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Sample records for reef fish demonstrated

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Coral reef fishes: dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sale, P.F

    2002-01-01

    .... Discussions include regulation of fish populations, the dispersal, or not, of larval reef fishes, the sensory and motor capabilities of reef fish larvae, and the complexities of management of reef...

  5. Shelters and Their Use by Fishes on Fringing Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ménard, Alexandre; Turgeon, Katrine; Roche, Dominique G.; Binning, Sandra A.; Kramer, Donald L.

    2012-01-01

    Coral reef fish density and species richness are often higher at sites with more structural complexity. This association may be due to greater availability of shelters, but surprisingly little is known about the size and density of shelters and their use by coral reef fishes. We quantified shelter availability and use by fishes for the first time on a Caribbean coral reef by counting all holes and overhangs with a minimum entrance diameter ≥3 cm in 30 quadrats (25 m2) on two fringing reefs in Barbados. Shelter size was highly variable, ranging from 42 cm3 to over 4,000,000 cm3, with many more small than large shelters. On average, there were 3.8 shelters m−2, with a median volume of 1,200 cm3 and a total volume of 52,000 cm3m−2. The number of fish per occupied shelter ranged from 1 to 35 individual fishes belonging to 66 species, with a median of 1. The proportion of shelters occupied and the number of occupants increased strongly with shelter size. Shelter density and total volume increased with substrate complexity, and this relationship varied among reef zones. The density of shelter-using fish was much more strongly predicted by shelter density and median size than by substrate complexity and increased linearly with shelter density, indicating that shelter availability is a limiting resource for some coral reef fishes. The results demonstrate the importance of large shelters for fish density and support the hypothesis that structural complexity is associated with fish abundance, at least in part, due to its association with shelter availability. This information can help identify critical habitat for coral reef fishes, predict the effects of reductions in structural complexity of natural reefs and improve the design of artificial reefs. PMID:22745664

  6. Shelters and their use by fishes on fringing coral reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Ménard

    Full Text Available Coral reef fish density and species richness are often higher at sites with more structural complexity. This association may be due to greater availability of shelters, but surprisingly little is known about the size and density of shelters and their use by coral reef fishes. We quantified shelter availability and use by fishes for the first time on a Caribbean coral reef by counting all holes and overhangs with a minimum entrance diameter ≥3 cm in 30 quadrats (25 m(2 on two fringing reefs in Barbados. Shelter size was highly variable, ranging from 42 cm(3 to over 4,000,000 cm(3, with many more small than large shelters. On average, there were 3.8 shelters m(-2, with a median volume of 1,200 cm(3 and a total volume of 52,000 cm(3 m(-2. The number of fish per occupied shelter ranged from 1 to 35 individual fishes belonging to 66 species, with a median of 1. The proportion of shelters occupied and the number of occupants increased strongly with shelter size. Shelter density and total volume increased with substrate complexity, and this relationship varied among reef zones. The density of shelter-using fish was much more strongly predicted by shelter density and median size than by substrate complexity and increased linearly with shelter density, indicating that shelter availability is a limiting resource for some coral reef fishes. The results demonstrate the importance of large shelters for fish density and support the hypothesis that structural complexity is associated with fish abundance, at least in part, due to its association with shelter availability. This information can help identify critical habitat for coral reef fishes, predict the effects of reductions in structural complexity of natural reefs and improve the design of artificial reefs.

  7. 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.

  8. Long-term effects of the cleaner fish Labroides dimidiatus on coral reef fish communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter A Waldie

    Full Text Available Cleaning behaviour is deemed a mutualism, however the benefit of cleaning interactions to client individuals is unknown. Furthermore, mechanisms that may shift fish community structure in the presence of cleaning organisms are unclear. Here we show that on patch reefs (61-285 m² which had all cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus (Labridae experimentally removed (1-5 adults reef⁻¹ and which were then maintained cleaner-fish free over 8.5 years, individuals of two site-attached (resident client damselfishes (Pomacentridae were smaller compared to those on control reefs. Furthermore, resident fishes were 37% less abundant and 23% less species rich per reef, compared to control reefs. Such changes in site-attached fish may reflect lower fish growth rates and/or survivorship. Additionally, juveniles of visitors (fish likely to move between reefs were 65% less abundant on removal reefs suggesting cleaners may also affect recruitment. This may, in part, explain the 23% lower abundance and 33% lower species richness of visitor fishes, and 66% lower abundance of visitor herbivores (Acanthuridae on removal reefs that we also observed. This is the first study to demonstrate a benefit of cleaning behaviour to client individuals, in the form of increased size, and to elucidate potential mechanisms leading to community-wide effects on the fish population. Many of the fish groups affected may also indirectly affect other reef organisms, thus further impacting the reef community. The large-scale effect of the presence of the relatively small and uncommon fish, Labroides dimidiadus, on other fishes is unparalleled on coral reefs.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Feeding fish with bread or other food is widely used by tour operators to enhance human-animal interactions in coral reefs. Little is known, however, about the effects of recreational fish feeding on fish community structure and fish behaviour. These two issues were examined in this study within three marine protected areas ...

  10. Fishing down nutrients on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allgeier, Jacob E.; Valdivia, Abel; Cox, Courtney; Layman, Craig A.

    2016-08-01

    Fishing is widely considered a leading cause of biodiversity loss in marine environments, but the potential effect on ecosystem processes, such as nutrient fluxes, is less explored. Here, we test how fishing on Caribbean coral reefs influences biodiversity and ecosystem functions provided by the fish community, that is, fish-mediated nutrient capacity. Specifically, we modelled five processes of nutrient storage (in biomass) and supply (via excretion) of nutrients, as well as a measure of their multifunctionality, onto 143 species of coral reef fishes across 110 coral reef fish communities. These communities span a gradient from extreme fishing pressure to protected areas with little to no fishing. We find that in fished sites fish-mediated nutrient capacity is reduced almost 50%, despite no substantial changes in the number of species. Instead, changes in community size and trophic structure were the primary cause of shifts in ecosystem function. These findings suggest that a broader perspective that incorporates predictable impacts of fishing pressure on ecosystem function is imperative for effective coral reef conservation and management.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Tropical fishes dominate temperate reef fish communities within western Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yohei; Feary, David A; Kanda, Masaru; Yamaoka, Kosaku

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is resulting in rapid poleward shifts in the geographical distribution of tropical and subtropical fish species. We can expect that such range shifts are likely to be limited by species-specific resource requirements, with temperate rocky reefs potentially lacking a range of settlement substrates or specific dietary components important in structuring the settlement and success of tropical and subtropical fish species. We examined the importance of resource use in structuring the distribution patterns of range shifting tropical and subtropical fishes, comparing this with resident temperate fish species within western Japan (Tosa Bay); the abundance, diversity, size class, functional structure and latitudinal range of reef fishes utilizing both coral reef and adjacent rocky reef habitat were quantified over a 2 year period (2008-2010). This region has undergone rapid poleward expansion of reef-building corals in response to increasing coastal water temperatures, and forms one of the global hotspots for rapid coastal changes. Despite the temperate latitude surveyed (33°N, 133°E) the fish assemblage was both numerically, and in terms of richness, dominated by tropical fishes. Such tropical faunal dominance was apparent within both coral, and rocky reef habitats. The size structure of the assemblage suggested that a relatively large number of tropical species are overwintering within both coral and rocky habitats, with a subset of these species being potentially reproductively active. The relatively high abundance and richness of tropical species with obligate associations with live coral resources (i.e., obligate corallivores) shows that this region holds the most well developed temperate-located tropical fish fauna globally. We argue that future tropicalisation of the fish fauna in western Japan, associated with increasing coral habitat development and reported increasing shifts in coastal water temperatures, may have considerable positive economic

  19. Tropical fishes dominate temperate reef fish communities within western Japan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yohei Nakamura

    Full Text Available Climate change is resulting in rapid poleward shifts in the geographical distribution of tropical and subtropical fish species. We can expect that such range shifts are likely to be limited by species-specific resource requirements, with temperate rocky reefs potentially lacking a range of settlement substrates or specific dietary components important in structuring the settlement and success of tropical and subtropical fish species. We examined the importance of resource use in structuring the distribution patterns of range shifting tropical and subtropical fishes, comparing this with resident temperate fish species within western Japan (Tosa Bay; the abundance, diversity, size class, functional structure and latitudinal range of reef fishes utilizing both coral reef and adjacent rocky reef habitat were quantified over a 2 year period (2008-2010. This region has undergone rapid poleward expansion of reef-building corals in response to increasing coastal water temperatures, and forms one of the global hotspots for rapid coastal changes. Despite the temperate latitude surveyed (33°N, 133°E the fish assemblage was both numerically, and in terms of richness, dominated by tropical fishes. Such tropical faunal dominance was apparent within both coral, and rocky reef habitats. The size structure of the assemblage suggested that a relatively large number of tropical species are overwintering within both coral and rocky habitats, with a subset of these species being potentially reproductively active. The relatively high abundance and richness of tropical species with obligate associations with live coral resources (i.e., obligate corallivores shows that this region holds the most well developed temperate-located tropical fish fauna globally. We argue that future tropicalisation of the fish fauna in western Japan, associated with increasing coral habitat development and reported increasing shifts in coastal water temperatures, may have considerable

  20. Regional endothermy in a coral reef fish?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin Q Welsh

    Full Text Available Although a few pelagic species exhibit regional endothermy, most fish are regarded as ectotherms. However, we document significant regional endothermy in a benthic reef fish. Individual steephead parrotfish, Chlorurus microrhinos (Labridae, formerly Scaridae were tagged and their internal temperatures were monitored for a 24 h period using active acoustic telemetry. At night, on the reef, C. microrhinos were found to maintain a consistent average peritoneal cavity temperature 0.16 ± 0.005 °C (SE warmer than ambient. Diurnal internal temperatures were highly variable for individuals monitored on the reef, while in tank-based trials, peritoneal cavity temperatures tracked environmental temperatures. The mechanisms responsible for a departure of the peritoneal cavity temperature from environmental temperature occurred in C. microrhinos are not yet understood. However, the diet and behavior of the species suggests that heat in the peritoneal cavity may result primarily from endogenous thermogenesis coupled with physiological heat retention mechanisms. The presence of limited endothermy in C. microrhinos indicates that a degree of uncertainty may exist in the manner that reef fish respond to their thermal environment. At the very least, they do not always appear to respond to environmental temperatures as neutral thermal vessels and do display limited, but significant, visceral warming.

  1. Fish assemblages on estuarine artificial reefs: natural rocky-reef mimics or discrete assemblages?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heath Folpp

    Full Text Available If the primary goal of artificial reef construction is the creation of additional reef habitat that is comparable to adjacent natural rocky-reef, then performance should be evaluated using simultaneous comparisons with adjacent natural habitats. Using baited remote underwater video (BRUV fish assemblages on purpose-built estuarine artificial reefs and adjacent natural rocky-reef and sand-flat were assessed 18 months post-deployment in three south-east Australian estuaries. Fish abundance, species richness and diversity were found to be greater on the artificial reefs than on either naturally occurring reef or sand-flat in all estuaries. Comparisons within each estuary identified significant differences in the species composition between the artificial and natural rocky-reefs. The artificial reef assemblage was dominated by sparid species including Acanthopagrus australis and Rhabdosargus sarba. The preference for a range of habitats by theses sparid species is evident by their detection on sand-flat, natural rocky reef and artificial reef habitats. The fish assemblage identified on the artificial reefs remained distinct from the adjacent rocky-reef, comprising a range of species drawn from naturally occurring rocky-reef and sand-flat. In addition, some mid-water schooling species including Trachurus novaezelandiae and Pseudocaranx georgianus were only identified on the artificial reef community; presumably as result of the reef's isolated location in open-water. We concluded that estuarine artificial reef assemblages are likely to differ significantly from adjacent rocky-reef, potentially as a result of physical factors such as reef isolation, coupled with species specific behavioural traits such as the ability of some species to traverse large sand flats in order to locate reef structure, and feeding preferences. Artificial reefs should not be viewed as direct surrogates for natural reef. The assemblages are likely to remain distinct from

  2. Tropical Fishes Dominate Temperate Reef Fish Communities within Western Japan

    OpenAIRE

    Yohei Nakamura; Feary, David A.; Masaru Kanda; Kosaku Yamaoka

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is resulting in rapid poleward shifts in the geographical distribution of tropical and subtropical fish species. We can expect that such range shifts are likely to be limited by species-specific resource requirements, with temperate rocky reefs potentially lacking a range of settlement substrates or specific dietary components important in structuring the settlement and success of tropical and subtropical fish species. We examined the importance of resource use in structuring t...

  3. Different dispersal abilities allow reef fish to coexist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Michael; Bode, Lance; Armsworth, Paul R

    2011-09-27

    The coexistence of multiple species on a smaller number of limiting resources is an enduring ecological paradox. The mechanisms that maintain such biodiversity are of great interest to ecology and of central importance to conservation. We describe and prove a unique and robust mechanism for coexistence: Species that differ only in their dispersal abilities can coexist, if habitat patches are distributed at irregular distances. This mechanism is straightforward and ecologically intuitive, but can nevertheless create complex coexistence patterns that are robust to substantial environmental stochasticity. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is noted for its diversity of reef fish species and its complex arrangement of reef habitat. We demonstrate that this mechanism can allow fish species with different pelagic larval durations to stably coexist in the GBR. Further, coexisting species on the GBR often dominate different subregions, defined primarily by cross-shelf position. Interspecific differences in dispersal ability generate similar coexistence patterns when dispersal is influenced by larval behavior and variable oceanographic conditions. Many marine and terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by patchy habitat distributions and contain coexisting species that have different dispersal abilities. This coexistence mechanism is therefore likely to have ecological relevance beyond reef fish.

  4. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sancho, Gorka

    1998-01-01

    .... Underwater observations of spawning activities by eleven reef fish species and the hunting behaviors of both piscivorous and planktivorous predators were made at Johnston Atoll (Central Pacific...

  6. 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    its effects on coral reef algal communities. Ecological Monographs 56: 345-363. Carpenter RC (1990) Mass mortality of. Diadema antillarum. I Long-term effects on sea urchin population-dynamics and coral reef algal communities. Marine. Biology 104: 67-77. Choat JH (1991) The biology of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Benthic cover and fishing intensity appear to influence the biomass of herbivorous fish communities more on the reefs of Andavadoaka, highlighting the importance of Marine Protected Areas to protect both corals and fish. Keywords: Herbivorous fish, biomass, coral cover, algal turf, fishing, Marine Protected Areas.

  9. 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.

  10. Small-Boat Noise Impacts Natural Settlement Behavior of Coral Reef Fish Larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Stephen D; Radford, Andrew N; Holles, Sophie; Ferarri, Maud C O; Chivers, Douglas P; McCormick, Mark I; Meekan, Mark G

    2016-01-01

    After a pelagic larval phase, settlement-stage coral reef fish must locate a suitable reef habitat for juvenile life. Reef noise, produced by resident fish and invertebrates, provides an important cue for orientation and habitat selection during this process, which must often occur in environments impacted by anthropogenic noise. We adapted an established field-based protocol to test whether recorded boat noise influenced the settlement behavior of reef fish. Fewer fish settled to patch reefs broadcasting boat + reef noise compared with reef noise alone. This study suggests that boat noise, now a common feature of many reefs, can compromise critical settlement behavior of reef fishes.

  11. 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.

  12. 76 FR 82413 - Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-30

    ... Part 622 Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants... Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and... the FMP for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Spiny Lobster FMP...

