioural assumptions in models of the fate of coral and coral reef fish larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolanski, Eric; Kingsford, Michael J

    2014-09-06

    A predictive model of the fate of coral reef fish larvae in a reef system is proposed that combines the oceanographic processes of advection and turbulent diffusion with the biological process of horizontal swimming controlled by olfactory and auditory cues within the timescales of larval development. In the model, auditory cues resulted in swimming towards the reefs when within hearing distance of the reef, whereas olfactory cues resulted in the larvae swimming towards the natal reef in open waters by swimming against the concentration gradients in the smell plume emanating from the natal reef. The model suggested that the self-seeding rate may be quite large, at least 20% for the larvae of rapidly developing reef fish species, which contrasted with a self-seeding rate less than 2% for non-swimming coral larvae. The predicted self-recruitment rate of reefs was sensitive to a number of parameters, such as the time at which the fish larvae reach post-flexion, the pelagic larval duration of the larvae, the horizontal turbulent diffusion coefficient in reefal waters and the horizontal swimming behaviour of the fish larvae in response to auditory and olfactory cues, for which better field data are needed. Thus, the model suggested that high self-seeding rates for reef fish are possible, even in areas where the 'sticky water' effect is minimal and in the absence of long-term trapping in oceanic fronts and/or large-scale oceanic eddies or filaments that are often argued to facilitate the return of the larvae after long periods of drifting at sea. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. How life history characteristics and environmental forcing shape settlement success of coral reef fishes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wong-Ala, Jennifer; Comfort, Christina; Gove, Jamison

    2018-01-01

    Larval settlement is shaped by the interaction of biological processes (e.g., life history strategies, behavior etc.) and the environment (e.g., temperature, currents etc.). This is particularly true for many reef fishes where larval stages disperse offshore, often spending weeks to months...... in the pelagic realm before settling to shallow-water reefs. Our ability to predict reef fish settlement and subsequent recruitment and population dynamics depends on our ability to characterize how biological processes interact with the dynamic physical environment. Here we develop and apply an individual...... (PLD), body morphology, etc. We employ our biophysical model to examine how biology interacts with the physical environment to shape settlement predictions for reef fish off western and southern Hawai‘i Island. Linked to prevailing surface currents, we find increased probabilities of settling...

  20. Physiology can contribute to better understanding, management, and conservation of coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illing, Björn; Rummer, Jodie L

    2017-01-01

    Coral reef fishes, like many other marine organisms, are affected by anthropogenic stressors such as fishing and pollution and, owing to climate change, are experiencing increasing water temperatures and ocean acidification. Against the backdrop of these various stressors, a mechanistic understanding of processes governing individual organismal performance is the first step for identifying drivers of coral reef fish population dynamics. In fact, physiological measurements can help to reveal potential cause-and-effect relationships and enable physiologists to advise conservation management by upscaling results from cellular and individual organismal levels to population levels. Here, we highlight studies that include physiological measurements of coral reef fishes and those that give advice for their conservation. A literature search using combined physiological, conservation and coral reef fish key words resulted in ~1900 studies, of which only 99 matched predefined requirements. We observed that, over the last 20 years, the combination of physiological and conservation aspects in studies on coral reef fishes has received increased attention. Most of the selected studies made their physiological observations at the whole organism level and used their findings to give conservation advice on population dynamics, habitat use or the potential effects of climate change. The precision of the recommendations differed greatly and, not surprisingly, was least concrete when studies examined the effects of projected climate change scenarios. Although more and more physiological studies on coral reef fishes include conservation aspects, there is still a lack of concrete advice for conservation managers, with only very few published examples of physiological findings leading to improved management practices. We conclude with a call to action to foster better knowledge exchange between natural scientists and conservation managers to translate physiological findings more

  1. Influence of Palythoa caribaeorum (Anthozoa, Cnidaria zonation on site-attached reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José P. Mendonça-Neto

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available This work aimed to test the influence of Palythoa caribeorum, a widely distributed zoanthid in the Atlantic, on site-attached reef fish in a subtropical rocky shore. Density, richness and vertical distribution of reef fish inside (ID and outside (OD previously chosen P. caribaeorum dominance patches were compared through stationary visual censuses along three different periods. Fishes were grouped in different trophic guilds to evidence differences in resources uses in both treatments. A complexity index was estimated by the chain link method and percentage covering of benthic organisms was obtained analyzing random points from replicated photo-quadrats. We observed thirty-eight species of fishes, belonging to twenty-five families. Reef fish communities between studied patches were similar,both in terms of species composition and vertical distribution. Considering only the most site-attached fishes, which were the most frequent and abundant species, data showed that ID sustains higher diversity and abundance than OD. Results showed that benthic composition differ significantly among patches whereas complexity remained without differences. Otherwise, results indicated that these areas might play an important role in space limitation, structuring neighboring benthic community and consequently reef fish assemblages.Este estudo visou testar a influência de Palythoa caribeorum, um zoantídeo amplamente distribuído no Atlântico, na estruturação da comunidade de peixes recifais associados a um costão rochoso de uma região subtropical. A densidade, a riqueza e a distribuição vertical de peixes recifais em áreas previamente selecionadas com e sem a dominância de Palythoa caribaeorum foram comparadas através de censos visuais estacionários em três períodos distintos de tempo. Os peixes foram agrupados em guildas tróficas a fim de evidenciar diferenças nos usos dos recursos nas diferentes áreas analisadas. Foram analisados também

  2. Marine protected areas increase resilience among coral reef communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellin, Camille; Aaron MacNeil, M; Cheal, Alistair J; Emslie, Michael J; Julian Caley, M

    2016-06-01

    With marine biodiversity declining globally at accelerating rates, maximising the effectiveness of conservation has become a key goal for local, national and international regulators. Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely advocated for conserving and managing marine biodiversity yet, despite extensive research, their benefits for conserving non-target species and wider ecosystem functions remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that MPAs can increase the resilience of coral reef communities to natural disturbances, including coral bleaching, coral diseases, Acanthaster planci outbreaks and storms. Using a 20-year time series from Australia's Great Barrier Reef, we show that within MPAs, (1) reef community composition was 21-38% more stable; (2) the magnitude of disturbance impacts was 30% lower and (3) subsequent recovery was 20% faster that in adjacent unprotected habitats. Our results demonstrate that MPAs can increase the resilience of marine communities to natural disturbance possibly through herbivory, trophic cascades and portfolio effects. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  3. Small Marine Protected Areas in Fiji Provide Refuge for Reef Fish Assemblages, Feeding Groups, and Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Mathias M.; Guimarães, Paulo Roberto; Hoey, Andrew S.; Hay, Mark E.

    2017-01-01

    The establishment of no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) on coral reefs is a common management strategy for conserving the diversity, abundance, and biomass of reef organisms. Generally, well-managed and enforced MPAs can increase or maintain the diversity and function of the enclosed coral reef, with some of the benefits extending to adjacent non-protected reefs. A fundamental question in coral reef conservation is whether these benefits arise within small MPAs (fish assemblages, composition of fish feeding groups, benthic cover, and key ecosystem processes (grazing, macroalgal browsing, and coral replenishment) in three small (0.5–0.8 km2) no-take MPAs and adjacent areas where fisheries are allowed (non-MPAs) on coral reefs in Fiji. The MPAs exhibited greater species richness, density, and biomass of fishes than non-MPAs. Furthermore, MPAs contained a greater abundance and biomass of grazing herbivores and piscivores as well as a greater abundance of cleaners than fished areas. We also found differences in fish associations when foraging, with feeding groups being generally more diverse and having greater biomass within MPAs than adjacent non-MPAs. Grazing by parrotfishes was 3–6 times greater, and macroalgal browsing was 3–5 times greater in MPAs than in non-MPAs. On average, MPAs had 260–280% as much coral cover and only 5–25% as much macroalgal cover as their paired non-MPA sites. Finally, two of the three MPAs had three-fold more coral recruits than adjacent non-MPAs. The results of this study indicate that small MPAs benefit not only populations of reef fishes, but also enhance ecosystem processes that are critical to reef resilience within the MPAs. PMID:28122006

  4. Effects of host injury on susceptibility of marine reef fishes to ectoparasitic gnathiid isopods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, William G.; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Sikkel, Paul C.

    2018-01-01

    The importance of the role that parasites play in ecological communities is becoming increasingly apparent. However much about their impact on hosts and thus populations and communities remains poorly understood. A common observation in wild populations is high variation in levels of parasite infestation among hosts. While high variation could be due to chance encounter, there is increasing evidence to suggest that such patterns are due to a combination of environmental, host, and parasite factors. In order to examine the role of host condition on parasite infection, rates of Gnathia marleyi infestation were compared between experimentally injured and uninjured fish hosts. Experimental injuries were similar to the minor wounds commonly observed in nature. The presence of the injury significantly increased the probability of infestation by gnathiids. However, the level of infestation (i.e., total number of gnathiid parasites) for individual hosts, appeared to be unaffected by the treatment. The results from this study indicate that injuries obtained by fish in nature may carry the additional cost of increased parasite burden along with the costs typically associated with physical injury. These results suggest that host condition may be an important factor in determining the likelihood of infestation by a common coral reef fish ectoparasite, G. marleyi.

  5. Fish4Knowledge collecting and analyzing massive coral reef fish video data

    CERN Document Server

    Chen-Burger, Yun-Heh; Giordano, Daniela; Hardman, Lynda; Lin, Fang-Pang

    2016-01-01

    This book gives a start-to-finish overview of the whole Fish4Knowledge project, in 18 short chapters, each describing one aspect of the project. The Fish4Knowledge project explored the possibilities of big video data, in this case from undersea video. Recording and analyzing 90 thousand hours of video from ten camera locations, the project gives a 3 year view of fish abundance in several tropical coral reefs off the coast of Taiwan. The research system built a remote recording network, over 100 Tb of storage, supercomputer processing, video target detection and tracking, fish species recognition and analysis, a large SQL database to record the results and an efficient retrieval mechanism. Novel user interface mechanisms were developed to provide easy access for marine ecologists, who wanted to explore the dataset. The book is a useful resource for system builders, as it gives an overview of the many new methods that were created to build the Fish4Knowledge system in a manner that also allows readers to see ho...

  6. Colour vision and response bias in a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheney, Karen L; Newport, Cait; McClure, Eva C; Marshall, N Justin

    2013-08-01

    Animals use coloured signals for a variety of communication purposes, including to attract potential mates, recognize individuals, defend territories and warn predators of secondary defences (aposematism). To understand the mechanisms that drive the evolution and design of such visual signals, it is important to understand the visual systems and potential response biases of signal receivers. Here, we provide raw data on the spectral capabilities of a coral reef fish, the Picasso triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus, which is potentially trichromatic with three cone sensitivities of 413 nm (single cone), 480 nm (double cone, medium sensitivity) and 528 nm (double cone, long sensitivity), and a rod sensitivity of 498 nm. The ocular media have a 50% transmission cut off at 405 nm. Behavioural experiments confirmed colour vision over their spectral range; triggerfish were significantly more likely to choose coloured stimuli over grey distractors, irrespective of luminance. We then examined whether response biases existed towards coloured and patterned stimuli to provide insight into how visual signals - in particular, aposematic colouration - may evolve. Triggerfish showed a preferential foraging response bias to red and green stimuli, in contrast to blue and yellow, irrespective of pattern. There was no response bias to patterned over monochromatic non-patterned stimuli. A foraging response bias towards red in fish differs from that of avian predators, who often avoid red food items. Red is frequently associated with warning colouration in terrestrial environments (ladybirds, snakes, frogs), whilst blue is used in aquatic environments (blue-ringed octopus, nudibranchs); whether the design of warning (aposematic) displays is a cause or consequence of response biases is unclear.

  7. Coral reef fish populations can persist without immigration

    KAUST Repository

    Salles, Océane C.

    2015-11-18

    Determining the conditions under which populations may persist requires accurate estimates of demographic parameters, including immigration, local reproductive success, and mortality rates. In marine populations, empirical estimates of these parameters are rare, due at least in part to the pelagic dispersal stage common to most marine organisms. Here, we evaluate population persistence and turnover for a population of orange clownfish, Amphiprion percula, at Kimbe Island in Papua New Guinea. All fish in the population were sampled and genotyped on five occasions at 2-year intervals spanning eight years. The genetic data enabled estimates of reproductive success retained in the same population (reproductive success to self-recruitment), reproductive success exported to other subpopulations (reproductive success to local connectivity), and immigration and mortality rates of sub-adults and adults. Approximately 50% of the recruits were assigned to parents from the Kimbe Island population and this was stable through the sampling period. Stability in the proportion of local and immigrant settlers is likely due to: low annual mortality rates and stable egg production rates, and the short larval stages and sensory capacities of reef fish larvae. Biannual mortality rates ranged from 0.09 to 0.55 and varied significantly spatially. We used these data to parametrize a model that estimated the probability of the Kimbe Island population persisting in the absence of immigration. The Kimbe Island population was found to persist without significant immigration. Model results suggest the island population persists because the largest of the subpopulations are maintained due to having low mortality and high self-recruitment rates. Our results enable managers to appropriately target and scale actions to maximize persistence likelihood as disturbance frequencies increase.

  8. The offshore benthic fish community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantry, Brian F.; Lantry, Jana R.; Weidel, Brian C.; Walsh, Maureen; Hoyle, James A.; Schaner, Teodore; Neave, Fraser B.; Keir, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Lake Ontario’s offshore benthic fish community includes primarily slimy sculpin, lake whitefish, rainbow smelt, lake trout, burbot, and sea lamprey. Of these, lake trout have been the focus of an international restoration effort for more than three decades (Elrod et al. 1995; Lantry and Lantry 2008). The deepwater sculpin and three species of deepwater ciscoes (Coregonus spp.) that were historically important in the offshore benthic zone became rare or were extirpated by the 1960s (Christie 1973; Owens et al. 2003; Lantry et al. 2007b; Roth et al. 2013). Ecosystem changes continue to influence the offshore benthic fish community, including the effects of dreissenid mussels, the near disappearance of burrowing amphipods (Diporeia spp.) (Dermott et al. 2005; Watkins et al. 2007), and the increased abundance and expanded geographic distribution of round goby (see Nearshore Fish Community chapter) (Lantry et al. 2007b). The fish-community objectives for the offshore benthic fish community, as described by Stewart et al. (1999), are:

  9. Rapidly increasing macroalgal cover not related to herbivorous fishes on Mesoamerican reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Suchley

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Long-term phase shifts from coral to macroalgal dominated reef systems are well documented in the Caribbean. Although the impact of coral diseases, climate change and other factors is acknowledged, major herbivore loss through disease and overfishing is often assigned a primary role. However, direct evidence for the link between herbivore abundance, macroalgal and coral cover is sparse, particularly over broad spatial scales. In this study we use a database of coral reef surveys performed at 85 sites along the Mesoamerican Reef of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, to examine potential ecological links by tracking site trajectories over the period 2005–2014. Despite the long-term reduction of herbivory capacity reported across the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Reef region displayed relatively low macroalgal cover at the onset of the study. Subsequently, increasing fleshy macroalgal cover was pervasive. Herbivorous fish populations were not responsible for this trend as fleshy macroalgal cover change was not correlated with initial herbivorous fish biomass or change, and the majority of sites experienced increases in macroalgae browser biomass. This contrasts the coral reef top-down herbivore control paradigm and suggests the role of external factors in making environmental conditions more favourable for algae. Increasing macroalgal cover typically suppresses ecosystem services and leads to degraded reef systems. Consequently, policy makers and local coral reef managers should reassess the focus on herbivorous fish protection and consider complementary measures such as watershed management in order to arrest this trend.

  10. Spot the difference: mimicry in a coral reef fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Gagliano

    Full Text Available Eyespots on the body of many animals have long been assumed to confer protection against predators, but empirical evidence has recently demonstrated that this may not always be the case and suggested that such markings may also serve other purposes. Clearly, this raises the unresolved question of what functions do these markings have and do they contribute to an individual's evolutionary fitness in the wild. Here, we examined the occurrence of eyespots on the dorsal fin of a coral reef damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis, where these markings are typical of the juvenile stage and fade away as the fish approaches sexual maturation to then disappear completely in the vast majority of, but not all, adult individuals. By exploring differences in body shape among age and gender groups, we found that individuals retaining the eyespot into adulthood are all sexually mature males, suggesting that these eyespots may be an adult deceptive signal. Interestingly, the body shape of these individuals resembled more closely that of immature females than mature dominant males. These results suggest that eyespots have multiple roles and their functional significance changes within the lifetime of an animal from being a juvenile advertisement to a deceptive adult signal. Male removal experiments or colour manipulations may be necessary to establish specific functions.

  11. Spot the difference: mimicry in a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagliano, Monica; Depczynski, Martial

    2013-01-01

    Eyespots on the body of many animals have long been assumed to confer protection against predators, but empirical evidence has recently demonstrated that this may not always be the case and suggested that such markings may also serve other purposes. Clearly, this raises the unresolved question of what functions do these markings have and do they contribute to an individual's evolutionary fitness in the wild. Here, we examined the occurrence of eyespots on the dorsal fin of a coral reef damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis), where these markings are typical of the juvenile stage and fade away as the fish approaches sexual maturation to then disappear completely in the vast majority of, but not all, adult individuals. By exploring differences in body shape among age and gender groups, we found that individuals retaining the eyespot into adulthood are all sexually mature males, suggesting that these eyespots may be an adult deceptive signal. Interestingly, the body shape of these individuals resembled more closely that of immature females than mature dominant males. These results suggest that eyespots have multiple roles and their functional significance changes within the lifetime of an animal from being a juvenile advertisement to a deceptive adult signal. Male removal experiments or colour manipulations may be necessary to establish specific functions.

  12. Coral reef fish assemblages along a disturbance gradient in the northern Persian Gulf: A seasonal perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazilou, Amir; Shokri, Mohammad Reza; Gladstone, William

    2016-04-30

    Seasonal dynamics of coral reef fish assemblages were assessed along a gradient of potential anthropogenic disturbance in the Northern Persian Gulf. Overall, the attributes of coral reef fish assemblages showed seasonality at two different levels: seasonal changes irrespective of the magnitude of disturbance level (e.g. species richness), and seasonal changes in response to disturbance level (e.g. total abundance and assemblage composition). The examined parameters mostly belonged to the second group, but the interpretation of the relationship between patterns of seasonal changes and the disturbance level was not straightforward. The abundance of carnivorous fishes did not vary among seasons. SIMPER identified the family Nemipteridae as the major contributor to the observed spatiotemporal variations in the composition of coral reef fish assemblages in the study area. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Predatory fishes affect trophic cascades and apparent competition in temperate reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frid, Alejandro; Marliave, Jeff

    2010-08-23

    We provide evidence for a trophic cascade involving apex predators and mesopredators of marine temperate reefs, lingcod and rockfish, respectively. We measured spatio-temporal variation in the relative abundance of lingcod, subadult rockfish and two shrimp groups eaten by rockfish (Pandalus sp. and three smaller-bodied genera aggregated). Lingcod had an indirect positive effect on shrimps, as mediated by the direct negative effects of lingcod on rockfish and of rockfish on shrimps. These top-down effects on shrimps, however, were stronger for Pandalus than for small-bodied shrimps. Further, abundances of Pandalus and small-bodied shrimps were negatively correlated and the latter had a stronger positive effect on rockfish, suggesting that rockfish mediated asymmetrical apparent competition between shrimps. Our results indicate mechanisms by which predatory fishes may influence the structure of marine communities.

  14. Invasive predator tips the balance of symmetrical competition between native coral-reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindinger, Tye L

    2018-04-01

    The importance of competition and predation in structuring ecological communities is typically examined separately such that interactions between these processes are seldom understood. By causing large reductions in native prey, invasive predators may modify native species interactions. I conducted a manipulative field experiment in The Bahamas to investigate the possibility that the invasive Pacific red lionfish (Pterois volitans) alters competition between planktivorous fairy and blackcap basslets (Gramma loreto and Gramma melacara, respectively). Competition between these coral-reef fishes is known to have symmetrical effects on the juveniles of both species, whereby the feeding positions under reef ledges and growth rates of these individuals are hindered. Following baseline censuses of local populations of competing basslets, I simultaneously manipulated the abundance of lionfish on entire reefs, and the abundance of basslets in local populations under isolated ledges within each reef, resulting in three treatments: unmanipulated control populations of both basslets, reduced abundance of fairy basslet, and reduced abundance of blackcap basslet. For eight weeks, I measured the change in biomass and feeding position of 2-5 cm size classes of each basslet species and calculated the growth rates of ~2 cm individuals using a standard mark-and-recapture method. Experimental populations were filmed at dusk using automated video cameras to quantify the behavior of lionfish overlapping with basslets. Video playback revealed lionfish hunted across all ledge positions, regardless of which basslet species were present, yet lionfish differentially reduced the biomass of only juvenile (2 cm) fairy basslet. Predation reduced the effects of interspecific competition on juvenile blackcap basslet as evidenced by corresponding shifts in feeding position toward coveted front edges of ledges and increases in growth rates that were comparable to the response of these fish in

  15. Global trends on reef fishes' ecology of fear: Flight initiation distance for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, José Anchieta C C; Costa, Yuri; Blumstein, Daniel T; Leduc, Antoine O H C; Dorea, Antônio C; Benevides, Larissa J; Sampaio, Cláudio L S; Barros, Francisco

    2018-05-01

    Escape behaviors have a great potential as an indicator of the efficacy of management. For instance, the degree of fear perceived by fishes targeted by fisheries is frequently higher in unprotected marine areas than in areas where some protection is provided. We systematically reviewed the literature on how fear, which we define as variation in escape behavior, was quantified in reef fishes. In the past 25 years, a total of 33 studies were identified, many of which were published within the last five years and nearly 40% of those (n = 13) focused on Indo-Pacific reefs, showing that there are still many geographical gaps. While eleven escape metrics were identified to evaluate fish escape, flight initiation distance (FID) was the most commonly employed (n = 23). FID was used to study different questions of applied and theoretical ecology, which involved 14 reef fish families. We also used a formal meta-analysis to investigate the effects of fishing by comparing FID inside and outside marine protected areas. Fishes outside MPAs had increased FID compared to those inside MPAs. The Labridae family had a significantly higher effect sizes than Acanthuridae and Epinephelidae, suggesting that fishes in this family may be indicators of effective MPAs using FID. We conclude that protocols aimed to quantify fear in fishes, which provide accurate assessments of fishing effects on fish escape behavior, will help gauge the compliance of marine protected areas. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Artisanal fishing of spiny lobsters with gillnets — A significant anthropic impact on tropical reef ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Welter Giraldes

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Artisanal fishing activity with gillnets to capture the spiny lobster is a common practice along the coastal reefs of Brazil. This research aims to understand the impact that this artisanal fishing practice is having on the coastal reef systems analysing its associated fauna (bycatch and the stock of the target species Panulirus echinatus. The study compared an area which was subjected to intense gillnet fishing against one were the practice was absent. The analysis of target species using nocturnal visual census demonstrated a significantly higher number of P. echinatus at the site where gillnet use was virtually absent within three sampled habitats, fringe, cave and soft bottom. The analysis of bycatch species from artisanal fishermen’s gillnet landings recorded 4 lobster species and 10 crab species. These decapod species play an important ecological role as detritivores, herbivorous and first consumers within the reef ecosystem as well as being natural prey items for several reef fishes. The study concludes that this non-discriminatory fishing technique impacts directly on populations of P. echinatus, P. argus and P. laevicauda as well as other lobster and crab species which in-turn indirectly affects the ecological role of the tropical coastal reefs of Brazil.

  17. Trends in biomass of coral reef fishes, derived from shore-based creel surveys in Guam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijerman, M.; Williams, Ivor; Gutierrez, Jay; Grafeld, Shanna; Tibbatts, Brent; Davis, Gerry

    2016-01-01

    Coral reef fisheries have a cultural, economic, and ecological importance and sustain the societal well-being of many coastal communities. However, the complexities of the multigear, multispecies fisheries that target coral reef species pose challenges for fisheries management. We focus on the

  18. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  19. Seasonal sediment dynamics shape temperate bedrock reef communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figurski, Jared D.; Freiwald, Jan; Lonhart, Steve I.; Storlazzi, Curt

    2016-01-01

    Mobilized seafloor sediment can impact benthic reef communities through burial, scour, and turbidity. These processes are ubiquitous in coastal oceans and, through their influence on the survival, fitness, and interactions of species, can alter the structure and function of benthic communities. In northern Monterey Bay, California, USA, as much as 30% of the seafloor is buried or exposed seasonally, making this an ideal location to test how subtidal temperate rocky reef communities vary in the presence and absence of chronic sediment-based disturbances. Designated dynamic plots were naturally inundated by sediment in summer (50 to 100% cover) and swept clean in winter, whereas designated stable plots remained free of sediment during our study. Multivariate analyses indicated significant differences in the structure of sessile and mobile communities between dynamic and stable reef habitats. For sessile species, community structure in disturbed plots was less variable in space and time than in stable plots due to the maintenance of an early successional state. In contrast, community structure of mobile species varied more in disturbed plots than in stable plots, reflecting how mobile species distribute in response to sediment dynamics. Some species were found only in these disturbed areas, suggesting that the spatial mosaic of disturbance could increase regional diversity. We discuss how the relative ability of species to tolerate disturbance at different life history stages and their ability to colonize habitat translate into community-level differences among habitats, and how this response varies between mobile and sessile communities.

  20. Feeding biology of the introduced fish roi, and its impact on Hawaiian reef fishes, January 2004 and January 2005, (NODC Accession 0002172)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Feeding biology of the introduced fish roi (Cephalopholis argus), and its impact on Hawaiian reef fishes and fisheries between January 2004 and January 2005. Roi...

  1. 78 FR 27084 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-09

    ...Fish.htm . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, telephone 727-824-5305, email rich.malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the...

  2. The differentiation of common species in a coral-reef fish assemblage for recreational scuba diving

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Tsen-Chien; Ho, Cheng-Tze; Jan, Rong-Quen

    2016-01-01

    Background Recreational scuba diving is a popular activity of the coral reef tourism industry. In practice, local diving centers recommend interesting sites to help visiting divers make their plans. Fish are among the major attractions, but they need to be listed with care because the temporal occurrence of a fish species is difficult to predict. To address this issue, we propose methods to categorize each fish species based on its long-term occurrence and likelihood of being seen. Methods We...

  3. Mesopredator trophodynamics on thermally stressed coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempson, Tessa N.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; Hoey, Andrew S.; Almany, Glenn R.

    2018-03-01

    Ecosystems are becoming vastly modified through disturbance. In coral reef ecosystems, the differential susceptibility of coral taxa to climate-driven bleaching is predicted to shift coral assemblages towards reefs with an increased relative abundance of taxa with high thermal tolerance. Many thermally tolerant coral species are characterised by low structural complexity, with reduced habitat niche space for the small-bodied coral reef fishes on which piscivorous mesopredators feed. This study used a patch reef array to investigate the potential impacts of climate-driven shifts in coral assemblages on the trophodynamics of reef mesopredators and their prey communities. The `tolerant' reef treatment consisted only of coral taxa of low susceptibility to bleaching, while `vulnerable' reefs included species of moderate to high thermal vulnerability. `Vulnerable' reefs had higher structural complexity, and the fish assemblages that established on these reefs over 18 months had higher species diversity, abundance and biomass than those on `tolerant' reefs. Fish assemblages on `tolerant' reefs were also more strongly influenced by the introduction of a mesopredator ( Cephalopholis boenak). Mesopredators on `tolerant' reefs had lower lipid content in their muscle tissue by the end of the 6-week experiment. Such sublethal energetic costs can compromise growth, fecundity, and survivorship, resulting in unexpected population declines in long-lived mesopredators. This study provides valuable insight into the altered trophodynamics of future coral reef ecosystems, highlighting the potentially increased vulnerability of reef fish assemblages to predation as reef structure declines, and the cost of changing prey availability on mesopredator condition.