  13. Elevated rates of morphological and functional diversification in reef-dwelling haemulid fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Samantha A; Tavera, Jose J; Near, Thomas J; Wainwright, Peter C

    2013-02-01

    The relationship between habitat complexity and species richness is well established but comparatively little is known about the evolution of morphological diversity in complex habitats. Reefs are structurally complex, highly productive shallow-water marine ecosystems found in tropical (coral reefs) and temperate zones (rocky reefs) that harbor exceptional levels of biodiversity. We investigated whether reef habitats promote the evolution of morphological diversity in the feeding and locomotion systems of grunts (Haemulidae), a group of predominantly nocturnal fishes that live on both temperate and tropical reefs. Using phylogenetic comparative methods and statistical analyses that take into account uncertainty in phylogeny and the evolutionary history of reef living, we demonstrate that rates of morphological evolution are faster in reef-dwelling haemulids. The magnitude of this effect depends on the type of trait; on average, traits involved in the functional systems for prey capture and processing evolve twice as fast on reefs as locomotor traits. This result, along with the observation that haemulids do not exploit unique feeding niches on reefs, suggests that fine-scale trophic niche partitioning and character displacement may be driving higher rates of morphological evolution. Whatever the cause, there is growing evidence that reef habitats stimulate morphological and functional diversification in teleost fishes. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. Terrestrial chemical cues help coral reef fish larvae locate settlement habitat surrounding islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixson, Danielle L; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L; Pratchett, Morgan S; Srinivasan, Maya; Planes, Serge; Thorrold, Simon R

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the degree of connectivity between coastal and island landscapes and nearby coral reefs is vital to the integrated management of terrestrial and marine environments in the tropics. Coral reef fish are capable of navigating appropriate settlement habitats following their pelagic larval phase, but the mechanisms by which they do this are unclear. The importance of olfactory cues in settlement site selection has been demonstrated, and there is increasing evidence that chemical cues from terrestrial sources may be important for some species. Here, we test the olfactory preferences of eight island-associated coral reef fish recruits and one generalist species to discern the capacity for terrestrial cue recognition that may aid in settlement site selection. A series of pairwise choice experiments were used to evaluate the potential role that terrestrial, water-borne olfactory cues play in island-reef recognition. Olfactory stimuli tested included near-shore water, terrestrial rainforest leaf litter, and olfactory cues collected from different reef types (reefs surrounding vegetated islands, and reefs with no islands present). All eight island-associated species demonstrated high levels of olfactory discrimination and responded positively toward olfactory cues indicating the presence of a vegetated island. We hypothesize that although these fish use a suite of cues for settlement site recognition, one mechanism in locating their island/reef habitat is through the olfactory cues produced by vegetated islands. This research highlights the role terrestrial olfactory cues play in large-scale settlement site selection and suggests a high degree of ecosystem connectivity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2016-12-01

    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. © 2016 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melita Samoilys

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. Resilience of predators to fishing pressure on coral patch reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, R.E.; Parrish, J.D.

    2005-01-01

    Numbers and biomass of piscivorous fish and their predation on other fish may often be high in undisturbed coral reef communities. The effects of such predation have sometimes been studied by removal of piscivores (either experimentally or by fishermen). Such perturbations have usually involved removal of large, highly vulnerable, mobile piscivores that are often actively sought in fisheries. The effects of fishing on smaller, demersal, semi-resident piscivores have been little studied. We studied such effects on the fish communities of patch reefs at Midway atoll by experimentally removing major resident, demersal, piscivorous fishes. First, four control reefs and four experimental reefs were selected, their dimensions and habitats mapped, and their visible fish communities censused repeatedly over 1 year. Census of all control and experimental reefs was continued for the following 39 months, during which known piscivores were collected repeatedly by hand spearing. Records were kept of catch and effort to calculate CPUE as an index of predator density. Spearfishing on the experimental reefs removed 2504 piscivorous fish from 12 families and 43 taxa (mostly species). The species richness of the catch did not show an overall change over the duration of the experiment. Spearman rank correlation analysis showed some unexpected positive correlations for density in numbers and biomass of major fished piscivorous groups (especially lizardfish) over the experiment. Only two relatively minor fished piscivorous taxa declined in abundance over the experiment, while the overall abundance of piscivores increased. Visual censuses of fish on the experimental reefs also failed to show reduction of total piscivores over the full experimental period. No significant trend in the abundance of lizardfish censused over the full period was apparent on any of the control reefs. The high resilience of piscivores on these experimental reefs to relatively intense fishing pressure could

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Støttrup, Josianne; Stenberg, Claus; Dahl, Karsten

    2014-01-01

    The extraction of large boulders from coastal reefs for construction of harbours and coastal protection has led to habitat degradation for local fish populations through the destruction of cavernous reefs and changes in macroalgal cover resulting from a loss of substrate. The temperate reef at Læ....... The findings highlight the importance of reef habitats for fish communities and the need for their protection......The extraction of large boulders from coastal reefs for construction of harbours and coastal protection has led to habitat degradation for local fish populations through the destruction of cavernous reefs and changes in macroalgal cover resulting from a loss of substrate. The temperate reef at Læsø...... 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    using size-specific fish counts, allowing for spatiotemporal comparisons of abundance and demographic structure of fish populations across protected and fished areas. Results of the meta-analysis revealed that: (1) although fish density was higher inside MPAs than in fished reefs at each sampling period, reef-wide density often increased or remained stable over time; and (2) increases in large-bodied fish were evident reef-wide between survey periods, indicating that positive demographic shifts occurred simultaneously in both MPAs and adjacent areas. Increases in large-bodied fish were observed across a range of taxa, but were most prominent in families directly targeted by fishermen. These results suggest that over relatively few years of protection, Philippine MPAs promoted beneficial shifts in population structure throughout entire reef systems, rather than simply maintaining stable populations within their borders. Relationships between MPA age and shifts in fish density or demographic structure were rare, but may have been precluded by the relatively short period between replicate surveys. Although increases in fish density inside MPAs were occasionally associated with MPA size, there were no significant relationships between the size of MPAs and reef-wide increases in fish density. The reef-wide framework of MPA assessment used in this study has the advantage of treating MPAs and fished reefs as an integrated system, thus revealing trends that would be indistinguishable in traditional spatial comparisons between MPAs and fished reefs. The impact of MPAs on fishing-induced life-history traits was assessed by comparing growth and maturation patterns exhibited by six reef-fish species inside and outside five MPAs and adjacent, fished reefs in Zambales, Luzon, Philippines. This analysis demonstrated considerable variation in terminal body-sizes (Linf) and growth rates (K) between conspecifics in MPAs and fished reefs. Three of the four experimental species directly

  5. 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

    2017-08-04

    Strong 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 non-selective and destructive gears may offer socially relevant management alternatives to build recovery of fish biomass. Even so, very few studies have statistically compared the responses of tropical reef fisheries to alternative management strategies. Here we test for the effects of fishery closures and fishing gear restrictions on tropical reef fish biomass, at the community and family level, at 1,396 underwater surveys conducted at 617 unique sites across a spatial hierarchy within 22 global marine ecoregions representing five realms. We compare total biomass across local fish assemblages, and among 20 reef fish families inside marine protected areas (MPAs) with different fishing restrictions: no-take, hook and line fishing only, several fishing gears allowed, to sites open to all fishing gears. We include a further category representing remote sites where fishing pressure is low. As expected, full fishery closures, often referred to as 'no-take' zones, most benefit community and family level fish biomass in comparison with restrictions on fishing gears and openly fished sites. We further find that although biomass responses to fishery closures are highly variable across families, some fishery targets (e.g., Carcharhinidae, and Lutjanidae) respond positively to multiple restrictions on fishing gears (i.e., where gears other than hook and line fishing are not permitted). Remoteness also imparts a positive influence on 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 on removal of fish biomass among a range of reef fish families. This article is protected by

  6. Behavioural and developmental responses of predatory coral reef fish to variation in the abundance of prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beukers-Stewart, B. D.; Beukers-Stewart, J. S.; Jones, G. P.

    2011-09-01

    Ecological theory suggests that the behaviour, growth and abundance of predators will be strongly influenced by the abundance of prey. Predators may in turn play an important role in structuring prey populations and communities. Responses of predators to variation in prey abundance have most commonly been demonstrated in low-diversity communities where food webs are relatively simple. How predators respond in highly diverse assemblages such as in coral reef habitats is largely unknown. This study describes an experiment that examined how the movement, diet and growth of the coral reef piscivore, Cephalopholis boenak (Serranidae) responded to variation in the abundance of its prey. Predator densities were standardised on small patch reefs made from the lagoonal reef-building coral, Porites cylindrica. These patch reefs exhibited natural variation in the abundance and community structure of multiple species of prey. However, our experiment generated a relatively simple predator-prey relationship, with C. boenak primarily responding to the most abundant species of prey. Three responses of predators were observed: aggregative, functional and developmental. Thirty-one per cent of individuals moved between patch reefs during the experiment, all from areas of relatively low to high prey density. Feeding rates were higher on patch reefs of high prey density, while growth rates of fish that remained on low prey density reefs throughout the experiment were lower. Growth rates of C. boenak on the experimental reefs were also much higher than for those living on natural patch reefs over the same time period, corresponding with overall differences in prey abundance. These results suggest that local abundance, feeding rate and growth of C. boenak were closely linked to the abundance of their main prey. This combination of predatory responses is a potential mechanism behind recent observations of density-dependent mortality and population regulation of prey in coral reef fish

  7. Coral reef fish smell leaves to find island homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixson, Danielle L; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L; Planes, Serge; Pratchett, Morgan S; Srinivasan, Maya; Syms, Craig; Thorrold, Simon R

    2008-12-22

    Recent studies have shown that some coral reef fish larvae return to natal reefs, while others disperse to distant reefs. However, the sensory mechanisms used to find settlement sites are poorly understood. One hypothesis is that larvae use olfactory cues to navigate home or find other suitable reef habitats. Here we show a strong association between the clownfish Amphiprion percula and coral reefs surrounding offshore islands in Papua New Guinea. Host anemones and A. percula are particularly abundant in shallow water beneath overhanging rainforest vegetation. A series of experiments were carried out using paired-choice flumes to evaluate the potential role of water-borne olfactory cues in finding islands. Recently settled A. percula exhibited strong preferences for: (i) water from reefs with islands over water from reefs without islands; (ii) water collected near islands over water collected offshore; and (iii) water treated with either anemones or leaves from rainforest vegetation. Laboratory reared-juveniles exhibited the same positive response to anemones and rainforest vegetation, suggesting that olfactory preferences are innate rather than learned. We hypothesize that A. percula use a suite of olfactory stimuli to locate vegetated islands, which may explain the high levels of self-recruitment on island reefs. This previously unrecognized link between coral reefs and island vegetation argues for the integrated management of these pristine tropical habitats.

  8. Coral reef fish smell leaves to find island homes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixson, Danielle L; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L; Planes, Serge; Pratchett, Morgan S; Srinivasan, Maya; Syms, Craig; Thorrold, Simon R

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that some coral reef fish larvae return to natal reefs, while others disperse to distant reefs. However, the sensory mechanisms used to find settlement sites are poorly understood. One hypothesis is that larvae use olfactory cues to navigate home or find other suitable reef habitats. Here we show a strong association between the clownfish Amphiprion percula and coral reefs surrounding offshore islands in Papua New Guinea. Host anemones and A. percula are particularly abundant in shallow water beneath overhanging rainforest vegetation. A series of experiments were carried out using paired-choice flumes to evaluate the potential role of water-borne olfactory cues in finding islands. Recently settled A. percula exhibited strong preferences for: (i) water from reefs with islands over water from reefs without islands; (ii) water collected near islands over water collected offshore; and (iii) water treated with either anemones or leaves from rainforest vegetation. Laboratory reared-juveniles exhibited the same positive response to anemones and rainforest vegetation, suggesting that olfactory preferences are innate rather than learned. We hypothesize that A. percula use a suite of olfactory stimuli to locate vegetated islands, which may explain the high levels of self-recruitment on island reefs. This previously unrecognized link between coral reefs and island vegetation argues for the integrated management of these pristine tropical habitats. PMID:18755672

  9. Predatory fish depletion and recovery potential on Caribbean reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia, Abel; Cox, Courtney Ellen; Bruno, John Francis

    2017-03-01

    The natural, prehuman abundance of most large predators is unknown because of the lack of historical data and a limited understanding of the natural factors that control their populations. Determining the supportable predator biomass at a given location (that is, the predator carrying capacity) would help managers to optimize protection and would provide site-specific recovery goals. We assess the relationship between predatory reef fish biomass and several anthropogenic and environmental variables at 39 reefs across the Caribbean to (i) estimate their roles determining local predator biomass and (ii) determine site-specific recovery potential if fishing was eliminated. We show that predatory reef fish biomass tends to be higher in marine reserves but is strongly negatively related to human activities, especially coastal development. However, human activities and natural factors, including reef complexity and prey abundance, explain more than 50% of the spatial variation in predator biomass. Comparing site-specific predator carrying capacities to field observations, we infer that current predatory reef fish biomass is 60 to 90% lower than the potential supportable biomass in most sites, even within most marine reserves. We also found that the scope for recovery varies among reefs by at least an order of magnitude. This suggests that we could underestimate unfished biomass at sites that provide ideal conditions for predators or greatly overestimate that of seemingly predator-depleted sites that may have never supported large predator populations because of suboptimal environmental conditions.

  10. Temporal and Spatial variability in Reef fish Density and Biomass ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Underwater Visual Census (UVC) techniques were used for the assessment of reef fish density and biomass, and line intercept transect (LIT) was used for the estimation of benthic cover. Results showed that there was a significant seasonal and temporal variation in fish density and biomass at both Mbundya and Bongoyo ...

  11. Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Reef Fish Spawning ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Many coral reef fish species aggregate at specific times and locations for the purpose of spawning. This study examined the spatial and temporal distribution of spawning aggregations in the Seychelles. An interview-based survey of the principal stakeholders, mainly artisanal fishers, yielded 89 reports of aggregation fishing ...

  12. FINDING NEMO: ESTIMATING IMPORT DEMAND FOR LIVE REEF FOOD FISH

    OpenAIRE

    Petersen, Elizabeth H.; Muldoon, Geoffrey; Johnston, Bill

    2005-01-01

    Reef fish traded alive for table food are high value-to-volume products, with demand centred in Hong Kong and southern mainland China. Import demand functions for live reef food fish are estimated for Hong Kong, in aggregate and for individual fish species. Cross-price, income and population elasticities, and the impact of SARS and Chinese New Year on demand, are estimated. Results show that price has a smaller influence on import demand than expected. The most influential factor is Chinese N...

  13. 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......-swept environment (up to 1 m s-1) whilst incurring a relatively low energetic cost of transport. Paddle-finned sister taxa, which have slightly more rounded fins and occupy sheltered habitats, displayed similar levels of energetic efficiency, but at swimming speeds less than half that of their wing......-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....

  14. Fish associated with artificial reefs in False Bay, South Africa: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    These results suggest that artificial reefs provide limited benefits to False Bay reef fishes and fisheries. In part this is due to their inappropriate location. Should future artificial reefs be deployed at more optimal sites, their benefits to reef fishes could be enhanced, without affecting their popularity as scuba dive sites.

  15. Predation and landscape characteristics independently affect reef fish community organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stier, Adrian C; Hanson, Katharine M; Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Brooks, Andrew J

    2014-05-01

    Trophic island biogeography theory predicts that the effects of predators on prey diversity are context dependent in heterogeneous landscapes. Specifically, models predict that the positive effect of habitat area on prey diversity should decline in the presence of predators, and that predators should modify the partitioning of alpha and beta diversity across patchy landscapes. However, experimental tests of the predicted context dependency in top-down control remain limited. Using a factorial field experiment we quantify the effects of a focal predatory fish species (grouper) and habitat characteristics (patch size, fragmentation) on the partitioning of diversity and assembly of coral reef fish communities. We found independent effects of groupers and patch characteristics on prey communities. Groupers reduced prey abundance by 50% and gamma diversity by 45%, with a disproportionate removal of rare species relative to common species (64% and 36% reduction, respectively; an oddity effect). Further, there was a 77% reduction in beta diversity. Null model analysis demonstrated that groupers increased the importance of stochastic community assembly relative to patches without groupers. With regard to patch size, larger patches contained more fishes, but a doubling of patch size led to a modest (36%) increase in prey abundance. Patch size had no effect on prey diversity; however, fragmented patches had 50% higher species richness and modified species composition relative to unfragmented patches. Our findings suggest two different pathways (i.e., habitat or predator shifts) by which natural and/or anthropogenic processes can drive variation in fish biodiversity and community assembly.

  16. Reef fish hybridization: lessons learnt from butterflyfishes (genus Chaetodon).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montanari, Stefano R; van Herwerden, Lynne; Pratchett, Morgan S; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A; Fugedi, Anneli

    2012-02-01

    Natural hybridization is widespread among coral reef fishes. However, the ecological promoters and evolutionary consequences of reef fish hybridization have not been thoroughly evaluated. Butterflyfishes form a high number of hybrids and represent an appropriate group to investigate hybridization in reef fishes. This study provides a rare test of terrestrially derived hybridization theory in the marine environment by examining hybridization between Chaetodon trifasciatus and C. lunulatus at Christmas Island. Overlapping spatial and dietary ecologies enable heterospecific encounters. Nonassortative mating and local rarity of both parent species appear to permit heterospecific breeding pair formation. Microsatellite loci and mtDNA confirmed the status of hybrids, which displayed the lowest genetic diversity in the sample and used a reduced suite of resources, suggesting decreased adaptability. Maternal contribution to hybridization was unidirectional, and no introgression was detected, suggesting limited, localized evolutionary consequences of hybridization.Comparisons to other reef fish hybridization studies revealed that different evolutionary consequences emerge, despite being promoted by similar factors, possibly due to the magnitude of genetic distance between hybridizing species. This study highlights the need for further enquiry aimed at evaluating the importance and long-term consequences of reef fish hybridization.

  17. 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.

  18. Reef Fish Community Biomass and Trophic Structure Changes across Shallow to Upper-Mesophotic Reefs in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    Andradi-Brown, Dominic A.; Gress, Erika; Wright, Georgina; Exton, Dan A.; Rogers, Alex D.

    2016-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; reefs 30-150m depth) are of increased research interest because of their potential role as depth refuges from many shallow reef threats. Yet few studies have identified patterns in fish species composition and trophic group structure between MCEs and their shallow counterparts. Here we explore reef fish species and biomass distributions across shallow to upper-MCE Caribbean reef gradients (5-40m) around Utila, Honduras, using a diver-operated stereo-video sy...

  19. The perfect storm: Match-mismatch of bio-physical events drives larval reef fish connectivity between Pulley Ridge mesophotic reef and the Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, Ana C.; Paris, Claire B.; Olascoaga, M. Josefina; Kourafalou, Villy H.; Kang, Heesook; Reed, John K.

    2016-08-01

    Mesophotic coral reef ecosystems are remote from coastal stressors, but are still vulnerable to over-exploitation, and remain mostly unprotected. They may be the key to coral reefs resilience, yet little is known about the pattern of larval subsidies from deeper to shallower coral reef habitats. Here we use a biophysical modeling approach to test the hypothesis that fishes from mesophotic coral reef ecosystems may replenish shallow reef populations. We aim at identifying the spatio-temporal patterns and underlying mechanisms of larval connections between Pulley Ridge, a mesophotic reef in the Gulf of Mexico hosting of a variety of shallow-water tropical fishes, and the Florida Keys reefs. A new three-dimensional (3D) polygon habitat module is developed for the open-source Connectivity Modeling System to simulate larval movement behavior of the bicolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus, in a realistic 3D representation of the coral reef habitat. Biological traits such as spawning periodicity, mortality, and vertical migration are also incorporated in the model. Virtual damselfish larvae are released daily from the Pulley Ridge at 80 m depth over 60 lunar spawning cycles and tracked until settlement within a fine resolution (~900 m) hydrodynamic model of the region. Such probabilistic simulations reveal mesophotic-shallow connections with large, yet sporadic pulses of larvae settling in the Florida Keys. Modal and spectral analyses on the spawning time of successful larvae, and on the position of the Florida Current front with respect to Pulley Ridge, demonstrate that specific physical-biological interactions modulate these "perfect storm" events. Indeed, the co-occurrence of (1) peak spawning with frontal features, and (2) cyclonic eddies with ontogenetic vertical migration, contribute to high settlement in the Florida Keys. This study demonstrates that mesophotic coral reef ecosystems can also serve as refugia for coral reef fish and suggests that they have a critical

  20. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program Fish Monitoring Brief: Pacific Remote Island Areas 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Two-page summary outlines reef fish and benthic habitat survey efforts conducted by the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED) at Howland Island, Baker Island,...

  1. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program Fish Monitoring Brief: Pacific Remote Island Areas 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Two-page summary outlines reef fish and benthic habitat survey efforts conducted by the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED) at Wake Atoll NWR in 2014

  2. Diversity and stability of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibaut, Loic M; Connolly, Sean R; Sweatman, Hugh P A

    2012-04-01

    Biodiversity may provide insurance against ecosystem collapse by stabilizing assemblages that perform particular ecological functions (the "portfolio effect"). However, the extent to which this occurs in nature and the importance of different mechanisms that generate portfolio effects remain controversial. On coral reefs, herbivory helps maintain coral dominated states, so volatility in levels of herbivory has important implications for reef ecosystems. Here, we used an extensive time series of abundances on 35 reefs of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia to quantify the strength of the portfolio effect for herbivorous fishes. Then, we disentangled the contributions of two mechanisms that underlie it (compensatory interactions and differential responses to environmental fluctuations ["response diversity"]) by fitting a community-dynamic model that explicitly includes terms for both mechanisms. We found that portfolio effects operate strongly in herbivorous fishes, as shown by nearly independent fluctuations in abundances over time. Moreover, we found strong evidence for high response diversity, with nearly independent responses to environmental fluctuations. In contrast, we found little evidence that the portfolio effect in this system was enhanced by compensatory ecological interactions. Our results show that portfolio effects are driven principally by response diversity for herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. We conclude that portfolio effects can be very strong in nature and that, for coral reefs in particular, response diversity may help maintain herbivory above the threshold levels that trigger regime shifts.

  3. Effect of phase shift from corals to Zoantharia on reef fish assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Igor C S; Loiola, Miguel; Albuquerque, Tiago; Reis, Rodrigo; Nunes, José de Anchieta C C; Reimer, James D; Mizuyama, Masaru; Kikuchi, Ruy K P; Creed, Joel C

    2015-01-01

    Consequences of reef phase shifts on fish communities remain poorly understood. Studies on the causes, effects and consequences of phase shifts on reef fish communities have only been considered for coral-to-macroalgae shifts. Therefore, there is a large information gap regarding the consequences of novel phase shifts and how these kinds of phase shifts impact on fish assemblages. This study aimed to compare the fish assemblages on reefs under normal conditions (relatively high cover of corals) to those which have shifted to a dominance of the zoantharian Palythoa cf. variabilis on coral reefs in Todos os Santos Bay (TSB), Brazilian eastern coast. We examined eight reefs, where we estimated cover of corals and P. cf. variabilis and coral reef fish richness, abundance and body size. Fish richness differed significantly between normal reefs (48 species) and phase-shift reefs (38 species), a 20% reduction in species. However there was no difference in fish abundance between normal and phase shift reefs. One fish species, Chaetodon striatus, was significantly less abundant on normal reefs. The differences in fish assemblages between different reef phases was due to differences in trophic groups of fish; on normal reefs carnivorous fishes were more abundant, while on phase shift reefs mobile invertivores dominated.

  4. Effect of Phase Shift from Corals to Zoantharia on Reef Fish Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Igor C. S.; Loiola, Miguel; Albuquerque, Tiago; Reis, Rodrigo; de Anchieta C. C. Nunes, José; Reimer, James D.; Mizuyama, Masaru; Kikuchi, Ruy K. P.; Creed, Joel C.

    2015-01-01

    Consequences of reef phase shifts on fish communities remain poorly understood. Studies on the causes, effects and consequences of phase shifts on reef fish communities have only been considered for coral-to-macroalgae shifts. Therefore, there is a large information gap regarding the consequences of novel phase shifts and how these kinds of phase shifts impact on fish assemblages. This study aimed to compare the fish assemblages on reefs under normal conditions (relatively high cover of corals) to those which have shifted to a dominance of the zoantharian Palythoa cf. variabilis on coral reefs in Todos os Santos Bay (TSB), Brazilian eastern coast. We examined eight reefs, where we estimated cover of corals and P. cf. variabilis and coral reef fish richness, abundance and body size. Fish richness differed significantly between normal reefs (48 species) and phase-shift reefs (38 species), a 20% reduction in species. However there was no difference in fish abundance between normal and phase shift reefs. One fish species, Chaetodon striatus, was significantly less abundant on normal reefs. The differences in fish assemblages between different reef phases was due to differences in trophic groups of fish; on normal reefs carnivorous fishes were more abundant, while on phase shift reefs mobile invertivores dominated. PMID:25629532

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Habitat characteristics affecting fish assemblages on a Hawaiian coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlander, A.M.; Parrish, J.D.

    1998-01-01

    Habitat characteristics of a reef were examined as potential influences on fish assemblage structure, using underwater visual census to estimate numbers and biomass of all fishes visible on 42 benthic transects and making quantitative measurements of 13 variables of the corresponding physical habitat and sessile biota. Fish assemblages in the diverse set of benthic habitats were grouped by detrended correspondence analysis, and associated with six major habitat types. Statistical differences were shown between a number of these habitat types for various ensemble variables of the fish assemblages. Overall, both for complete assemblages and for component major trophic and mobility guilds, these variables tended to have higher values where reef substratum was more structurally or topographically complex, and closer to reef edges. When study sites were separately divided into five depth strata, the deeper strata tended to have statistically higher values of ensemble variables for the fish assemblages. Patterns with depth varied among the various trophic and mobility guilds. Multiple linear regression models indicated that for the complete assemblages and for most trophic and mobility guilds, a large part of the variability for most ensemble variables was explained by measures of holes in the substratum, with important contributions from measured substratum rugosity and depth. A strong linear relationship found by regression of mean fish length on mean volume of holes in the reef surface emphasized the importance of shelter for fish assemblages. Results of this study may have practical applications in designing reserve areas as well as theoretical value in helping to explain the organization of reef fish assemblages.

  9. Reef ecology. Chemically mediated behavior of recruiting corals and fishes: a tipping point that may limit reef recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixson, Danielle L; Abrego, David; Hay, Mark E

    2014-08-22

    Coral reefs are in global decline, converting from dominance by coral to dominance by seaweed. Once seaweeds become abundant, coral recovery is suppressed unless herbivores return to remove seaweeds, and corals then recruit. Variance in the recovery of fishes and corals is not well understood. We show that juveniles of both corals and fishes are repelled by chemical cues from fished, seaweed-dominated reefs but attracted to cues from coral-dominated areas where fishing is prohibited. Chemical cues of specific seaweeds from degraded reefs repulsed recruits, and cues from specific corals that are typical of healthy reefs attracted recruits. Juveniles were present at but behaviorally avoided recruiting to degraded reefs dominated by seaweeds. For recovery, degraded reefs may need to be managed to produce cues that attract, rather than repel, recruiting corals and fishes. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  10. The lunar cycle determines availability of coral-reef fishes at fish markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, A R; Gumanao, G S

    2012-11-01

    During 139 visits between March 2009 and May 2011, it was found that the availability of reef fishes at a local fish market in the Philippines was highly affected by the lunar cycle. The number of vendors selling reef fishes was significantly lower (13.4%) during third lunar quarters (full moon periods) than during the first, second and fourth lunar quarters (40.2, 25.0 and 30.0%, respectively). It is recommended that the influence of the lunar cycle on fish availability is considered when designing sampling strategies for catch surveys. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  11. Checklist of Fishes from Madagascar Reef, Campeche Bank, México

    OpenAIRE

    Salvador Zarco Perello; Rigoberto Moreno Mendoza; Nuno Simões

    2014-01-01

    Abstract This study presents the first list of fish species from Madagascar Reef, Campeche Bank, Gulf of México. Field surveys and literature review identified 54 species belonging to 8 orders, 30 families and 43 genera, comprising both conspicuous and cryptic fishes. Species richness was lower at this reef site compared to reefs in the Mexican Caribbean, Veracruz or Tuxpan, but was similar to other reefs in the same region. Species composition was a mixture of species present in all the reef...

  12. Simplification of Caribbean reef-fish assemblages over decades of coral reef degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Filip, Lorenzo; Paddack, Michelle J; Collen, Ben; Robertson, D Ross; Côté, Isabelle M

    2015-01-01

    Caribbean coral reefs are becoming structurally simpler, largely due to human impacts. The consequences of this trend for reef-associated communities are currently unclear, but expected to be profound. Here, we assess whether changes in fish assemblages have been non-random over several decades of declining reef structure. More specifically, we predicted that species that depend exclusively on coral reef habitat (i.e., habitat specialists) should be at a disadvantage compared to those that use a broader array of habitats (i.e., habitat generalists). Analysing 3727 abundance trends of 161 Caribbean reef-fishes, surveyed between 1980 and 2006, we found that the trends of habitat-generalists and habitat-specialists differed markedly. The abundance of specialists started to decline in the mid-1980s, reaching a low of ~60% of the 1980 baseline by the mid-1990s. Both the average and the variation in abundance of specialists have increased since the early 2000s, although the average is still well below the baseline level of 1980. This modest recovery occurred despite no clear evidence of a regional recovery in coral reef habitat quality in the Caribbean during the 2000s. In contrast, the abundance of generalist fishes remained relatively stable over the same three decades. Few specialist species are fished, thus their population declines are most likely linked to habitat degradation. These results mirror the observed trends of replacement of specialists by generalists, observed in terrestrial taxa across the globe. A significant challenge that arises from our findings is now to investigate if, and how, such community-level changes in fish populations affect ecosystem function.

  13. Simplification of Caribbean reef-fish assemblages over decades of coral reef degradation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Alvarez-Filip

    Full Text Available Caribbean coral reefs are becoming structurally simpler, largely due to human impacts. The consequences of this trend for reef-associated communities are currently unclear, but expected to be profound. Here, we assess whether changes in fish assemblages have been non-random over several decades of declining reef structure. More specifically, we predicted that species that depend exclusively on coral reef habitat (i.e., habitat specialists should be at a disadvantage compared to those that use a broader array of habitats (i.e., habitat generalists. Analysing 3727 abundance trends of 161 Caribbean reef-fishes, surveyed between 1980 and 2006, we found that the trends of habitat-generalists and habitat-specialists differed markedly. The abundance of specialists started to decline in the mid-1980s, reaching a low of ~60% of the 1980 baseline by the mid-1990s. Both the average and the variation in abundance of specialists have increased since the early 2000s, although the average is still well below the baseline level of 1980. This modest recovery occurred despite no clear evidence of a regional recovery in coral reef habitat quality in the Caribbean during the 2000s. In contrast, the abundance of generalist fishes remained relatively stable over the same three decades. Few specialist species are fished, thus their population declines are most likely linked to habitat degradation. These results mirror the observed trends of replacement of specialists by generalists, observed in terrestrial taxa across the globe. A significant challenge that arises from our findings is now to investigate if, and how, such community-level changes in fish populations affect ecosystem function.

  14. 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.

  15. 76 FR 68711 - Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch and Coral and Reef Associated Plants and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-07

    ... CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 101217620-1654-02] RIN 0648-BA62 Amendments to the Reef Fish, Spiny Lobster... Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Amendment 5 to the FMP for the Spiny Lobster Fishery... catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for reef fish, spiny lobster, and aquarium trade...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A preliminary distributional study of fish larvae near a ribbon coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leis, J. M.; Goldman, B.

    1984-04-01

    Fish larvae from horizontal plankton tows along a single transect near outer ribbon reefs of the Great Barrier Reef in spring 1979 and summer 1980 had persistent distributional patterns. Larvae were identified to family and divided into young (preflexion) and old (postflexion) larvae, thus giving 28 taxa abundant enough for analysis. Non-uniform larval distributions were found for 81% of the 16 reef fish taxa with non-pelagic eggs, but for only 17% of the six reef fish taxa with pelagic eggs. Most differences in larval concentration were between the lagoonal and seaward sides of the reef. Only tripterygiid larvae had highest concentration just seaward of the reef, while larvae of 12 reef and three oceanic fish taxa occurred in highest concentrations on the lagoonal side of the reef. In five taxa of reef fishes, higher larval concentrations were found in the lagoonal backreef compared with the mid-lagoon habitat; but the reverse was not found in any taxon. Eleven taxa had indeterminate distributions, (i.e. no difference in concentration between stations). Mechanisms responsible for the distribution remain unknown, but we suggest that the view which considers fish larvae to be passively-drifting particles is unjustified without more information on larval behaviour.