  4. Timing and locations of reef fish spawning off the southeastern United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A Farmer

    Full Text Available Managed reef fish in the Atlantic Ocean of the southeastern United States (SEUS support a multi-billion dollar industry. There is a broad interest in locating and protecting spawning fish from harvest, to enhance productivity and reduce the potential for overfishing. We assessed spatiotemporal cues for spawning for six species from four reef fish families, using data on individual spawning condition collected by over three decades of regional fishery-independent reef fish surveys, combined with a series of predictors derived from bathymetric features. We quantified the size of spawning areas used by reef fish across many years and identified several multispecies spawning locations. We quantitatively identified cues for peak spawning and generated predictive maps for Gray Triggerfish (Balistes capriscus, White Grunt (Haemulon plumierii, Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus, Vermilion Snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens, Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata, and Scamp (Mycteroperca phenax. For example, Red Snapper peak spawning was predicted in 24.7-29.0°C water prior to the new moon at locations with high curvature in the 24-30 m depth range off northeast Florida during June and July. External validation using scientific and fishery-dependent data collections strongly supported the predictive utility of our models. We identified locations where reconfiguration or expansion of existing marine protected areas would protect spawning reef fish. We recommend increased sampling off southern Florida (south of 27° N, during winter months, and in high-relief, high current habitats to improve our understanding of timing and location of reef fish spawning off the southeastern United States.

  5. Habitat degradation negatively affects auditory settlement behavior of coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Timothy A C; Harding, Harry R; Wong, Kathryn E; Merchant, Nathan D; Meekan, Mark G; McCormick, Mark I; Radford, Andrew N; Simpson, Stephen D

    2018-05-15

    Coral reefs are increasingly degraded by climate-induced bleaching and storm damage. Reef recovery relies on recruitment of young fishes for the replenishment of functionally important taxa. Acoustic cues guide the orientation, habitat selection, and settlement of many fishes, but these processes may be impaired if degradation alters reef soundscapes. Here, we report spatiotemporally matched evidence of soundscapes altered by degradation from recordings taken before and after recent severe damage on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Postdegradation soundscapes were an average of 15 dB re 1 µPa quieter and had significantly reduced acoustic complexity, richness, and rates of invertebrate snaps compared with their predegradation equivalents. We then used these matched recordings in complementary light-trap and patch-reef experiments to assess responses of wild fish larvae under natural conditions. We show that postdegradation soundscapes were 8% less attractive to presettlement larvae and resulted in 40% less settlement of juvenile fishes than predegradation soundscapes; postdegradation soundscapes were no more attractive than open-ocean sound. However, our experimental design does not allow an estimate of how much attraction and settlement to isolated postdegradation soundscapes might change compared with isolated predegradation soundscapes. Reductions in attraction and settlement were qualitatively similar across and within all trophic guilds and taxonomic groups analyzed. These patterns may lead to declines in fish populations, exacerbating degradation. Acoustic changes might therefore trigger a feedback loop that could impair reef resilience. To understand fully the recovery potential of coral reefs, we must learn to listen. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  6. Offshore Fish Community: Ecological Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    The offshore (>80 m) fish community of Lake Superior is made up of predominately native species. The most prominent species are deepwater sculpin, kiyi, cisco, siscowet lake trout, burbot, and the exotic sea lamprey. Bloater and shortjaw cisco are also found in the offshore zone...

  7. 76 FR 64248 - Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery; Closure of the 2011 Gulf of Mexico Commercial Sector for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-18

    .... 040205043-4043-01] RIN 0648-XA766 Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery; Closure of the 2011 Gulf of Mexico... the commercial sector for greater amberjack in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico... Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery...

  8. 75 FR 2469 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-15

    .... SUMMARY: NMFS issues this proposed rule to implement Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management... proposed rule is to balance the continued operation of the bottom longline component of the reef fish...

  9. 75 FR 21512 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-26

    ...: NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council... operation of the bottom longline component of the reef fish fishery in the eastern Gulf while maintaining...

  10. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.; Hoey, A.S.; Wilson, S.K.; Messmer, V.; Graham, N.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  11. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  12. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of American Samoa since 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  13. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Rapid Ecological Assessments of Fish Belt Transect Surveys (BLT) at Coral Reef Sites across the Pacific Ocean from 2000 to 2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Belt transects (BLT) is one of the non-invasive underwater-survey methods to enumerate the diverse components of diurnally active shallow-water reef fish...

  14. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the Hawaiian Archipelago since 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  15. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the Mariana Archipelago since 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  16. Defining critical habitats of threatened and endemic reef fishes with a multivariate approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Steven W; Clarke, K Robert; Rushworth, Kelvin; Dalton, Steven J

    2014-12-01

    Understanding critical habitats of threatened and endemic animals is essential for mitigating extinction risks, developing recovery plans, and siting reserves, but assessment methods are generally lacking. We evaluated critical habitats of 8 threatened or endemic fish species on coral and rocky reefs of subtropical eastern Australia, by measuring physical and substratum-type variables of habitats at fish sightings. We used nonmetric and metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS, mMDS), Analysis of similarities (ANOSIM), similarity percentages analysis (SIMPER), permutational analysis of multivariate dispersions (PERMDISP), and other multivariate tools to distinguish critical habitats. Niche breadth was widest for 2 endemic wrasses, and reef inclination was important for several species, often found in relatively deep microhabitats. Critical habitats of mainland reef species included small caves or habitat-forming hosts such as gorgonian corals and black coral trees. Hard corals appeared important for reef fishes at Lord Howe Island, and red algae for mainland reef fishes. A wide range of habitat variables are required to assess critical habitats owing to varied affinities of species to different habitat features. We advocate assessments of critical habitats matched to the spatial scale used by the animals and a combination of multivariate methods. Our multivariate approach furnishes a general template for assessing the critical habitats of species, understanding how these vary among species, and determining differences in the degree of habitat specificity. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. Nocturnality constrains morphological and functional diversity in the eyes of reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmitz Lars

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ambient light levels are often considered to drive the evolution of eye form and function. Diel activity pattern is the main mechanism controlling the visual environment of teleost reef fish, with day-active (diurnal fish active in well-illuminated conditions, whereas night-active (nocturnal fish cope with dim light. Physiological optics predicts several specific evolutionary responses to dim-light vision that should be reflected in visual performance features of the eye. Results We analyzed a large comparative dataset on morphological traits of the eyes in 265 species of teleost reef fish in 43 different families. The eye morphology of nocturnal reef teleosts is characterized by a syndrome that indicates better light sensitivity, including large relative eye size, high optical ratio and large, rounded pupils. Improved dim-light image formation comes at the cost of reduced depth of focus and reduction of potential accommodative lens movement. Diurnal teleost reef fish, released from the stringent functional requirements of dim-light vision have much higher morphological and optical diversity than nocturnal species, with large ranges of optical ratio, depth of focus, and lens accommodation. Conclusions Physical characteristics of the environment are an important factor in the evolution and diversification of the vertebrate eye. Both teleost reef fish and terrestrial amniotes meet the functional requirements of dim-light vision with a similar evolutionary response of morphological and optical modifications. The trade-off between improved dim-light vision and reduced optical diversity may be a key factor in explaining the lower trophic diversity of nocturnal reef teleosts.

  18. Indices for assessing coral reef fish biodiversity: the need for a change in habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loiseau, Nicolas; Gaertner, Jean-Claude

    2015-09-01

    We present the first representative and quantified overview of the indices used worldwide for assessing the biodiversity of coral reef fishes. On this basis, we discuss the suitability and drawbacks of the indices most widely used in the assessment of coral fish biodiversity. An extensive and systematic survey of the literature focused on coral reef fish biodiversity was conducted from 1990 up to the present. We found that the multicomponent aspect of biodiversity, which is considered as a key feature of biodiversity for numerous terrestrial and marine ecosystems, has been poorly taken into account in coral reef fish studies. Species richness is still strongly dominant while other diversity components, such as functional diversity, are underestimated even when functional information is available. We also demonstrate that the reason for choosing particular indices is often unclear, mainly based on empirical rationales and/or the reproduction of widespread habits, but generally with no clear relevance with regard to the aims of the studies. As a result, the most widely used indices (species richness, Shannon, etc.) would appear to be poorly suited to meeting the main challenges facing the monitoring of coral reef fish biodiversity in the future. Our results clearly show that coral reef scientists should rather take advantage of the multicomponent aspect of biodiversity. To facilitate this approach, we propose general guidelines to serve as a basis for the selection of indices that provide complementary and relevant information for monitoring the response of coral reef fish biodiversity in the face of structuring factors (natural or anthropic). The aim of these guidelines was to achieve a better match between the properties of the selected indices and the context of each study (e.g. expected effect of the main structuring factors, nature of data available).

  19. The ecology, behaviour and physiology of fishes on coral reef flats, and the potential impacts of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, A R

    2013-09-01

    Reef flats, typically a low-relief carbonate and sand habitat in shallow water leeward of the reef crest, are one of the most extensive zones on Pacific coral reefs. This shallow zone often supports an abundant and diverse fish assemblage that is exposed to more significant variations in physical factors, such as water depth and movement, temperature and ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels, than most other reef fishes. This review examines the characteristics of reef flat fish assemblages, and then investigates what is known about how they respond to their biophysical environment. Because of the challenges of living in shallow, wave-exposed water, reef flats typically support a distinct fish assemblage compared to other reef habitats. This assemblage clearly changes across tidal cycles as some larger species migrate to deeper water at low tide and other species modify their behaviour, but quantitative data are generally lacking. At least some reef flat fish species are well-adapted to high temperatures, low oxygen concentrations and high levels of UV radiation. These behavioural and physiological adaptations suggest that there may be differences in the demographic processes between reef flat assemblages and those in deeper water. Indeed, there is some evidence that reef flats may act as nurseries for some species, but more research is required. Further studies are also required to predict the effects of climate change, which is likely to have multifaceted impacts on reef flats by increasing temperature, water motion and sediment load. Sea-level rise may also affect reef flat fish assemblages and food webs by increasing the amount of time that larger species are able to forage in this zone. The lack of data on reef flats is surprising given their size and relative ease of access, and a better understanding of their functional role within tropical marine seascapes is urgently required. © 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  20. Assessing the functional diversity of herbivorous reef fishes using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew

    2016-12-01

    Herbivorous coral reef fishes play an important role in helping to structure their environment directly by consuming algae and indirectly by promoting coral health and growth. These fishes are generally separated into three broad groups: browsers, grazers, and excavators/scrapers, with these groupings often thought to have a fixed general function and all fishes within a group thought to have similar ecological roles. This categorization assumes a high level of functional redundancy within herbivorous fishes. However, recent evidence questions the use of this broad classification scheme, and posits that there may actually be more resource partitioning within these functional groupings. Here, I use a compound-specific stable isotope approach (CSIA) to show there appears to be a greater diversity of functional roles than previously assumed within broad functional groups. The δ13C signatures from essential amino acids of reef end-members (coral, macroalgae, detritus, and phytoplankton) and fish muscle were analyzed to investigate differences in resource use between fishes. Most end-members displayed clear isotopic differences, and most fishes within functional groups were dissimilar in their isotopic signature, implying differences in the resources they target. No grazers closely resembled each other isotopically, implying a much lower level of functional redundancy within this group; scraping parrotfish were also distinct from excavating parrotfish and to a lesser degree distinct between scrapers. This study highlights the potential of CSIA to help distinguish fine-scale ecological differences within other groups of reef organisms as well. These results question the utility of lumping nominally herbivorous fishes into broad groups with assumed similar roles. Given the apparent functional differences between nominally herbivorous reef fishes, it is important for managers to incorporate the diversity of functional roles these fish play.

  1. Assessing the functional diversity of herbivorous reef fishes using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Herbivorous coral reef fishes play an important role in helping to structure their environment directly by consuming algae and indirectly by promoting coral health and growth. These fishes are generally separated into three broad groups: browsers, grazers, and excavators/scrapers, with these groupings often thought to have a fixed general function and all fishes within a group thought to have similar ecological roles. This categorization assumes a high level of functional redundancy within herbivorous fishes. However, recent evidence questions the use of this broad classification scheme, and posits that there may actually be more resource partitioning within these functional groupings. Here, I use a compound-specific stable isotope approach (CSIA) to show there appears to be a greater diversity of functional roles than previously assumed within broad functional groups. The δ13C signatures from essential amino acids of reef end-members (coral, macroalgae, detritus, and phytoplankton) and fish muscle were analyzed to investigate differences in resource use between fishes. Most end-members displayed clear isotopic differences, and most fishes within functional groups were dissimilar in their isotopic signature, implying differences in the resources they target. No grazers closely resembled each other isotopically, implying a much lower level of functional redundancy within this group; scraping parrotfish were also distinct from excavating parrotfish and to a lesser degree distinct between scrapers. This study highlights the potential of CSIA to help distinguish fine-scale ecological differences within other groups of reef organisms as well. These results question the utility of lumping nominally herbivorous fishes into broad groups with assumed similar roles. Given the apparent functional differences between nominally herbivorous reef fishes, it is important for managers to incorporate the diversity of functional roles these fish play.

  2. Using otolith microchemistry and shape to assess the habitat value of oil structures for reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Ashley M; Macreadie, Peter I; Bishop, David P; Booth, David J

    2015-05-01

    Over 7500 oil and gas structures (e.g. oil platforms) are installed in offshore waters worldwide and many will require decommissioning within the next two decades. The decision to remove such structures or turn them into reefs (i.e. 'rigs-to-reefs') hinges on the habitat value they provide, yet this can rarely be determined because the residency of mobile species is difficult to establish. Here, we test a novel solution to this problem for reef fishes; the use of otolith (earstone) properties to identify oil structures of residence. We compare the otolith microchemistry and otolith shape of a site-attached coral reef fish (Pseudanthias rubrizonatus) among four oil structures (depth 82-135 m, separated by 9.7-84.2 km) on Australia's North West Shelf to determine if populations developed distinct otolith properties during their residency. Microchemical signatures obtained from the otolith edge using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) differed among oil structures, driven by elements Sr, Ba and Mn, and to a lesser extent Mg and Fe. A combination of microchemical data from the otolith edge and elliptical Fourier (shape) descriptors allowed allocation of individuals to their 'home' structure with moderate accuracy (overall allocation accuracy: 63.3%, range: 45.5-78.1%), despite lower allocation accuracies for each otolith property in isolation (microchemistry: 47.5%, otolith shape: 45%). Site-specific microchemical signatures were also stable enough through time to distinguish populations during 3 separate time periods, suggesting that residence histories could be recreated by targeting previous growth zones in the otolith. Our results indicate that reef fish can develop unique otolith properties during their residency on oil structures which may be useful for assessing the habitat value of individual structures. The approach outlined here may also be useful for determining the residency of reef fish on artificial reefs, which would

  3. Guam Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program Reef Fish Surveys since 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Government of Guam's Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program, coordinated by the Guam Coastal Management Program until October 2013 and now coordinated by the...

  4. Guam Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program Reef Fish Surveys FY2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Government of Guam's Long-term Coral Reef Monitoring Program, coordinated by the University of Guam Marine Lab, involves the collection of data for a suite of...

  5. Coral community response to bleaching on a highly disturbed reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guest, J R; Low, J; Tun, K; Wilson, B; Ng, C; Raingeard, D; Ulstrup, K E; Tanzil, J T I; Todd, P A; Toh, T C; McDougald, D; Chou, L M; Steinberg, P D

    2016-02-15

    While many studies of coral bleaching report on broad, regional scale responses, fewer examine variation in susceptibility among coral taxa and changes in community structure, before, during and after bleaching on individual reefs. Here we report in detail on the response to bleaching by a coral community on a highly disturbed reef site south of mainland Singapore before, during and after a major thermal anomaly in 2010. To estimate the capacity for resistance to thermal stress, we report on: a) overall bleaching severity during and after the event, b) differences in bleaching susceptibility among taxa during the event, and c) changes in coral community structure one year before and after bleaching. Approximately two thirds of colonies bleached, however, post-bleaching recovery was quite rapid and, importantly, coral taxa that are usually highly susceptible were relatively unaffected. Although total coral cover declined, there was no significant change in coral taxonomic community structure before and after bleaching. Several factors may have contributed to the overall high resistance of corals at this site including Symbiodinium affiliation, turbidity and heterotrophy. Our results suggest that, despite experiencing chronic anthropogenic disturbances, turbid shallow reef communities may be remarkably resilient to acute thermal stress.

  6. Differential response of fish assemblages to coral reef-based seaweed farming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E James Hehre

    Full Text Available As the global demand for seaweed-derived products drives the expansion of seaweed farming onto shallow coral ecosystems, the effects of farms on fish assemblages remain largely unexplored. Shallow coral reefs provide food and shelter for highly diverse fish assemblages but are increasingly modified by anthropogenic activities. We hypothesized that the introduction of seaweed farms into degraded shallow coral reefs had potential to generate ecological benefits for fish by adding structural complexity and a possible food source. We conducted 210 transects at 14 locations, with sampling stratified across seaweed farms and sites adjacent to and distant from farms. At a seascape scale, locations were classified by their level of exposure to human disturbance. We compared sites where (1 marine protected areas (MPAs were established, (2 neither MPAs nor blast fishing was present (hence "unprotected", and (3 blast fishing occurred. We observed 80,186 fish representing 148 species from 38 families. The negative effects of seaweed farms on fish assemblages appeared stronger in the absence of blast fishing and were strongest when MPAs were present, likely reflecting the positive influence of the MPAs on fish within them. Species differentiating fish assemblages with respect to seaweed farming and disturbance were typically small but also included two key target species. The propensity for seaweed farms to increase fish diversity, abundance, and biomass is limited and may reduce MPA benefits. We suggest that careful consideration be given to the placement of seaweed farms relative to MPAs.

  7. Differential response of fish assemblages to coral reef-based seaweed farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hehre, E James; Meeuwig, J J

    2015-01-01

    As the global demand for seaweed-derived products drives the expansion of seaweed farming onto shallow coral ecosystems, the effects of farms on fish assemblages remain largely unexplored. Shallow coral reefs provide food and shelter for highly diverse fish assemblages but are increasingly modified by anthropogenic activities. We hypothesized that the introduction of seaweed farms into degraded shallow coral reefs had potential to generate ecological benefits for fish by adding structural complexity and a possible food source. We conducted 210 transects at 14 locations, with sampling stratified across seaweed farms and sites adjacent to and distant from farms. At a seascape scale, locations were classified by their level of exposure to human disturbance. We compared sites where (1) marine protected areas (MPAs) were established, (2) neither MPAs nor blast fishing was present (hence "unprotected"), and (3) blast fishing occurred. We observed 80,186 fish representing 148 species from 38 families. The negative effects of seaweed farms on fish assemblages appeared stronger in the absence of blast fishing and were strongest when MPAs were present, likely reflecting the positive influence of the MPAs on fish within them. Species differentiating fish assemblages with respect to seaweed farming and disturbance were typically small but also included two key target species. The propensity for seaweed farms to increase fish diversity, abundance, and biomass is limited and may reduce MPA benefits. We suggest that careful consideration be given to the placement of seaweed farms relative to MPAs.

  8. Effects of seawater acidification on a coral reef meiofauna community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmento, V. C.; Souza, T. P.; Esteves, A. M.; Santos, P. J. P.

    2015-09-01

    Despite the increasing risk that ocean acidification will modify benthic communities, great uncertainty remains about how this impact will affect the lower trophic levels, such as members of the meiofauna. A mesocosm experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of water acidification on a phytal meiofauna community from a coral reef. Community samples collected from the coral reef subtidal zone (Recife de Fora Municipal Marine Park, Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil), using artificial substrate units, were exposed to a control pH (ambient seawater) and to three levels of seawater acidification (pH reductions of 0.3, 0.6, and 0.9 units below ambient) and collected after 15 and 30 d. After 30 d of exposure, major changes in the structure of the meiofauna community were observed in response to reduced pH. The major meiofauna groups showed divergent responses to acidification. Harpacticoida and Polychaeta densities did not show significant differences due to pH. Nematoda, Ostracoda, Turbellaria, and Tardigrada exhibited their highest densities in low-pH treatments (especially at the pH reduction of 0.6 units, pH 7.5), while harpacticoid nauplii were strongly negatively affected by low pH. This community-based mesocosm study supports previous suggestions that ocean acidification induces important changes in the structure of marine benthic communities. Considering the importance of meiofauna in the food web of coral reef ecosystems, the results presented here demonstrate that the trophic functioning of coral reefs is seriously threatened by ocean acidification.

  9. Depth refuge and the impacts of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J Lindfield

    Full Text Available In recent decades, spearfishing with SCUBA has emerged as an efficient method for targeting reef fish in deeper waters. However, deeper waters are increasingly recognised as a potential source of refuge that may help sustain fishery resources. We used a combination of historical catch data over a 20-year time period and fishery-independent surveys to investigate the effects of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fish populations in the southern Mariana Islands. Two jurisdictions were studied; Guam, where SCUBA spearfishing is practiced, and the nearby Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI, where SCUBA spearfishing has been banned since 2003. Fishery-independent data were collected using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs stratified by depth, marine protected area status and jurisdiction. Herbivores (primary consumers dominated spearfishing catches, with parrotfish (scarines and surgeonfish/unicornfish (acanthurids the main groups harvested. However, the large, endangered humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus was the main species by weight landed by SCUBA spearfishers. SCUBA spearfishing was associated with declining size of scarines over time and catches shifting from a dominance of large parrotfishes to a mixed assemblage with increasing proportions of acanthurids. Comparisons between Guam and the nearby CNMI revealed differences in the assemblage of fished species and also greater size of scarines and acanthurids in deep water where SCUBA fishing is banned. These results suggest that SCUBA spearfishing impacts reef fish populations and that the restriction of this fishing method will ensure refuge for fish populations in deeper waters. We recommend a ban on SCUBA spearfishing to preserve or aid the recovery of large, functionally important coral reef species and to improve the sustainability of coral reef fisheries.

  10. Depth refuge and the impacts of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindfield, Steven J; McIlwain, Jennifer L; Harvey, Euan S

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, spearfishing with SCUBA has emerged as an efficient method for targeting reef fish in deeper waters. However, deeper waters are increasingly recognised as a potential source of refuge that may help sustain fishery resources. We used a combination of historical catch data over a 20-year time period and fishery-independent surveys to investigate the effects of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fish populations in the southern Mariana Islands. Two jurisdictions were studied; Guam, where SCUBA spearfishing is practiced, and the nearby Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), where SCUBA spearfishing has been banned since 2003. Fishery-independent data were collected using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs) stratified by depth, marine protected area status and jurisdiction. Herbivores (primary consumers) dominated spearfishing catches, with parrotfish (scarines) and surgeonfish/unicornfish (acanthurids) the main groups harvested. However, the large, endangered humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) was the main species by weight landed by SCUBA spearfishers. SCUBA spearfishing was associated with declining size of scarines over time and catches shifting from a dominance of large parrotfishes to a mixed assemblage with increasing proportions of acanthurids. Comparisons between Guam and the nearby CNMI revealed differences in the assemblage of fished species and also greater size of scarines and acanthurids in deep water where SCUBA fishing is banned. These results suggest that SCUBA spearfishing impacts reef fish populations and that the restriction of this fishing method will ensure refuge for fish populations in deeper waters. We recommend a ban on SCUBA spearfishing to preserve or aid the recovery of large, functionally important coral reef species and to improve the sustainability of coral reef fisheries.

  11. Effects of tourist visitation and supplementary feeding on fish assemblage composition on a tropical reef in the Southwestern Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Di Iulio Ilarri

    Full Text Available The effects of tourist visitation and food provisioning on fish assemblages were assessed by visual censuses (stationary technique carried out in a tropical reef in Northeastern Brazil. Comparisons of species abundance, richness, equitability, and trophic structure in the presence (PT and absence (AT of tourists suggest that tourist visitation and supplementary food influenced the structure of the fish assemblage, as follows: (a diversity, equitability and species richness were significantly higher on the AT period, while the abundance of a particular species was significantly higher during PT; (b trophic structure differed between the AT and PT periods, omnivores being more abundant during the latter period, while mobile invertivores, piscivores, roving herbivores and territorial herbivores were significantly more abundant on AT. Reef tourism is increasingly being regarded as an alternative to generate income for human coastal communities in the tropics. Therefore, closer examination of the consequences of the various components of this activity to reef system is a necessary step to assist conservation and management initiatives.

  12. Limited Capacity for Faster Digestion in Larval Coral Reef Fish at an Elevated Temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeod, Ian M; Clark, Timothy D

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence of extreme, short-term temperature spikes in coastal regions during summer months is predicted to increase with ongoing climate change. In tropical systems, these changes are predicted to increase the metabolic demand of coral reef fish larvae while also altering the plankton communities upon which the larvae feed during their pelagic phase. The consequences of these predictions remain speculative in the absence of empirical data on the interactive effects of warm temperatures on the metabolism, postprandial processes and growth responses of coral reef fish larvae. Here, we tested the effect of increased temperature on the metabolism, postprandial performance and fine-scale growth patterns of a coral reef fish (Amphiprion percula) in the latter half of its ~11-d larval phase. First, we measured the length and weight of fed versus fasted larvae (N = 340; mean body mass 4.1±0.05 mg) across fine temporal scales at a typical current summer temperature (28.5°C) and a temperature that is likely be encountered during warm summer periods later this century (31.5°C). Second, we measured routine metabolic rate (Mo2 routine) and the energetics of the postprandial processes (i.e., digestion, absorption and assimilation of a meal; termed specific dynamic action (SDA)) at both temperatures. Larvae fed voraciously when provided with food for a 12-hour period and displayed a temperature-independent increase in mass of 40.1% (28.5°C) and 42.6% (31.5°C), which was largely associated with the mass of prey in the gut. A subsequent 12-h fasting period revealed that the larvae had grown 21.2±4.8% (28.5°C) and 22.8±8.8% (31.5°C) in mass and 10.3±2.0% (28.5°C) and 7.8±2.6% (31.5°C) in length compared with pre-feeding values (no significant temperature effect). Mo2 routine was 55±16% higher at 31.5°C and peak Mo2 during the postprandial period was 28±11% higher at 31.5°C, yet elevated temperature had no significant effect on SDA (0.51±0.06 J at 28.5°C vs

  13. Limited Capacity for Faster Digestion in Larval Coral Reef Fish at an Elevated Temperature.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian M McLeod

    Full Text Available The prevalence of extreme, short-term temperature spikes in coastal regions during summer months is predicted to increase with ongoing climate change. In tropical systems, these changes are predicted to increase the metabolic demand of coral reef fish larvae while also altering the plankton communities upon which the larvae feed during their pelagic phase. The consequences of these predictions remain speculative in the absence of empirical data on the interactive effects of warm temperatures on the metabolism, postprandial processes and growth responses of coral reef fish larvae. Here, we tested the effect of increased temperature on the metabolism, postprandial performance and fine-scale growth patterns of a coral reef fish (Amphiprion percula in the latter half of its ~11-d larval phase. First, we measured the length and weight of fed versus fasted larvae (N = 340; mean body mass 4.1±0.05 mg across fine temporal scales at a typical current summer temperature (28.5°C and a temperature that is likely be encountered during warm summer periods later this century (31.5°C. Second, we measured routine metabolic rate (Mo2 routine and the energetics of the postprandial processes (i.e., digestion, absorption and assimilation of a meal; termed specific dynamic action (SDA at both temperatures. Larvae fed voraciously when provided with food for a 12-hour period and displayed a temperature-independent increase in mass of 40.1% (28.5°C and 42.6% (31.5°C, which was largely associated with the mass of prey in the gut. A subsequent 12-h fasting period revealed that the larvae had grown 21.2±4.8% (28.5°C and 22.8±8.8% (31.5°C in mass and 10.3±2.0% (28.5°C and 7.8±2.6% (31.5°C in length compared with pre-feeding values (no significant temperature effect. Mo2 routine was 55±16% higher at 31.5°C and peak Mo2 during the postprandial period was 28±11% higher at 31.5°C, yet elevated temperature had no significant effect on SDA (0.51±0.06 J at 28.5

  14. Global Human Footprint on the Linkage between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Ayala Bocos, Arturo; Ayotte, Paula M.; Banks, Stuart; Bauman, Andrew G.; Beger, Maria; Bessudo, Sandra; Booth, David J.; Brokovich, Eran; Brooks, Andrew; Chabanet, Pascale; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cortés, Jorge; Cruz-Motta, Juan J.; Cupul Magaña, Amilcar; DeMartini, Edward E.; Edgar, Graham J.; Feary, David A.; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gough, Charlotte; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Green, Alison; Guzman, Hector; Hardt, Marah; Kulbicki, Michel; Letourneur, Yves; López Pérez, Andres; Loreau, Michel; Loya, Yossi; Martinez, Camilo; Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael; Morove, Tau; Nadon, Marc-Olivier; Nakamura, Yohei; Paredes, Gustavo; Polunin, Nicholas V. C.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Reyes Bonilla, Héctor; Rivera, Fernando; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Soler, German; Stuart-Smith, Rick; Tessier, Emmanuel; Tittensor, Derek P.; Tupper, Mark; Usseglio, Paolo; Vigliola, Laurent; Wantiez, Laurent; Williams, Ivor; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zapata, Fernando A.