  19. Deep-reef fish assemblages of the Great Barrier Reef shelf-break (Australia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sih, Tiffany L; Cappo, Mike; Kingsford, Michael

    2017-09-07

    Tropical mesophotic and sub-mesophotic fish ecology is poorly understood despite increasing vulnerability of deeper fish assemblages. Worldwide there is greater fishing pressure on continental shelf-breaks and the effects of disturbances on deeper fish species have not yet been assessed. Difficult to access, deeper reefs host undocumented fish diversity and abundance. Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS) with lights were used to sample deeper habitats (54-260 m), in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Here we describe fish biodiversity, relative abundance and richness, assessing the prediction that depth would drive assemblage structure in the GBR. Distinct groups of fishes were found with depth whilst overall richness and abundance decreased steeply between 100 and 260 m. Commercially-valuable Lutjanidae species from Pristipomoides and Etelis genera, were absent from shallower depths. Few fish species overlapped between adjacent depth strata, indicating unique assemblages with depth. We also detected new location records and potential new species records. The high biodiversity of fish found in shelf-break environments is poorly appreciated and depth is a strong predictor of assemblage composition. This may pose a challenge for managers of commercial fisheries as distinct depth ranges of taxa may translate to more readily targeted habitats, and therefore, an inherent vulnerability to exploitation.

  20. 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

  1. Dispersal capacity predicts both population genetic structure and species richness in reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riginos, Cynthia; Buckley, Yvonne M; Blomberg, Simon P; Treml, Eric A

    2014-07-01

    Dispersal is a fundamental species characteristic that should directly affect both rates of gene flow among spatially distributed populations and opportunities for speciation. Yet no single trait associated with dispersal has been demonstrated to affect both micro- and macroevolutionary patterns of diversity across a diverse biological assemblage. Here, we examine patterns of genetic differentiation and species richness in reef fishes, an assemblage of over 7,000 species comprising approximately one-third of the extant bony fishes and over one-tenth of living vertebrates. In reef fishes, dispersal occurs primarily during a planktonic larval stage. There are two major reproductive and parental investment syndromes among reef fishes, and the differences between them have implications for dispersal: (1) benthic guarding fishes lay negatively buoyant eggs, typically guarded by the male parent, and from these eggs hatch large, strongly swimming larvae; in contrast, (2) pelagic spawning fishes release small floating eggs directly into the water column, which drift unprotected before small weakly swimming larvae hatch. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we show that benthic guarders have significantly greater population structure than pelagic spawners and additionally that taxonomic families of benthic guarders are more species rich than families of pelagic spawners. Our findings provide a compelling case for the continuity between micro- and macroevolutionary processes of biological diversification and underscore the importance of dispersal-related traits in influencing the mode and tempo of evolution.

  2. Reef Fish Survey Techniques: Assessing the Potential for Standardizing Methodologies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary R Caldwell

    Full Text Available Dramatic changes in populations of fishes living on coral reefs have been documented globally and, in response, the research community has initiated efforts to assess and monitor reef fish assemblages. A variety of visual census techniques are employed, however results are often incomparable due to differential methodological performance. Although comparability of data may promote improved assessment of fish populations, and thus management of often critically important nearshore fisheries, to date no standardized and agreed-upon survey method has emerged. This study describes the use of methods across the research community and identifies potential drivers of method selection. An online survey was distributed to researchers from academic, governmental, and non-governmental organizations internationally. Although many methods were identified, 89% of survey-based projects employed one of three methods-belt transect, stationary point count, and some variation of the timed swim method. The selection of survey method was independent of the research design (i.e., assessment goal and region of study, but was related to the researcher's home institution. While some researchers expressed willingness to modify their current survey protocols to more standardized protocols (76%, their willingness decreased when methodologies were tied to long-term datasets spanning five or more years. Willingness to modify current methodologies was also less common among academic researchers than resource managers. By understanding both the current application of methods and the reported motivations for method selection, we hope to focus discussions towards increasing the comparability of quantitative reef fish survey data.

  3. 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.

  4. Two waves of colonization straddling the K-Pg boundary formed the modern reef fish fauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, S A; Schmitz, L; Oufiero, C E; Eytan, R I; Dornburg, A; Smith, W L; Friedman, M; Near, T J; Wainwright, P C

    2014-05-22

    Living reef fishes are one of the most diverse vertebrate assemblages on Earth. Despite its prominence and ecological importance, the origins and assembly of the reef fish fauna is poorly described. A patchy fossil record suggests that the major colonization of reef habitats must have occurred in the Late Cretaceous and early Palaeogene, with the earliest known modern fossil coral reef fish assemblage dated to 50 Ma. Using a phylogenetic approach, we analysed the early evolutionary dynamics of modern reef fishes. We find that reef lineages successively colonized reef habitats throughout the Late Cretaceous and early Palaeogene. Two waves of invasion were accompanied by increasing morphological convergence: one in the Late Cretaceous from 90 to 72 Ma and the other immediately following the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. The surge in reef invasions after the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary continued for 10 Myr, after which the pace of transitions to reef habitats slowed. Combined, these patterns match a classic niche-filling scenario: early transitions to reefs were made rapidly by morphologically distinct lineages and were followed by a decrease in the rate of invasions and eventual saturation of morphospace. Major alterations in reef composition, distribution and abundance, along with shifts in climate and oceanic currents, occurred during the Late Cretaceous and early Palaeogene interval. A causal mechanism between these changes and concurrent episodes of reef invasion remains obscure, but what is clear is that the broad framework of the modern reef fish fauna was in place within 10 Myr of the end-Cretaceous extinction.

  5. 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.

  6. Live coral repels a common reef fish ectoparasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artim, J. M.; Sikkel, P. C.

    2013-06-01

    Coral reefs are undergoing rapid changes as living corals give way to dead coral on which other benthic organisms grow. This decline in live coral could influence habitat availability for fish parasites with benthic life stages. Gnathiid isopod larvae live in the substratum and are common blood-feeding parasites of reef fishes. We examined substrate associations and preferences of a common Caribbean gnathiid, Gnathia marleyi. Emergence traps set over predominantly live coral substrata captured significantly fewer gnathiids than traps set over dead coral substrata. In laboratory experiments, gnathiids preferred dead coral and sponge and tended to avoid contact with live coral. When live gnathiids were added to containers with dead or live coral, significantly fewer were recovered from the latter after 24 h. Our data therefore suggest that live coral is not suitable microhabitat for parasitic gnathiid isopods and that a decrease in live coral cover increases available habitat for gnathiids.

  7. 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

  8. Red fluorescence in reef fish: a novel signalling mechanism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michiels, Nico K; Anthes, Nils; Hart, Nathan S; Herler, Jürgen; Meixner, Alfred J; Schleifenbaum, Frank; Schulte, Gregor; Siebeck, Ulrike E; Sprenger, Dennis; Wucherer, Matthias F

    2008-09-16

    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. 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. 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-specific variation in red fluorescence and its association with

  9. Diet and diversification in the evolution of coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobato, Fabio L; Barneche, Diego R; Siqueira, Alexandre C; Liedke, Ana M R; Lindner, Alberto; Pie, Marcio R; Bellwood, David R; Floeter, Sergio R

    2014-01-01

    The disparity in species richness among evolutionary lineages is one of the oldest and most intriguing issues in evolutionary biology. Although geographical factors have been traditionally thought to promote speciation, recent studies have underscored the importance of ecological interactions as one of the main drivers of diversification. Here, we test if differences in species richness of closely related lineages match predictions based on the concept of density-dependent diversification. As radiation progresses, ecological niche-space would become increasingly saturated, resulting in fewer opportunities for speciation. To assess this hypothesis, we tested whether reef fish niche shifts toward usage of low-quality food resources (i.e. relatively low energy/protein per unit mass), such as algae, detritus, sponges and corals are accompanied by rapid net diversification. Using available molecular information, we reconstructed phylogenies of four major reef fish clades (Acanthuroidei, Chaetodontidae, Labridae and Pomacentridae) to estimate the timing of radiations of their subclades. We found that the evolution of species-rich clades was associated with a switch to low quality food in three of the four clades analyzed, which is consistent with a density-dependent model of diversification. We suggest that ecological opportunity may play an important role in understanding the diversification of reef-fish lineages.

  10. Inventory and Spatial Assemblage Study of Reef Fish in the Area of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study represents the first qualitative census of the reef fish assemblage of coral reefs in the vicinity of Andavadoaka, south-west Madagascar. Observational data of fish species sightings were collected over the course of a year, while visual census data, with low observer bias, detailing fish assemblage from the four ...

  11. Environmental Factors Affecting Large-Bodied Coral Reef Fish Assemblages in the Mariana Archipelago

    OpenAIRE

    Richards, Benjamin L; Williams, Ivor D.; Oliver J Vetter; Williams, Gareth J

    2012-01-01

    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....

  12. 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....

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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...

  14. Fish biodiversity in coral reefs and lagoon at the Maratua Island, East Kalimantan

    OpenAIRE

    Madduppa, Hawis H.; Agus, Syamsul B; AULIA R. FARHAN; DEDE SUHENDRA; BEGINER SUBHAN

    2012-01-01

    Madduppa HH, Agus SB, Farhan AR, Suhendra D, Subhan B. 2012. Fish biodiversity in coral reefs and lagoon at the Maratua Island, East Kalimantan. Biodiversitas 13: 145-150. Fishes are one of the most important biotic components in the aquatic environment. They are filling different habitats, including coral reef and lagoon. This study aims to (1) assess biodiversity in coral reef and lagoon in Maratua Island, East Kalimantan, and (2) compare the fish community indices (Shannon-Wiener diversity...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong-Seng, Karen M; Mannering, Thomas D; Pratchett, Morgan S; Bellwood, David R; Graham, Nicholas A J

    2012-01-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Phylogenetic insights into the history and diversification of fishes on reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, S. A.; Claverie, T.; Near, T. J.; Wainwright, P. C.

    2015-12-01

    Studies of the phylogenetic history of fishes on reefs and the impact of reefs on fish diversification have, to date, been limited to relatively small clades. We take advantage of a recent multi-locus, time-calibrated phylogeny of acanthomorph fishes and a broad-scale morphological dataset of body shape in reef acanthomorphs to explore the history and diversification of fish on reefs at the family level. We find that no reef family exhibits exceptional species diversity for their stem age and some, such as Aulostomidae, Zanclidae, Menidae, and Triodontidae may in fact be species poor. The inferred history of reef colonization is highly dependent on how a reef family is defined; one classification scheme raises the possibility that most modern acanthomorph families originated on reefs. We find that most reef families occupy surprisingly distinct regions of morphospace and yet, some of the most diverse reef families occupy central and highly overlapping positions within the body shape morphospace. To the extent that proximity in morphospace reflects ecological similarity, these results imply that most reef fish families have diversified in adaptive zones away from other families. In contrast, a few of the most successful (e.g., Labridae and Pomacentridae) have achieved dominance while potentially facing stronger interactions with other lineages. Finally, we find no relationship between species diversity and body shape diversity. Assuming neither are diversity dependent, this result suggests that morphological and ecological diversification within families of reef fish may not be linked to the accumulation of species. Time-calibrated phylogenies provide the means for generating a greater understanding of the macroevolutionary processes influencing reef fish diversification, but we are currently limited by the lack of robust crown-group ages for many reef fish families.

  2. Repeated invasions into the twilight zone: evolutionary origins of a novel assemblage of fishes from deep Caribbean reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tornabene, Luke; Van Tassell, James L; Robertson, D Ross; Baldwin, Carole C

    2016-08-01

    Mesophotic and deeper reefs of the tropics are poorly known and underexplored ecosystems worldwide. Collectively referred to as the 'twilight zone', depths below ~30-50 m are home to many species of reef fishes that are absent from shallower depths, including many undescribed and endemic species. We currently lack even a basic understanding of the diversity and evolutionary origins of fishes on tropical mesophotic reefs. Recent submersible collections in the Caribbean have provided new specimens that are enabling phylogenetic reconstructions that incorporate deep-reef representatives of tropical fish genera. Here, we investigate evolutionary depth transitions in the family Gobiidae (gobies), the most diverse group of tropical marine fishes. Using divergence-time estimation coupled with stochastic character mapping to infer the timing of shallow-to-deep habitat transitions in gobies, we demonstrate at least four transitions from shallow to mesophotic depths. Habitat transitions occurred in two broad time periods (Miocene, Pliocene-Pleistocene), and may have been linked to the availability of underutilized niches, as well as the evolution of morphological/behavioural adaptations for life on deep reefs. Further, our analysis shows that at least three evolutionary lineages that invaded deep habitats subsequently underwent speciation, reflecting another unique mode of radiation within the Gobiidae. Lastly, we synthesize depth distributions for 95 species of Caribbean gobies, which reveal major bathymetric faunal breaks at the boundary between euphotic and mesophotic reefs. Ultimately, our study is the first rigorous investigation into the origin of Caribbean deep-reef fishes and provides a framework for future studies that utilize rare, deep-reef specimens. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. 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.

  4. The influence of fisher knowledge on the susceptibility of reef fish aggregations to fishing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Robinson

    Full Text Available Reef fishes that exhibit predictable aggregating behaviour are often considered vulnerable to overexploitation. However, fisher knowledge of this behaviour is often heterogeneous and, coupled with socioeconomic factors that constrain demand for or access to aggregated fish, will influence susceptibility to fishing. At two case study locations in Papua New Guinea, Ahus and Karkar islands, we conducted interview-based surveys to examine how local context influenced heterogeneity in knowledge of fish aggregations. We then explored the role of fisher knowledge in conferring susceptibility to fishing relative to socioeconomic drivers of fishing effort. Local heterogeneity in knowledge of aggregating behaviour differed between our case studies. At Ahus, variable access rights among fishers and genders to the main habitats were sources of heterogeneity in knowledge. By contrast, knowledge was more homogenous at Karkar and the sole source of variation was gear type. Differences between locations in the susceptibility of aggregations to fishing depended primarily on socioeconomic drivers of fishing effort rather than catchability. While Ahus fishers were knowledgeable of fish aggregations and used more selective gears, Karkar fishers were less constrained by tenure in their access to aggregation habitat. However, fishing effort was greater at Ahus and likely related to high dependency on fishing, greater access to provincial capital markets than Karkar and a weakening of customary management. Moreover, highly efficient fishing techniques have emerged at Ahus to exploit the non-reproductive aggregating behaviour of target species. Understanding how knowledge is structured within fishing communities and its relation to socioeconomic drivers of fishing effort is important if customary practices for conservation, such as tambu areas, are to be supported. The findings of this study call for a holistic approach to assessing the risks posed to reef fish

  5. 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.

  6. Checklist of fishes from madagascar reef, campeche bank, méxico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarco Perello, Salvador; Moreno Mendoza, Rigoberto; Simões, Nuno

    2014-01-01

    This study presents the first list of fish species from Madagascar Reef, Campeche Bank, Gulf of México. Field surveys and literature review identified 54 species belonging to 8 orders, 30 families and 43 genera, comprising both conspicuous and cryptic fishes. Species richness was lower at this reef site compared to reefs in the Mexican Caribbean, Veracruz or Tuxpan, but was similar to other reefs in the same region. Species composition was a mixture of species present in all the reef systems of the Mexican Atlantic. Hypoplectrusecosur was recorded here for the first time in the Gulf of Mexico, Mycteropercamicrolepis, Equetuslanceolatus and Chaetodipterusfaber were new records for the reefs of the Campeche Bank, Elacatinusxanthiprora was recorded for the second time in Mexico and expanded its known distribution westwards from Alacranes Reef and Sanopusreticulatus, endemic of the Yucatan state, was recorded here for the first time on a reef.

  7. Checklist of Fishes from Madagascar Reef, Campeche Bank, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Zarco Perello

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This study presents the first list of fish species from Madagascar Reef, Campeche Bank, Gulf of México. Field surveys and literature review identified 54 species belonging to 8 orders, 30 families and 43 genera, comprising both conspicuous and cryptic fishes. Species richness was lower at this reef site compared to reefs in the Mexican Caribbean, Veracruz or Tuxpan, but was similar to other reefs in the same region. Species composition was a mixture of species present in all the reef systems of the Mexican Atlantic. Hypoplectrus ecosur was recorded here for the first time in the Gulf of Mexico, Mycteroperca microlepis, Equetus lanceolatus and Chaetodipterus faber were new records for the reefs of the Campeche Bank, Elacatinus xanthiprora was recorded for the second time in Mexico and expanded its known distribution westwards from Alacranes Reef and Sanopus reticulatus, endemic of the Yucatan state, was recorded here for the first time on a reef.

  8. Reef Fish Community Biomass and Trophic Structure Changes across Shallow to Upper-Mesophotic Reefs in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Caribbean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominic A Andradi-Brown

    Full Text Available Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; reefs 30-150m depth are of increased research interest because of their potential role as depth refuges from many shallow reef threats. Yet few studies have identified patterns in fish species composition and trophic group structure between MCEs and their shallow counterparts. Here we explore reef fish species and biomass distributions across shallow to upper-MCE Caribbean reef gradients (5-40m around Utila, Honduras, using a diver-operated stereo-video system. Broadly, we found reef fish species richness, abundance and biomass declining with depth. At the trophic group level we identified declines in herbivores (both total and relative community biomass with depth, mostly driven by declines in parrotfish (Scaridae. Piscivores increased as a proportion of the community with increased depth while, in contrast to previous studies, we found no change in relative planktivorous reef fish biomass across the depth gradient. In addition, we also found evidence of ontogenetic migrations in the blue tang (Acanthurus coeruleus, striped parrotfish (Scarus iserti, blue chromis (Chromis cyanea, creole wrasse (Clepticus parrae, bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum and yellowtail snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus, with a higher proportion of larger individuals at mesophotic and near-mesophotic depths than on shallow reefs. Our results highlight the importance of using biomass measures when considering fish community changes across depth gradients, with biomass generating different results to simple abundance counts.

  9. Reef Fish Community Biomass and Trophic Structure Changes across Shallow to Upper-Mesophotic Reefs in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andradi-Brown, Dominic A; Gress, Erika; Wright, Georgina; Exton, Dan A; Rogers, Alex D

    2016-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; reefs 30-150m depth) are of increased research interest because of their potential role as depth refuges from many shallow reef threats. Yet few studies have identified patterns in fish species composition and trophic group structure between MCEs and their shallow counterparts. Here we explore reef fish species and biomass distributions across shallow to upper-MCE Caribbean reef gradients (5-40m) around Utila, Honduras, using a diver-operated stereo-video system. Broadly, we found reef fish species richness, abundance and biomass declining with depth. At the trophic group level we identified declines in herbivores (both total and relative community biomass) with depth, mostly driven by declines in parrotfish (Scaridae). Piscivores increased as a proportion of the community with increased depth while, in contrast to previous studies, we found no change in relative planktivorous reef fish biomass across the depth gradient. In addition, we also found evidence of ontogenetic migrations in the blue tang (Acanthurus coeruleus), striped parrotfish (Scarus iserti), blue chromis (Chromis cyanea), creole wrasse (Clepticus parrae), bluehead wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum) and yellowtail snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus), with a higher proportion of larger individuals at mesophotic and near-mesophotic depths than on shallow reefs. Our results highlight the importance of using biomass measures when considering fish community changes across depth gradients, with biomass generating different results to simple abundance counts.

  10. On the spatial scale of dispersal in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puebla, O; Bermingham, E; McMillan, W O

    2012-12-01

    Marine biologists have gone through a paradigm shift, from the assumption that marine populations are largely 'open' owing to extensive larval dispersal to the realization that marine dispersal is 'more restricted than previously thought'. Yet, population genetic studies often reveal low levels of genetic structure across large geographic areas. On the other side, more direct approaches such as mark-recapture provide evidence of localized dispersal. To what extent can direct and indirect studies of marine dispersal be reconciled? One approach consists in applying genetic methods that have been validated with direct estimates of dispersal. Here, we use such an approach-genetic isolation by distance between individuals in continuous populations-to estimate the spatial scale of dispersal in five species of coral reef fish presenting low levels of genetic structure across the Caribbean. Individuals were sampled continuously along a 220-km transect following the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, population densities were estimated from surveys covering 17 200 m(2) of reef, and samples were genotyped at a total of 58 microsatellite loci. A small but positive isolation-by-distance slope was observed in the five species, providing mean parent-offspring dispersal estimates ranging between 7 and 42 km (CI 1-113 km) and suggesting that there might be a correlation between minimum/maximum pelagic larval duration and dispersal in coral reef fishes. Coalescent-based simulations indicate that these results are robust to a variety of dispersal distributions and sampling designs. We conclude that low levels of genetic structure across large geographic areas are not necessarily indicative of extensive dispersal at ecological timescales. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 Guam shore-based coral reef fishery 1) to evaluate the characteristics of the past and recent fishery in terms of catch composition and effort per gear type and 2) to reconstruct the reef-fish populatio...

  12. 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.

  13. Ocean acidification affects prey detection by a predatory reef fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid L Cripps

    Full Text Available Changes in olfactory-mediated behaviour caused by elevated CO(2 levels in the ocean could affect recruitment to reef fish populations because larval fish become more vulnerable to predation. However, it is currently unclear how elevated CO(2 will impact the other key part of the predator-prey interaction--the predators. We investigated the effects of elevated CO(2 and reduced pH on olfactory preferences, activity levels and feeding behaviour of a common coral reef meso-predator, the brown dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus. Predators were exposed to either current-day CO(2 levels or one of two elevated CO(2 levels (∼600 µatm or ∼950 µatm that may occur by 2100 according to climate change predictions. Exposure to elevated CO(2 and reduced pH caused a shift from preference to avoidance of the smell of injured prey, with CO(2 treated predators spending approximately 20% less time in a water stream containing prey odour compared with controls. Furthermore, activity levels of fish was higher in the high CO(2 treatment and feeding activity was lower for fish in the mid CO(2 treatment; indicating that future conditions may potentially reduce the ability of the fish to respond rapidly to fluctuations in food availability. Elevated activity levels of predators in the high CO(2 treatment, however, may compensate for reduced olfactory ability, as greater movement facilitated visual detection of food. Our findings show that, at least for the species tested to date, both parties in the predator-prey relationship may be affected by ocean acidification. Although impairment of olfactory-mediated behaviour of predators might reduce the risk of predation for larval fishes, the magnitude of the observed effects of elevated CO(2 acidification appear to be more dramatic for prey compared to predators. Thus, it is unlikely that the altered behaviour of predators is sufficient to fully compensate for the effects of ocean acidification on prey mortality.

  14. 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

  15. Habitat degradation disrupts neophobia in juvenile coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, Mark I; Chivers, Douglas P; Allan, Bridie J M; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2017-02-01

    Habitat degradation not only disrupts habitat-forming species, but alters the sensory landscape within which most species must balance behavioural activities against predation risk. Rapidly developing a cautious behavioural phenotype, a condition known as neophobia, is advantageous when entering a novel risky habitat. Many aquatic organisms rely on damage-released conspecific cues (i.e. alarm cues) as an indicator of impending danger and use them to assess general risk and develop neophobia. This study tested whether settlement-stage damselfish associated with degraded coral reef habitats were able to use alarm cues as an indicator of risk and, in turn, develop a neophobic response at the end of their larval phase. Our results indicate that fish in live coral habitats that were exposed to alarm cues developed neophobia, and, in situ, were found to be more cautious, more closely associated with their coral shelters and survived four-times better than non-neophobic control fish. In contrast, fish that settled onto degraded coral habitats did not exhibit neophobia and consequently suffered much greater mortality on the reef, regardless of their history of exposure to alarm cues. Our results show that habitat degradation alters the efficacy of alarm cues with phenotypic and survival consequences for newly settled recruits. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Fish larval recruitment to reefs is a thyroid hormone-mediated metamorphosis sensitive to the pesticide chlorpyrifos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Anne; François, Loïc; Barth, Paul; Gillet, Benjamin; Hughes, Sandrine; Piganeau, Gwenaël; Leulier, Francois; Viriot, Laurent

    2017-01-01

    Larval recruitment, the transition of pelagic larvae into reef-associated juveniles, is a critical step for the resilience of marine fish populations but its molecular control is unknown. Here, we investigate whether thyroid-hormones (TH) and their receptors (TR) coordinate the larval recruitment of the coral-reef-fish Acanthurus triostegus. We demonstrate an increase of TH-levels and TR-expressions in pelagic-larvae, followed by a decrease in recruiting juveniles. We generalize these observations in four other coral reef-fish species. Treatments with TH or TR-antagonist, as well as relocation to the open-ocean, disturb A. triostegus larvae transformation and grazing activity. Likewise, chlorpyrifos, a pesticide often encountered in coral-reefs, impairs A. triostegus TH-levels, transformation, and grazing activity, hence diminishing this herbivore’s ability to control the spread of reef-algae. Larval recruitment therefore corresponds to a TH-controlled metamorphosis, sensitive to endocrine disruption. This provides a framework to understand how larval recruitment, critical to reef-ecosystems maintenance, is altered by anthropogenic stressors. PMID:29083300

  17. Potential contribution of fish restocking to the recovery of deteriorated coral reefs: an alternative restoration method?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uri Obolski

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Counteracting the worldwide trend of coral reef degeneration is a major challenge for the scientific community. A crucial management approach to minimizing stress effects on healthy reefs and helping the recovery of disturbed reefs is reef protection. However, the current rapid decline of the world’s reefs suggests that protection might be insufficient as a viable stand-alone management approach for some reefs. We thus suggest that the ecological restoration of coral reefs (CRR should be considered as a valid component of coral reef management, in addition to protection, if the applied method is economically applicable and scalable. This theoretical study examines the potential applicability and outcomes of restocking grazers as a restoration tool for coral reef recovery—a tool that has not been applied so far in reef restoration projects. We studied the effect of restocking grazing fish as a restoration method using a mathematical model of degrading reefs, and analyzed the financial outcomes of the restocking intervention. The results suggest that applying this restoration method, in addition to protection, can facilitate reef recovery. Moreover, our analysis suggests that the restocking approach almost always becomes profitable within several years. Considering the relatively low cost of this restoration approach and the feasibility of mass production of herbivorous fish, we suggest that this approach should be considered and examined as an additional viable restoration tool for coral reefs.

  18. Baseline assessment of high-latitude coral reef fish communities in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) is a region where detailed coral reef fish research has been relatively limited. This study constitutes an assessment of the fish communities of seven southern African high-latitude coral reefs. The aim was to provide ichthyological baseline data consisting of species abundance and diversity, ...

  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. The feediIlg biology of four predatory reef fishes off the south ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The feediIlg biology of four predatory reef fishes off the south-eastern Cape coast, South Africa. M.J. Smale. Port Elizabeth Museum, Port Elizabeth. The feeding of three sparid reef fish, Cheimerius nufar,. Petrus rupestris, Polysteganus praeorbitalis and one serranid, Epinephelus guaza, is described. Examination of stomach ...

  1. The feeding biology of four predatory reef fishes off the south ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The feeding of three sparid reef fish, Cheimerius nufar, Petrvs rupestris, Polysteganus praeorbitalis and one serranid, Epinephelus guaza, is described. Examination of stomach contents revealed that C. nufar takes both demersal and pelagic prey. Although reef fish dominate the diets of small C. nufar, larger individuals take ...

  2. Inventory and Spatial Assemblage Study of Reef Fish in the Area of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1997; Jones et al. 2004). It is likely that Andavadoaka's fish species richness has been reduced by these impacts. Supporting this assertion, the two areas of shallow reef studied showed lower species numbers than the deeper areas. These shallow sites experience greater fishing pressures than deeper reefs, and are likely ...

  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

    ..., Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands... Management Plan for the Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (FMP), as prepared [email protected] . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of Puerto Rico and the USVI is managed...

  4. 78 FR 69992 - Guidance for Industry on Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With the Hazard of Ciguatera...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-22

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 123 Guidance for Industry on Purchasing Reef... announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled ``Guidance for Industry: Purchasing Reef Fish... primary seafood processors who purchase reef fish on how to minimize the risk of ciguatera fish poisoning...

  5. 76 FR 74038 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-30

    ..., Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Commercial Reef Fish..., WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Comments received through means not specified in this rule... allocation. A Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) commercial reef fish permit will still be required to harvest, land, and...

  6. 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

    ..._fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2013/am37/documents/pdfs/gray_triggerfish_outreach.pdf . The document..., Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 37 AGENCY... triggerfish described in Amendment 37 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf...

  7. Management implications of fish trap effectiveness in adjacent coral reef and gorgonian habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Nicholas; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Rogers, Caroline S.; Beets, James P.

    1999-01-01

    A combination of visual census and trap sampling in St. John, USVI indicated that traps performed better in gorgonian habitat than in adjacent coral reef habitat. Although most families were seen more commonly in coral habitat, they were caught more often in gorgonian areas. Traps probably fished more effectively in gorgonian habitats, especially for migrating species, because traps provided shelter in the relatively topographically uniform environment of gorgonian dominated habitats. Recently, trap fishermen on St. John have been moving effort away from traditionally fished nearshore coral reefs and into a variety of more homogeneous habitats such as gorgonian habitat. Consequently, exploitation rates of the already over-harvested reef fish resources may be increasing. Reef fish managers and marine reserve designers should consider limiting trap fishing in gorgonian habitats to slow the decline of reef fisheries.

  8. 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.

  9. Chemical spying in coral reef fish larvae at recruitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, Natacha; Brooker, Rohan M; Lecellier, Gaël; Berthe, Cécile; Frédérich, Bruno; Banaigs, Bernard; Lecchini, David

    2015-10-01

    When fish larvae recruit back to a reef, chemical cues are often used to find suitable habitat or to find juvenile or adult conspecifics. We tested if the chemical information used by larvae was intentionally produced by juvenile and adult conspecifics already on the reef (communication process) or whether the cues used result from normal biochemical processes with no active involvement by conspecifics ("spying" behavior by larvae). Conspecific chemical cues attracted the majority of larvae (four out of the seven species tested); although while some species were equally attracted to cues from adults and juveniles (Chromis viridis, Apogon novemfasciatus), two exhibited greater sensitivity to adult cues (Pomacentrus pavo, Dascyllus aruanus). Our results indicate also that spying cues are those most commonly used by settling fishes (C. viridis, P. pavo, A. novemfasciatus). Only one species (D. aruanus) preferred the odour of conspecifics that had had visual contact with larvae (communication). Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. Relationships between reef fish communities and remotely sensed rugosity measurements in Biscayne National Park, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuffner, Ilsa B.; Brock, John C.; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Bonito, Victor E.; Hickey, T. Donald; Wright, C. Wayne

    2007-01-01

    The realization that coral reef ecosystem management must occur across multiple spatial scales and habitat types has led scientists and resource managers to seek variables that are easily measured over large areas and correlate well with reef resources. Here we investigate the utility of new technology in airborne laser surveying (NASA Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL)) in assessing topographical complexity (rugosity) to predict reef fish community structure on shallow (n = 10–13 per reef). Rugosity at each station was assessed in situ by divers using the traditional chain-transect method (10-m scale), and remotely using the EAARL submarine topography data at multiple spatial scales (2, 5, and 10 m). The rugosity and biological datasets were analyzed together to elucidate the predictive power of EAARL rugosity in describing the variance in reef fish community variables and to assess the correlation between chain-transect and EAARL rugosity. EAARL rugosity was not well correlated with chain-transect rugosity, or with species richness of fishes (although statistically significant, the amount of variance explained by the model was very low). Variance in reef fish community attributes was better explained in reef-by-reef variability than by physical variables. However, once the reef-by-reef variability was taken into account in a two-way analysis of variance, the importance of rugosity could be seen on individual reefs. Fish species richness and abundance were statistically higher at high rugosity stations compared to medium and low rugosity stations, as predicted by prior ecological research. The EAARL shows promise as an important mapping tool for reef resource managers as they strive to inventory and protect coral reef resources.