    2011-01-01

    Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas. PMID:21483714

  15. Ocean acidification alters early successional coral reef communities and their rates of community metabolism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam H C Noonan

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification is expected to alter community composition on coral reefs, but its effects on reef community metabolism are poorly understood. Here we document how early successional benthic coral reef communities change in situ along gradients of carbon dioxide (CO2, and the consequences of these changes on rates of community photosynthesis, respiration, and light and dark calcification. Ninety standardised benthic communities were grown on PVC tiles deployed at two shallow-water volcanic CO2 seeps and two adjacent control sites in Papua New Guinea. Along the CO2 gradient, both the upward facing phototrophic and the downward facing cryptic communities changed in their composition. Under ambient CO2, both communities were dominated by calcifying algae, but with increasing CO2 they were gradually replaced by non-calcifying algae (predominantly green filamentous algae, cyanobacteria and macroalgae, which increased from ~30% to ~80% cover. Responses were weaker in the invertebrate communities, however ascidians and tube-forming polychaetes declined with increasing CO2. Differences in the carbonate chemistry explained a far greater amount of change in communities than differences between the two reefs and successional changes from five to 13 months, suggesting community successions are established early and are under strong chemical control. As pH declined from 8.0 to 7.8, rates of gross photosynthesis and dark respiration of the 13-month old reef communities (upper and cryptic surfaces combined significantly increased by 10% and 20%, respectively, in response to altered community composition. As a consequence, net production remained constant. Light and dark calcification rates both gradually declined by 20%, and low or negative daily net calcification rates were observed at an aragonite saturation state of <2.3. The study demonstrates that ocean acidification as predicted for the end of this century will strongly alter reef communities, and

  16. The mangrove nursery paradigm revisited: otolith stable isotopes support nursery-to-reef movements by Indo-Pacific fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimirei, Ismael A; Nagelkerken, Ivan; Mgaya, Yunus D; Huijbers, Chantal M

    2013-01-01

    Mangroves and seagrass beds have long been perceived as important nurseries for many fish species. While there is growing evidence from the Western Atlantic that mangrove habitats are intricately connected to coral reefs through ontogenetic fish migrations, there is an ongoing debate of the value of these coastal ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific. The present study used natural tags, viz. otolith stable carbon and oxygen isotopes, to investigate for the first time the degree to which multiple tropical juvenile habitats subsidize coral reef fish populations in the Indo Pacific (Tanzania). Otoliths of three reef fish species (Lethrinus harak, L. lentjan and Lutjanus fulviflamma) were collected in mangrove, seagrass and coral reef habitats and analyzed for stable isotope ratios in the juvenile and adult otolith zones. δ(13)C signatures were significantly depleted in the juvenile compared to the adult zones, indicative of different habitat use through ontogeny. Maximum likelihood analysis identified that 82% of adult reef L. harak had resided in either mangrove (29%) or seagrass (53%) or reef (18%) habitats as juveniles. Of adult L. fulviflamma caught from offshore reefs, 99% had passed through mangroves habitats as juveniles. In contrast, L. lentjan adults originated predominantly from coral reefs (65-72%) as opposed to inshore vegetated habitats (28-35%). This study presents conclusive evidence for a nursery role of Indo-Pacific mangrove habitats for reef fish populations. It shows that intertidal habitats that are only temporarily available can form an important juvenile habitat for some species, and that reef fish populations are often replenished by multiple coastal habitats. Maintaining connectivity between inshore vegetated habitats and coral reefs, and conserving habitat mosaics rather than single nursery habitats, is a major priority for the sustainability of various Indo Pacific fish populations.

  17. The mangrove nursery paradigm revisited: otolith stable isotopes support nursery-to-reef movements by Indo-Pacific fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael A Kimirei

    Full Text Available Mangroves and seagrass beds have long been perceived as important nurseries for many fish species. While there is growing evidence from the Western Atlantic that mangrove habitats are intricately connected to coral reefs through ontogenetic fish migrations, there is an ongoing debate of the value of these coastal ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific. The present study used natural tags, viz. otolith stable carbon and oxygen isotopes, to investigate for the first time the degree to which multiple tropical juvenile habitats subsidize coral reef fish populations in the Indo Pacific (Tanzania. Otoliths of three reef fish species (Lethrinus harak, L. lentjan and Lutjanus fulviflamma were collected in mangrove, seagrass and coral reef habitats and analyzed for stable isotope ratios in the juvenile and adult otolith zones. δ(13C signatures were significantly depleted in the juvenile compared to the adult zones, indicative of different habitat use through ontogeny. Maximum likelihood analysis identified that 82% of adult reef L. harak had resided in either mangrove (29% or seagrass (53% or reef (18% habitats as juveniles. Of adult L. fulviflamma caught from offshore reefs, 99% had passed through mangroves habitats as juveniles. In contrast, L. lentjan adults originated predominantly from coral reefs (65-72% as opposed to inshore vegetated habitats (28-35%. This study presents conclusive evidence for a nursery role of Indo-Pacific mangrove habitats for reef fish populations. It shows that intertidal habitats that are only temporarily available can form an important juvenile habitat for some species, and that reef fish populations are often replenished by multiple coastal habitats. Maintaining connectivity between inshore vegetated habitats and coral reefs, and conserving habitat mosaics rather than single nursery habitats, is a major priority for the sustainability of various Indo Pacific fish populations.

  18. Widespread hybridization and bidirectional introgression in sympatric species of coral reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Harrison, Hugo B.

    2017-10-28

    Coral reefs are highly diverse ecosystems, where numerous closely related species often coexist. How new species arise and are maintained in these high geneflow environments have been long-standing conundrums. Hybridization and patterns of introgression between sympatric species provide a unique insight into the mechanisms of speciation and the maintenance of species boundaries. In this study, we investigate the extent of hybridization between two closely related species of coral reef fish: the common coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus) and the bar-cheek coral trout (Plectropomus maculatus). Using a complementary set of 25 microsatellite loci, we distinguish pure genotype classes from first- and later-generation hybrids, identifying 124 interspecific hybrids from a collection of 2,991 coral trout sampled in inshore and mid-shelf reefs of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Hybrids were ubiquitous among reefs, fertile and spanned multiple generations suggesting both ecological and evolutionary processes are acting to maintain species barriers. We elaborate on these finding to investigate the extent of genomic introgression and admixture from 2,271 SNP loci recovered from a ddRAD library of pure and hybrid individuals. An analysis of genomic clines on recovered loci indicates that 261 SNP loci deviate from a model of neutral introgression, of which 132 indicate a pattern of introgression consistent with selection favouring both hybrid and parental genotypes. Our findings indicate genome-wide, bidirectional introgression between two sympatric species of coral reef fishes and provide further support to a growing body of evidence for the role of hybridization in the evolution of coral reef fishes.

  19. Of reef fishes, overfishing and in situ observations of fish traps in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Virginia H.; Rogers, Caroline S.; Beets, J.

    1998-01-01

    Fishing with a variety of methods and gears, including traps, is allowed within the waters of Virgin Islands National Park (St. 10hn, U.S. Virgin Islands). Randall's 1 9 6 1 observation of the effects of overushing in nearshore waters off Sto John has been followed by three and a half decades of reports documenting the declining reef fish catch in the Virgin Islands and much of the Caribbean. To assess the state of the trap fishery in St. John waters, traps set by fishers were visually censused in situ in 1992, 1993 and 1994 both inside and outside park waters. Fifty-nine species of fishes representing 23 families and 1340 individuals were identified from 285 traps set in five habitat types (coral reef, octocoral hard-bottom, seagrass beds, algal plains and non-living substrate). The greatest number of observed traps were in algal plain (31%) and gorgonian habitat (27%), pointing to greater exploitation of deeper, non­ coral habitats. Coral habitat accounted for the most species trapped (41), whereas the mean number of fishes per trap was highest in algal plain (5.7, se=0.6). Six species made up 51% of all fish observed in traps. The Acanthuridae was the most abundant family. Species composition and number of fishes per trap were similar inside and outside park waters. Scarids and serranids were more frequently observed in traps inside the park. Between 1992 and 1994. patterns in the data emerged: smaller numbers of fish per trap; shifts to smaller size classes; fewer serranids, lutjanids, sparids, and balistids, and all feeding guilds except herbivores per trap; more acanthurids per trap. Compared with other trap data from the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean - Florida region, the mean number of fish and biomass per St. John trap are low, serranid numbers are low, and acanthurid and herbivore numbers are high. The reef-associated fishes of St. John appear to be overexploited.

  20. Modeling Reef Fish Biomass, Recovery Potential, and Management Priorities in the Western Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, Timothy R; Maina, Joseph M; Graham, Nicholas A J; Jones, Kendall R

    2016-01-01

    Fish biomass is a primary driver of coral reef ecosystem services and has high sensitivity to human disturbances, particularly fishing. Estimates of fish biomass, their spatial distribution, and recovery potential are important for evaluating reef status and crucial for setting management targets. Here we modeled fish biomass estimates across all reefs of the western Indian Ocean using key variables that predicted the empirical data collected from 337 sites. These variables were used to create biomass and recovery time maps to prioritize spatially explicit conservation actions. The resultant fish biomass map showed high variability ranging from ~15 to 2900 kg/ha, primarily driven by human populations, distance to markets, and fisheries management restrictions. Lastly, we assembled data based on the age of fisheries closures and showed that biomass takes ~ 25 years to recover to typical equilibrium values of ~1200 kg/ha. The recovery times to biomass levels for sustainable fishing yields, maximum diversity, and ecosystem stability or conservation targets once fishing is suspended was modeled to estimate temporal costs of restrictions. The mean time to recovery for the whole region to the conservation target was 8.1(± 3SD) years, while recovery to sustainable fishing thresholds was between 0.5 and 4 years, but with high spatial variation. Recovery prioritization scenario models included one where local governance prioritized recovery of degraded reefs and two that prioritized minimizing recovery time, where countries either operated independently or collaborated. The regional collaboration scenario selected remote areas for conservation with uneven national responsibilities and spatial coverage, which could undermine collaboration. There is the potential to achieve sustainable fisheries within a decade by promoting these pathways according to their social-ecological suitability.

  1. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data at Jarvis Island from 2016-05-16 to 2016-05-22 (NCEI Accession 0157594)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Surveys were conducted in the course of a reef fish survey cruise conducted by the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) at the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries...

  2. Recovery of a temperate reef assemblage in a marine protected area following the exclusion of towed demersal fishing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma V Sheehan

    Full Text Available Marine Protected Areas MPA have been widely used over the last 2 decades to address human impacts on marine habitats within an ecosystem management context. Few studies have quantified recovery of temperate rocky reef communities following the cessation of scallop dredging or demersal trawling. This is critical information for the future management of these habitats to contribute towards conservation and fisheries targets. The Lyme Bay MPA, in south west UK, has excluded towed demersal fishing gear from 206 km(2 of sensitive reef habitat using a Statutory Instrument since July 2008. To assess benthic recovery in this MPA we used a flying video array to survey macro epi-benthos annually from 2008 to 2011. 4 treatments (the New Closure, previously voluntarily Closed Controls and Near or Far Open to fishing Controls were sampled to test a recovery hypothesis that was defined as 'the New Closure becoming more similar to the Closed Controls and less similar to the Open Controls'. Following the cessation of towed demersal fishing, within three years positive responses were observed for species richness, total abundance, assemblage composition and seven of 13 indicator taxa. Definitive evidence of recovery was noted for species richness and three of the indicator taxa (Pentapora fascialis, Phallusia mammillata and Pecten maximus. While it is hoped that MPAs, which exclude anthropogenic disturbance, will allow functional restoration of goods and services provided by benthic communities, it is an unknown for temperate reef systems. Establishing the likely timescales for restoration is key to future marine management. We demonstrate the early stages of successful recruitment and link these to the potential wider ecosystem benefits including those to commercial fisheries.

  3. Recovery of a temperate reef assemblage in a marine protected area following the exclusion of towed demersal fishing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, Emma V; Stevens, Timothy F; Gall, Sarah C; Cousens, Sophie L; Attrill, Martin J

    2013-01-01

    Marine Protected Areas MPA have been widely used over the last 2 decades to address human impacts on marine habitats within an ecosystem management context. Few studies have quantified recovery of temperate rocky reef communities following the cessation of scallop dredging or demersal trawling. This is critical information for the future management of these habitats to contribute towards conservation and fisheries targets. The Lyme Bay MPA, in south west UK, has excluded towed demersal fishing gear from 206 km(2) of sensitive reef habitat using a Statutory Instrument since July 2008. To assess benthic recovery in this MPA we used a flying video array to survey macro epi-benthos annually from 2008 to 2011. 4 treatments (the New Closure, previously voluntarily Closed Controls and Near or Far Open to fishing Controls) were sampled to test a recovery hypothesis that was defined as 'the New Closure becoming more similar to the Closed Controls and less similar to the Open Controls'. Following the cessation of towed demersal fishing, within three years positive responses were observed for species richness, total abundance, assemblage composition and seven of 13 indicator taxa. Definitive evidence of recovery was noted for species richness and three of the indicator taxa (Pentapora fascialis, Phallusia mammillata and Pecten maximus). While it is hoped that MPAs, which exclude anthropogenic disturbance, will allow functional restoration of goods and services provided by benthic communities, it is an unknown for temperate reef systems. Establishing the likely timescales for restoration is key to future marine management. We demonstrate the early stages of successful recruitment and link these to the potential wider ecosystem benefits including those to commercial fisheries.

  4. Adapt, move or die - how will tropical coral reef fishes cope with ocean warming?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habary, Adam; Johansen, Jacob L.; Nay, Tiffany J.

    2017-01-01

    poleward, away from ocean warming hotspots where temperatures 2-3 °C above long-term annual means can compromise critical physiological processes. We examined the capacity of a model species - a thermally sensitive coral reef fish, Chromis viridis (Pomacentridae) - to use preference behaviour to regulate...

  5. The evolution of fishes and corals on reefs: form, function and interdependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellwood, David R; Goatley, Christopher H R; Bellwood, Orpha

    2017-05-01

    Coral reefs are renowned for their spectacular biodiversity and the close links between fishes and corals. Despite extensive fossil records and common biogeographic histories, the evolution of these two key groups has rarely been considered together. We therefore examine recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and palaeoecology, and place the evolution of fishes and corals in a functional context. In critically reviewing the available fossil and phylogenetic evidence, we reveal a marked congruence in the evolution of the two groups. Despite one group consisting of swimming vertebrates and the other colonial symbiotic invertebrates, fishes and corals have remarkably similar evolutionary histories. In the Paleocene and Eocene [66-34 million years ago (Ma)] most modern fish and coral families were present, and both were represented by a wide range of functional morphotypes. However, there is little evidence of diversification at this time. By contrast, in the Oligocene and Miocene (34-5.3 Ma), both groups exhibited rapid lineage diversification. There is also evidence of increasing reef area, occupation of new habitats, increasing coral cover, and potentially, increasing fish abundance. Functionally, the Oligocene-Miocene is marked by the appearance of new fish and coral taxa associated with high-turnover fast-growth ecosystems and the colonization of reef flats. It is in this period that the functional characteristics of modern coral reefs were established. Most species, however, only arose in the last 5.3 million years (Myr; Plio-Pleistocene), with the average age of fish species being 5.3 Myr, and corals just 1.9 Myr. While these species are genetically distinct, phenotypic differences are often limited to variation in colour or minor morphological features. This suggests that the rapid increase in biodiversity during the last 5.3 Myr was not matched by changes in ecosystem function. For reef fishes, colour appears to be central to recent

  6. Effects of fisheries closures and gear restrictions on fishing income in a Kenyan coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, Timothy R

    2010-12-01

    The adoption of fisheries closures and gear restrictions in the conservation of coral reefs may be limited by poor understanding of the economic profitability of competing economic uses of marine resources. Over the past 12 years, I evaluated the effects of gear regulation and fisheries closures on per person and per area incomes from fishing in coral reefs of Kenya. In two of my study areas, the use of small-meshed beach seines was stopped after 6 years; one of these areas was next to a fishery closure. In my third study area, fishing was unregulated. Fishing yields on per capita daily wet weight basis were 20% higher after seine-net fishing was stopped. The per person daily fishing income adjacent to the closed areas was 14 and 22% higher than the fishing income at areas with only gear restrictions before and after the seine-net restriction, respectively. Incomes differed because larger fish were captured next to the closed area and the price per weight (kilograms) increased as fish size increased and because catches adjacent to the closure contained fish species of higher market value. Per capita incomes were 41 and 135% higher for those who fished in gear-restricted areas and near-closed areas, respectively, compared with those who fished areas with no restrictions. On a per unit area basis (square kilometers), differences in fishing income among the three areas were not large because fishing effort increased as the number of restrictions decreased. Changes in catch were, however, larger and often in the opposite direction expected from changes in effort alone. For example, effort declined 21% but nominal profits per square kilometer (not accounting for inflation) increased 29% near the area with gear restrictions. Gear restrictions also reduced the cost of fishing and increased the proportion of self-employed fishers. © 2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the U.S. Pacific Reefs from 2008-01-27 to 2012-09-13 (NCEI Accession 0162472)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (nSPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  8. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data at Coral Reef Sites across the Pacific Ocean from 2008 to 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (nSPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  9. Density-dependent habitat selection and performance by a large mobile reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindberg, William J; Frazer, Thomas K; Portier, Kenneth M; Vose, Frederic; Loftin, James; Murie, Debra J; Mason, Doran M; Nagy, Brian; Hart, Mary K

    2006-04-01

    Many exploited reef fish are vulnerable to overfishing because they concentrate over hard-bottom patchy habitats. How mobile reef fish use patchy habitat, and the potential consequences on demographic parameters, must be known for spatially explicit population dynamics modeling, for discriminating essential fish habitat (EFH), and for effectively planning conservation measures (e.g., marine protected areas, stock enhancement, and artificial reefs). Gag, Mycteroperca microlepis, is an ecologically and economically important warm-temperate grouper in the southeastern United States, with behavioral and life history traits conducive to large-scale field experiments. The Suwannee Regional Reef System (SRRS) was built of standard habitat units (SHUs) in 1991-1993 to manipulate and control habitat patchiness and intrinsic habitat quality, and thereby test predictions from habitat selection theory. Colonization of the SRRS by gag over the first six years showed significant interactions of SHU size, spacing, and reef age; with trajectories modeled using a quadratic function for closely spaced SHUs (25 m) and a linear model for widely spaced SHUs (225 m), with larger SHUs (16 standardized cubes) accumulating significantly more gag faster than smaller 4-cube SHUs (mean = 72.5 gag/16-cube SHU at 225-m spacing by year 6, compared to 24.2 gag/4-cube SHU for same spacing and reef age). Residency times (mean = 9.8 mo), indicative of choice and measured by ultrasonic telemetry (1995-1998), showed significant interaction of SHU size and spacing consistent with colonization trajectories. Average relative weight (W(r)) and incremental growth were greater on smaller than larger SHUs (mean W(r) = 104.2 vs. 97.7; incremental growth differed by 15%), contrary to patterns of abundance and residency. Experimental manipulation of shelter on a subset of SRRS sites (2000-2001) confirmed our hypothesis that shelter limits local densities of gag, which, in turn, regulates their growth and

  10. [Fish community structure and its seasonal change in subtidal sandy beach habitat off southern Gouqi Island].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhen-Hua; Wang, Kai; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Shou-Yu

    2011-05-01

    To understand the characteristics of fish community structure in sandy beach habitats of island reef water areas, and to evaluate the potential capacity of these habitats in local fish stock maintenance, fishes were monthly collected with multi-mesh trammel nets in 2009 from the subtidal sandy beach habitat off southern Gouqi Island, taking the adjacent rocky reef habitat as the control. alpha and beta species diversity indices, index of relative importance (IRI), relative catch rate, and dominance curve for abundance and biomass (ABC curve) were adopted to compare the fish species composition, diversity, and community pattern between the two habitats, and multivariate statistical analyses such as non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) and cluster were conducted to discuss the fish assemblage patterns. A total of 63 fish species belonging to 11 orders, 38 families, and 56 genera were collected, of which, 46 fish species were appeared in the two habitats. Due to the appearance of more warm water species in sandy bottom, the fishes in subtidal sandy beach habitat showed much higher richness, and the abundance catch rate (ACR) from May to July was higher than that in rocky reef habitat. In most rest months, the ACR in subtidal sandy beach habitat also showed the similar trend. However, the species richness and diversity in spring and summer were significantly lower in subtidal sandy beach habitat than in rocky reef habitat, because of the high species dominance and low evenness in the sandy beach habitat. Japanese tonguefish (Paraplagusia japonica) was the indicator species in the sandy beach habitat, and dominated in early spring, later summer, autumn, and winter when the fishing pressure was not strong. In sandy bottom, a unique community structure was formed and kept in dynamic, due to the nursery use of sandy beach by Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) from May to July, the gathering of gray mullet (Mugil cephalus) in most months for feeding, and the large

  11. Effects of an artificial oyster shell reef on macrobenthic communities in Rongcheng Bay, East China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Qinzeng; Zhang, Libin; Zhang, Tao; Zhou, Yi; Xia, Sudong; Liu, Hui; Yang, Hongsheng

    2014-01-01

    An artificial oyster shell reef was deployed in Rongcheng Bay, East China. However, the effects of this reef on the surrounding macrobenthic communities were unknown. We compared sedimentary factors, macrobenthic biomass, abundance, and community composition and ecological indicators between the reef and non-reef areas over a one year period. The mean values for chlorophyll a (Chl a), total organic matter (TOM), total organic carbon (TOC), and total nitrogen (TN) content in surface sediments in the reef area were slightly higher than those in the non-reef area. The Chl a levels differed significantly between the two areas, but the TOM, TOC, and TN were not significantly different. The abundance of crustaceans was significantly different between the two areas, but the abundance and biomass of polychaetes, echinoderms, mollusk did not differ significantly. The permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) revealed that the macrobenthic community differed significantly through time and analysis of similarity multivariate analyses (ANOSIM) revealed that the macrobenthic community differed significantly in some months. The ecological indicators revealed that the environmental quality of the reef area was slightly better than that of the non-reef area. Overall, our results suggest that the artificial oyster shell reef may change the macrobenthic community and the quality of the environment. Despite the lack of an effect in the short term, long-term monitoring is still needed to evaluate the effects of artificial oyster shell reefs on macrobenthic communities.

  12. Influence of depth on sex-specific energy allocation patterns in a tropical reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoey, J.; McCormick, M. I.; Hoey, A. S.

    2007-09-01

    The effect of depth on the distribution and sex-specific energy allocation patterns of a common coral reef fish, Chrysiptera rollandi (Pomacentridae), was investigated using depth-stratified collections over a broad depth range (5-39 m) and a translocation experiment. C. rollandi consistently selected rubble habitats at each depth, however abundance patterns did not reflect the availability of the preferred microhabitat suggesting a preference for depth as well as microhabitat. Reproductive investment (gonado-somatic index), energy stores (liver cell density and hepatocyte vacuolation), and overall body condition (hepato-somatic index and Fulton’s K) of female fish varied significantly among depths and among the three reefs sampled. Male conspecifics displayed no variation between depth or reef. Depth influenced growth dynamics, with faster initial growth rates and smaller mean asymptotic lengths with decreasing depth. In female fish, relative gonad weight and overall body condition (Fulton’s K and hepato-somatic index) were generally higher in shallower depths (≤10 m). Hepatic lipid storage was highest at the deepest sites sampled on each reef, whereas hepatic glycogen stores tended to decrease with depth. Depth was found to influence energy allocation dynamics in C. rollandi. While it is unclear what processes directly influenced the depth-related patterns in energy allocation, this study shows that individuals across a broad depth gradient are not all in the same physiological state and may contribute differentially to the population reproductive output.

  13. Coral reef fish biomass and benthic cover data from Timor-Leste in June 2013 (NCEI Accession 0165354)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral reef fish and benthos were surveyed at 150 shallow-water coral reef sites across the north coast of Timor-Leste and around Atauro Island in June 2013 during a...

  14. Fitness consequences of habitat variability, trophic position, and energy allocation across the depth distribution of a coral-reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, E. D.; D'Alessandro, E. K.; Sponaugle, S.

    2017-09-01

    Environmental clines such as latitude and depth that limit species' distributions may be associated with gradients in habitat suitability that can affect the fitness of an organism. With the global loss of shallow-water photosynthetic coral reefs, mesophotic coral ecosystems ( 30-150 m) may be buffered from some environmental stressors, thereby serving as refuges for a range of organisms including mobile obligate reef dwellers. Yet habitat suitability may be diminished at the depth boundary of photosynthetic coral reefs. We assessed the suitability of coral-reef habitats across the majority of the depth distribution of a common demersal reef fish ( Stegastes partitus) ranging from shallow shelf (SS, restrict foraging. Fish in MP environments had a broader diet niche, higher trophic position, and higher muscle C:N ratios compared to shallower environments. High C:N ratios suggest increased tissue lipid content in fish in MP habitats that coincided with higher investment in reproduction based on gonado-somatic index. These results suggest that peripheral MP reefs are suitable habitats for demersal reef fish and may be important refuges for organisms common on declining shallow coral reefs.

  15. Coral recovery may not herald the return of fishes on damaged coral reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Bellwood, David R.; Baird, Andrew Hamilton; Depczynski, Martial R.; Gonzá lez-Cabello, Alonso; Hoey, Andrew; Lefé vre, Carine D.; Tanner, Jennifer K.

    2012-01-01

    The dynamic nature of coral reefs offers a rare opportunity to examine the response of ecosystems to disruption due to climate change. In 1998, the Great Barrier Reef experienced widespread coral bleaching and mortality. As a result, cryptobenthic fish assemblages underwent a dramatic phase-shift. Thirteen years, and up to 96 fish generations later, the cryptobenthic fish assemblage has not returned to its pre-bleach configuration. This is despite coral abundances returning to, or exceeding, pre-bleach values. The post-bleach fish assemblage exhibits no evidence of recovery. If these short-lived fish species are a model for their longer-lived counterparts, they suggest that (1) the full effects of the 1998 bleaching event on long-lived fish populations have yet to be seen, (2) it may take decades, or more, before recovery or regeneration of these long-lived species will begin, and (3) fish assemblages may not recover to their previous composition despite the return of corals. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  16. Coral recovery may not herald the return of fishes on damaged coral reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Bellwood, David R.

    2012-03-25

    The dynamic nature of coral reefs offers a rare opportunity to examine the response of ecosystems to disruption due to climate change. In 1998, the Great Barrier Reef experienced widespread coral bleaching and mortality. As a result, cryptobenthic fish assemblages underwent a dramatic phase-shift. Thirteen years, and up to 96 fish generations later, the cryptobenthic fish assemblage has not returned to its pre-bleach configuration. This is despite coral abundances returning to, or exceeding, pre-bleach values. The post-bleach fish assemblage exhibits no evidence of recovery. If these short-lived fish species are a model for their longer-lived counterparts, they suggest that (1) the full effects of the 1998 bleaching event on long-lived fish populations have yet to be seen, (2) it may take decades, or more, before recovery or regeneration of these long-lived species will begin, and (3) fish assemblages may not recover to their previous composition despite the return of corals. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  17. Carbonate Production by Benthic Communities on Shallow Coralgal Reefs of Abrolhos Bank, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Moura Dos Reis

    Full Text Available The abundance of reef builders, non-builders and the calcium carbonate produced by communities established in Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs were determined in three Abrolhos Bank shallow reefs during the period from 2012 to 2014. In addition, the seawater temperature, the irradiance, and the amount and composition of the sediments were determined. The inner and outer reef arcs were compared. CAUs located on the inner reef shelf were under the influence of terrigenous sediments. On the outer reefs, the sediments were composed primarily of marine biogenic carbonates. The mean carbonate production in shallow reefs of Abrolhos was 579 ± 98 g m-2 y-1. The builder community was dominated by crustose coralline algae, while the non-builder community was dominated by turf. A marine heat wave was detected during the summer of 2013-2014, and the number of consecutive days with a temperature above or below the summer mean was positively correlated with the turf cover increase. The mean carbonate production of the shallow reefs of Abrolhos Bank was greater than the estimated carbonate production measured for artificial structures on several other shallow reefs of the world. The calcimass was higher than the non-calcareous mass, suggesting that the Abrolhos reefs are still in a positive carbonate production balance. Given that marine heat waves produce an increase of turf cover on the shallow reefs of the Abrolhos, a decrease in the cover represented by reef builders and shifting carbonate production are expected in the near future.

  18. Carbonate Production by Benthic Communities on Shallow Coralgal Reefs of Abrolhos Bank, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Vanessa Moura Dos; Karez, Cláudia Santiago; Mariath, Rodrigo; de Moraes, Fernando Coreixas; de Carvalho, Rodrigo Tomazetto; Brasileiro, Poliana Silva; Bahia, Ricardo da Gama; Lotufo, Tito Monteiro da Cruz; Ramalho, Laís Vieira; de Moura, Rodrigo Leão; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo Bastos; Pereira-Filho, Guilherme Henrique; Thompson, Fabiano Lopes; Bastos, Alex Cardoso; Salgado, Leonardo Tavares; Amado-Filho, Gilberto Menezes

    2016-01-01

    The abundance of reef builders, non-builders and the calcium carbonate produced by communities established in Calcification Accretion Units (CAUs) were determined in three Abrolhos Bank shallow reefs during the period from 2012 to 2014. In addition, the seawater temperature, the irradiance, and the amount and composition of the sediments were determined. The inner and outer reef arcs were compared. CAUs located on the inner reef shelf were under the influence of terrigenous sediments. On the outer reefs, the sediments were composed primarily of marine biogenic carbonates. The mean carbonate production in shallow reefs of Abrolhos was 579 ± 98 g m-2 y-1. The builder community was dominated by crustose coralline algae, while the non-builder community was dominated by turf. A marine heat wave was detected during the summer of 2013-2014, and the number of consecutive days with a temperature above or below the summer mean was positively correlated with the turf cover increase. The mean carbonate production of the shallow reefs of Abrolhos Bank was greater than the estimated carbonate production measured for artificial structures on several other shallow reefs of the world. The calcimass was higher than the non-calcareous mass, suggesting that the Abrolhos reefs are still in a positive carbonate production balance. Given that marine heat waves produce an increase of turf cover on the shallow reefs of the Abrolhos, a decrease in the cover represented by reef builders and shifting carbonate production are expected in the near future.

  19. Behavior of prey links midwater and demersal piscivorous reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J. Auster

    Full Text Available Pelagic and demersal guilds of piscivorous fishes are linked by a variety of biological and physical processes that mediate interactions with common prey species. Understanding the behaviors of predators and prey can provide insight into the conditions that make such linkages possible. Here we report on the behaviors of mid-water piscivorous fishes and the responses of prey that produce feeding opportunities for demersal piscivorous fishes associated with "live bottom" ledge habitats off the coast of Georgia (northwest Atlantic Ocean. Prey taxa reduced nearest neighbor distances and retreated towards the seafloor during predatory attacks by mid-water fishes. Demersal fishes subsequently attacked and consumed prey in these ephemeral high density patches. No predation by demersal fishes was observed when prey species were at background densities. If the predator-prey interactions of demersal piscivorous fishes are commonly mediated by the predatory behavior of midwater piscivorous fishes and their prey, such indirect facilitative behaviors may be important in terms of the population processes (e.g., prey consumption and growth rates of these demersal fishes.

  20. Importance of Mangroves, Seagrass Beds and the Shallow Coral Reef as a Nursery for Important Coral Reef Fishes, Using a Visual Census Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, I.; van der Velde, G.; Gorissen, M. W.; Meijer, G. J.; Van't Hof, T.; den Hartog, C.

    2000-07-01

    The nursery function of various biotopes for coral reef fishes was investigated on Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Length and abundance of 16 commercially important reef fish species were determined by means of visual censuses during the day in six different biotopes: mangrove prop-roots ( Rhizophora mangle) and seagrass beds ( Thalassia testudinum) in Lac Bay, and four depth zones on the coral reef (0 to 3 m, 3 to 5 m, 10 to 15 m and 15 to 20 m). The mangroves, seagrass beds and shallow coral reef (0 to 3 m) appeared to be the main nursery biotopes for the juveniles of the selected species. Mutual comparison between biotopes showed that the seagrass beds were the most important nursery biotope for juvenile Haemulon flavolineatum, H. sciurus, Ocyurus chrysurus, Acanthurus chirurgus and Sparisoma viride, the mangroves for juvenile Lutjanus apodus, L. griseus, Sphyraena barracuda and Chaetodon capistratus, and the shallow coral reef for juvenile H. chrysargyreum, L. mahogoni , A. bahianus and Abudefduf saxatilis. Juvenile Acanthurus coeruleus utilized all six biotopes, while juvenile H. carbonarium and Anisotremus surinamensis were not observed in any of the six biotopes. Although fishes showed a clear preference for a specific nursery biotope, most fish species utilized multiple nursery biotopes simultaneously. The almost complete absence of juveniles on the deeper reef zones indicates the high dependence of juveniles on the shallow water biotopes as a nursery. For most fish species an (partial) ontogenetic shift was observed at a particular life stage from their (shallow) nursery biotopes to the (deeper) coral reef. Cluster analyses showed that closely related species within the families Haemulidae, Lutjanidae and Acanthuridae, and the different size classes within species in most cases had a spatial separation in biotope utilization.

  1. Understanding Coral Reef Fish Characteristics Using Videogrammetry in Hanauma and Maunalua Bays, Oahu, Hawaii during 2007 (NODC Accession 0042353)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Videogrammetry data taken in 2007 are used for a study of fish within coral reef ecosystems. We attempted to generate or find information on abundance, growth,...

  2. Coral reef fish species survey data GIS from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NODC Accession 0001394)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set consists of an ArcView shapefile set that contains locations of sampled coral reef fish species at the National Marine Sanctuary along the Florida...

  3. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program's 2016 Projects that Work Towards Stratefic Goals to Reduce Fishing Impacts on Coral

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2016 the following projects will take place to work towards CRCP's strategic goals to reduce fishing impacts on coral reefs Building GIS Long-term Capacity:...

  4. Larval traits carry over to affect post-settlement behaviour in a common coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dingeldein, Andrea L; White, J Wilson

    2016-07-01

    Most reef fishes begin life as planktonic larvae before settling to the reef, metamorphosing and entering the benthic adult population. Different selective forces determine survival in the planktonic and benthic life stages, but traits established in the larval stage may carry over to affect post-settlement performance. We tested the hypothesis that larval traits affect two key post-settlement fish behaviours: social group-joining and foraging. Certain larval traits of reef fishes are permanently recorded in the rings in their otoliths. In the bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum), prior work has shown that key larval traits recorded in otoliths (growth rate, energetic condition at settlement) carry over to affect post-settlement survival on the reef, with higher-larval-condition fish experiencing less post-settlement mortality. We hypothesized that this selective mortality is mediated by carry-over effects on post-settlement antipredator behaviours. We predicted that better-condition fish would forage less and be more likely to join groups, both behaviours that would reduce predation risk. We collected 550 recently settled bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum) from three reef sites off St. Croix (USVI) and performed two analyses. First, we compared each settler's larval traits to the size of its social group to determine whether larval traits influenced group-joining behaviour. Secondly, we observed foraging behaviour in a subset of grouped and solitary fish (n = 14) for 1-4 days post-settlement. We then collected the fish and tested whether larval traits influenced the proportion of time spent foraging. Body length at settlement, but not condition, affected group-joining behaviour; smaller fish were more likely to remain solitary or in smaller groups. However, both greater length and better condition were associated with greater proportions of time spent foraging over four consecutive days post-settlement. Larval traits carry over to affect post

  5. Monitoring of Coral Reef Ecosystems on Maui, Hawaii during 1989-1998 (NODC Accession 9900242)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In an effort to detect spatial and temporal changes in the structure of the coral reef community, coral coverage and reef fish density and diversity were documented...

  6. Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Reef Fish Spawning ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The spatial patterns among fish families were attributed to a combination of differences in species abundance and distribution as well as variation in fishing effort. Spawning periodicity reported by fishers indicated that for snappers and rabbitfishes, the most activity occurred across a protracted period of October to April/May, ...

  7. THE BEHAVIOUR OF REEF-DWELLING SPARID FISHES

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    down movement of the bait caused by swells. It is also believed that dropping anchor will frighten off the fish, and it is a fact that catches usually show a reduction after anchoring. The bite of the two size groups is also different, the younger fish ...

  8. Anthropogenic impacts on coral reefs and their effect on fishery of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Anthropogenic impacts on coral reefs and their effect on fishery of Kilwa District, Tanzania. ... Tanzanian fishing coastal communities live on fishing activities as one their major economic activities, practicing fishing on shallow ... Overfishing,

  9. Comparing relative abundance, lengths, and habitat of temperate reef fishes using simultaneous underwater visual census, video, and trap sampling

    KAUST Repository

    Bacheler, NM

    2017-04-28

    Unbiased counts of individuals or species are often impossible given the prevalence of cryptic or mobile species. We used 77 simultaneous multi-gear deployments to make inferences about relative abundance, diversity, length composition, and habitat of the reef fish community along the southeastern US Atlantic coast. In total, 117 taxa were observed by underwater visual census (UVC), stationary video, and chevron fish traps, with more taxa being observed by UVC (100) than video (82) or traps (20). Frequency of occurrence of focal species was similar among all sampling approaches for tomtate Haemulon aurolineatum and black sea bass Centropristis striata, higher for UVC and video compared to traps for red snapper Lutjanus campechanus, vermilion snapper Rhomboplites aurorubens, and gray triggerfish Balistes capriscus, and higher for UVC compared to video or traps for gray snapper L. griseus and lionfish Pterois spp. For 6 of 7 focal species, correlations of relative abundance among gears were strongest between UVC and video, but there was substantial variability among species. The number of recorded species between UVC and video was correlated (ρ = 0.59), but relationships between traps and the other 2 methods were weaker. Lengths of fish visually estimated by UVC were similar to lengths of fish caught in traps, as were habitat characterizations from UVC and video. No gear provided a complete census for any species in our study, suggesting that analytical methods accounting for imperfect detection are necessary to make unbiased inferences about fish abundance.

  10. A Global Estimate of the Number of Coral Reef Fishers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise S L Teh

    Full Text Available Overfishing threatens coral reefs worldwide, yet there is no reliable estimate on the number of reef fishers globally. We address this data gap by quantifying the number of reef fishers on a global scale, using two approaches - the first estimates reef fishers as a proportion of the total number of marine fishers in a country, based on the ratio of reef-related to total marine fish landed values. The second estimates reef fishers as a function of coral reef area, rural coastal population, and fishing pressure. In total, we find that there are 6 million reef fishers in 99 reef countries and territories worldwide, of which at least 25% are reef gleaners. Our estimates are an improvement over most existing fisher population statistics, which tend to omit accounting for gleaners and reef fishers. Our results suggest that slightly over a quarter of the world's small-scale fishers fish on coral reefs, and half of all coral reef fishers are in Southeast Asia. Coral reefs evidently support the socio-economic well-being of numerous coastal communities. By quantifying the number of people who are employed as reef fishers, we provide decision-makers with an important input into planning for sustainable coral reef fisheries at the appropriate scale.

  11. A Global Estimate of the Number of Coral Reef Fishers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teh, Louise S L; Teh, Lydia C L; Sumaila, U Rashid

    2013-01-01

    Overfishing threatens coral reefs worldwide, yet there is no reliable estimate on the number of reef fishers globally. We address this data gap by quantifying the number of reef fishers on a global scale, using two approaches - the first estimates reef fishers as a proportion of the total number of marine fishers in a country, based on the ratio of reef-related to total marine fish landed values. The second estimates reef fishers as a function of coral reef area, rural coastal population, and fishing pressure. In total, we find that there are 6 million reef fishers in 99 reef countries and territories worldwide, of which at least 25% are reef gleaners. Our estimates are an improvement over most existing fisher population statistics, which tend to omit accounting for gleaners and reef fishers. Our results suggest that slightly over a quarter of the world's small-scale fishers fish on coral reefs, and half of all coral reef fishers are in Southeast Asia. Coral reefs evidently support the socio-economic well-being of numerous coastal communities. By quantifying the number of people who are employed as reef fishers, we provide decision-makers with an important input into planning for sustainable coral reef fisheries at the appropriate scale.

  12. Evaluating the Potential for Marine and Hydrokinetic Devices to Act As Artificial Reefs or Fish Aggregating Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, S.; Nelson, P.

    2016-02-01

    Wave energy converters (WECs) and tidal energy converters (TECs) are only beginning to be deployed along the U.S. West Coast and in Hawai'i, and a better understanding of their ecological effects on fish, particularly on special status fish is needed to facilitate project siting, design and environmental permitting. The structures of WECs and TECs placed on to the seabed, such as anchors and foundations, may function as artificial reefs that attract reef associated fishes, while the midwater and surface structures, such as mooring lines, buoys, and wave or tidal power devices, may function as fish aggregating devices (FADs). We evaluated these potential ecological interactions by comparing them to surrogate structures, such as artificial reefs, natural reefs, kelp vegetation, floating and sunken debris, oil and gas platforms, anchored FADs deployed to enhance fishing opportunities, net cages used for mariculture, and piers and marinas. We also conducted guided discussions with scientists and resource managers to provide unpublished observations. Our findings indicate the structures of WECs and TECs placed on or near the seabed in coastal waters of the U.S. West Coast and Hawai`i likely will function as small scale artificial reefs and attract potentially high densities of reef associated fishes and the midwater and surface structures of WECs placed in the tropical waters of Hawai`i likely will function as de facto FADs.

  13. Marine reserves and reproductive biomass: a case study of a heavily targeted reef fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett M Taylor

    Full Text Available Recruitment overfishing (the reduction of a spawning stock past a point at which the stock can no longer replenish itself is a common problem which can lead to a rapid and irreversible fishery collapse. Averting this disaster requires maintaining a sufficient spawning population to buffer stochastic fluctuations in recruitment of heavily harvested stocks. Optimal strategies for managing spawner biomass are well developed for temperate systems, yet remain uncertain for tropical fisheries, where the danger of collapse from recruitment overfishing looms largest. In this study, we explored empirically and through modeling, the role of marine reserves in maximizing spawner biomass of a heavily exploited reef fish, Lethrinus harak around Guam, Micronesia. On average, spawner biomass was 16 times higher inside the reserves compared with adjacent fished sites. Adult density and habitat-specific mean fish size were also significantly greater. We used these data in an age-structured population model to explore the effect of several management scenarios on L. harak demography. Under minimum-size limits, unlimited extraction and all rotational-closure scenarios, the model predicts that preferential mortality of larger and older fish prompt dramatic declines in spawner biomass and the proportion of male fish, as well as considerable declines in total abundance. For rotational closures this occurred because of the mismatch between the scales of recovery and extraction. Our results highlight how alternative management scenarios fall short in comparison to marine reserves in preserving reproductively viable fish populations on coral reefs.

  14. Characterisation of the gill mucosal bacterial communities of four butterflyfish species: a reservoir of bacterial diversity in coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reverter, Miriam; Sasal, Pierre; Tapissier-Bontemps, N; Lecchini, D; Suzuki, M

    2017-06-01

    While recent studies have suggested that fish mucus microbiota play an important role in homeostasis and prevention of infections, very few studies have investigated the bacterial communities of gill mucus. We characterised the gill mucus bacterial communities of four butterflyfish species and although the bacterial diversity of gill mucus varied significantly between species, Shannon diversities were high (H = 3.7-5.7) in all species. Microbiota composition differed between butterflyfishes, with Chaetodon lunulatus and C. ornatissimus having the most similar bacterial communities, which differed significantly from C. vagabundus and C. reticulatus. The core bacterial community of all species consisted of mainly Proteobacteria followed by Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. Chaetodonlunulatus and C. ornatissimus bacterial communities were mostly dominated by Gammaproteobacteria with Vibrio as the most abundant genus. Chaetodonvagabundus and C. reticulatus presented similar abundances of Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria, which were well represented by Acinetobacter and Paracoccus, respectively. In conclusion, our results indicate that different fish species present specific bacterial assemblages. Finally, as mucus layers are nutrient hotspots for heterotrophic bacteria living in oligotrophic environments, such as coral reef waters, the high bacterial diversity found in butterflyfish gill mucus might indicate external fish mucus surfaces act as a reservoir of coral reef bacterial diversity. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Validation of microsatellite multiplexes for parentage analysis in a coral reef fish (Lutjanus carponotatus, Lutjanidae)

    KAUST Repository

    Harrison, Hugo B.

    2014-05-25

    Parentage analysis is an important tool for identifying connectivity patterns in coral reef fishes, but often requires numerous highly polymorphic markers. We isolated 21 polymorphic microsatellite markers from the stripey snapper, Lutjanus carponotatus and describe their integration into three multiplex PCRs. All markers were highly polymorphic with a mean of 24.9 ± 1.8 SE alleles per locus and an average observed heterozygosity of 0.797 ± 0.038 SE across 285 genotyped individuals. Using a simulated dataset, we conclude that the complete marker set provides sufficient resolution to resolve parent–offspring relationships in natural populations with 99.6 ± 0.1 % accuracy in parentage assignments. This multiplex assay provides an effective means of investigating larval dispersal and population connectivity in this fishery-targeted coral reef fish species and informing the design of marine protected area networks for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management.

  16. Distribution and reproduction of the reef fish Petrus rupestris (Pisces ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1988-05-06

    May 6, 1988 ... functional sexes, and the occurrence of sexual dichromatism, are described. Sexual maturity ... noted that spawning fish are found off the east coast of. South Africa. ...... species arid ecosystem approach to conservation. If sited.

  17. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: an assessment of coral reef fishes in the US Pacific Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zgliczynski, B. J.; Williams, I. D.; Schroeder, R. E.; Nadon, M. O.; Richards, B. L.; Sandin, S. A.

    2013-09-01

    Widespread declines among many coral reef fisheries have led scientists and managers to become increasingly concerned over the extinction risk facing some species. To aid in assessing the extinction risks facing coral reef fishes, large-scale censuses of the abundance and distribution of individual species are critically important. We use fisheries-independent data collected as part of the NOAA Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program from 2000 to 2009 to describe the range and density across the US Pacific of coral reef fishes included on The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) 2011 Red List of Threatened Species. Forty-five species, including sharks, rays, groupers, humphead wrasse ( Cheilinus undulatus), and bumphead parrotfish ( Bolbometopon muricatum), included on the IUCN List, were recorded in the US Pacific Islands. Most species were generally rare in the US Pacific with the exception of a few species, principally small groupers and reef sharks. The greatest diversity and densities of IUCN-listed fishes were recorded at remote and uninhabited islands of the Pacific Remote Island Areas; in general, lower densities were observed at reefs of inhabited islands. Our findings complement IUCN assessment efforts, emphasize the efficacy of large-scale assessment and monitoring efforts in providing quantitative data on reef fish assemblages, and highlight the importance of protecting populations at remote and uninhabited islands where some species included on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species can be observed in abundance.

  18. Inter-habitat variation in density and size composition of reef fishes from the Cuban Northwestern shelf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Consuelo; González-Sansón, Gaspar; Cabrera, Yureidy; Ruiz, Alexei; Curry, R Allen

    2014-06-01

    Movement and exchange of individuals among habitats is critical for the dynamics and success of reef fish populations. Size segregation among habitats could be taken as evidence for habitat connectivity, and this would be a first step to formulate hypotheses about ontogenetic inter-habitat migrations. The primary goal of our research was to find evidence of inter-habitat differences in size distributions and density of reef fish species that can be classified a priori as habitat-shifters in an extensive (-600km2) Caribbean shelf area in NW Cuba. We sampled the fish assemblage of selected species using visual census (stationary and transect methods) in 20 stations (sites) located in mangrove roots, patch reefs, inner zone of the crest and fore reef (12-16m depth). In each site, we performed ten censuses for every habitat type in June and September 2009. A total of 11 507 individuals of 34 species were counted in a total of 400 censuses. We found significant differences in densities and size compositions among reef and mangrove habitats, supporting the species-specific use of coastal habitats. Adults were found in all habitats. Reef habitats, mainly patch reefs, seem to be most important for juvenile fish of most species. Mangroves were especially important for two species of snappers (Lutjanus apodus and L. griseus), providing habitat for juveniles. These species also displayed well defined gradients in length composition across the shelf.

  19. Potential of Pigeon Creek, San Salvador, Bahamas, as Nursery Habitat for Juvenile Reef Fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conboy, Ian Christopher

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This project assessed the significance of Pigeon Creek, San Salvador, Bahamas as a nursery habitat for coral reef fishes. Pigeon Creek’s perimeter is lined with mangrove and limestone bedrock. The bottom is sand or seagrass and ranges in depth from exposed at low tide to a 3-m deep, tide-scoured channel. In June 2006 and January 2007, fish were counted and their maturity was recorded while sampling 112 of 309 possible 50-m transects along the perimeter of the Pigeon Creek. Excluding silversides (Atherinidae, 52% of fish counted, six families each comprised >1% of the total abundance (Scaridae/parrotfishes, 35.3%; Lutjanidae/snappers, 23.9%; Haemulidae/grunts, 21.0%; Gerreidae/mojarras, 8.5%; Pomacentridae/damselfishes, 6.1%; Labridae/wrasses, 2.4%. There were few differences in effort-adjusted counts among habitats (mangrove, bedrock, mixed, sections (north, middle, southwest and seasons (summer 2006 and winter 2007. Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle, covering 68% of the perimeter was where 62% of the fish were counted. Snappers, grunts and parrotfishes are important food fishes and significant families in terms of reef ecology around San Salvador. Mangrove was the most important habitat for snappers and grunts; bedrock was most important for parrotfishes. The southwest section was important for snappers, grunts and parrotfishes, the north section for grunts and parrotfishes, and the middle section for snappers. Among the non-silverside fish counted, 91.2% were juveniles. These results suggest that Pigeon Creek is an important nursery for the coral reefs surrounding San Salvador and should be protected from potential disturbances.

  20. Sediment-induced turbidity impairs foraging performance and prey choice of planktivorous coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, J L; Jones, G P

    2013-09-01

    Sedimentation is a substantial threat to aquatic ecosystems and a primary cause of habitat degradation on near-shore coral reefs. Although numerous studies have demonstrated major impacts of sedimentation and turbidity on corals, virtually nothing is known of the sensitivity of reef fishes. Planktivorous fishes are an important trophic group that funnels pelagic energy sources into reef ecosystems. These fishes are visual predators whose foraging is likely to be impaired by turbidity, but the threshold for such effects and their magnitude are unknown. This study examined the effect of sediment-induced turbidity on foraging in four species of planktivorous damselfishes (Pomacentridae) of the Great Barrier Reef, including inshore and offshore species that potentially differ in tolerance for turbidity. An experimental flow tunnel was used to quantify their ability to catch mobile and immobile planktonic prey under different levels of turbidity and velocity in the range encountered on natural and disturbed reefs. Turbidity of just 4 NTU (nephelometric turbidity units) reduced average attack success by up to 56%, with higher effect sizes for species with offshore distributions. Only the inshore species (Neopomacentrus bankieri), which frequently encounters this turbidity on coastal reefs, could maintain high prey capture success. At elevated turbidity similar to that found on disturbed reefs (8 NTU), attack success was reduced in all species examined by up to 69%. These reductions in attack success led to a 21-24% decrease in foraging rates for all mid to outer-shelf species, in spite of increasing attack rates at high turbidity. Although effects of turbidity varied among species, it always depended heavily on prey mobility and ambient velocity. Attack success was up to 14 times lower on mobile prey, leaving species relatively incapable of foraging on anything but immobile prey at high turbidity. Effects of turbidity were particularly prominent at higher velocities, as

  1. MtDNA barcode identification of fish larvae in the southern Great Barrier Reef – Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham G. Pegg

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Planktonic larvae were captured above a shallow coral reef study site on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR around spring-summer new moon periods (October-February using light trap or net capture devices. Larvae were identified to the genus or species level by comparison with a phylogenetic tree of tropical marine fish species using mtDNA HVR1 sequence data. Further analysis showed that within-species HVR1 sequence variation was typically 1-3%, whereas between-species variation for the same genus ranged up to 50%, supporting the suitability of HVR1 for species identification. Given the current worldwide interest in DNA barcoding and species identification using an alternative mtDNA gene marker (cox1, we also explored the efficacy of different primer sets for amplification of cox1 in reef fish, and its suitability for species identification. Of those tested, the Fish-F1 and -R1 primer set recently reported by Ward et al. (2005 gave the best results.

  2. Do otolith increments allow correct inferences about age and growth of coral reef fishes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, D. J.

    2014-03-01

    Otolith increment structure is widely used to estimate age and growth of marine fishes. Here, I test the accuracy of the long-term otolith increment analysis of the lemon damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis to describe age and growth characteristics. I compare the number of putative annual otolith increments (as a proxy for actual age) and widths of these increments (as proxies for somatic growth) with actual tagged fish-length data, based on a 6-year dataset, the longest time course for a coral reef fish. Estimated age from otoliths corresponded closely with actual age in all cases, confirming annual increment formation. However, otolith increment widths were poor proxies for actual growth in length [linear regression r 2 = 0.44-0.90, n = 6 fish] and were clearly of limited value in estimating annual growth. Up to 60 % of the annual growth variation was missed using otolith increments, suggesting the long-term back calculations of otolith growth characteristics of reef fish populations should be interpreted with caution.

  3. Individual consistency in the behaviors of newly-settled reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, James R; Meekan, Mark G; McCormick, Mark I

    2015-01-01

    Flexibility in behavior is advantageous for organisms that transition between stages of a complex life history. However, various constraints can set limits on plasticity, giving rise to the existence of personalities that have associated costs and benefits. Here, we document a field and laboratory experiment that examines the consistency of measures of boldness, activity, and aggressive behavior in the young of a tropical reef fish, Pomacentrus amboinensis (Pomacentridae) immediately following their transition between pelagic larval and benthic juvenile habitats. Newly-settled fish were observed in aquaria and in the field on replicated patches of natural habitat cleared of resident fishes. Seven behavioral traits representing aspects of boldness, activity and aggression were monitored directly and via video camera over short (minutes), medium (hours), and long (3 days) time scales. With the exception of aggression, these behaviors were found to be moderately or highly consistent over all time scales in both laboratory and field settings, implying that these fish show stable personalities within various settings. Our study is the first to examine the temporal constancy of behaviors in both field and laboratory settings in over various time scales at a critically important phase during the life cycle of a reef fish.