  11. Positive indirect effects of reef fishes on kelp performance: the importance of mesograzers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, Andrew C; Anderson, Todd W

    2007-06-01

    It has been suggested that microcarnivorous reef fishes may play an important role in giant kelp forest communities by preventing infestations of mesograzers that could severely impact or potentially destroy recovering kelp forests after extreme disturbance events. However, these trophic linkages, specifically the direct and indirect effects of fishes on the biomass of mesograzers, grazing intensity, and the performance of giant kelp, have not been sufficiently quantified and evaluated as to their importance and in the absence of such disturbance events. We examined experimentally the effects of mesograzers on the growth and performance of giant kelp in the presence and absence of their fish predators near Santa Catalina Island, California (U.S.A.). Mesograzer biomass and grazing intensity were significantly higher when fishes were excluded from giant kelp, which in turn, lowered kelp performance. This pattern was consistent both on experimental plots of kelp as habitat isolates, and on a continuous reef. Moreover, the abundance of mesograzers was inversely related to the abundance of kelp perch among several kelp-forested reefs, suggesting that these effects can occur at larger spatial scales. Because of differences in the diet and behavior of two microcarnivorous fishes, the kelp perch and señorita, we conducted an experiment manipulating each species and its density independently to determine their separate effects on mesograzers and kelp performance. Concurrently we examined the growth and mortality of juvenile kelp. Grazing intensity decreased, estimates of kelp performance increased, and the growth of juvenile kelp increased with increasing densities of fish but with no detectable effects between fishes. Our results demonstrate that these microcarnivorous fishes have positive indirect effects on kelp performance by reducing mesograzer biomass and grazing intensity, and the early life stages of other fishes also may be important. More specifically, these

  12. Adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef: a globally significant demonstration of the benefits of networks of marine reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCook, Laurence J; Ayling, Tony; Cappo, Mike; Choat, J Howard; Evans, Richard D; De Freitas, Debora M; Heupel, Michelle; Hughes, Terry P; Jones, Geoffrey P; Mapstone, Bruce; Marsh, Helene; Mills, Morena; Molloy, Fergus J; Pitcher, C Roland; Pressey, Robert L; Russ, Garry R; Sutton, Stephen; Sweatman, Hugh; Tobin, Renae; Wachenfeld, David R; Williamson, David H

    2010-10-26

    The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) provides a globally significant demonstration of the effectiveness of large-scale networks of marine reserves in contributing to integrated, adaptive management. Comprehensive review of available evidence shows major, rapid benefits of no-take areas for targeted fish and sharks, in both reef and nonreef habitats, with potential benefits for fisheries as well as biodiversity conservation. Large, mobile species like sharks benefit less than smaller, site-attached fish. Critically, reserves also appear to benefit overall ecosystem health and resilience: outbreaks of coral-eating, crown-of-thorns starfish appear less frequent on no-take reefs, which consequently have higher abundance of coral, the very foundation of reef ecosystems. Effective marine reserves require regular review of compliance: fish abundances in no-entry zones suggest that even no-take zones may be significantly depleted due to poaching. Spatial analyses comparing zoning with seabed biodiversity or dugong distributions illustrate significant benefits from application of best-practice conservation principles in data-poor situations. Increases in the marine reserve network in 2004 affected fishers, but preliminary economic analysis suggests considerable net benefits, in terms of protecting environmental and tourism values. Relative to the revenue generated by reef tourism, current expenditure on protection is minor. Recent implementation of an Outlook Report provides regular, formal review of environmental condition and management and links to policy responses, key aspects of adaptive management. Given the major threat posed by climate change, the expanded network of marine reserves provides a critical and cost-effective contribution to enhancing the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2016-01-01

    .... 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...

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Benjamin L; Williams, Ivor D; Vetter, Oliver J; Williams, Gareth J

    2012-01-01

    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.

  16. Environmental Factors Affecting Large-Bodied Coral Reef Fish Assemblages in the Mariana Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Benjamin L.; Williams, Ivor D.; Vetter, Oliver J.; Williams, Gareth J.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22384014

  17. Effects of fishing on a temperate reef community in South Africa 1 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The results show that fishing can have an influence on the composition of target and non-target species and that these effects need to be considered in fisheries management and conservation planning. Keywords: fish assemblages; fishing effects; indirect effects; marine protected areas; South Africa; temperate reef fish

  18. 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.

  19. Nutrient supply from fishes facilitates macroalgae and suppresses corals in a Caribbean coral reef ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkepile, Deron E; Allgeier, Jacob E; Shantz, Andrew A; Pritchard, Catharine E; Lemoine, Nathan P; Bhatti, Laura H; Layman, Craig A

    2013-01-01

    On coral reefs, fishes can facilitate coral growth via nutrient excretion; however, as coral abundance declines, these nutrients may help facilitate increases in macroalgae. By combining surveys of reef communities with bioenergetics modeling, we showed that fish excretion supplied 25 times more nitrogen to forereefs in the Florida Keys, USA, than all other biotic and abiotic sources combined. One apparent result was a positive relationship between fish excretion and macroalgal cover on these reefs. Herbivore biomass also showed a negative relationship with macroalgal cover, suggesting strong interactions of top-down and bottom-up forcing. Nutrient supply by fishes also showed a negative correlation with juvenile coral density, likely mediated by competition between macroalgae and corals, suggesting that fish excretion may hinder coral recovery following large-scale coral loss. Thus, the impact of nutrient supply by fishes may be context-dependent and reinforce either coral-dominant or coral-depauperate reef communities depending on initial community states.

  20. Distribution of fish in seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs: life-stage dependent habitat use in Honduras

    OpenAIRE

    Jessica Jaxion-Harm; James Saunders; Martin R Speight

    2012-01-01

    Many coral reef fish exhibit habitat partitioning throughout their lifetimes. Such patterns are evident in the Caribbean where research has been predominantly conducted in the Eastern region. This work addressed the paucity of data regarding Honduran reef fish distribution in three habitat types (seagrass, mangroves, and coral reefs), by surveying fish on the islands of Utila and Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras (part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef). During July 2nd - Aug 27th 2007 ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Pre-settlement coral-reef fish larvae respond to magnetic field changes during the day.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Jack; Muheim, Rachel

    2017-08-15

    Observations of coral-reef fish larvae have revealed remarkably consistent orientation behaviour while swimming offshore, requiring large-scale orientation cues. However, the mechanisms underlying this behaviour are still being investigated. One potential large-scale cue for orientation is the Earth's geomagnetic field. Here, we examined the effect of magnetic field manipulations on the orientation behaviour of coral-reef fish during the pelagic larval phase. In the absence of visual cues, individual larvae responded to a 90 deg shift of the horizontal component of the magnetic field within a Helmholtz coil with a comparable shift in orientation, demonstrating that they use a magnetic compass for orientation. Our findings suggest that geomagnetic field information guides swimming behaviour of larval fish in the pre-settlement phase. The ability to use large-scale sensory cues allows location-independent orientation of swimming, a behaviour that influences dispersal and connectivity of fish populations, which has important ecological implications for anthropogenic development of marine areas. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. The functional importance of Acropora austera as nursery areas for juvenile reef fish on South African coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floros, C.; Schleyer, M. H.

    2017-03-01

    Many coral reef fish species use mangrove and seagrass beds as nursery areas. However, in certain regions, the absence or scarcity of such habitats suggests that juvenile coral reef fish may be seeking refuge elsewhere. The underlying biogenic substratum of most coral reefs is structurally complex and provides many types of refuge. However, on young or subtropical coral reefs, species may be more reliant on the living coral layer as nursery areas. Such is the case on the high-latitude coral reefs of South Africa where the coral communities consist of a thin veneer of coral overlaying late Pleistocene bedrock. Thus, the morphology of coral species may be a major determinant in the availability of refuge space. Acropora austera is a branching species that forms large patches with high structural complexity. Associated with these patches is a diverse community of fish species, particularly juveniles. Over the past decade, several large (>100 m2) A. austera patches at Sodwana Bay have been diminishing for unknown reasons and there is little evidence of their replacement or regrowth. Seven patches of A. austera (AP) and non- A. austera (NAP) were selected and monitored for 12 months using visual surveys to investigate the importance of AP as refugia and nursery areas. There were significant differences in fish communities between AP and NAP habitats. In total, 110 species were recorded within the patches compared to 101 species outside the patches. Labrids and pomacentrids were the dominant species in the AP habitats, while juvenile scarids, acanthurids, chaetodons and serranids were also abundant. The diversity and abundance of fish species increased significantly with AP size. As the most structurally complex coral species on the reefs, the loss of APs may have significant implications for the recruitment and survival of certain fish species.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Fish biodiversity in coral reefs and lagoon at the Maratua Island, East Kalimantan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HAWIS H. MADDUPPA

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Madduppa HH, Agus SB, Farhan AR, Suhendra D, Subhan B. 2012. Fish biodiversity in coral reefs and lagoon at the Maratua Island, East Kalimantan. Biodiversitas 13: 145-150. Fishes are one of the most important biotic components in the aquatic environment. They are filling different habitats, including coral reef and lagoon. This study aims to (1 assess biodiversity in coral reef and lagoon in Maratua Island, East Kalimantan, and (2 compare the fish community indices (Shannon-Wiener diversity, Evenness, and Dominance between the coral reef and lagoon. A total of 159 fish species of belonging to 30 families were observed during five visual census of the study period. The number of species on coral reefs is higher (121 species than in the lagoons (47 species. Relative abundance (% of each species also varied and did not form a specific pattern. However, a clear cluster between the coral reef and lagoon habitats from fish relative abundance based on multivariate analysis and dendogram Bray-Curtis Similarity was revealed. The Evennes index value (E ranged from 0.814 to 0.874, the dominance index (C ranged from 0.023 to 0.184, and the Shannon-Wiener diversity index (ln base, H' ranged from 1.890 to 4.133. Fish biodiversity in coral reefs was higher (H'= 3.290±0.301 than in the lagoon (H' = 2.495±0.578.

  8. Two new species of Phyllodistomum Braun, 1899 (Trematoda: Gorgoderidae Looss, 1899) from Great Barrier Reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Hei Wa; Bray, Rodney A; Cutmore, Scott C; Ward, Selina; Cribb, Thomas H

    2014-03-19

    Two new species of Phyllodistomum Braun, 1899 are described from the urinary bladder of fishes of the Great Barrier Reef. Phyllodistomum hoggettae n. sp. is described from Plectropomus leopardus (leopard coralgrouper) (Serranidae) and P. vaili n. sp. is described from Mulloidichthys vanicolensis (yellowfin goatfish) and M. flavolineatus (yellowstripe goatfish) (Mullidae). These species are compared with 26 previously described marine Phyllodistomum species and found to be distinct in combinations of body shape, sucker ratio and shape of the gonads. Preliminary molecular data also demonstrate that they are distinct from each other and for those other species for which data are available.

  9. 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...

  10. Colonisation of artificial mangroves by reef fishes in a marine seascape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nagelkerken, I.; Faunce, C.H.

    2007-01-01

    Mangroves have been shown to host a variety of fish species that originate from coral reefs. In this study we compare the colonisation of experimental mangrove units, placed on a shallow coral reef and in an adjacent embayment, with species that are commonly observed and believed to rely on the

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Long-term Trends in Coral Reef Fish Yields and Exploitation Rates ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: coral reef fish, yield, long term trends, commercial fishing, Kenya Analysis of long-term (1978–2001) marine fisheries data showed that Kenyan coralreefs produced an estimated 2–4 metric t/km2/year of demersal fish. A rapid overall decline in landings occurred during the 1990s. Yields (t/km2/year) showed ...

  15. The gills of reef fish support a distinct microbiome influenced by host-specific factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratte, Zoe A; Besson, Marc; Hollman, Rebecca D; Stewart, Frank J

    2018-02-16

    Teleost fish represent the most diverse of the vertebrate groups and play important roles in food webs, as ecosystem engineers, and as vectors for microorganisms. However, the microbial ecology of fishes remains underexplored for most host taxa, and for certain niches on the fish body. This is particularly true for the gills, the key sites for respiration and waste exchange in fishes. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the gill microbiome. We focus on ecologically diverse taxa from coral reefs around Moorea, sampling the gill and intestines of adults and juveniles representing 15 families. Gill microbiome composition differed significantly from that of the gut in both adults and juveniles, with fish-associated niches having lower alpha diversity and higher beta diversity compared to seawater, sediment, and algae-associated microbiomes. Of ∼45,000 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) detected across all samples, 11% and 13% were detected only in the gill and intestine, respectively. OTUs most enriched in the gill included members of the gammaproteobacterial genus Shewanella and family Endozoicimonaceae. In adult fish, both gill and intestinal microbiomes varied significantly among host species grouped by diet category. Gill and intestinal microbiomes from the same individual were more similar to one another compared to gill and intestinal microbiomes from different individuals. These results demonstrate that distinct body sites are jointly influenced by host-specific organizing factors operating at the level of the host individual. The results also identify taxonomic signatures unique to the gill and intestine, confirming fish-associated niches as distinct reservoirs of marine microbial diversity. Importance Fish breath and excrete waste through their gills. The gills are also potential sites of pathogen invasion and colonization by other microbes. However, we know little about the microbial communities that live on the gill and the factors shaping their

  16. 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...

  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 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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....

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Florida Reef Fish Visual Census 1995 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 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Cyanide fishing and cyanide detection in coral reef fish using chemical tests and biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mak, Karen K W; Yanase, Hideshi; Renneberg, Reinhard

    2005-06-15

    Sodium cyanide has been used in the Philippines to collect tropical marine fish for aquarium and food trades since the early 1960s. Cyanide fishing is a fast method to stun and collect fish. This practice is damaging the coral reefs irreversibly. In most countries cyanide fishing is illegal, but most of the exporting and importing countries do not have test and certificate systems. Many analytical methods are available for the detection of cyanide in environmental and biological samples. However, most of the techniques are time consuming, and some lack specificity or sensitivity. Besides, an ultra sensitive cyanide detection method is needed due to the rapid detoxification mechanisms in fish. The aim of this review is to give an overview of cyanide fishing problem in the south-east Asia and current strategies to combat this destructive practice, summarise some of the methods for cyanide detection in biological samples and their disadvantages. A novel approach to detect cyanide in marine fish tissues is briefly discussed.

  20. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Maro Reef, NW Hawaiian Islands in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 12 September - 12...

  1. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Kingman Reef, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 21 March - 12 April...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:28603671

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaldo, Roberta M; 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 (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.

  8. Quantifying the Human Impacts on Papua New Guinea Reef Fish Communities across Space and Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, Joshua A; Amatangelo, Kathryn L; Hufbauer, Ruth A

    2015-01-01

    Describing the drivers of species loss and of community change are important goals in both conservation and ecology. However, it is difficult to determine whether exploited species decline due to direct effects of harvesting or due to other environmental perturbations brought about by proximity to human populations. Here we quantify differences in species richness of coral reef fish communities along a human population gradient in Papua New Guinea to understand the relative impacts of fishing and environmental perturbation. Using data from published species lists we categorize the reef fishes as either fished or non-fished based on their body size and reports from the published literature. Species diversity for both fished and non-fished groups decreases as the size of the local human population increases, and this relationship is stronger in species that are fished. Additionally, comparison of modern and museum collections show that modern reef communities have proportionally fewer fished species relative to 19th century ones. Together these findings show that the reef fish communities of Papua New Guinea experience multiple anthropogenic stressors and that even at low human population levels targeted species experience population declines across both time and space.

  9. Quantifying the Human Impacts on Papua New Guinea Reef Fish Communities across Space and Time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua A Drew

    Full Text Available Describing the drivers of species loss and of community change are important goals in both conservation and ecology. However, it is difficult to determine whether exploited species decline due to direct effects of harvesting or due to other environmental perturbations brought about by proximity to human populations. Here we quantify differences in species richness of coral reef fish communities along a human population gradient in Papua New Guinea to understand the relative impacts of fishing and environmental perturbation. Using data from published species lists we categorize the reef fishes as either fished or non-fished based on their body size and reports from the published literature. Species diversity for both fished and non-fished groups decreases as the size of the local human population increases, and this relationship is stronger in species that are fished. Additionally, comparison of modern and museum collections show that modern reef communities have proportionally fewer fished species relative to 19th century ones. Together these findings show that the reef fish communities of Papua New Guinea experience multiple anthropogenic stressors and that even at low human population levels targeted species experience population declines across both time and space.

  10. Fish assemblages on shipwrecks and natural rocky reefs strongly differ in trophic structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Thiony; Joyeux, Jean-Christophe; Pinheiro, Hudson T

    2013-09-01

    In the present work fish assemblages over two metallic vessels, five and 105 years old, and two natural rocky reefs were compared. The hypothesis that shipwrecks support assemblages with trophic structure similar to that encountered on natural reefs was rejected. Artificial and natural reefs strongly differ in their trophic structure, both in their multivariate composition and in biomass of most guilds. Substrate characteristics such as rugosity and benthic cover were found to influence the trophic organisation of the communities. Moreover, slow-paced structural changes over time in both biotic and abiotic aspects of wrecks appear responsible for younger and older artificial reefs be dissimilar in respect to biomass density of most feeding guilds. However, the older artificial reef did not present any strikingly "intermediate" feature between the younger artificial reef and the natural reefs, evidencing that distinct trophic assemblages exist over wrecks. Finally, the results found indicate that the use of shipwrecks as mitigation tool for losses of natural reefs may not be fully appropriate as they greatly differ in trophic structure, and consequently in energy flow, from natural reefs. Also, setting shipwrecks near natural reefs should be avoided as they differ in resources availability for many species, which may alter the community structure of natural habitats. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    ..., and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Exempted Fishing... (EFP) from Puerto Rico's Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (PR DNER). If granted, the... coast and 1 station off the east coast of Puerto Rico in Federal waters. All reef fish caught during the...