  4. Effects of ocean acidification on learning in coral reef fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maud C O Ferrari

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification has the potential to cause dramatic changes in marine ecosystems. Larval damselfish exposed to concentrations of CO(2 predicted to occur in the mid- to late-century show maladaptive responses to predator cues. However, there is considerable variation both within and between species in CO(2 effects, whereby some individuals are unaffected at particular CO(2 concentrations while others show maladaptive responses to predator odour. Our goal was to test whether learning via chemical or visual information would be impaired by ocean acidification and ultimately, whether learning can mitigate the effects of ocean acidification by restoring the appropriate responses of prey to predators. Using two highly efficient and widespread mechanisms for predator learning, we compared the behaviour of pre-settlement damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis that were exposed to 440 µatm CO(2 (current day levels or 850 µatm CO(2, a concentration predicted to occur in the ocean before the end of this century. We found that, regardless of the method of learning, damselfish exposed to elevated CO(2 failed to learn to respond appropriately to a common predator, the dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus. To determine whether the lack of response was due to a failure in learning or rather a short-term shift in trade-offs preventing the fish from displaying overt antipredator responses, we conditioned 440 or 700 µatm-CO(2 fish to learn to recognize a dottyback as a predator using injured conspecific cues, as in Experiment 1. When tested one day post-conditioning, CO(2 exposed fish failed to respond to predator odour. When tested 5 days post-conditioning, CO(2 exposed fish still failed to show an antipredator response to the dottyback odour, despite the fact that both control and CO(2-treated fish responded to a general risk cue (injured conspecific cues. These results indicate that exposure to CO(2 may alter the cognitive ability of juvenile fish and render

  5. Behavioral Response of Reef Fish and Green Sea Turtles to Midfrequency Sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watwood, Stephanie L; Iafrate, Joseph D; Reyier, Eric A; Redfoot, William E

    2016-01-01

    There is growing concern over the potential effects of high-intensity sonar on wild fish populations and commercial fisheries. Acoustic telemetry was employed to measure the movements of free-ranging reef fish and sea turtles in Port Canaveral, FL, in response to routine submarine sonar testing. Twenty-five sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), 28 gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus), and 29 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were tagged, with movements monitored for a period of up to 4 months using an array of passive acoustic receivers. Baseline residency was examined for fish and sea turtles before, during, and after the test event. No mortality of tagged fish or sea turtles was evident from the sonar test event. There was a significant increase in the daily residency index for both sheepshead and gray snapper at the testing wharf subsequent to the event. No broad-scale movement from the study site was observed during or immediately after the test.

  6. First report of scuticociliatosis caused by Uronema sp. in ornamental reef fish imported into Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Henrique Magalhães Cardoso

    Full Text Available Abstract Scuticociliatosis, which is caused by an opportunistic ciliate protozoan, is responsible for significant economic losses in marine ornamental fish. This study reports the occurrence of Uronema sp., which was found to be parasitizing three species of marine reef fish imported into Brazil and maintained in quarantine: Vanderbilt’s Chromis (Chromis vanderbilti, blue-green damselfish (Chromis viridis, and sea goldie (Pseudanthias squamipinnis. During the quarantine period, some fish presented with behavioral disorders and hemorrhages and ulcerative lesions on the body surface. Histopathological analysis showed hemorrhages, inflammation comprising mononuclear and granular cells in the skeletal muscle, and necrosis of the skin and the secondary lamellae of the gills, and parasites were also observed in the renal capsule. The absence of transboundary measures available to prevent the occurrence of ornamental fish diseases is also discussed.

  7. The differentiation of common species in a coral-reef fish assemblage for recreational scuba diving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tsen-Chien; Ho, Cheng-Tze; Jan, Rong-Quen

    2016-01-01

    Recreational scuba diving is a popular activity of the coral reef tourism industry. In practice, local diving centers recommend interesting sites to help visiting divers make their plans. Fish are among the major attractions, but they need to be listed with care because the temporal occurrence of a fish species is difficult to predict. To address this issue, we propose methods to categorize each fish species based on its long-term occurrence and likelihood of being seen. We assume that there are K categories of occurrence of a fish assemblage and propose two methods [an arithmetic-mean method (AM) and a geometric-mean method (GM)] to define the range of species in each category. Experiments based on long term datasets collected at three underwater stations (each having 51-53 surveys and totals of 262-284 fish species) on coral reefs in southern Taiwan showed that when K = 4 (rare, occasional, frequent and common categories), 11-14 species were concurrently assigned to the common category by AM for data sets based on surveys 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, or 51-53 in contrast to the 18-26 species assigned as common by GM. If a similarity index of 0.7 (compared to the total pool of fish species) was the minimum threshold for diver satisfaction, then 20-25 surveys provide sufficient data for listing the common species at a given dive spot. Common fish species, are the most temporally stable, and thus are more appropriate for attracting divers. These can be effectively differentiated by either AM or GM with at least 25 surveys. We suggest regular updating of each fish's category through periodic surveys to assure the accuracy of information at a particular dive spot.

  8. Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans Invade San Salvador, Bahamas: No Early Effects on Coral and Fish Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander, Amanda K.

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological invaders are a leading contributor to global losses of biodiversity. A recent invader to the waters surrounding San Salvador, Bahamas, the red lionfish, Pterois volitans, was first reported in 2006; by 2009 they were common in waters 2-40 m deep around the island. Our study collected data on coral communities and fish assemblages at three patch reef complexes (Rice Bay, Rocky Point, Lindsay Reef in 2007, during the initial phase of the invasion, and compared the results to a nearly identical study done in 2001 before P. volitans colonized San Salvador. Prey selection and quantity of consumption by P. volitans were also examined. Coral and fish species richness, diversity, percent cover (corals and abundance (fish were similar in 2001 and 2007. Of the 5,078 fish recorded during our study on shallow patch reefs, only two were P. volitans, but they were more prevalent in deeper water along San Salvador’s “wall.” Captured P. volitans ranged in size from 19-32 cm, all longer than maturity length. Pallid goby (Coryphopterus eidolon, black cap basslet (Gramma melacara and red night shrimp (Rynchocienetes rigens were the most commonly identified stomach contents. The effects of the successful invasion and increasing population of P. volitans on San Salvador’s reef ecosystem are uncertain at this time; future monitoring of potential changes in coral and fish communities on the patch reefs of San Salvador is recommended to determine if population control measures need to be considered. Initial post-invasion data (2007, along with pre-invasion data (2001, are valuable benchmarks for future studies.

  9. Species-specific profiles and risk assessment of perfluoroalkyl substances in coral reef fishes from the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Chang-Gui; Yu, Ke-Fu; Wang, Ying-Hui; Zhang, Rui-Jie; Huang, Xue-Yong; Wei, Chao-Shuai; Wang, Wei-Quan; Zeng, Wei-Bin; Qin, Zhen-Jun

    2018-01-01

    The contamination profiles of sixteen perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were examined in coral reef fish samples collected from the South China Sea (SCS) where no information about this topic was available in the literature. The results revealed that six PFAS were found in coral reef fish samples from the SCS. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was the most predominant PFAS contaminant detected in most of the samples, with the highest concentration value of 27.05 ng/g wet weight (ww) observed in Cephalopholis urodelus. Perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) and Perfluorotridecanoic acid (PFTrDA) were the second and third dominant PFAS, respectively. Mean PFOS concentrations in muscle of seven coral reef fish varied from 0.29 ng/g ww in Lethrinus olivaceus to 10.78 ng/g ww in Cephalopholis urodelus. No significant linear relationship was observed between PFOS levels and coral reef fish traits (length, weight) collected in this region. Average daily intake of PFOS for the seven coral reef fishes ranged from 0.79 ng/kg/d for Lethrinus olivaceus to 29.53 ng/kg/d for Cephalopholis urodelus. The hazard ratio (HR) values for human consumption of PFOS-contaminated coral reef fishes ranged from 0.04 to 1.48, with Cephalopholis urodelus having the highest HR value of 1.18 (higher than 1) among the species, indicating frequent consumption of Cephalopholis urodelus might pose potential health risk to local population. The present work have provided the first hand data of PFAS in coral reef fishes in the SCS and indirectly demonstrated the existence of low level PFAS pollution in the SCS in China. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The ecology of intertidal oyster reefs of the South Atlantic Coast: A community profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, Leonard M.; Lanier, William P.

    1981-01-01

    The functional role of the intertidal oyster reef community in the southeastern Atlantic coastal zone is described. This description is based on a compilation of published data, as well as some unpublished information presented as hypotheses. The profile is organized in a hierarchical manner, such that relevant details of reef oyster biology (autecology) are presented, followed by a description of the reef community level of organization. Then the reef community is described as a subsystem of the coastal marsh-ecosystem (synecoloqy). This information is also synthesized in a series of nested conceptual models of oyster reefs at the regional level, the drainage basin level, and the individual reef level. The final chapter includes a summary overview and a section on management implications and guidelines. Intertidal oyster reefs are relatively persistent features of the salt marsh estuarine ecosystem in the southeastern Atlantic coastal zone. The average areal extent of the oyster reef subsystem in this larger ecosystem is relatively small (about 0.05%). This proportion does not reflect, however, the functional importance of the reef subsystem in stablizing the marsh, providing food for estuarine consumers, mineralizing organic matter, and providing firm substrates in this otherwise soft environment.

  11. Distance from a fishing community explains fish abundance in a no-take zone with weak compliance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Advani, Sahir; Rix, Laura N; Aherne, Danielle M; Alwany, Magdy A; Bailey, David M

    2015-01-01

    There are numerous examples of no-take marine reserves effectively conserving fish stocks within their boundaries. However, no-take reserves can be rendered ineffective and turned into 'paper parks' through poor compliance and weak enforcement of reserve regulations. Long-term monitoring is thus essential to assess the effectiveness of marine reserves in meeting conservation and management objectives. This study documents the present state of the 15-year old no-take zone (NTZ) of South El Ghargana within the Nabq Managed Resource Protected Area, South Sinai, Egyptian Red Sea. Previous studies credited willing compliance by the local fishing community for the increased abundances of targeted fish within the designated NTZ boundaries compared to adjacent fished or take-zones. We compared benthic habitat and fish abundance within the NTZ and the adjacent take sites open to fishing, but found no significant effect of the reserve. Instead, the strongest evidence was for a simple negative relationship between fishing pressure and distance from the closest fishing village. The abundance of targeted piscivorous fish increased significantly with increasing distance from the village, while herbivorous fish showed the opposite trend. This gradient was supported by a corresponding negative correlation between the amount of discarded fishing gear observed on the reef and increasing distance from the village. Discarded fishing gear within the NTZ suggested decreased compliance with the no-take regulations. Our findings indicate that due to non-compliance the no-take reserve is no longer functioning effectively, despite its apparent initial successes and instead a gradient of fishing pressure exists with distance from the nearest fishing community.

  12. Distance from a fishing community explains fish abundance in a no-take zone with weak compliance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sahir Advani

    Full Text Available There are numerous examples of no-take marine reserves effectively conserving fish stocks within their boundaries. However, no-take reserves can be rendered ineffective and turned into 'paper parks' through poor compliance and weak enforcement of reserve regulations. Long-term monitoring is thus essential to assess the effectiveness of marine reserves in meeting conservation and management objectives. This study documents the present state of the 15-year old no-take zone (NTZ of South El Ghargana within the Nabq Managed Resource Protected Area, South Sinai, Egyptian Red Sea. Previous studies credited willing compliance by the local fishing community for the increased abundances of targeted fish within the designated NTZ boundaries compared to adjacent fished or take-zones. We compared benthic habitat and fish abundance within the NTZ and the adjacent take sites open to fishing, but found no significant effect of the reserve. Instead, the strongest evidence was for a simple negative relationship between fishing pressure and distance from the closest fishing village. The abundance of targeted piscivorous fish increased significantly with increasing distance from the village, while herbivorous fish showed the opposite trend. This gradient was supported by a corresponding negative correlation between the amount of discarded fishing gear observed on the reef and increasing distance from the village. Discarded fishing gear within the NTZ suggested decreased compliance with the no-take regulations. Our findings indicate that due to non-compliance the no-take reserve is no longer functioning effectively, despite its apparent initial successes and instead a gradient of fishing pressure exists with distance from the nearest fishing community.

  13. 77 FR 2960 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-20

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Exempted... and retention. This study, to be conducted in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) off Louisiana, is intended to better document the age structure and life history of fish...

  14. 77 FR 30507 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-23

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Exempted... and retention. This study, to be conducted in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), is intended to better document the age structure and life history of fish associated with...

  15. Energy profiling of demersal fish: a case-study in wind farm artificial reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Troch, Marleen; Reubens, Jan T; Heirman, Elke; Degraer, Steven; Vincx, Magda

    2013-12-01

    The construction of wind farms introduces artificial hard substrates in sandy sediments. As Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and pouting (Trisopterus luscus) tend to aggregate in order to feed around these reefs, energy profiling and trophic markers were applied to study their feeding ecology in a wind farm in the Belgian part of the North Sea. The proximate composition (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids) differed significantly between liver and muscle tissue but not between fish species or between their potential prey species. Atlantic cod showed to consume more energy than pouting. The latter had a higher overall energy reserve and can theoretically survive twice as long on the available energy than cod. In autumn, both fish species could survive longer on their energy than in spring. Polyunsaturated fatty acids were found in high concentrations in fish liver. The prey species Jassa and Pisidia were both rich in EPA while Jassa had a higher DHA content than Pisidia. Energy profiling supported the statement that wind farm artificial reefs are suitable feeding ground for both fish species. Sufficient energy levels were recorded and there is no indication of competition.

  16. Coordinated vigilance provides evidence for direct reciprocity in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Bellwood, David R

    2015-09-25

    Reciprocity is frequently assumed to require complex cognitive abilities. Therefore, it has been argued that reciprocity may be restricted to animals that can meet these demands. Here, we provide evidence for the potential presence of direct reciprocity in teleost fishes. We demonstrate that in pairs of coral reef rabbitfishes (f. Siganidae), one fish frequently assumes an upright vigilance position in the water column, while the partner forages in small crevices in the reef substratum. Both behaviours are strongly coordinated and partners regularly alternate their positions, resulting in a balanced distribution of foraging activity. Compared to solitary individuals, fishes in pairs exhibit longer vigilance bouts, suggesting that the help provided to the partner is costly. In turn, fishes in pairs take more consecutive bites and penetrate deeper into crevices than solitary individuals, suggesting that the safety provided by a vigilant partner may outweigh initial costs by increasing foraging efficiency. Thus, the described system appears to meet all of the requirements for direct reciprocity. We argue that the nature of rabbitfish pairs provides favourable conditions for the establishment of direct reciprocity, as continuous interaction with the same partner, simultaneous needs, interdependence, and communication relax the cognitive demands of reciprocal cooperation.

  17. Diverse coral communities in naturally acidified waters of a Western Pacific reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamberger, Kathryn E. F.; Cohen, Anne L.; Golbuu, Yimnang; McCorkle, Daniel C.; Lentz, Steven J.; Barkley, Hannah C.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are acidifying the oceans, reducing the concentration of carbonate ions ([CO32-]) that calcifying organisms need to build and cement coral reefs. To date, studies of a handful of naturally acidified reef systems reveal depauperate communities, sometimes with reduced coral cover and calcification rates, consistent with results of laboratory-based studies. Here we report the existence of highly diverse, coral-dominated reef communities under chronically low pH and aragonite saturation state (Ωar). Biological and hydrographic processes change the chemistry of the seawater moving across the barrier reefs and into Palau's Rock Island bays, where levels of acidification approach those projected for the western tropical Pacific open ocean by 2100. Nevertheless, coral diversity, cover, and calcification rates are maintained across this natural acidification gradient. Identifying the combination of biological and environmental factors that enable these communities to persist could provide important insights into the future of coral reefs under anthropogenic acidification.

  18. Depth-variable settlement patterns and predation influence on newly settled reef fishes (Haemulon spp., Haemulidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lance K B Jordan

    Full Text Available During early demersal ontogeny, many marine fishes display complex habitat-use patterns. Grunts of the speciose genus Haemulon are among the most abundant fishes on western North Atlantic coral reefs, with most species settling to shallow habitats (≤12 m. To gain understanding into cross-shelf distributional patterns exhibited by newly settled stages of grunts (<2 cm total length, we examined: 1 depth-specific distributions of congeners at settlement among sites at 8 m, 12 m, and 21 m, and 2 depth-variable predation pressure on newly settled individuals (species pooled. Of the six species identified from collections of newly settled specimens (n = 2125, Haemulon aurolineatum (tomtate, H. flavolineatum (French grunt, and H. striatum (striped grunt comprised 98% of the total abundance; with the first two species present at all sites. Prevalence of H. aurolineatum and H. flavolineatum decreased substantially from the 8-m site to the two deeper sites. In contrast, H. striatum was absent from the 8-m site and exhibited its highest frequency at the 21-m site. Comparison of newly settled grunt delta density for all species on caged (predator exclusion and control artificial reefs at the shallowest site (8-m revealed no difference, while the 12-m and 21-m sites exhibited significantly greater delta densities on the caged treatment. This result, along with significantly higher abundances of co-occurring piscivorous fishes at the deeper sites, indicated lower predation pressure at the 8-m site. This study suggests habitat-use patterns of newly settled stages of some coral reef fishes that undergo ontogenetic shifts are a function of depth-variable predation pressure while, for at least one deeper-water species, proximity to adult habitat appears to be an important factor affecting settlement distribution.

  19. Multiple ciguatoxins present in Indian Ocean reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Brett; Hurbungs, Mira; Jones, Alun; Lewis, Richard J

    2002-09-01

    Optimised gradient reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (LC/MS) methods, in combination with a [3H]-brevetoxin binding assay (RLB), revealed multiple ciguatoxins in a partially purified extract of a highly toxic Lutjanus sebae (red emperor) from the Indian Ocean. Two major ciguatoxins of 1140.6 Da (I-CTX-1 and -2) and two minor ciguatoxins of 1156.6 Da (I-CTX-3 and -4) were identified. Accurate mass analysis revealed that I-CTX-1 and -2 and Caribbean C-CTX-1 had indistinguishable masses (1140.6316 Da, at 0.44 ppm resolution). Toxicity estimated from LC/MS/RLB responses indicated that I-CTX-1 and -2 were both approximately 60% the potency of Pacific ciguatoxin-1 (P-CTX-1). In contrast to ciguatoxins of the Pacific where the more oxidised ciguatoxins are more potent, I-CTX-3 and -4 were approximately 20% of P-CTX-1 potency. Interconversion in dilute acid or on storage, typical of spiroketal and hemiketal functionality found in P-CTXs and C-CTXs, respectively, was not observed to occur between I-CTX-1 and -2. The ratio of CTX-1 and -2 varied depending on the fish extract being analysed. These results suggest that I-CTX-1 and -2 may arise from separate dinoflagellate precursors that may be oxidatively biotransformed to I-CTX-3 and -4 in fish.

  20. Polarized light sensitivity and orientation in coral reef fish post-larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igal Berenshtein

    Full Text Available Recent studies of the larvae of coral-reef fishes reveal that these tiny vertebrates possess remarkable swimming capabilities, as well as the ability to orient to olfactory, auditory, and visual cues. While navigation according to reef-generated chemicals and sounds can significantly affect dispersal, the effect is limited to the vicinity of the reef. Effective long-distance navigation requires at least one other capacity-the ability to maintain a bearing using, for example, a sun compass. Directional information in the sun's position can take the form of polarized-light related cues (i.e., e-vector orientation and percent polarization and/or non-polarized-light related cues (i.e., the direct image of the sun, and the brightness and spectral gradients. We examined the response to both types of cues using commercially-reared post-larvae of the spine-cheeked anemonefish Premnas biaculeatus. Initial optomotor trials indicated that the post-larval stages are sensitive to linearly polarized light. Swimming directionality was then tested using a Drifting In-Situ Chamber (DISC, which allowed us to examine the response of the post-larvae to natural variation in light conditions and to manipulated levels of light polarization. Under natural light conditions, 28 of 29 post-larvae showed significant directional swimming (Rayleigh's test p<0.05, R = 0.74±0.23, but to no particular direction. Swimming directionality was positively affected by sky clarity (absence of clouds and haze, which explained 38% of the observed variation. Moreover, post-larvae swimming under fully polarized light exhibited a distinct behavior of tracking the polarization axis, as it rotated along with the DISC. This behavior was not observed under partially-polarized illumination. We view these findings as an indication for the use of sun-related cues, and polarized light signal in specific, by orienting coral-reef fish larvae.

  1. Polarized light sensitivity and orientation in coral reef fish post-larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenshtein, Igal; Kiflawi, Moshe; Shashar, Nadav; Wieler, Uri; Agiv, Haim; Paris, Claire B

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies of the larvae of coral-reef fishes reveal that these tiny vertebrates possess remarkable swimming capabilities, as well as the ability to orient to olfactory, auditory, and visual cues. While navigation according to reef-generated chemicals and sounds can significantly affect dispersal, the effect is limited to the vicinity of the reef. Effective long-distance navigation requires at least one other capacity-the ability to maintain a bearing using, for example, a sun compass. Directional information in the sun's position can take the form of polarized-light related cues (i.e., e-vector orientation and percent polarization) and/or non-polarized-light related cues (i.e., the direct image of the sun, and the brightness and spectral gradients). We examined the response to both types of cues using commercially-reared post-larvae of the spine-cheeked anemonefish Premnas biaculeatus. Initial optomotor trials indicated that the post-larval stages are sensitive to linearly polarized light. Swimming directionality was then tested using a Drifting In-Situ Chamber (DISC), which allowed us to examine the response of the post-larvae to natural variation in light conditions and to manipulated levels of light polarization. Under natural light conditions, 28 of 29 post-larvae showed significant directional swimming (Rayleigh's test p<0.05, R = 0.74±0.23), but to no particular direction. Swimming directionality was positively affected by sky clarity (absence of clouds and haze), which explained 38% of the observed variation. Moreover, post-larvae swimming under fully polarized light exhibited a distinct behavior of tracking the polarization axis, as it rotated along with the DISC. This behavior was not observed under partially-polarized illumination. We view these findings as an indication for the use of sun-related cues, and polarized light signal in specific, by orienting coral-reef fish larvae.

  2. Behavioural thermoregulation in a temperature-sensitive coral reef fish, the five-lined cardinalfish (Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nay, Tiffany J.; Johansen, Jacob L.; Habary, Adam

    2015-01-01

    provide a strategy to cope with changing conditions. A temperature-sensitive coral reef cardinalfish (Cheilodipterusquinquelineatus) was exposed to 28 °C (average at collection site) or 32 °C (predicted end-of-century) for 6 weeks. Tpref was determined using a shuttlebox system, which allowed fish...... than night-time movements. Understanding temperature-mediated movements is imperative for predicting how ocean warming will influence coral reef species and distribution patterns....

  3. Local phylogenetic divergence and global evolutionary convergence of skull function in reef fishes of the family Labridae

    OpenAIRE

    Westneat, Mark W; Alfaro, Michael E; Wainwright, Peter C; Bellwood, David R; Grubich, Justin R; Fessler, Jennifer L; Clements, Kendall D; Smith, Lydia L

    2005-01-01

    The Labridae is one of the most structurally and functionally diversified fish families on coral and rocky reefs around the world, providing a compelling system for examination of evolutionary patterns of functional change. Labrid fishes have evolved a diverse array of skull forms for feeding on prey ranging from molluscs, crustaceans, plankton, detritus, algae, coral and other fishes. The species richness and diversity of feeding ecology in the Labridae make this group a marine analogue to t...

  4. Prey selectivity affects reproductive success of a corallivorous reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists.

  5. Extent of mangrove nursery habitats determines the geographic distribution of a coral reef fish in a South-Pacific archipelago.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christelle Paillon

    Full Text Available Understanding the drivers of species' geographic distribution has fundamental implications for the management of biodiversity. For coral reef fishes, mangroves have long been recognized as important nursery habitats sustaining biodiversity in the Western Atlantic but there is still debate about their role in the Indo-Pacific. Here, we combined LA-ICP-MS otolith microchemistry, underwater visual censuses (UVC and mangrove cartography to estimate the importance of mangroves for the Indo-Pacific coral reef fish Lutjanus fulviflamma in the archipelago of New Caledonia. Otolith elemental compositions allowed high discrimination of mangroves and reefs with 83.8% and 98.7% correct classification, respectively. Reefs were characterized by higher concentrations of Rb and Sr and mangroves by higher concentrations of Ba, Cr, Mn and Sn. All adult L. fulviflamma collected on reefs presented a mangrove signature during their juvenile stage with 85% inhabiting mangrove for their entire juvenile life (about 1 year. The analysis of 2942 UVC revealed that the species was absent from isolated islands of the New Caledonian archipelago where mangroves were absent. Furthermore, strong positive correlations existed between the abundance of L. fulviflamma and the area of mangrove (r = 0.84 for occurrence, 0.93 for density and 0.89 for biomass. These results indicate that mangrove forest is an obligatory juvenile habitat for L. fulviflamma in New Caledonia and emphasize the potential importance of mangroves for Indo-Pacific coral reef fishes.

  6. Temporal dynamics of fish communities on an exposed shoreline in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlander, A.M.; Parrish, J.D.

    1998-01-01

    Environmental conditions on higher latitude coral reefs can be extremely variable, and may structure fish communities in ways not previously observed in the more stable, low latitude locations where communities have usually been studied. Temporal changes in fish community structure were examined in an intensive two-year study of the reef fishes of Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii. Hanalei Bay is directly exposed to winter swells with high surf, as well as frequent heavy winter rainfall and high river discharge. Twenty-two transects (25 x 5 m) were established in a wide variety of habitats and censused monthly (N = 1052 censuses). Over 121 000 sightings of individuals from 150 species were made during the study. Seasonal patterns in number of species, number of individuals, species diversity, and evenness were observed, with winter values usually lowest. Values of these ensemble variables tended to be higher at deeper sites and at sites with greater habitat complexity. Surf height and degree of wave exposure were negatively correlated with several measures of community organization. Groups of fishes with different levels of spatial mobility tended to occupy depths consistent with their various abilities to respond to events of heavy weather. The rank abundance of fish taxa tended to be more stable seasonally at sites with less exposure to high wave energy. These seasonal effects may suggest some type of short-range movement from more exposed and monotypic habitats to locations that are deeper or otherwise provide refuge from seasonally heavy seas.

  7. Benthic meiofaunal community response to the cascading effects of herbivory within an algal halo system of the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollivier, Quinn R; Hammill, Edward; Booth, David J; Madin, Elizabeth M P; Hinchliffe, Charles; Harborne, Alastair R; Lovelock, Catherine E; Macreadie, Peter I; Atwood, Trisha B

    2018-01-01

    Benthic fauna play a crucial role in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling at the sediment-water boundary in aquatic ecosystems. In terrestrial systems, grazing herbivores have been shown to influence below-ground communities through alterations to plant distribution and composition, however whether similar cascading effects occur in aquatic systems is unknown. Here, we assess the relationship between benthic invertebrates and above-ground fish grazing across the 'grazing halos' of Heron Island lagoon, Australia. Grazing halos, which occur around patch reefs globally, are caused by removal of seagrass or benthic macroalgae by herbivorous fish that results in distinct bands of unvegetated sediments surrounding patch reefs. We found that benthic algal canopy height significantly increased with distance from patch reef, and that algal canopy height was positively correlated with the abundances of only one invertebrate taxon (Nematoda). Both sediment carbon to nitrogen ratios (C:N) and mean sediment particle size (μm) demonstrated a positive correlation with Nematoda and Arthropoda (predominantly copepod) abundances, respectively. These positive correlations indicate that environmental conditions are a major contributor to benthic invertebrate community distribution, acting on benthic communities in conjunction with the cascading effects of above-ground algal grazing. These results suggest that benthic communities, and the ecosystem functions they perform in this system, may be less responsive to changes in above-ground herbivorous processes than those previously studied in terrestrial systems. Understanding how above-ground organisms, and processes, affect their benthic invertebrate counterparts can shed light on how changes in aquatic communities may affect ecosystem function in previously unknown ways.

  8. Unexpected high vulnerability of functions in wilderness areas: evidence from coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigliola, Laurent; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Wantiez, Laurent; Parravicini, Valeriano; Villéger, Sébastien; Mou-Tham, Gerard; Frolla, Philippe; Friedlander, Alan M.; Kulbicki, Michel; Mouillot, David

    2016-01-01

    High species richness is thought to support the delivery of multiple ecosystem functions and services under changing environments. Yet, some species might perform unique functional roles while others are redundant. Thus, the benefits of high species richness in maintaining ecosystem functioning are uncertain if functions have little redundancy, potentially leading to high vulnerability of functions. We studied the natural propensity of assemblages to be functionally buffered against loss prior to fishing activities, using functional trait combinations, in coral reef fish assemblages across unfished wilderness areas of the Indo-Pacific: Chagos Archipelago, New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Fish functional diversity in these wilderness areas is highly vulnerable to fishing, explained by species- and abundance-based redundancy packed into a small combination of traits, leaving most other trait combinations (60%) sensitive to fishing, with no redundancy. Functional vulnerability peaks for mobile and sedentary top predators, and large species in general. Functional vulnerability decreases for certain functional entities in New Caledonia, where overall functional redundancy was higher. Uncovering these baseline patterns of functional vulnerability can offer early warning signals of the damaging effects from fishing, and may serve as baselines to guide precautionary and even proactive conservation actions. PMID:27928042

  9. A morphospace for reef fishes: elongation is the dominant axis of body shape evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Claverie

    Full Text Available Tropical reef fishes are widely regarded as being perhaps the most morphologically diverse vertebrate assemblage on earth, yet much remains to be discovered about the scope and patterns of this diversity. We created a morphospace of 2,939 species spanning 56 families of tropical Indo-Pacific reef fishes and established the primary axes of body shape variation, the phylogenetic consistency of these patterns, and whether dominant patterns of shape change can be accomplished by diverse underlying changes. Principal component analysis showed a major axis of shape variation that contrasts deep-bodied species with slender, elongate forms. Furthermore, using custom methods to compare the elongation vector (axis that maximizes elongation deformation and the main vector of shape variation (first principal component for each family in the morphospace, we showed that two thirds of the families diversify along an axis of body elongation. Finally, a comparative analysis using a principal coordinate analysis based on the angles among first principal component vectors of each family shape showed that families accomplish changes in elongation with a wide range of underlying modifications. Some groups such as Pomacentridae and Lethrinidae undergo decreases in body depth with proportional increases in all body regions, while other families show disproportionate changes in the length of the head (e.g., Labridae, the trunk or caudal region in all combinations (e.g., Pempheridae and Pinguipedidae. In conclusion, we found that evolutionary changes in body shape along an axis of elongation dominates diversification in reef fishes. Changes in shape on this axis are thought to have immediate implications for swimming performance, defense from gape limited predators, suction feeding performance and access to some highly specialized habitats. The morphological modifications that underlie changes in elongation are highly diverse, suggesting a role for a range of

  10. A Morphospace for Reef Fishes: Elongation Is the Dominant Axis of Body Shape Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claverie, Thomas; Wainwright, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical reef fishes are widely regarded as being perhaps the most morphologically diverse vertebrate assemblage on earth, yet much remains to be discovered about the scope and patterns of this diversity. We created a morphospace of 2,939 species spanning 56 families of tropical Indo-Pacific reef fishes and established the primary axes of body shape variation, the phylogenetic consistency of these patterns, and whether dominant patterns of shape change can be accomplished by diverse underlying changes. Principal component analysis showed a major axis of shape variation that contrasts deep-bodied species with slender, elongate forms. Furthermore, using custom methods to compare the elongation vector (axis that maximizes elongation deformation) and the main vector of shape variation (first principal component) for each family in the morphospace, we showed that two thirds of the families diversify along an axis of body elongation. Finally, a comparative analysis using a principal coordinate analysis based on the angles among first principal component vectors of each family shape showed that families accomplish changes in elongation with a wide range of underlying modifications. Some groups such as Pomacentridae and Lethrinidae undergo decreases in body depth with proportional increases in all body regions, while other families show disproportionate changes in the length of the head (e.g., Labridae), the trunk or caudal region in all combinations (e.g., Pempheridae and Pinguipedidae). In conclusion, we found that evolutionary changes in body shape along an axis of elongation dominates diversification in reef fishes. Changes in shape on this axis are thought to have immediate implications for swimming performance, defense from gape limited predators, suction feeding performance and access to some highly specialized habitats. The morphological modifications that underlie changes in elongation are highly diverse, suggesting a role for a range of developmental processes

  11. Variability in abundance of temperate reef fishes estimated by visual census.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejo J Irigoyen

    Full Text Available Identifying sources of sampling variation and quantifying their magnitude is critical to the interpretation of ecological field data. Yet, most monitoring programs of reef fish populations based on underwater visual censuses (UVC consider only a few of the factors that may influence fish counts, such as the diver or census methodology. Recent studies, however, have drawn attention to a broader range of processes that introduce variability at different temporal scales. This study analyzes the magnitude of different sources of variation in UVCs of temperate reef fishes off Patagonia (Argentina. The variability associated with time-of-day, tidal state, and time elapsed between censuses (minutes, days, weeks and months was quantified for censuses conducted on the five most conspicuous and common species: Pinguipes brasilianus, Pseudopercis semifasciata, Sebastes oculatus, Acanthistius patachonicus and Nemadactylus bergi. Variance components corresponding to spatial heterogeneity and to the different temporal scales were estimated using nested random models. The levels of variability estimated for the different species were related to their life history attributes and behavior. Neither time-of-day nor tidal state had a significant effect on counts, except for the influence of tide on P. brasilianus. Spatial heterogeneity was the dominant source of variance in all but one species. Among the temporal scales, the intra-annual variation was the highest component for most species due to marked seasonal fluctuations in abundance, followed by the weekly and the instantaneous variation; the daily component was not significant. The variability between censuses conducted at different tidal levels and time-of-day was similar in magnitude to the instantaneous variation, reinforcing the conclusion that stochastic variation at very short time scales is non-negligible and should be taken into account in the design of monitoring programs and experiments. The present

  12. Draft genome of an iconic Red Sea reef fish, the blacktail butterflyfish (Chaetodon austriacus): current status and its characteristics

    KAUST Repository

    DiBattista, Joseph

    2016-08-04

    Butterflyfish are among the most iconic of the coral reef fishes and represent a model system to study general questions of biogeography, evolution and population genetics. We assembled and annotated the genome sequence of the blacktail butterflyfish (Chaetodon austriacus), an Arabian region endemic species that is reliant on coral reefs for food and shelter. Using available bony fish (superclass Osteichthyes) genomes as a reference, a total of 28 926 high-quality protein-coding genes were predicted from 13 967 assembled scaffolds. The quality and completeness of the draft genome of C. austriacus suggest that it has the potential to serve as a resource for studies on the co-evolution of reef fish adaptations to the unique Red Sea environment, as well as a comparison of gene sequences between closely related congeneric species of butterflyfish distributed more broadly across the tropical Indo-Pacific. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Draft genome of an iconic Red Sea reef fish, the blacktail butterflyfish (Chaetodon austriacus): current status and its characteristics

    KAUST Repository

    DiBattista, Joseph; Wang, Xin; Saenz Agudelo, Pablo; Piatek, Marek J.; Aranda, Manuel; Berumen, Michael L.

    2016-01-01

    Butterflyfish are among the most iconic of the coral reef fishes and represent a model system to study general questions of biogeography, evolution and population genetics. We assembled and annotated the genome sequence of the blacktail butterflyfish (Chaetodon austriacus), an Arabian region endemic species that is reliant on coral reefs for food and shelter. Using available bony fish (superclass Osteichthyes) genomes as a reference, a total of 28 926 high-quality protein-coding genes were predicted from 13 967 assembled scaffolds. The quality and completeness of the draft genome of C. austriacus suggest that it has the potential to serve as a resource for studies on the co-evolution of reef fish adaptations to the unique Red Sea environment, as well as a comparison of gene sequences between closely related congeneric species of butterflyfish distributed more broadly across the tropical Indo-Pacific. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Benthic communities at two remote Pacific coral reefs: effects of reef habitat, depth, and wave energy gradients on spatial patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Gareth J; Smith, Jennifer E; Conklin, Eric J; Gove, Jamison M; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A

    2013-01-01

    Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll in the central Pacific are among the most remote coral reefs on the planet. Here we describe spatial patterns in their benthic communities across reef habitats and depths, and consider these in the context of oceanographic gradients. Benthic communities at both locations were dominated by calcifying organisms (54-86% cover), namely hard corals (20-74%) and crustose coralline algae (CCA) (10-36%). While turf algae were relatively common at both locations (8-22%), larger fleshy macroalgae were virtually absent at Kingman (wave energy, with hard coral cover decreasing and becoming more spatially clustered with increased wave energy, likely as a result of physical damage leading to patches of coral in localized shelter. In contrast, the cover of turf algae at Kingman was positively related to wave energy, reflecting their ability to rapidly colonize newly available space. No significant patterns with wave energy were observed on Palmyra's forereef, suggesting that a more detailed model is required to study biophysical coupling there. Kingman, Palmyra, and other remote oceanic reefs provide interesting case studies to explore biophysical influences on benthic ecology and dynamics.

  15. Reproductive gene expression in a coral reef fish exposed to increasing temperature across generations

    KAUST Repository

    Veilleux, Heather D; Donelson, Jennifer M; Munday, Philip L

    2017-01-01

    Reproduction in marine fish is generally tightly linked with water temperature. Consequently, when adults are exposed to projected future ocean temperatures, reproductive output of many species declines precipitously. Recent research has shown that in the common reef fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, step-wise exposure to higher temperatures over two generations (parents: +1.5°C, offspring: +3.0°C) can improve reproductive output in the F2 generation compared to F2 fish that have experienced the same high temperatures over two generations (F1 parents: +3.0°C, F2 offspring: +3.0°C). To investigate how a step-wise increase in temperature between generations improved reproductive capacity, we tested the expression of well-known teleost reproductive genes in the brain and gonads of F2 fish using quantitative reverse transcription PCR and compared it among control (+0.0°C for two generations), developmental (+3.0°C in second generation only), step (+1.5°C in first generation and +3.0°C in second generation), and transgenerational (+3.0°C for two generations) treatments. We found that levels of gonadotropin receptor gene expression (Fshr and Lhcgr) in the testes were reduced in developmental and transgenerational temperature treatments, but were similar to control levels in the step treatment. This suggests Fshr and Lhcgr may be involved in regulating male reproductive capacity in A. polyacanthus. In addition, lower Fshb expression in the brain of females in all temperature treatments compared to control, suggests that Fshb expression, which is involved in vitellogenesis, is sensitive to high temperatures. Our results help elucidate key genes that facilitate successful reproduction in reef fishes when they experience a gradual increase in temperature across generations consistent with the trajectory of climate change.

  16. Reproductive gene expression in a coral reef fish exposed to increasing temperature across generations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veilleux, Heather D; Donelson, Jennifer M; Munday, Philip L

    2018-01-01

    Reproduction in marine fish is generally tightly linked with water temperature. Consequently, when adults are exposed to projected future ocean temperatures, reproductive output of many species declines precipitously. Recent research has shown that in the common reef fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus , step-wise exposure to higher temperatures over two generations (parents: +1.5°C, offspring: +3.0°C) can improve reproductive output in the F2 generation compared to F2 fish that have experienced the same high temperatures over two generations (F1 parents: +3.0°C, F2 offspring: +3.0°C). To investigate how a step-wise increase in temperature between generations improved reproductive capacity, we tested the expression of well-known teleost reproductive genes in the brain and gonads of F2 fish using quantitative reverse transcription PCR and compared it among control (+0.0°C for two generations), developmental (+3.0°C in second generation only), step (+1.5°C in first generation and +3.0°C in second generation), and transgenerational (+3.0°C for two generations) treatments. We found that levels of gonadotropin receptor gene expression ( Fshr and Lhcgr ) in the testes were reduced in developmental and transgenerational temperature treatments, but were similar to control levels in the step treatment. This suggests Fshr and Lhcgr may be involved in regulating male reproductive capacity in A. polyacanthus . In addition, lower Fshb expression in the brain of females in all temperature treatments compared to control, suggests that Fshb expression, which is involved in vitellogenesis, is sensitive to high temperatures. Our results help elucidate key genes that facilitate successful reproduction in reef fishes when they experience a gradual increase in temperature across generations consistent with the trajectory of climate change.

  17. Reproductive gene expression in a coral reef fish exposed to increasing temperature across generations

    KAUST Repository

    Veilleux, Heather D

    2017-12-07

    Reproduction in marine fish is generally tightly linked with water temperature. Consequently, when adults are exposed to projected future ocean temperatures, reproductive output of many species declines precipitously. Recent research has shown that in the common reef fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, step-wise exposure to higher temperatures over two generations (parents: +1.5°C, offspring: +3.0°C) can improve reproductive output in the F2 generation compared to F2 fish that have experienced the same high temperatures over two generations (F1 parents: +3.0°C, F2 offspring: +3.0°C). To investigate how a step-wise increase in temperature between generations improved reproductive capacity, we tested the expression of well-known teleost reproductive genes in the brain and gonads of F2 fish using quantitative reverse transcription PCR and compared it among control (+0.0°C for two generations), developmental (+3.0°C in second generation only), step (+1.5°C in first generation and +3.0°C in second generation), and transgenerational (+3.0°C for two generations) treatments. We found that levels of gonadotropin receptor gene expression (Fshr and Lhcgr) in the testes were reduced in developmental and transgenerational temperature treatments, but were similar to control levels in the step treatment. This suggests Fshr and Lhcgr may be involved in regulating male reproductive capacity in A. polyacanthus. In addition, lower Fshb expression in the brain of females in all temperature treatments compared to control, suggests that Fshb expression, which is involved in vitellogenesis, is sensitive to high temperatures. Our results help elucidate key genes that facilitate successful reproduction in reef fishes when they experience a gradual increase in temperature across generations consistent with the trajectory of climate change.

  18. Multi-scale approach for predicting fish species distributions across coral reef seascapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon J Pittman

    Full Text Available Two of the major limitations to effective management of coral reef ecosystems are a lack of information on the spatial distribution of marine species and a paucity of data on the interacting environmental variables that drive distributional patterns. Advances in marine remote sensing, together with the novel integration of landscape ecology and advanced niche modelling techniques provide an unprecedented opportunity to reliably model and map marine species distributions across many kilometres of coral reef ecosystems. We developed a multi-scale approach using three-dimensional seafloor morphology and across-shelf location to predict spatial distributions for five common Caribbean fish species. Seascape topography was quantified from high resolution bathymetry at five spatial scales (5-300 m radii surrounding fish survey sites. Model performance and map accuracy was assessed for two high performing machine-learning algorithms: Boosted Regression Trees (BRT and Maximum Entropy Species Distribution Modelling (MaxEnt. The three most important predictors were geographical location across the shelf, followed by a measure of topographic complexity. Predictor contribution differed among species, yet rarely changed across spatial scales. BRT provided 'outstanding' model predictions (AUC = >0.9 for three of five fish species. MaxEnt provided 'outstanding' model predictions for two of five species, with the remaining three models considered 'excellent' (AUC = 0.8-0.9. In contrast, MaxEnt spatial predictions were markedly more accurate (92% map accuracy than BRT (68% map accuracy. We demonstrate that reliable spatial predictions for a range of key fish species can be achieved by modelling the interaction between the geographical location across the shelf and the topographic heterogeneity of seafloor structure. This multi-scale, analytic approach is an important new cost-effective tool to accurately delineate essential fish habitat and support

  19. Body Fineness Ratio as a Predictor of Maximum Prolonged-Swimming Speed in Coral Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Jeffrey A.; Alfaro, Michael E.; Noble, Mae M.; Fulton, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to sustain high swimming speeds is believed to be an important factor affecting resource acquisition in fishes. While we have gained insights into how fin morphology and motion influences swimming performance in coral reef fishes, the role of other traits, such as body shape, remains poorly understood. We explore the ability of two mechanistic models of the causal relationship between body fineness ratio and endurance swimming-performance to predict maximum prolonged-swimming speed (Umax) among 84 fish species from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. A drag model, based on semi-empirical data on the drag of rigid, submerged bodies of revolution, was applied to species that employ pectoral-fin propulsion with a rigid body at U max. An alternative model, based on the results of computer simulations of optimal shape in self-propelled undulating bodies, was applied to the species that swim by body-caudal-fin propulsion at Umax. For pectoral-fin swimmers, Umax increased with fineness, and the rate of increase decreased with fineness, as predicted by the drag model. While the mechanistic and statistical models of the relationship between fineness and Umax were very similar, the mechanistic (and statistical) model explained only a small fraction of the variance in Umax. For body-caudal-fin swimmers, we found a non-linear relationship between fineness and Umax, which was largely negative over most of the range of fineness. This pattern fails to support either predictions from the computational models or standard functional interpretations of body shape variation in fishes. Our results suggest that the widespread hypothesis that a more optimal fineness increases endurance-swimming performance via reduced drag should be limited to fishes that swim with rigid bodies. PMID:24204575

  20. Coral reef community, Mokapu Ocean Outfall, Oahu, HI 1998, (NODC Accession 0000173)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This report provides the results of the first quantitative survey of the coral reef communities in the vicinity of the Mokapu Ocean Outfall in Kailua Bay, Oahu,...

  1. Shifting communities after­­ typhoon damage on an upper mesophotic reef in Okinawa, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine N. White

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Very few studies have been conducted on the long-term effects of typhoon damage on mesophotic coral reefs. This study investigates the long-term community dynamics of damage from Typhoon 17 (Jelawat in 2012 on the coral community of the upper mesophotic Ryugu Reef in Okinawa, Japan. A shift from foliose to bushy coral morphologies between December 2012 and August 2015 was documented, especially on the area of the reef that was previously recorded to be poor in scleractinian genera diversity and dominated by foliose corals. Comparatively, an area with higher diversity of scleractinian coral genera was observed to be less affected by typhoon damage with more stable community structure due to less change in dominant coral morphologies. Despite some changes in the composition of dominant genera, the generally high coverage of the mesophotic coral community is facilitating the recovery of Ryugu Reef after typhoon damage.

  2. Introduction of geospatial perspective to the ecology of fish-habitat relationships in Indonesian coral reefs: A remote sensing approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawayama, Shuhei; Nurdin, Nurjannah; Akbar AS, Muhammad; Sakamoto, Shingo X.; Komatsu, Teruhisa

    2015-06-01

    Coral reef ecosystems worldwide are now being harmed by various stresses accompanying the degradation of fish habitats and thus knowledge of fish-habitat relationships is urgently required. Because conventional research methods were not practical for this purpose due to the lack of a geospatial perspective, we attempted to develop a research method integrating visual fish observation with a seabed habitat map and to expand knowledge to a two-dimensional scale. WorldView-2 satellite imagery of Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia obtained in September 2012 was analyzed and classified into four typical substrates: live coral, dead coral, seagrass and sand. Overall classification accuracy of this map was 81.3% and considered precise enough for subsequent analyses. Three sub-areas (CC: continuous coral reef, BC: boundary of coral reef and FC: few live coral zone) around reef slopes were extracted from the map. Visual transect surveys for several fish species were conducted within each sub-area in June 2013. As a result, Mean density (Ind. / 300 m2) of Chaetodon octofasciatus, known as an obligate feeder of corals, was significantly higher at BC than at the others (p < 0.05), implying that this species' density is strongly influenced by spatial configuration of its habitat, like the "edge effect." This indicates that future conservation procedures for coral reef fishes should consider not only coral cover but also its spatial configuration. The present study also indicates that the introduction of a geospatial perspective derived from remote sensing has great potential to progress conventional ecological studies on coral reef fishes.

  3. Comparison of fishes taken by a sportfishing party vessel around oil platforms and adjacent natural reefs near Santa Barbara, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Love, M.S.; Westphal, W.

    1990-01-01

    Since 1958, 29 oil platforms have been sited in the southern California Bight of which 28 still remain in place. However, little is known of the fish populations surrounding these structures, particularly those sited in water deeper than 30 m. In the course of research on the Santa Barbara, California, party vessel sport fishery, it was noted that the platforms off Santa Barbara supported considerable sportfishing activity. Those platforms, located to the southeast of Santa Barbara in depths of 48-62 m, were particularly important and were fished intensively for various rockfishes (genus Sebastes). When fishing a platform, the vessel pulled up to within 5-10 m of a platform and drifts along one side, with the vessel operator using intermittent power to keep it near the structure. Most of the desirable species, particularly rockfishes, remained close to the platforms, rarely venturing more than perhaps 20 m from the structure. The party vessels also spent considerable time fishing over nearby natural reefs. In this survey, it was noted that there appeared to be differences in species catch composition and fish size between oil platforms and these natural reefs. Increased offshore oil drilling off California has raised interest in the role platforms play in marine systems. Questions have been raised regarding what fish live around platforms, how these structures influence populations over surrounding reefs, and whether the platforms act as fish enhancers (promoting recruitment) or only as aggregators. These questions are particularly relevant when the platforms are to be decommissioned and the possibility of allowing them to remain as artificial reefs is raised. This paper describes the results of the study on the fish populations around oil platforms and nearby natural reefs off Santa Barbara

  4. Human activities threaten coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tveitdal, Svein; Bjoerke, Aake

    2002-01-01

    Research indicates that 58 per cent of the coral reefs of the world are threatened by human activities. Pollution and global heating represent some of the threats. Coral reefs just beneath the surface of the sea are very sensitive to temperature changes. Since 1979, mass death of coral reefs has been reported increasingly often. More than 1000 marine species live in the coral reefs, among these are one fourth of all marine species of fish. It is imperative that the coral reefs be preserved, as coastal communities all over the world depend on them as sources of food and as they are the raw materials for important medicines. The article discusses the threats to the coral reefs in general and does not single out any particular energy-related activity as the principal threat. For instance, the El-Nino phenomenon of the Pacific Ocean is probably involved in mass death of coral reefs and in the North Sea large parts of deep-water reefs have been crushed by heavy beam trawlers fishing for bottom fish

  5. Bait effects in sampling coral reef fish assemblages with stereo-BRUVs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorman, Stacey R; Harvey, Euan S; Newman, Stephen J

    2012-01-01

    Baited underwater video techniques are increasingly being utilised for assessing and monitoring demersal fishes because they are: 1) non extractive, 2) can be used to sample across multiple habitats and depths, 3) are cost effective, 4) sample a broader range of species than many other techniques, 5) and with greater statistical power. However, an examination of the literature demonstrates that a range of different bait types are being used. The use of different types of bait can create an additional source of variability in sampling programs. Coral reef fish assemblages at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, were sampled using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems. One-hour stereo-video recordings were collected for four different bait treatments (pilchards, cat food, falafel mix and no bait (control)) from sites inside and outside a targeted fishery closure (TFC). In total, 5209 individuals from 132 fish species belonging to 41 families were recorded. There were significant differences in the fish assemblage structure and composition between baited and non-baited treatments (Pcat food and pilchards contained similar ingredients and were found to record similar components of the fish assemblage. There were no significant differences in the fish assemblages in areas open or closed to fishing, regardless of the bait used. Investigation of five targeted species indicated that the response to different types of bait was species-specific. For example, the relative abundance of Pagrus auratus was found to increase in areas protected from fishing, but only in samples baited with pilchards and cat food. The results indicate that the use of bait in conjunction with stereo-BRUVs is advantageous. On balance, the use of pilchards as a standardised bait for stereo-BRUVs deployments is justified for use along the mid-west coast of Western Australia.

  6. Bait effects in sampling coral reef fish assemblages with stereo-BRUVs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey R Dorman

    Full Text Available Baited underwater video techniques are increasingly being utilised for assessing and monitoring demersal fishes because they are: 1 non extractive, 2 can be used to sample across multiple habitats and depths, 3 are cost effective, 4 sample a broader range of species than many other techniques, 5 and with greater statistical power. However, an examination of the literature demonstrates that a range of different bait types are being used. The use of different types of bait can create an additional source of variability in sampling programs. Coral reef fish assemblages at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, were sampled using baited remote underwater stereo-video systems. One-hour stereo-video recordings were collected for four different bait treatments (pilchards, cat food, falafel mix and no bait (control from sites inside and outside a targeted fishery closure (TFC. In total, 5209 individuals from 132 fish species belonging to 41 families were recorded. There were significant differences in the fish assemblage structure and composition between baited and non-baited treatments (P<0.001, while no difference was observed with species richness. Samples baited with cat food and pilchards contained similar ingredients and were found to record similar components of the fish assemblage. There were no significant differences in the fish assemblages in areas open or closed to fishing, regardless of the bait used. Investigation of five targeted species indicated that the response to different types of bait was species-specific. For example, the relative abundance of Pagrus auratus was found to increase in areas protected from fishing, but only in samples baited with pilchards and cat food. The results indicate that the use of bait in conjunction with stereo-BRUVs is advantageous. On balance, the use of pilchards as a standardised bait for stereo-BRUVs deployments is justified for use along the mid-west coast of Western Australia.

  7. Effects of hypoxia and ocean acidification on the upper thermal niche boundaries of coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ern, Rasmus; Johansen, Jacob L; Rummer, Jodie L; Esbaugh, Andrew J

    2017-07-01

    Rising ocean temperatures are predicted to cause a poleward shift in the distribution of marine fishes occupying the extent of latitudes tolerable within their thermal range boundaries. A prevailing theory suggests that the upper thermal limits of fishes are constrained by hypoxia and ocean acidification. However, some eurythermal fish species do not conform to this theory, and maintain their upper thermal limits in hypoxia. Here we determine if the same is true for stenothermal species. In three coral reef fish species we tested the effect of hypoxia on upper thermal limits, measured as critical thermal maximum (CT max ). In one of these species we also quantified the effect of hypoxia on oxygen supply capacity, measured as aerobic scope (AS). In this species we also tested the effect of elevated CO 2 (simulated ocean acidification) on the hypoxia sensitivity of CT max We found that CT max was unaffected by progressive hypoxia down to approximately 35 mmHg, despite a substantial hypoxia-induced reduction in AS. Below approximately 35 mmHg, CT max declined sharply with water oxygen tension ( P w O 2 ). Furthermore, the hypoxia sensitivity of CT max was unaffected by elevated CO 2 Our findings show that moderate hypoxia and ocean acidification do not constrain the upper thermal limits of these tropical, stenothermal fishes. © 2017 The Author(s).

  8. Dopamine D1 receptor activation leads to object recognition memory in a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Trevor J; Tresguerres, Martin; Kline, David I

    2017-07-01

    Object recognition memory is the ability to identify previously seen objects and is an adaptive mechanism that increases survival for many species throughout the animal kingdom. Previously believed to be possessed by only the highest order mammals, it is now becoming clear that fish are also capable of this type of memory formation. Similar to the mammalian hippocampus, the dorsolateral pallium regulates distinct memory processes and is modulated by neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Caribbean bicolour damselfish ( Stegastes partitus ) live in complex environments dominated by coral reef structures and thus likely possess many types of complex memory abilities including object recognition. This study used a novel object recognition test in which fish were first presented two identical objects, then after a retention interval of 10 min with no objects, the fish were presented with a novel object and one of the objects they had previously encountered in the first trial. We demonstrate that the dopamine D 1 -receptor agonist (SKF 38393) induces the formation of object recognition memories in these fish. Thus, our results suggest that dopamine-receptor mediated enhancement of spatial memory formation in fish represents an evolutionarily conserved mechanism in vertebrates. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Concentrations of radionuclides in reef and lagoon pelagic fish from the Marshall Islands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noshkin, V.E.; Eagle, R.J.; Wong, K.M.; Jokela, T.A.; Brunk, J.L.; Marsh, K.V.