  13. 78 FR 18273 - Draft Guidance for Industry on Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With the Hazard of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-26

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 123 Draft Guidance for Industry on Purchasing...: Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With the Hazard of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning.'' The draft guidance, when finalized, will advise primary seafood processors who purchase reef fish how to minimize the risk...

  14. 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...

  15. Ecological and morphological traits predict depth-generalist fishes on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridge, Tom C L; Luiz, Osmar J; Coleman, Richard R; Kane, Corinne N; Kosaki, Randall K

    2016-01-27

    Ecological communities that occupy similar habitats may exhibit functional convergence despite significant geographical distances and taxonomic dissimilarity. On coral reefs, steep gradients in key environmental variables (e.g. light and wave energy) restrict some species to shallow depths. We show that depth-generalist reef fishes are correlated with two species-level traits: caudal fin aspect ratio and diet. Fishes with high aspect ratio (lunate) caudal fins produce weaker vortices in the water column while swimming, and we propose that 'silent swimming' reduces the likelihood of detection and provides an advantage on deeper reefs with lower light irradiance and water motion. Significant differences in depth preference among trophic guilds reflect variations in the availability of different food sources along a depth gradient. The significance of these two traits across three geographically and taxonomically distinct assemblages suggests that deep-water habitats exert a strong environmental filter on coral reef-fish assemblages. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. 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

  17. National Patterns of Philippine Reef Fish Diversity and Its Implications on the Current Municipal-Level Management

    OpenAIRE

    Jonathan A Anticamara; Kevin Thomas B. Go; Stevenson S. Ongsyping; Francesco Antonio T. Valdecañas; Ryan Gabriel S. Madrid

    2015-01-01

    Recent national-level assessments of Philippine reef fish diversity have been mainly based on species richness surveys, but generally do not account for reef f ish abundance and biomass—metrics that better describe fish community assemblages. Given that the Philippines is considered a major biodiversity hotspot and is heavily reliant on coastal resources, there is a great need to quantify the current status of its reef fish diversity using standardized methods. Here, standardized Underwater V...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Shaun K; Depczynski, Martial; Fisher, Rebecca; Holmes, Thomas H; O'Leary, Rebecca A; Tinkler, Paul

    2010-12-07

    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 protecting reefs

  19. 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

    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

  20. 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.

  1. Influence of nursery microhabitats on the future abundance of a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Shaun K; Depczynski, Martial; Fulton, Christopher J; Holmes, Thomas H; Radford, Ben T; Tinkler, Paul

    2016-08-17

    Species habitat associations are often complex, making it difficult to assess their influence on populations. Among coral reef fishes, habitat requirements vary among species and with ontogeny, but the relative importance of nursery and adult-preferred habitats on future abundances remain unclear. Moreover, adult populations may be influenced by recruitment of juveniles and assessments of habitat importance should consider relative effects of juvenile abundance. We conducted surveys across 16 sites and 200 km of reef to identify the microhabitat preferences of juveniles, sub-adults and adults of the damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis Microhabitat preferences at different life-history stages were then combined with 6 years of juvenile abundance and microhabitat availability data to show that the availability of preferred juvenile microhabitat (corymbose corals) at the time of settlement was a strong predictor of future sub-adult and adult abundance. However, the influence of nursery microhabitats on future population size differed spatially and at some locations abundance of juveniles and adult microhabitat (branching corals) were better predictors of local populations. Our results demonstrate that while juvenile microhabitats are important nurseries, the abundance of coral-dependent fishes is not solely dependent on these microhabitats, especially when microhabitats are readily available or following large influxes of juveniles. © 2016 The Author(s).

  2. Spatial distribution of nominally herbivorous fishes across environmental gradients on Brazilian rocky reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeiro, C A M M; Mendes, T C; Harborne, A R; Ferreira, C E L

    2016-07-01

    Assemblages of roving herbivores were consistently different between eastern, warmer, sheltered sites and western, colder, more wave-exposed sites. At eastern sites, detritivorous-herbivorous species dominated while omnivores had the highest biomass and were dominant at western sites. Macroalgivores did not show any trends related to location. These distributional patterns, at relatively small spatial scales of a few kilometres, mirror large-scale latitudinal patterns observed for the studied species along the entire Brazilian coast, where cold water associated species are abundant on south-eastern rocky reefs (analogous to the western sites of this study), and tropical species are dominant on north-eastern coral reefs (analogous to the eastern sites). Species-level analyses demonstrated that depth was an important factor correlated with biomasses of Diplodus argenteus, Sparisoma axillare and Sparisoma tuiupiranga, probably due to resource availability and interspecific competition. Herbivorous fish assemblages in the study area have been historically affected by fishing, and combined with the variation in assemblage structure, this is likely to have important, spatially variable effects on the dynamics of benthic communities. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  3. The perfect storm: match-mismatch of bio-physical events drives larval reef fish connectivity between Pulley Ridge and the Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, A.; Paris, C. B.; Olascoaga, M. J.; Kourafalou, V.; Kang, H.

    2016-02-01

    Mesophotic reefs have been hypothesized to act as a refugia, by exporting larvae to more vulnerable shallow water reefs and potentially aiding the replenishment of disturbed populations. Despite the fundamental role of mesophotic reef for the recovery and conservation of shallow water reef ecosystems, the spatio-temporal extent of such connections is currently unresolved. Here we aim to explore the underlaying mechanisms of the connections between a mesophotic reef, the Pulley Ridge, and the shallow water Florida Keys reefs, by simulating the dispersal of the bicolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus. We use the Connectivity Modeling System (CMS) of the University of Miami, an open-source individual-based model, and present new biophysical modeling code to allow a realistic representation of 3-dimensional discreet coral reef habitats and investigate vertical connectivity. Virtual larvae are released and tracked within a fine resolution ( 900m) hydrodynamic model until their settlement. S. partitus biological traits such as spawning periodicity, mortality and vertical migration are also incorporated on the model. Probabilistic simulations indicate mesophotic-shallow connections, with larvae spawned at Pulley Ridge reaching the Florida Keys settlement grounds during sporadic settlement pulses. These "perfect storm" settlement events are modulated by the co-occurence of larval traits with physical processes, particularly by the interaction of ontogenetic vertical migration and the Florida Current fronts and cyclonic eddies. This demonstrates that mesophotic coral reef ecosystems can also serve as a refugia for coral reef fish and suggests that they could increase the resilience of their shallow counterpart.

  4. 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.

  5. Coral reef fish populations can persist without immigration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salles, Océane 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

    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. PMID:26582017

  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. 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).

  8. Sympatric speciation in a genus of marine reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, Karen D; Munehara, Hiroyuki; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2010-05-01

    Sympatric speciation has been contentious since its inception, yet is increasingly recognized as important based on accumulating theoretical and empirical support. Here, we present a compelling case of sympatric speciation in a taxon of marine reef fishes using a comparative and mechanistic approach. Hexagrammos otakii and H. agrammus occur in sympatry throughout their ranges. Molecular sequence data from six loci, with complete sampling of the genus, support monophyly of these sister species. Although hybridization occurs frequently with an allopatric congener in an area of slight distributional overlap, we found no F(1) hybrids between the focal sympatric taxa throughout their coextensive ranges. We present genetic evidence for complete reproductive isolation based on SNP analysis of 382 individuals indicating fixed polymorphisms, with no shared haplotypes or genotypes, between sympatric species. To address questions of speciation, we take a mechanistic approach and directly compare aspects of reproductive isolation between allopatric and sympatric taxa both in nature and in the laboratory. We conclude that the buildup of reproductive isolation is strikingly different in sympatric vs. allopatric taxa, consistent with theoretical predictions. Lab reared hybrids from allopatric species crosses exhibit severe fitness effects in the F(1) or backcross generation. No intrinsic fitness effects are observed in F(1) hybrids from sympatric species pairs, however these treatments exhibited reduced fertilization success and complete pre-mating isolation is implied in nature because F(1) hybrid adults do not occur. Our study addresses limitations of previous studies and supports new criteria for inferring sympatric speciation.

  9. Connectivity dominates larval replenishment in a coastal reef fish metapopulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Jones, Geoffrey P; Thorrold, Simon R; Planes, Serge

    2011-10-07

    Direct estimates of larval retention and connectivity are essential to understand the structure and dynamics of marine metapopulations, and optimize the size and spacing of reserves within networks of marine-protected areas (MPAs). For coral reef fishes, while there are some empirical estimates of self-recruitment at isolated populations, exchange among sub-populations has been rarely quantified. Here, we used microsatellite DNA markers and a likelihood-based parentage analysis to assess the relative magnitude of self-recruitment and exchange among eight geographically distinct sub-populations of the panda clownfish Amphiprion polymnus along 30 km of coastline near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. In addition, we used an assignment/exclusion test to identify immigrants arriving from genetically distinct sources. Overall, 82 per cent of the juveniles were immigrants while 18 per cent were progeny of parents genotyped in our focal metapopulation. Of the immigrants, only 6 per cent were likely to be genetically distinct from the focal metapopulation, suggesting most of the connectivity is among sub-populations from a rather homogeneous genetic pool. Of the 18 per cent that were progeny of known adults, two-thirds dispersed among the eight sub-populations and only one-third settled back into natal sub-populations. Comparison of our data with previous studies suggested that variation in dispersal distances is likely to be influenced by the geographical setting and spacing of sub-populations.

  10. 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...

  11. Community assembly of coral reef fishes along the Melanesian biodiversity gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua A Drew

    Full Text Available The Indo-Pacific is home to Earth's most biodiverse coral reefs. Diversity on these reefs decreases from the Coral Triangle east through the islands of Melanesia. Despite this pattern having been identified during the early 20th century, our knowledge about the interaction between pattern and process remains incomplete. To evaluate the structure of coral reef fish communities across Melanesia, we obtained distributional records for 396 reef fish species in five taxa across seven countries. We used hierarchical clustering, nestedness, and multiple linear regression analyses to evaluate the community structure. We also compiled data on life history traits (pelagic larval duration, body size and schooling behavior to help elucidate the ecological mechanisms behind community structure. Species richness for these taxa along the gradient was significantly related to longitude but not habitat area. Communities are significantly nested, indicating that species-poor communities are largely composed of subsets of the species found on species rich reefs. These trends are robust across taxonomic groups except for the Pomacentridae, which exhibit an anti-nested pattern, perhaps due to a large number of endemic species. Correlations between life history traits and the number of reefs on which species occurred indicate that dispersal and survival ability contribute to determining community structure. We conclude that distance from the Coral Triangle dominates community structure in reef fish; however, conservation of the most species-rich areas will not be sufficient alone to conserve the vivid splendor of this region.

  12. Community assembly of coral reef fishes along the Melanesian biodiversity gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, Joshua A; Amatangelo, Kathryn L

    2017-01-01

    The Indo-Pacific is home to Earth's most biodiverse coral reefs. Diversity on these reefs decreases from the Coral Triangle east through the islands of Melanesia. Despite this pattern having been identified during the early 20th century, our knowledge about the interaction between pattern and process remains incomplete. To evaluate the structure of coral reef fish communities across Melanesia, we obtained distributional records for 396 reef fish species in five taxa across seven countries. We used hierarchical clustering, nestedness, and multiple linear regression analyses to evaluate the community structure. We also compiled data on life history traits (pelagic larval duration, body size and schooling behavior) to help elucidate the ecological mechanisms behind community structure. Species richness for these taxa along the gradient was significantly related to longitude but not habitat area. Communities are significantly nested, indicating that species-poor communities are largely composed of subsets of the species found on species rich reefs. These trends are robust across taxonomic groups except for the Pomacentridae, which exhibit an anti-nested pattern, perhaps due to a large number of endemic species. Correlations between life history traits and the number of reefs on which species occurred indicate that dispersal and survival ability contribute to determining community structure. We conclude that distance from the Coral Triangle dominates community structure in reef fish; however, conservation of the most species-rich areas will not be sufficient alone to conserve the vivid splendor of this region.

  13. 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.

  14. Status Penangkapan Ikan Hias Di Kepulauan Seribu Tahun 2007-2009 (the Status of Ornamental Reef Fish Catch in Seribu Islands (2007-2009))

    OpenAIRE

    Idris, Idris; Setyawan, E.; Mardesyawati, A

    2011-01-01

    Marine ornamental reef fish trade is a huge industry with trade value USD 200-350 million/ year. Seribu Islands, Jakarta is one of the main ornamental reef fish catch area in Indonesia. The aim of this study was to compare ornamental fishing activities with total allowable catch (TAC). Ornamental reef fish catch data were collected from fishermen annually within 2007-2009, while reef fish population data are collected using underwater visual census every two years. The results showed that the...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, S K; Adjeroud, M; Bellwood, D R; Berumen, M L; Booth, D; Bozec, Y-Marie; 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

    2010-03-15

    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.

  17. Ophichthid eels in the coelom of several Natal offshore reef fish ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mummified ophichthid eels are reported from the coeloms of several Natal continental shelf reef fish species. Originally mistaken to be parasitic, these eels are in fact free-living and are eaten by fish. Once ingested, they bore their way out of the stomach, using their pointed tails and become encapsulated in connective ...

  18. 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.

  19. [Reef fishes community structure of Playa Mero, Parque Nacional Morrocoy, Venezuela].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, J; Villamizar, E

    2000-12-01

    The coral reef fish community was studied in Playa Mero, Morrocoy National Park, after the mass mortality of January, 1996 with a systematic sampling design. Transects and quadrates were used for corals, and a visual census for fishes. The coral community is highly disturbed with extensive areas of dead coral covered by algae, and low coverage and richness of coral species, gorgonians, sponges and briozooans. These factors have generated a relatively homogeneous environment with respect to the fish community, which was dominated by Scaridae and Pomacentridae that represented 75% of fish. Dominant fishes were mainly herbivorous (75.4% of all fish) apparently because of the disturbance that caused the settling of algae.

  20. 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.

  1. Mapping reef fish and the seascape: using acoustics and spatial modeling to guide coastal management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Bryan; Taylor, J Christopher; Kracker, Laura; Battista, Tim; Pittman, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Reef fish distributions are patchy in time and space with some coral reef habitats supporting higher densities (i.e., aggregations) of fish than others. Identifying and quantifying fish aggregations (particularly during spawning events) are often top priorities for coastal managers. However, the rapid mapping of these aggregations using conventional survey methods (e.g., non-technical SCUBA diving and remotely operated cameras) are limited by depth, visibility and time. Acoustic sensors (i.e., splitbeam and multibeam echosounders) are not constrained by these same limitations, and were used to concurrently map and quantify the location, density and size of reef fish along with seafloor structure in two, separate locations in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Reef fish aggregations were documented along the shelf edge, an ecologically important ecotone in the region. Fish were grouped into three classes according to body size, and relationships with the benthic seascape were modeled in one area using Boosted Regression Trees. These models were validated in a second area to test their predictive performance in locations where fish have not been mapped. Models predicting the density of large fish (≥ 29 cm) performed well (i.e., AUC = 0.77). Water depth and standard deviation of depth were the most influential predictors at two spatial scales (100 and 300 m). Models of small (≤ 11 cm) and medium (12-28 cm) fish performed poorly (i.e., AUC = 0.49 to 0.68) due to the high prevalence (45-79%) of smaller fish in both locations, and the unequal prevalence of smaller fish in the training and validation areas. Integrating acoustic sensors with spatial modeling offers a new and reliable approach to rapidly identify fish aggregations and to predict the density large fish in un-surveyed locations. This integrative approach will help coastal managers to prioritize sites, and focus their limited resources on areas that may be of higher conservation value.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Ecosystem-Scale Effects of Nutrients and Fishing on Coral Reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila M. Walsh

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Nutrient pollution and fishing are the primary local causes of coral reef decline but their ecosystem-scale effects are poorly understood. Results from small-scale manipulative experiments of herbivores and nutrients suggest prioritizing management of fishing over nutrient pollution because herbivores can control macroalgae and turf in the presence of nutrients. However, ecological theory suggests that the opposite occurs at large scales. Moreover, it is unclear whether fishing decreases herbivores because fishing of predators may result in an increase in herbivores. To investigate this paradox, data on the fish and benthic communities, fishing, and nutrients were collected on Kiritimati, Kiribati. Oceanographic conditions and a population resettlement program created a natural experiment to compare sites with different levels of fishing and nutrients. Contrary to theory, herbivores controlled macroalgae in the presence of nutrients at large spatial scales, and herbivores had greater effects on macroalgae when nutrients were higher. In addition, fishing did not increase herbivores. These results suggest that protecting herbivores may have greater relative benefits than reducing nutrient pollution, especially on polluted reefs. Reallocating fishing effort from herbivores to invertivores or planktivores may be one way to protect herbivores and indirectly maintain coral dominance on reefs impacted by fishing and nutrient pollution.