    1981-07-01

    A radiological survey was conducted from September through November of 1978 to assess the concentrations of persistent man-made radionuclides in the terrestrial and marine environments of 11 atolls and 2 islands of the Northern Marshall Islands. The atolls and islands include Rongelap, Utirik, Taka, Bikar, Rongerik, Ailinginae, Likiep, Jemo, Ailuk, Mejet, Wotho, Ujelang and Bikini. Over 4000 terrestrial and marine samples were collected for radionuclide analysis from 76 different islands. Soils, vegetation, indigenous animals, and cistern and groundwater were collected from the islands. Reef fish, pelagic species, clams, lagoon water, and sediments were obtained from the lagoons. A report is given of all available concentration data for 137 Cs, 90 Sr, /sup 239+240/Pu, 238 Pu, 241 Am as well as naturally occurring 40 K and other gamma emitting radionuclides in tissues and organs of different species of fish collected from the atolls

  10. Can partnerships and community-based conservation reverse the decline of coral reef social-ecological systems?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Barclay Frey

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The marine aquarium trade has played an important role in shaping the ecological state of coral reefs in Indonesia and much of the Asia-Pacific. The use of cyanide by ornamental fishers in Buleleng District, Bali, in the 1980s and 1990s has resulted in a precipitous decline in the ecological health of reefs. Cyanide-free harvesting techniques were introduced after 2000, along with reef restoration measures. This paper examines social and ecological processes in the fishing village of Les, Bali, in ending the use of cyanide and the resulting ecological restoration. An emphasis on conservation-development (with livelihood objectives was important in securing interest and cooperation across stakeholder groups. Adaptive approaches to governance and knowledge co-production were also important. The strategy used at Les is now being exported to other communities across Indonesia, and provides a promising example of a marine resources-based conservation-development initiative that may be implemented at other, similar communities.

  11. Carbon dioxide addition to coral reef waters suppresses net community calcification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albright, Rebecca; Takeshita, Yuichiro; Koweek, David A.; Ninokawa, Aaron; Wolfe, Kennedy; Rivlin, Tanya; Nebuchina, Yana; Young, Jordan; Caldeira, Ken

    2018-03-01

    Coral reefs feed millions of people worldwide, provide coastal protection and generate billions of dollars annually in tourism revenue. The underlying architecture of a reef is a biogenic carbonate structure that accretes over many years of active biomineralization by calcifying organisms, including corals and algae. Ocean acidification poses a chronic threat to coral reefs by reducing the saturation state of the aragonite mineral of which coral skeletons are primarily composed, and lowering the concentration of carbonate ions required to maintain the carbonate reef. Reduced calcification, coupled with increased bioerosion and dissolution, may drive reefs into a state of net loss this century. Our ability to predict changes in ecosystem function and associated services ultimately hinges on our understanding of community- and ecosystem-scale responses. Past research has primarily focused on the responses of individual species rather than evaluating more complex, community-level responses. Here we use an in situ carbon dioxide enrichment experiment to quantify the net calcification response of a coral reef flat to acidification. We present an estimate of community-scale calcification sensitivity to ocean acidification that is, to our knowledge, the first to be based on a controlled experiment in the natural environment. This estimate provides evidence that near-future reductions in the aragonite saturation state will compromise the ecosystem function of coral reefs.

  12. Bacterial community composition and potential driving factors in different reef habitats of the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kegler, Hauke F.; Lukman, Muhammad; Teichberg, Mirta

    2017-01-01

    Coastal eutrophication is a key driver of shifts in bacterial communities on coral reefs. With fringing and patch reefs at varying distances from the coast the Spermonde Archipelago in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia offers ideal conditions to study the effects of coastal eutrophication along...... a spatially defined gradient. The present study investigated bacterial community composition of three coral reef habitats: the water column, sediments, and mucus of the hard coral genus Fungia, along that cross shelf environmental and water quality gradient. The main research questions were: (1) How do water....../Shigella (Gammaproteobacteria) and Raistonia (Betaproteobacteria), respectively, both dominated the bacterial community composition of the both size fractions of the water column and coral mucus. The sampled reef sediments were more diverse, and no single OTUs was dominant. There was no gradual shift in bacterial classes...

  13. Global warming may disproportionately affect larger adults in a predatory coral reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Messmer, Vanessa

    2016-11-03

    Global warming is expected to reduce body sizes of ectothermic animals. Although the underlying mechanisms of size reductions remain poorly understood, effects appear stronger at latitudinal extremes (poles and tropics) and in aquatic rather than terrestrial systems. To shed light on this phenomenon, we examined the size dependence of critical thermal maxima (CTmax) and aerobic metabolism in a commercially important tropical reef fish, the leopard coral grouper (Plectropomus leopardus) following acclimation to current-day (28.5 °C) vs. projected end-of-century (33 °C) summer temperatures for the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). CTmax declined from 38.3 to 37.5 °C with increasing body mass in adult fish (0.45-2.82 kg), indicating that larger individuals are more thermally sensitive than smaller conspecifics. This may be explained by a restricted capacity for large fish to increase mass-specific maximum metabolic rate (MMR) at 33 °C compared with 28.5 °C. Indeed, temperature influenced the relationship between metabolism and body mass (0.02-2.38 kg), whereby the scaling exponent for MMR increased from 0.74 ± 0.02 at 28.5 °C to 0.79 ± 0.01 at 33 °C, and the corresponding exponents for standard metabolic rate (SMR) were 0.75 ± 0.04 and 0.80 ± 0.03. The increase in metabolic scaling exponents at higher temperatures suggests that energy budgets may be disproportionately impacted in larger fish and contribute to reduced maximum adult size. Such climate-induced reductions in body size would have important ramifications for fisheries productivity, but are also likely to have knock-on effects for trophodynamics and functioning of ecosystems.

  14. Global warming may disproportionately affect larger adults in a predatory coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messmer, Vanessa; Pratchett, Morgan S; Hoey, Andrew S; Tobin, Andrew J; Coker, Darren J; Cooke, Steven J; Clark, Timothy D

    2017-06-01

    Global warming is expected to reduce body sizes of ectothermic animals. Although the underlying mechanisms of size reductions remain poorly understood, effects appear stronger at latitudinal extremes (poles and tropics) and in aquatic rather than terrestrial systems. To shed light on this phenomenon, we examined the size dependence of critical thermal maxima (CTmax) and aerobic metabolism in a commercially important tropical reef fish, the leopard coral grouper (Plectropomus leopardus) following acclimation to current-day (28.5 °C) vs. projected end-of-century (33 °C) summer temperatures for the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). CTmax declined from 38.3 to 37.5 °C with increasing body mass in adult fish (0.45-2.82 kg), indicating that larger individuals are more thermally sensitive than smaller conspecifics. This may be explained by a restricted capacity for large fish to increase mass-specific maximum metabolic rate (MMR) at 33 °C compared with 28.5 °C. Indeed, temperature influenced the relationship between metabolism and body mass (0.02-2.38 kg), whereby the scaling exponent for MMR increased from 0.74 ± 0.02 at 28.5 °C to 0.79 ± 0.01 at 33 °C, and the corresponding exponents for standard metabolic rate (SMR) were 0.75 ± 0.04 and 0.80 ± 0.03. The increase in metabolic scaling exponents at higher temperatures suggests that energy budgets may be disproportionately impacted in larger fish and contribute to reduced maximum adult size. Such climate-induced reductions in body size would have important ramifications for fisheries productivity, but are also likely to have knock-on effects for trophodynamics and functioning of ecosystems. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Global warming may disproportionately affect larger adults in a predatory coral reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Messmer, Vanessa; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Hoey, Andrew S.; Tobin, Andrew J.; Coker, Darren James; Cooke, Steven J.; Clark, Timothy D.

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is expected to reduce body sizes of ectothermic animals. Although the underlying mechanisms of size reductions remain poorly understood, effects appear stronger at latitudinal extremes (poles and tropics) and in aquatic rather than terrestrial systems. To shed light on this phenomenon, we examined the size dependence of critical thermal maxima (CTmax) and aerobic metabolism in a commercially important tropical reef fish, the leopard coral grouper (Plectropomus leopardus) following acclimation to current-day (28.5 °C) vs. projected end-of-century (33 °C) summer temperatures for the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). CTmax declined from 38.3 to 37.5 °C with increasing body mass in adult fish (0.45-2.82 kg), indicating that larger individuals are more thermally sensitive than smaller conspecifics. This may be explained by a restricted capacity for large fish to increase mass-specific maximum metabolic rate (MMR) at 33 °C compared with 28.5 °C. Indeed, temperature influenced the relationship between metabolism and body mass (0.02-2.38 kg), whereby the scaling exponent for MMR increased from 0.74 ± 0.02 at 28.5 °C to 0.79 ± 0.01 at 33 °C, and the corresponding exponents for standard metabolic rate (SMR) were 0.75 ± 0.04 and 0.80 ± 0.03. The increase in metabolic scaling exponents at higher temperatures suggests that energy budgets may be disproportionately impacted in larger fish and contribute to reduced maximum adult size. Such climate-induced reductions in body size would have important ramifications for fisheries productivity, but are also likely to have knock-on effects for trophodynamics and functioning of ecosystems.

  16. Post-bleaching coral community change on southern Maldivian reefs: is there potential for rapid recovery?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, C. T.; Morgan, K. M.

    2017-12-01

    Given the severity of the 2016 global bleaching event, there are major questions about how quickly reef communities will recover. Here, we explore the ecological and physical structural changes that occurred across five atoll interior reefs in the southern Maldives using data collected at 6 and 12 months post-bleaching. Following initial severe coral mortality, further minor coral mortality had occurred by 12 months post-bleaching, and coral cover is now low (transitions to rubble-dominated states will occur in the near future. Juvenile coral densities in shallow fore-reef habitats are also exceptionally low (<6 individuals m-2), well below those measured 9-12 months following the 1998 bleaching event, and below recovery thresholds identified on other Indian Ocean reefs. Our findings suggest that the physical structure of these reefs will need to decline further before effective recruitment and recovery can begin.

  17. Extensive geographic and ontogenetic variation characterizes the trophic ecology of a temperate reef fish on southern California (USA) rocky reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Scott L.; Caselle, Jennifer E.; Lantz, Coulson A.; Egloff, Tiana L.; Kondo, Emi; Newsome, Seth D.; Loke-Smith, Kerri; Pondella, Daniel J.; Young, Kelly A.; Lowe, Christopher G.

    2015-01-01

    Interactions between predator and prey act to shape the structure of ecological communities, and these interactions can differ across space. California sheephead Semicossyphus pulcher are common predators of benthic invertebrates in kelp beds and rocky reefs in southern California, USA. Through gut content and stable isotope (δ13C and †15N) analyses, we investigated geographic and ontogenetic variation in trophic ecology across 9 populations located at island and mainland sites throughout southern California. We found extensive geographic variation in California sheephead diet composition over small spatial scales. Populations differed in the proportion of sessile filter/suspension feeders or mobile invertebrates in the diet. Spatial variation in diet was highly correlated with other life history and demographic traits (e.g. growth, survivorship, reproductive condition, and energy storage), in addition to proxies of prey availability from community surveys. Multivariate descriptions of the diet from gut contents roughly agreed with the spatial groupings of sites based on stable isotope analysis of both California sheephead and their prey. Ontogenetic changes in diet occurred consistently across populations, despite spatial differences in size structure. As California sheephead increase in size, diets shift from small filter feeders, like bivalves, to larger mobile invertebrates, such as sea urchins. Our results indicate that locations with large California sheephead present, such as many marine reserves, may experience increased predation pressure on sea urchins, which could ultimately affect kelp persistence. PMID:26246648

  18. After continents divide: Comparative phylogeography of reef fishes from the Red Sea and Indian Ocean

    KAUST Repository

    Dibattista, Joseph D.; Berumen, Michael L.; Gaither, Michelle R.; Rocha, Luiz A.; Eble, Jeff A.; Choat, John Howard; Craig, Matthew T.; Skillings, Derek J.; Bowen, Brian W.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: The Red Sea is a biodiversity hotspot characterized by a unique marine fauna and high endemism. This sea began forming c. 24 million years ago with the separation of the African and Arabian plates, and has been characterized by periods of desiccation, hypersalinity and intermittent connection to the Indian Ocean. We aim to evaluate the impact of these events on the genetic architecture of the Red Sea reef fish fauna. Location: Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean. Methods: We surveyed seven reef fish species from the Red Sea and adjacent Indian Ocean using mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and cytochrome b sequences. To assess genetic variation and evolutionary connectivity within and between these regions, we estimated haplotype diversity (h) and nucleotide diversity (π), reconstructed phylogenetic relationships among haplotypes, and estimated gene flow and time of population separation using Bayesian coalescent-based methodology. Results: Our analyses revealed a range of scenarios from shallow population structure to diagnostic differences that indicate evolutionary partitions and possible cryptic species. Conventional molecular clocks and coalescence analyses indicated time-frames for divergence between these bodies of water ranging from 830,000 years to contemporary exchange or recent range expansion. Colonization routes were bidirectional, with some species moving from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea compared with expansion out of the Red Sea for other species. Main conclusions: We conclude that: (1) at least some Red Sea reef fauna survived multiple salinity crises; (2) endemism is higher in the Red Sea than previously reported; and (3) the Red Sea is an evolutionary incubator, occasionally contributing species to the adjacent Indian Ocean. The latter two conclusions - elevated endemism and species export - indicate a need for enhanced conservation priorities for the Red Sea. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. After continents divide: Comparative phylogeography of reef fishes from the Red Sea and Indian Ocean

    KAUST Repository

    Dibattista, Joseph D.

    2013-01-07

    Aim: The Red Sea is a biodiversity hotspot characterized by a unique marine fauna and high endemism. This sea began forming c. 24 million years ago with the separation of the African and Arabian plates, and has been characterized by periods of desiccation, hypersalinity and intermittent connection to the Indian Ocean. We aim to evaluate the impact of these events on the genetic architecture of the Red Sea reef fish fauna. Location: Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean. Methods: We surveyed seven reef fish species from the Red Sea and adjacent Indian Ocean using mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and cytochrome b sequences. To assess genetic variation and evolutionary connectivity within and between these regions, we estimated haplotype diversity (h) and nucleotide diversity (π), reconstructed phylogenetic relationships among haplotypes, and estimated gene flow and time of population separation using Bayesian coalescent-based methodology. Results: Our analyses revealed a range of scenarios from shallow population structure to diagnostic differences that indicate evolutionary partitions and possible cryptic species. Conventional molecular clocks and coalescence analyses indicated time-frames for divergence between these bodies of water ranging from 830,000 years to contemporary exchange or recent range expansion. Colonization routes were bidirectional, with some species moving from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea compared with expansion out of the Red Sea for other species. Main conclusions: We conclude that: (1) at least some Red Sea reef fauna survived multiple salinity crises; (2) endemism is higher in the Red Sea than previously reported; and (3) the Red Sea is an evolutionary incubator, occasionally contributing species to the adjacent Indian Ocean. The latter two conclusions - elevated endemism and species export - indicate a need for enhanced conservation priorities for the Red Sea. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Global ecological success of Thalassoma fishes in extreme coral reef habitats

    KAUST Repository

    Fulton, Christopher J.

    2016-12-20

    Phenotypic adaptations can allow organisms to relax abiotic selection and facilitate their ecological success in challenging habitats, yet we have relatively little data for the prevalence of this phenomenon at macroecological scales. Using data on the relative abundance of coral reef wrasses and parrotfishes (f. Labridae) spread across three ocean basins and the Red Sea, we reveal the consistent global dominance of extreme wave-swept habitats by fishes in the genus Thalassoma, with abundances up to 15 times higher than any other labrid. A key locomotor modification-a winged pectoral fin that facilitates efficient underwater flight in high-flow environments-is likely to have underpinned this global success, as numerical dominance by Thalassoma was contingent upon the presence of high-intensity wave energy. The ecological success of the most abundant species also varied with species richness and the presence of congeneric competitors. While several fish taxa have independently evolved winged pectoral fins, Thalassoma appears to have combined efficient high-speed swimming (to relax abiotic selection) with trophic versatility (to maximize exploitation of rich resources) to exploit and dominate extreme coral reef habitats around the world.

  1. Demographic patterns in the peacock grouper (Cephalopholis argus), an introduced Hawaiian reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Mary K.; Friedlander, Alan M.; DeMartini, Edward E.; Donahue, Megan J.; Williams, Ivor D.

    2013-01-01

    This study took advantage of a unique opportunity to collect large sample sizes of a coral reef fish species across a range of physical and biological features of the Hawaiian Archipelago to investigate variability in the demography of an invasive predatory coral reef fish, Cephalopholis argus (Family: Epinephelidae). Age-based demographic analyses were conducted at 10 locations in the main Hawaiian Islands and estimates of weight-at-length, size-at-age, and longevity were compared among locations. Each metric differed among locations, although patterns were not consistent across metrics. Length-weight relationships for C. argus differed among locations and individuals weighed less at a given length at Hilo, the southernmost location studied. Longevity differed among and within islands and was greater at locations on Maui and Hawaii compared to the more northern locations on Oahu and Kauai. Within-island growth patterns differed at Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii. This work provides a case study of fundamental life history information from distant and/or spatially limited locations that are critical for developing robust fishery models. The differences observed both among and within islands indicate that variability may be driven by cross-scale mechanisms that need to be considered in fisheries stock assessments and ecosystem-based management.

  2. Global ecological success of Thalassoma fishes in extreme coral reef habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, Christopher J; Wainwright, Peter C; Hoey, Andrew S; Bellwood, David R

    2017-01-01

    Phenotypic adaptations can allow organisms to relax abiotic selection and facilitate their ecological success in challenging habitats, yet we have relatively little data for the prevalence of this phenomenon at macroecological scales. Using data on the relative abundance of coral reef wrasses and parrotfishes (f. Labridae) spread across three ocean basins and the Red Sea, we reveal the consistent global dominance of extreme wave-swept habitats by fishes in the genus Thalassoma , with abundances up to 15 times higher than any other labrid. A key locomotor modification-a winged pectoral fin that facilitates efficient underwater flight in high-flow environments-is likely to have underpinned this global success, as numerical dominance by Thalassoma was contingent upon the presence of high-intensity wave energy. The ecological success of the most abundant species also varied with species richness and the presence of congeneric competitors. While several fish taxa have independently evolved winged pectoral fins, Thalassoma appears to have combined efficient high-speed swimming (to relax abiotic selection) with trophic versatility (to maximize exploitation of rich resources) to exploit and dominate extreme coral reef habitats around the world.

  3. An interplay between plasticity and parental phenotype determines impacts of ocean acidification on a reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schunter, Celia; Welch, Megan J; Nilsson, Göran E; Rummer, Jodie L; Munday, Philip L; Ravasi, Timothy

    2018-02-01

    The impacts of ocean acidification will depend on the ability of marine organisms to tolerate, acclimate and eventually adapt to changes in ocean chemistry. Here, we use a unique transgenerational experiment to determine the molecular response of a coral reef fish to short-term, developmental and transgenerational exposure to elevated CO 2 , and to test how these responses are influenced by variations in tolerance to elevated CO 2 exhibited by the parents. Within-generation responses in gene expression to end-of-century predicted CO 2 levels indicate that a self-amplifying cycle in GABAergic neurotransmission is triggered, explaining previously reported neurological and behavioural impairments. Furthermore, epigenetic regulator genes exhibited a within-generation specific response, but with some divergence due to parental phenotype. Importantly, we find that altered gene expression for the majority of within-generation responses returns to baseline levels following parental exposure to elevated CO 2 conditions. Our results show that both parental variation in tolerance and cross-generation exposure to elevated CO 2 are crucial factors in determining the response of reef fish to changing ocean chemistry.

  4. An interplay between plasticity and parental phenotype determines impacts of ocean acidification on a reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Schunter, Celia Marei

    2017-12-15

    The impacts of ocean acidification will depend on the ability of marine organisms to tolerate, acclimate and eventually adapt to changes in ocean chemistry. Here, we use a unique transgenerational experiment to determine the molecular response of a coral reef fish to short-term, developmental and transgenerational exposure to elevated CO2, and to test how these responses are influenced by variations in tolerance to elevated CO2 exhibited by the parents. Within-generation responses in gene expression to end-of-century predicted CO2 levels indicate that a self-amplifying cycle in GABAergic neurotransmission is triggered, explaining previously reported neurological and behavioural impairments. Furthermore, epigenetic regulator genes exhibited a within-generation specific response, but with some divergence due to parental phenotype. Importantly, we find that altered gene expression for the majority of within-generation responses returns to baseline levels following parental exposure to elevated CO2 conditions. Our results show that both parental variation in tolerance and cross-generation exposure to elevated CO2 are crucial factors in determining the response of reef fish to changing ocean chemistry.

  5. An interplay between plasticity and parental phenotype determines impacts of ocean acidification on a reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Schunter, Celia Marei; Welch, Megan J.; Nilsson, Gö ran E.; Rummer, Jodie L.; Munday, Philip L.; Ravasi, Timothy

    2017-01-01

    The impacts of ocean acidification will depend on the ability of marine organisms to tolerate, acclimate and eventually adapt to changes in ocean chemistry. Here, we use a unique transgenerational experiment to determine the molecular response of a coral reef fish to short-term, developmental and transgenerational exposure to elevated CO2, and to test how these responses are influenced by variations in tolerance to elevated CO2 exhibited by the parents. Within-generation responses in gene expression to end-of-century predicted CO2 levels indicate that a self-amplifying cycle in GABAergic neurotransmission is triggered, explaining previously reported neurological and behavioural impairments. Furthermore, epigenetic regulator genes exhibited a within-generation specific response, but with some divergence due to parental phenotype. Importantly, we find that altered gene expression for the majority of within-generation responses returns to baseline levels following parental exposure to elevated CO2 conditions. Our results show that both parental variation in tolerance and cross-generation exposure to elevated CO2 are crucial factors in determining the response of reef fish to changing ocean chemistry.

  6. Global ecological success of Thalassoma fishes in extreme coral reef habitats

    KAUST Repository

    Fulton, Christopher J.; Wainwright, Peter C.; Hoey, Andrew; Bellwood, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic adaptations can allow organisms to relax abiotic selection and facilitate their ecological success in challenging habitats, yet we have relatively little data for the prevalence of this phenomenon at macroecological scales. Using data on the relative abundance of coral reef wrasses and parrotfishes (f. Labridae) spread across three ocean basins and the Red Sea, we reveal the consistent global dominance of extreme wave-swept habitats by fishes in the genus Thalassoma, with abundances up to 15 times higher than any other labrid. A key locomotor modification-a winged pectoral fin that facilitates efficient underwater flight in high-flow environments-is likely to have underpinned this global success, as numerical dominance by Thalassoma was contingent upon the presence of high-intensity wave energy. The ecological success of the most abundant species also varied with species richness and the presence of congeneric competitors. While several fish taxa have independently evolved winged pectoral fins, Thalassoma appears to have combined efficient high-speed swimming (to relax abiotic selection) with trophic versatility (to maximize exploitation of rich resources) to exploit and dominate extreme coral reef habitats around the world.

  7. Food selectivity and diet switch can explain the slow feeding of herbivorous coral-reef fishes during the morning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth Khait

    Full Text Available Most herbivorous coral-reef fishes feed slower in the morning than in the afternoon. Given the typical scarcity of algae in coral reefs, this behavior seems maladaptive. Here we suggest that the fishes' slow feeding during the morning is an outcome of highly selective feeding on scarcely found green algae. The rarity of the food requires longer search time and extended swimming tracks, resulting in lower bite rates. According to our findings by noon the fish seem to stop their search and switch to indiscriminative consumption of benthic algae, resulting in apparent higher feeding rates. The abundance of the rare preferable algae gradually declines from morning to noon and seems to reach its lowest levels around the switch time. Using in situ experiments we found that the feeding pattern is flexible, with the fish exhibiting fast feeding rates when presented with ample supply of preferable algae, regardless of the time of day. Analyses of the fish's esophagus content corroborated our conclusion that their feeding was highly selective in the morning and non-selective in the afternoon. Modeling of the fishes' behavior predicted that the fish should perform a diel diet shift when the preferred food is relatively rare, a situation common in most coral reefs found in a warm, oligotrophic ocean.

  8. Food selectivity and diet switch can explain the slow feeding of herbivorous coral-reef fishes during the morning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khait, Ruth; Obolski, Uri; Hadany, Lilach; Genin, Amatzia

    2013-01-01

    Most herbivorous coral-reef fishes feed slower in the morning than in the afternoon. Given the typical scarcity of algae in coral reefs, this behavior seems maladaptive. Here we suggest that the fishes' slow feeding during the morning is an outcome of highly selective feeding on scarcely found green algae. The rarity of the food requires longer search time and extended swimming tracks, resulting in lower bite rates. According to our findings by noon the fish seem to stop their search and switch to indiscriminative consumption of benthic algae, resulting in apparent higher feeding rates. The abundance of the rare preferable algae gradually declines from morning to noon and seems to reach its lowest levels around the switch time. Using in situ experiments we found that the feeding pattern is flexible, with the fish exhibiting fast feeding rates when presented with ample supply of preferable algae, regardless of the time of day. Analyses of the fish's esophagus content corroborated our conclusion that their feeding was highly selective in the morning and non-selective in the afternoon. Modeling of the fishes' behavior predicted that the fish should perform a diel diet shift when the preferred food is relatively rare, a situation common in most coral reefs found in a warm, oligotrophic ocean.

  9. Effects of microplastic exposure on the body condition and behaviour of planktivorous reef fish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Critchell, Kay; Hoogenboom, Mia O

    2018-01-01

    The effect of a pollutant on the base of the food web can have knock-on effects for trophic structure and ecosystem functioning. In this study we assess the effect of microplastic exposure on juveniles of a planktivorous fish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus), a species that is widespread and abundant on Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Under five different plastic concentration treatments, with plastics the same size as the natural food particles (mean 2mm diameter), there was no significant effect of plastic exposure on fish growth, body condition or behaviour. The amount of plastics found in the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract was low, with a range of one to eight particles remaining in the gut of individual fish at the end of a 6-week plastic-exposure period, suggesting that these fish are able to detect and avoid ingesting microplastics in this size range. However, in a second experiment the number of plastics in the GI tract vastly increased when plastic particle size was reduced to approximately one quarter the size of the food particles, with a maximum of 2102 small (< 300μm diameter) particles present in the gut of individual fish after a 1-week plastic exposure period. Under conditions where food was replaced by plastic, there was a negative effect on the growth and body condition of the fish. These results suggest plastics could become more of a problem as they break up into smaller size classes, and that environmental changes that lead to a decrease in plankton concentrations combined with microplastic presence is likely have a greater influence on fish populations than microplastic presence alone.

  10. Widespread hybridization and bidirectional introgression in sympatric species of coral reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Harrison, Hugo B.; Berumen, Michael L.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Salas, Eva; Williamson, David H.; Jones, Geoffrey P.

    2017-01-01

    interspecific hybrids from a collection of 2,991 coral trout sampled in inshore and mid-shelf reefs of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Hybrids were ubiquitous among reefs, fertile and spanned multiple generations suggesting both ecological and evolutionary

  11. Benthic communities at two remote Pacific coral reefs: effects of reef habitat, depth, and wave energy gradients on spatial patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gareth J. Williams

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll in the central Pacific are among the most remote coral reefs on the planet. Here we describe spatial patterns in their benthic communities across reef habitats and depths, and consider these in the context of oceanographic gradients. Benthic communities at both locations were dominated by calcifying organisms (54–86% cover, namely hard corals (20–74% and crustose coralline algae (CCA (10–36%. While turf algae were relatively common at both locations (8–22%, larger fleshy macroalgae were virtually absent at Kingman (<1% and rare at Palmyra (0.7–9.3%. Hard coral cover was higher, but with low diversity, in more sheltered habitats such as Palmyra’s backreef and Kingman’s patch reefs. Almost exclusive dominance by slow-growing Porites on Kingman’s patch reefs provides indirect evidence of competitive exclusion, probably late in a successional sequence. In contrast, the more exposed forereef habitats at both Kingman and Palmyra had higher coral diversity and were characterized by fast-growing corals (e.g., Acropora and Pocillopora, indicative of more dynamic environments. In general at both locations, soft coral cover increased with depth, likely reflecting increasingly efficient heterotrophic abilities. CCA and fleshy macroalgae cover decreased with depth, likely due to reduced light. Cover of other calcified macroalgae, predominantly Halimeda, increased with depth. This likely reflects the ability of many calcifying macroalgae to efficiently harvest light at deeper depths, in combination with an increased nutrient supply from upwelling promoting growth. At Palmyra, patterns of hard coral cover with depth were inconsistent, but cover peaked at mid-depths at Kingman. On Kingman’s forereef, benthic community composition was strongly related to wave energy, with hard coral cover decreasing and becoming more spatially clustered with increased wave energy, likely as a result of physical damage leading to

  12. Spatial distribution of fifty ornamental fish species on coral reefs in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalaf, Maroof A; Abdallah, Mohamed

    2014-01-01

    The spatial distribution of 50 ornamental fish species from shallow water habitats on coral reefs were investigated using visual census techniques, between latitudes 11-29°N in the Red Sea, in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, and in the adjacent Gulf of Aden in Djibouti. One hundred eighteen transects (each 100×5 m) were examined in 29 sites (3-8 sites per country). A total of 522,523 fish individuals were counted during this survey, with mean abundance of 4428.2 ± 87.26 individual per 500 m² transect. In terms of relative abundance (RA), the most abundant species were Blue green damselfish, Chromis viridis (RA=54.4%),followed bySea goldie, Pseudanthias squamipinnis (RA= 34.7), Whitetail dascyllus, Dascyllus aruanus (RA= 2.6%), Marginate dascyllus, Dascyllus marginatus (RA= 2.0),Red Sea eightline flasher Paracheilinus octotaenia (RA=1.0),andKlunzinger's wrasse, Thalassoma rueppellii (0.7%). The highest number of species (S) per 500 m² transect was found on reefs at the latitude 20° in Saudi Arabia (S=21.8), and the lowest number of species was found at the latitude 15° in Djibouti (S=11.11). The highest mean abundance (8565.8) was found on reefs at latitude 20° in Saudi Arabia and the lowest mean abundance (230) was found on reefs at latitude 22°, also in Saudi Arabia. Whereas, the highest Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index was found in reefs at the latitude 22° (H`=2.4) and the lowest was found in reefs at the latitude 20° (H`=0.6). This study revealed marked differences in the structure of ornamental fish assemblages with latitudinal distribution. The data support the presence of two major biogeographic groups of fishes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden: the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden group and the group in the northern and central Red Sea. Strong correlations were found between live coral cover and the number of fish species, abundance and Shannon-Wiener Diversity indices, and the strength of these correlations varied among the reefs. A

  13. Spatial distribution of fifty ornamental fish species on coral reefs in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maroof Khalaf

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial distribution of 50 ornamental fish species from shallow water habitats on coral reefs were investigated using visual census techniques, between latitudes 11−29°N in the Red Sea, in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, and in the adjacent Gulf of Aden in Djibouti. One hundred eighteen transects (each 100×5 m were examined in 29 sites (3−8 sites per country. A total of 522,523 fish individuals were counted during this survey, with mean abundance of 4428.2 ± 87.26 individual per 500 m² transect. In terms of relative abundance (RA, the most abundant species were Blue green damselfish, Chromis viridis (RA=54.4%, followed by Sea goldie, Pseudanthias squamipinnis (RA= 34.7, Whitetail dascyllus, Dascyllus aruanus (RA= 2.6%, Marginate dascyllus, Dascyllus marginatus (RA= 2.0, Red Sea eightline flasher Paracheilinus octotaenia (RA=1.0, and Klunzinger’s wrasse, Thalassoma rueppellii (0.7%. The highest number of species (S per 500 m² transect was found on reefs at the latitude 20° in Saudi Arabia (S=21.8, and the lowest number of species was found at the latitude 15° in Djibouti (S=11.11. The highest mean abundance (8565.8 was found on reefs at latitude 20° in Saudi Arabia and the lowest mean abundance (230 was found on reefs at latitude 22°, also in Saudi Arabia. Whereas, the highest Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index was found in reefs at the latitude 22° (H`=2.4 and the lowest was found in reefs at the latitude 20° (H`=0.6. This study revealed marked differences in the structure of ornamental fish assemblages with latitudinal distribution. The data support the presence of two major biogeographic groups of fishes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden: the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden group and the group in the northern and central Red Sea. Strong correlations were found between live coral cover and the number of fish species, abundance and Shannon-Wiener Diversity indices, and the strength of these correlations varied among the

  14. Reproductive acclimation to increased water temperature in a tropical reef fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M Donelson

    Full Text Available Understanding the capacity of organisms to cope with projected global warming through acclimation and adaptation is critical to predicting their likely future persistence. While recent research has shown that developmental acclimation of metabolic attributes to ocean warming is possible, our understanding of the plasticity of key fitness-associated traits, such as reproductive performance, is lacking. We show that while the reproductive ability of a tropical reef fish is highly sensitive to increases in water temperature, reproductive capacity at +1.5°C above present-day was improved to match fish maintained at present-day temperatures when fish complete their development at the higher temperature. However, reproductive acclimation was not observed in fish reared at +3.0°C warmer than present-day, suggesting limitations to the acclimation possible within one generation. Surprisingly, the improvements seen in reproduction were not predicted by the oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance hypothesis. Specifically, pairs reared at +1.5°C, which showed the greatest capacity for reproductive acclimation, exhibited no acclimation of metabolic attributes. Conversely, pairs reared at +3.0°C, which exhibited acclimation in resting metabolic rate, demonstrated little capacity for reproductive acclimation. Our study suggests that understanding the acclimation capacity of reproductive performance will be critically important to predicting the impacts of climate change on biological systems.

  15. Transuranic concentrations in reef and pelagic fish from the Marshall Islands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noshkin, V.E.; Eagle, R.J.; Wong, K.M.; Jokela, T.A.

    1980-09-01

    Concentrations of /sup 239 + 240/Pu are reported in tissues of several species of reef and pelagic fish caught at 14 different atolls in the northern Marshall Islands. Several regularities that are species dependent are evident in the distribution of /sup 239 + 240/Pu among different body tissues. Concentrations in liver always exceeded those in bone and concentrations were lowest in the muscle of all fish analyzed. A progressive discrimination against /sup 239 + 240/Pu was observed at successive trophic levels at all atolls except Bikini and Enewetak, where it was difficult to conclude if any real difference exists between the average concentration factor for /sup 239 + 240/Pu among all fish, which include bottom feeding and grazing herbivores, bottom feeding carnivores, and pelagic carnivores from different atoll locations. The average concentration of /sup 239 + 240/Pu in the muscle of surgeonfish from Bikini and Enewetak was not significantly different from the average concentrations determined in these fish at the other, lesser contaminated atolls. Concentrations among all 3rd, 4th, and 5th trophic level species are highest at Bikini where higher environmental concentrations are found. The reasons for the anomalously low concentrations in herbivores from Bikini and Enewetak are not known

  16. Transuranic concentrations in reef and pelagic fish from the Marshall Islands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noshkin, V.E.; Eagle, R.J.; Wong, K.M.; Jokela, T.A.

    1981-01-01

    Concentrations of sup(239+240)Pu are reported in tissues of several species of reef and pelagic fish caught at 14 different atolls in the northern Marshall Islands. Several regularities that are species dependent are evident in the distribution of sup(239+240)Pu among different body tissues. Concentrations in liver always exceeded those in bone and concentrations were lowest in the muscle of all fish analysed. A progressive discrimination against sup(239+240)Pu was observed at successive trophic levels at all atolls except Bikini and Enewetak, where it was difficult to conclude if any real difference exists between the average concentration factor for sup(239+240)Pu among all fish, which include bottom-feeding and grazing herbivores, bottom-feeding carnivores and pelagic carnivores from different atoll locations. The average concentration of sup(239+240)Pu in the muscle of surgeonfish from Bikini and Enewetak was not significantly different from the average concentrations determined in these fish at the other lesser contaminated atolls. Concentrations among all 3rd, 4th and 5th trophic level species are highest at Bikini where higher environmental concentrations are found. The reasons for the anomalously low concentrations in herbivores from Bikini and Enewetak are not known. (author)

  17. Digital reef rugosity estimates coral reef habitat complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dustan, Phillip; Doherty, Orla; Pardede, Shinta

    2013-01-01

    Ecological habitats with greater structural complexity contain more species due to increased niche diversity. This is especially apparent on coral reefs where individual coral colonies aggregate to give a reef its morphology, species zonation, and three dimensionality. Structural complexity is classically measured with a reef rugosity index, which is the ratio of a straight line transect to the distance a flexible chain of equal length travels when draped over the reef substrate; yet, other techniques from visual categories to remote sensing have been used to characterize structural complexity at scales from microhabitats to reefscapes. Reef-scale methods either lack quantitative precision or are too time consuming to be routinely practical, while remotely sensed indices are mismatched to the finer scale morphology of coral colonies and reef habitats. In this communication a new digital technique, Digital Reef Rugosity (DRR) is described which utilizes a self-contained water level gauge enabling a diver to quickly and accurately characterize rugosity with non-invasive millimeter scale measurements of coral reef surface height at decimeter intervals along meter scale transects. The precise measurements require very little post-processing and are easily imported into a spreadsheet for statistical analyses and modeling. To assess its applicability we investigated the relationship between DRR and fish community structure at four coral reef sites on Menjangan Island off the northwest corner of Bali, Indonesia and one on mainland Bali to the west of Menjangan Island; our findings show a positive relationship between DRR and fish diversity. Since structural complexity drives key ecological processes on coral reefs, we consider that DRR may become a useful quantitative community-level descriptor to characterize reef complexity.

  18. Monitoring of coastal coral reefs near Dahab (Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea) indicates local eutrophication as potential cause for change in benthic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naumann, Malik S; Bednarz, Vanessa N; Ferse, Sebastian C A; Niggl, Wolfgang; Wild, Christian

    2015-02-01

    Coral reef ecosystems fringing the coastline of Dahab (South Sinai, Egypt) have experienced increasing anthropogenic disturbance as an emergent international tourism destination. Previous reports covering tourism-related impacts on coastal environments, particularly mechanical damage and destructive fishing, have highlighted the vital necessity for regular ecosystem monitoring of coral reefs near Dahab. However, a continuous scientific monitoring programme of permanent survey sites has not been established to date. Thus, this study conducted in situ monitoring surveys to investigate spatio-temporal variability of benthic reef communities and selected reef-associated herbivores along with reef health indicator organisms by revisiting three of the locally most frequented dive sites during expeditions in March 2010, September 2011 and February 2013. In addition, inorganic nutrient concentrations in reef-surrounding waters were determined to evaluate bottom-up effects of key environmental parameters on benthic reef community shifts in relation to grazer-induced top-down control. Findings revealed that from 2010 to 2013, live hard coral cover declined significantly by 12 % at the current-sheltered site Three Pools (TP), while showing negative trends for the Blue Hole (BH) and Lighthouse (LH) sites. Hard coral cover decline was significantly and highly correlated to a substantial increase in turf algae cover (up to 57 % at TP) at all sites, replacing hard corals as dominant benthic space occupiers in 2013. These changes were correlated to ambient phosphate and ammonium concentrations that exhibited highest values (0.64 ± 0.07 μmol PO4 (3-) l(-1), 1.05 ± 0.07 μmol NH4 (+) l(-1)) at the degraded site TP. While macroalgae appeared to respond to both bottom-up and top-down factors, change in turf algae was consistent with expected indications for bottom-up control. Temporal variability measured in herbivorous reef fish stocks reflected seasonal impacts by

  19. Diffusive boundary layers and photosynthesis of the epilithic algal community of coral reefs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larkum, Anthony W.D.; Koch, Eva-Maria W.; Kühl, Michael

    2003-01-01

    The effects of mass transfer resistance due to the presence of a diffusive boundary layer on the photosynthesis of the epilithic algal community (EAC) of a coral reef were studied. Photosynthesis and respiration of the EAC of dead coral surfaces were investigated for samples from two locations......: the Gulf of Aqaba, Eilat (Israel), and One Tree Reef on the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Microsensors were used to measure O2 and pH at the EAC surface and above. Oxygen profiles in the light and dark indicated a diffusive boundary layer (DBL) thickness of 180–590 µm under moderate flow (~0.08 m s-1...

  20. Species-specific impacts of a small marine reserve on reef fish production and fishing productivity in the Turks and Caicos Islands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tupper, M.H.; Rudd, M.A.

    2002-01-01

    Marine reserves are widely considered to potentially benefit reef fisheries through emigration, yet the empirical basis for predicting the extent of this for small reserves is weak. The effects of fishing pressure and habitat on biomass and catch per unit effort (CPUE) of three species of exploited

  1. Plastic growth of the herbivorous reef fish Sparisoma viride: field evidence for a trade-off between growth and reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rooij, J.M.; Bruggemann, J.H.; Videler, J.J.; Breeman, A.M.

    The growth of different Life phases and social categories of the protogynous parrotfish Sparisoma viride was studied on a fringing reef on Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles) using mark-recapture procedures and by taking repeated stereographic measurements of free-swimming fish. Weight-growth was best

  2. 77 FR 37330 - Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2012 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-21

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 120417412-2412-01] RIN 0648-XCO76 Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; 2012 Commercial Accountability...: NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the commercial sector of gray triggerfish in the Gulf...

  3. 78 FR 45894 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-30

    .... 120510052-3615-02] RIN 0648-BC20 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Parrotfish Management Measures in St. Croix AGENCY.... Virgin Islands (FMP), as prepared by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule...

  4. 78 FR 15338 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-11

    .... 120510052-3174-01] RIN 0648-BC20 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Parrotfish Management Measures in St. Croix AGENCY... Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (FMP), as prepared by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council...

  5. 78 FR 14225 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-05

    ... documentation may be obtained from Rich Malinowski, NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; telephone: 727-824-5305. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, telephone: 727-824- 5305, or email: Rich.Malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery...

  6. 76 FR 51905 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-19

    ... be obtained from Rich Malinowski, NMFS, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; telephone: 727-824-5305. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, telephone: 727-824- 5305, e-mail Rich.Malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of...

  7. 77 FR 39460 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-03

    ... . Follow the ``Instructions'' for submitting comments. Mail: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office....gov . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone 727-824-5305; email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Reef fish fishery of the...

  8. 78 FR 5404 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-25

    ... Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions... . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone 727-824-5305; email: rich.malinowski@noaa.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of...

  9. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Rapid Ecological Assessments of Fish Large-Area Stationary Point Count Surveys (SPC) at Coral Reef Sites across the Pacific Ocean from 2000 to 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The large-area stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific...

  10. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of American Samoa from 2016-04-15 to 2016-05-05 (NCEI Accession 0157597)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  11. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of American Samoa from 2015-02-15 to 2015-03-30 (NCEI Accession 0157588)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  12. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data at Wake Island from 2014-03-16 to 2014-03-20 (NCEI Accession 0157572)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  13. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the Mariana Archipelago from 2017-05-03 to 2017-06-20 (NCEI Accession 0166381)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  14. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of Guam from 2014-09-29 to 2014-10-31 (NCEI Accession 0157592)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  15. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data at Jarvis and Wake from 2017-04-02 to 2017-04-23 (NCEI Accession 0163747)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  16. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the Hawaiian Archipelago from 2015-0614 to 2015-08-13 (NCEI Accession 0157591)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  17. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the Hawaiian Archipelago from 2016-07-13 to 2016-09-27 (NCEI Accession 0157590)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  18. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the Pacific Remote Island Areas from 2015-01-26 to 2015-04-28 (NCEI Accession 0157595)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  19. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Stratified Random Surveys (StRS) of Reef Fish, including Benthic Estimate Data of the Hawaiian Archipelago from 2013-08-02 to 2013-10-31 (NCEI Accession 0157589)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The stationary point count (SPC) method is used to conduct reef fish surveys in the Hawaiian and Mariana Archipelagos, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island...

  20. Effects of microplastic exposure on the body condition and behaviour of planktivorous reef fish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoogenboom, Mia O.

    2018-01-01

    The effect of a pollutant on the base of the food web can have knock-on effects for trophic structure and ecosystem functioning. In this study we assess the effect of microplastic exposure on juveniles of a planktivorous fish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus), a species that is widespread and abundant on Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Under five different plastic concentration treatments, with plastics the same size as the natural food particles (mean 2mm diameter), there was no significant effect of plastic exposure on fish growth, body condition or behaviour. The amount of plastics found in the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract was low, with a range of one to eight particles remaining in the gut of individual fish at the end of a 6-week plastic-exposure period, suggesting that these fish are able to detect and avoid ingesting microplastics in this size range. However, in a second experiment the number of plastics in the GI tract vastly increased when plastic particle size was reduced to approximately one quarter the size of the food particles, with a maximum of 2102 small (plastic exposure period. Under conditions where food was replaced by plastic, there was a negative effect on the growth and body condition of the fish. These results suggest plastics could become more of a problem as they break up into smaller size classes, and that environmental changes that lead to a decrease in plankton concentrations combined with microplastic presence is likely have a greater influence on fish populations than microplastic presence alone. PMID:29494635

  1. 27 years of benthic and coral community dynamics on turbid, highly urbanised reefs off Singapore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guest, J R; Tun, K; Low, J; Vergés, A; Marzinelli, E M; Campbell, A H; Bauman, A G; Feary, D A; Chou, L M; Steinberg, P D

    2016-11-08

    Coral cover on reefs is declining globally due to coastal development, overfishing and climate change. Reefs isolated from direct human influence can recover from natural acute disturbances, but little is known about long term recovery of reefs experiencing chronic human disturbances. Here we investigate responses to acute bleaching disturbances on turbid reefs off Singapore, at two depths over a period of 27 years. Coral cover declined and there were marked changes in coral and benthic community structure during the first decade of monitoring at both depths. At shallower reef crest sites (3-4 m), benthic community structure recovered towards pre-disturbance states within a decade. In contrast, there was a net decline in coral cover and continuing shifts in community structure at deeper reef slope sites (6-7 m). There was no evidence of phase shifts to macroalgal dominance but coral habitats at deeper sites were replaced by unstable substrata such as fine sediments and rubble. The persistence of coral dominance at chronically disturbed shallow sites is likely due to an abundance of coral taxa which are tolerant to environmental stress. In addition, high turbidity may interact antagonistically with other disturbances to reduce the impact of thermal stress and limit macroalgal growth rates.

  2. Does functional redundancy stabilize fish communities?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rice, Jake; Daan, Niels; Gislason, Henrik

    2013-01-01

    in abundance or biomass could be accounted for by the Law of Large Numbers, providing no evidence that specific ecological processes or co-adaptations are necessary to produce this effect. This implies that successful conservation policies to maintain the resilience of a marine fish community could be based......Functional redundancy of species sharing a feeding strategy and/or maximum size has been hypothesized to contribute to increased resilience of marine fish communities (the “portfolio effect”). A consistent time-series of survey data of fish in the North Sea was used to examine if trophic functional...... groups or maximum length of species (Lmax) groups with larger numbers of species had lower coefficients of variation in abundance and biomass over time than did groupings with fewer species. Results supported this hypothesis. However, the stabilizing effect of numbers of species in a group on variation...

  3. Follow that fish: Uncovering the hidden blue economy in coral reef fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grafeld, Shanna; Oleson, Kirsten L L; Teneva, Lida; Kittinger, John N

    2017-01-01

    Despite their importance for human well-being, nearshore fisheries are often data poor, undervalued, and underappreciated in policy and development programs. We assess the value chain for nearshore Hawaiian coral reef fisheries, mapping post-catch distribution and disposition, and quantifying associated monetary, food security, and cultural values. We estimate that the total annual value of the nearshore fishery in Hawai'i is $10.3-$16.4 million, composed of non-commercial ($7.2-$12.9 million) and commercial ($2.97 million licensed + $148,500-$445,500 unlicensed) catch. Hawaii's nearshore fisheries provide >7 million meals annually, with most (>5 million) from the non-commercial sector. Over a third (36%) of meals were planktivores, 26% piscivores, 21% primary consumers, and 18% secondary consumers. Only 62% of licensed commercial catch is accounted for in purchase reports, leaving 38% of landings unreported in sales. Value chains are complex, with major buyers for the commercial fishery including grocery stores (66%), retailers (19%), wholesalers (14%), and restaurants (sharing. A small amount (~37,000kg) of reef fish-the equivalent of 1.8% of local catch-is imported annually into Hawai'i, 23,000kg of which arrives as passenger luggage on commercial flights from Micronesia. Evidence of exports to the US mainland exists, but is unquantifiable given existing data. Hawaiian nearshore fisheries support fundamental cultural values including subsistence, activity, traditional knowledge, and social cohesion. These small-scale coral reef fisheries provide large-scale benefits to the economy, food security, and cultural practices of Hawai'i, underscoring the need for sustainable management. This research highlights the value of information on the value chain for small-scale production systems, making the hidden economy of these fisheries visible and illuminating a range of conservation interventions applicable to Hawai'i and beyond.

  4. Invasive lionfish harbor a different external bacterial community than native Bahamian fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, J. L.; Olson, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    The introduction and subsequent spread of lionfish into the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea has become a worldwide conservation issue. These highly successful invaders may also be capable of introducing non-native microorganisms to the invaded regions. This study compared the bacterial communities associated with lionfish external tissue to those of native Bahamian fishes and ambient water. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses demonstrated that lionfish bacterial communities were significantly different than those associated with three native Bahamian fishes. Additionally, all fishes harbored distinct bacterial communities from the ambient bacterioplankton. Analysis of bacterial clone libraries from invasive lionfish and native squirrelfish indicated that lionfish communities were more diverse than those associated with squirrelfish, yet did not contain known fish pathogens. Using microscopy and molecular genetic approaches, lionfish eggs were examined for the presence of bacteria to evaluate the capacity for vertical transmission. Eggs removed from the ovaries of gravid females were free of bacteria, suggesting that lionfish likely acquire bacteria from the environment. This study was the first examination of bacterial communities associated with the invasive lionfish and indicated that they support different communities of environmentally derived bacteria than Caribbean reef fishes.

  5. Molecular signatures of transgenerational response to ocean acidification in a species of reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Schunter, Celia Marei; Welch, Megan J.; Ryu, Tae Woo; Zhang, Huoming; Berumen, Michael L.; Nilsson, Gö ran E.; Munday, Philip L.; Ravasi, Timothy

    2016-01-01

    The impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems will depend on species capacity to adapt. Recent studies show that the behaviour of reef fishes is impaired at projected CO levels; however, individual variation exists that might promote adaptation. Here, we show a clear signature of parental sensitivity to high CO in the brain molecular phenotype of juvenile spiny damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, primarily driven by circadian rhythm genes. Offspring of CO -tolerant and CO -sensitive parents were reared at near-future CO (754 μatm) or present-day control levels (414 μatm). By integrating 33 brain transcriptomes and proteomes with a de novo assembled genome we investigate the molecular responses of the fish brain to increased CO and the expression of parental tolerance to high CO in the offspring molecular phenotype. Exposure to high CO resulted in differential regulation of 173 and 62 genes and 109 and 68 proteins in the tolerant and sensitive groups, respectively. Importantly, the majority of differences between offspring of tolerant and sensitive parents occurred in high CO conditions. This transgenerational molecular signature suggests that individual variation in CO sensitivity could facilitate adaptation of fish populations to ocean acidification.

  6. Comparative Allometric Growth of the Mimetic Ephippid Reef Fishes Chaetodipterus faber and Platax orbicularis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breno Barros

    Full Text Available Mimesis is a relatively widespread phenomenon among reef fish, but the ontogenetic processes relevant for mimetic associations in fish are still poorly understood. In the present study, the allometric growth of two allopatric leaf-mimetic species of ephippid fishes, Chaetodipterus faber from the Atlantic and Platax orbicularis from the Indo-Pacific, was analyzed using ten morphological variables. The development of fins was considered owing to the importance of these structures for mimetic behaviors during early life stages. Despite the anatomical and behavioral similarities in both juvenile and adult stages, C. faber and P. orbicularis showed distinct patterns of growth. The overall shape of C. faber transforms from a rounded-shape in mimetic juveniles to a lengthened profile in adults, while in P. orbicularis, juveniles present an oblong profile including dorsal and anal fins, with relative fin size diminishing while the overall profile grows rounder in adults. Although the two species are closely-related, the present results suggest that growth patterns in C. faber and P. orbicularis are different, and are probably independent events in ephippids that have resulted from similar selective processes.

  7. Molecular signatures of transgenerational response to ocean acidification in a species of reef fish

    KAUST Repository

    Schunter, Celia Marei

    2016-07-29

    The impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems will depend on species capacity to adapt. Recent studies show that the behaviour of reef fishes is impaired at projected CO levels; however, individual variation exists that might promote adaptation. Here, we show a clear signature of parental sensitivity to high CO in the brain molecular phenotype of juvenile spiny damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, primarily driven by circadian rhythm genes. Offspring of CO -tolerant and CO -sensitive parents were reared at near-future CO (754 μatm) or present-day control levels (414 μatm). By integrating 33 brain transcriptomes and proteomes with a de novo assembled genome we investigate the molecular responses of the fish brain to increased CO and the expression of parental tolerance to high CO in the offspring molecular phenotype. Exposure to high CO resulted in differential regulation of 173 and 62 genes and 109 and 68 proteins in the tolerant and sensitive groups, respectively. Importantly, the majority of differences between offspring of tolerant and sensitive parents occurred in high CO conditions. This transgenerational molecular signature suggests that individual variation in CO sensitivity could facilitate adaptation of fish populations to ocean acidification.

  8. Red fluorescence increases with depth in reef fishes, supporting a visual function, not UV protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Melissa G.; Anthes, Nils; Dangelmayer, Sandra; Alwany, Magdy A.; Gerlach, Tobias; Schulte, Gregor; Sprenger, Dennis; Theobald, Jennifer; Michiels, Nico K.

    2014-01-01

    Why do some marine fishes exhibit striking patterns of natural red fluorescence? In this study, we contrast two non-exclusive hypotheses: (i) that UV absorption by fluorescent pigments offers significant photoprotection in shallow water, where UV irradiance is strongest; and (ii) that red fluorescence enhances visual contrast at depths below −10 m, where most light in the ‘red’ 600–700 nm range has been absorbed. Whereas the photoprotection hypothesis predicts fluorescence to be stronger near the surface and weaker in deeper water, the visual contrast hypothesis predicts the opposite. We used fluorometry to measure red fluorescence brightness in vivo in individuals belonging to eight common small reef fish species with conspicuously red fluorescent eyes. Fluorescence was significantly brighter in specimens from the −20 m sites than in those from −5 m sites in six out of eight species. No difference was found in the remaining two. Our results support the visual contrast hypothesis. We discuss the possible roles fluorescence may play in fish visual ecology and highlight the possibility that fluorescent light emission from the eyes in particular may be used to detect cryptic prey. PMID:25030989