  5. Population growth rates of reef sharks with and without fishing on the great barrier reef: robust estimation with multiple models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mizue Hisano

    Full Text Available Overfishing of sharks is a global concern, with increasing numbers of species threatened by overfishing. For many sharks, both catch rates and underwater visual surveys have been criticized as indices of abundance. In this context, estimation of population trends using individual demographic rates provides an important alternative means of assessing population status. However, such estimates involve uncertainties that must be appropriately characterized to credibly and effectively inform conservation efforts and management. Incorporating uncertainties into population assessment is especially important when key demographic rates are obtained via indirect methods, as is often the case for mortality rates of marine organisms subject to fishing. Here, focusing on two reef shark species on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, we estimated natural and total mortality rates using several indirect methods, and determined the population growth rates resulting from each. We used bootstrapping to quantify the uncertainty associated with each estimate, and to evaluate the extent of agreement between estimates. Multiple models produced highly concordant natural and total mortality rates, and associated population growth rates, once the uncertainties associated with the individual estimates were taken into account. Consensus estimates of natural and total population growth across multiple models support the hypothesis that these species are declining rapidly due to fishing, in contrast to conclusions previously drawn from catch rate trends. Moreover, quantitative projections of abundance differences on fished versus unfished reefs, based on the population growth rate estimates, are comparable to those found in previous studies using underwater visual surveys. These findings appear to justify management actions to substantially reduce the fishing mortality of reef sharks. They also highlight the potential utility of rigorously characterizing uncertainty, and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendonça-Neto, José P; Ferreira, Carlos E L; Chaves, Laís C T; Pereira, Renato C

    2008-09-01

    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.

  7. Predicting Success of Range-Expanding Coral Reef Fish in Temperate Habitats Using Temperature-Abundance Relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J. Booth

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available An 18-year database of coral reef fish expatriation poleward in South East Australia was used to estimate persistence of coal reef fish recruits on temperate reefs. Surveys have identified over 150 coral reef fish species recruiting to temperate reefs at latitudes of 34°S (Sydney and 60 species to 37°S (Merimbula with 20 and 5 species respectively overwintering in at least 1 year over the study duration. We developed indices of vulnerability of key species to drops in water temperatures, by relating drops in abundances of species to temperature drops. Twenty species were ranked according to their temperature vulnerability. Overall, the families Chaetodontidae (butterflyfishes, Acanthuridae (surgeonfishes, Labridae (wrasses and Pomacetnridae (damselfishes had similar cold-water tolerance. However, there was considerable variability within families, for instance in the Pomacentridae, species from the genus Abudefduf appeared to have better cold-temperature tolerance than the other species. Predicted minimum overwintering temperature varied from 15.6°C to 19.8°C, with some species showing lower Tzero at Merimbula, the more poleward location. There was general concordance between a species' tolerance to cold-water and its tendency to occur as an overwinter but also notable exceptions. So while this work demonstrates the potential utility of tolerance to seasonal temperature drops as a means to predict range expansion capacity of vagrant species, the exceptional cases serve to highlight alternative factors. Specifically, tolerance to seasonal cooling of water is not the only important factor when predicting the range expansion capacity of a species. Factors affecting the general abundance of the vagrants, such as habitat suitability and competitor/predator environments will also be critical where overwinter survival becomes a lottery.

  8. Close encounters with eddies: oceanographic features increase growth of larval reef fishes during their journey to the reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulzitski, Kathryn; Sponaugle, Su; Hauff, Martha; Walter, Kristen; D'Alessandro, Evan K; Cowen, Robert K

    2015-01-01

    Like most benthic marine organisms, coral reef fishes produce larvae that traverse open ocean waters before settling and metamorphosing into juveniles. Where larvae are transported and how they survive is a central question in marine and fisheries ecology. While there is increasing success in modelling potential larval trajectories, our knowledge of the physical and biological processes contributing to larval survivorship during dispersal remains relatively poor. Mesoscale eddies (MEs) are ubiquitous throughout the world's oceans and their propagation is often accompanied by upwelling and increased productivity. Enhanced production suggests that eddies may serve as important habitat for the larval stages of marine organisms, yet there is a lack of empirical data on the growth rates of larvae associated with these eddies. During three cruises in the Straits of Florida, we sampled larval fishes inside and outside five cyclonic MEs. Otolith microstructure analysis revealed that four of five species of reef fish examined had consistently faster growth inside these eddies. Because increased larval growth often leads to higher survivorship, larvae that encounter MEs during transit are more likely to contribute to reef populations. Successful dispersal in oligotrophic waters may rely on larval encounter with such oceanographic features. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Ecological monitoring 2012-2013 - reef fishes and benthic habitats of the main Hawaiian Islands, American Samoa, and Pacific Remote Island Areas

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes a subset of the reef fish and benthic survey data collected by the NOAA Pacific islands Fisheries Science Center Coral Reef Ecosystem Division...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Length-Based Assessment of Coral Reef Fish Populations in the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands: e0133960

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Marc O Nadon; Jerald S Ault; Ivor D Williams; Steven G Smith; Gerard T DiNardo

    2015-01-01

      The coral reef fish community of Hawaii is composed of hundreds of species, supports a multimillion dollar fishing and tourism industry, and is of great cultural importance to the local population...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  15. Patterns of connectivity among populations of a coral reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chittaro, P. M.; Hogan, J. D.

    2013-06-01

    Knowledge of the patterns and scale of connectivity among populations is essential for the effective management of species, but our understanding is still poor for marine species. We used otolith microchemistry of newly settled bicolor damselfish ( Stegastes partitus) in the Mesoamerican Reef System (MRS), Western Caribbean, to investigate patterns of connectivity among populations over 2 years. First, we assessed spatial and temporal variability in trace elemental concentrations from the otolith edge to make a `chemical map' of potential source reef(s) in the region. Significant otolith chemical differences were detected at three spatial scales (within-atoll, between-atolls, and region-wide), such that individuals were classified to locations with moderate (52 % jackknife classification) to high (99 %) accuracy. Most sites at Turneffe Atoll, Belize showed significant temporal variability in otolith concentrations on the scale of 1-2 months. Using a maximum likelihood approach, we estimated the natal source of larvae recruiting to reefs across the MRS by comparing `natal' chemical signatures from the otolith of recruits to the `chemical map' of potential source reef(s). Our results indicated that populations at both Turneffe Atoll and Banco Chinchorro supply a substantial amount of individuals to their own reefs (i.e., self-recruitment) and thus emphasize that marine conservation and management in the MRS region would benefit from localized management efforts as well as international cooperation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindinger, Tye L

    2018-02-28

    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

  17. 76 FR 13122 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-10

    ..., Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Greater Amberjack... may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file...-5305; fax: 727-824-5308. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico is...

  18. 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.

  19. Changes in Biodiversity and Functioning of Reef Fish Assemblages following Coral Bleaching and Coral Loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A.J. Graham

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Checklist and analysis of completeness of the reef fish fauna of the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fourriére, Manon; Reyes-Bonilla, Héctor; Ayala-Bocos, Arturo; Ketchum, James A; Chávez-Comparan, Juan Carlos

    2016-08-15

    This paper presents an updated checklist of cartilaginous and bony fishes from the Revillagigedo Archipelago reefs and nearby areas (Tropical Eastern Pacific). To compile this list, we gathered data from field surveys between 1994 and 2015, from an exhaustive literature review, and by consulting museum collections and databases. With these records we estimated the completeness of the local fish inventory using four non-parametric rarefaction methods. We report a total of 389 species in 102 families; 235 of these are reef fish that occur in the Eastern but also in the Central Pacific, and 13 species were identified as endemic to the archipelago. A non-parametric statistical model predicts that the expected number of reef fish present at Revillagigedo should be 244.3 ± 3.2 species, which is 9 species more than the observed richness, and this difference was statistically significant (p = 0.02). That predictive model estimates that about 96% of the total richness of reef fish from the archipelago is known. Comparisons of the completeness of the inventory at Revillagigedo to that reported for the fish fauna of the Eastern Pacific and worldwide, showed that the quality of the sampling effort is remarkably high, in spite of the geographic isolation of the archipelago.

  1. High rate of prey consumption in a small predatory fish on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeney, W. E.; Lönnstedt, O. M.; Bosiger, Y.; Martin, J.; Jones, G. P.; Rowe, R. J.; McCormick, M. I.

    2012-09-01

    Small piscivores are regarded as important regulators of the composition of coral reef fish communities, but few studies have investigated their predatory ecology or impact on assemblages of juvenile fishes. This study investigated the foraging ecology of a common coral reef predator, the dottyback Pseudochromis fuscus, using underwater focal animal observations. Observations were conducted at two times of year: the summer, when recruit fishes were an available food item and winter, when remaining juveniles had outgrown vulnerability to P. fuscus. During the summer, P. fuscus directed 76% of its strikes at invertebrates and 24% at recruiting juvenile fishes. When striking at fishes, P. fuscus exhibited two distinct feeding modes: an ambush (26% successful) and a pursuit mode (5% successful). Predator activity in the field peaked at midday, averaging 2.5 captures h-1 of juvenile fishes. Monitoring of activity and foraging in the laboratory over 24-h periods found that P. fuscus was a diurnal predator and was active for 13 h d-1 during the summer. The number of hours during which foraging was recorded differed greatly among individuals ( n = 10), ranging from 4 to 13 h. The number of predatory strikes did not increase with standard length, but the success rate and consumption rate of juvenile fishes did increase with size. Estimated hourly mortality on juvenile fish ranged from 0.49 fish h-1 in small P. fuscus individuals (30-39 mm standard length, SL; equating to 6.3 per 13 h day) to 2.4 fish h-1 in large P. fuscus individuals (55-65 mm SL; 30.6 per 13 h day). During the winter, P. fuscus struck at invertebrates with a similar rate to the summer period. These observations of the predatory ecology of P. fuscus support the hypothesis that in coral reef systems, small piscivores, because of their high metabolism and activity, are probably important regulators of coral reef fish community composition.

  2. 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...

  3. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of coral reef communities in U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) using the Belt Transect fish census method

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Belt Transect method is used to conduct fish surveys in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) as part of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP). The Belt...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Intraspecific variability in the life histories of endemic coral-reef fishes between photic and mesophotic depths across the Central Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winston, M. S.; Taylor, B. M.; Franklin, E. C.

    2017-06-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) represent the lowest depth distribution inhabited by many coral reef-associated organisms. Research on fishes associated with MCEs is sparse, leading to a critical lack of knowledge of how reef fish found at mesophotic depths may vary from their shallow reef conspecifics. We investigated intraspecific variability in body condition and growth of three Hawaiian endemics collected from shallow, photic reefs (5-33 m deep) and MCEs (40-75 m) throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago and Johnston Atoll: the detritivorous goldring surgeonfish, Ctenochaetus strigosus, and the planktivorous threespot chromis, Chromis verater, and Hawaiian dascyllus, Dascyllus albisella. Estimates of body condition and size-at-age varied between shallow and mesophotic depths; however, these demographic differences were outweighed by the magnitude of variability found across the latitudinal gradient of locations sampled within the Central Pacific. Body condition and maximum body size were lowest in samples collected from shallow and mesophotic Johnston Atoll sites, with no difference occurring between depths. Samples from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands tended to have the highest body condition and reached the largest body sizes, with differences between shallow and mesophotic sites highly variable among species. The findings of this study support newly emerging research demonstrating intraspecific variability in the life history of coral-reef fish species whose distributions span shallow and mesophotic reefs. This suggests not only that the conservation and fisheries management should take into consideration differences in the life histories of reef-fish populations across spatial scales, but also that information derived from studies of shallow fishes be applied with caution to conspecific populations in mesophotic coral environments.

  7. Coral Reef Management in Padaido Marine Tourism Park, Biak Numfor Case Study for the Alternative Solution to Destructive Fishing Practices on Coral Reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Supriharyono

    2003-01-01

    Coral reef is the most productive marine ecosystem in coastal waters. Unfortunately, this ecosystem has already suffered from non-sustainable human use including destructive fishing practices (bombing and cyanide), coral mining, over fishing, settlement pollution and uncontrolled tourism development. These affected the production of those fisheries resources in coral reefs. In order to manage those resources, such alternative to destructive use need to be studied. This paper reports alternat...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Comparative Phylogeography in Fijian Coral Reef Fishes: A Multi-Taxa Approach towards Marine Reserve Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, Joshua A.; Barber, Paul H.

    2012-01-01

    Delineating barriers to connectivity is important in marine reserve design as they describe the strength and number of connections among a reserve's constituent parts, and ultimately help characterize the resilience of the system to perturbations at each node. Here we demonstrate the utility of multi-taxa phylogeography in the design of a system of marine protected areas within Fiji. Gathering mtDNA control region data from five species of coral reef fish in five genera and two families, we find a range of population structure patterns, from those experiencing little (Chrysiptera talboti, Halichoeres hortulanus, and Pomacentrus maafu), to moderate (Amphiprion barberi, Φst = 0.14 and Amblyglyphidodon orbicularis Φst = 0.05) barriers to dispersal. Furthermore estimates of gene flow over ecological time scales suggest species-specific, asymmetric migration among the regions within Fiji. The diversity among species-specific results underscores the limitations of generalizing from single-taxon studies, including the inability to differentiate between a species-specific result and a replication of concordant phylogeographic patterns, and suggests that greater taxonomic coverage results in greater resolution of community dynamics within Fiji. Our results indicate that the Fijian reefs should not be managed as a single unit, and that closely related species can express dramatically different levels of population connectivity. PMID:23118892

  12. Comparative phylogeography in Fijian coral reef fishes: a multi-taxa approach towards marine reserve design.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua A Drew

    Full Text Available Delineating barriers to connectivity is important in marine reserve design as they describe the strength and number of connections among a reserve's constituent parts, and ultimately help characterize the resilience of the system to perturbations at each node. Here we demonstrate the utility of multi-taxa phylogeography in the design of a system of marine protected areas within Fiji. Gathering mtDNA control region data from five species of coral reef fish in five genera and two families, we find a range of population structure patterns, from those experiencing little (Chrysiptera talboti, Halichoeres hortulanus, and Pomacentrus maafu, to moderate (Amphiprion barberi, Φ(st = 0.14 and Amblyglyphidodon orbicularis Φ(st = 0.05 barriers to dispersal. Furthermore estimates of gene flow over ecological time scales suggest species-specific, asymmetric migration among the regions within Fiji. The diversity among species-specific results underscores the limitations of generalizing from single-taxon studies, including the inability to differentiate between a species-specific result and a replication of concordant phylogeographic patterns, and suggests that greater taxonomic coverage results in greater resolution of community dynamics within Fiji. Our results indicate that the Fijian reefs should not be managed as a single unit, and that closely related species can express dramatically different levels of population connectivity.

  13. Predator density and timing of arrival affect reef fish community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stier, Adrian C; Geange, Shane W; Hanson, Kate M; Bolker, Benjamin M

    2013-05-01

    Most empirical studies of predation use simple experimental approaches to quantify the effects of predators on prey (e.g., using constant densities of predators, such as ambient vs. zero). However, predator densities vary in time, and these effects may not be well represented by studies that use constant predator densities. Although studies have independently examined the importance of predator density, temporal variability, and timing of arrival (i.e., early or late relative to prey), the relative contribution of these different predator regimes on prey abundance, diversity, and composition remains poorly understood. The hawkfish (Paracirrhites arcatus), a carnivorous coral reef fish, exhibits substantial variability in patch occupancy, density, and timing of arrival to natural reefs. Our field experiments demonstrated that effects of hawkfish on prey abundance depended on both hawkfish density and the timing of their arrival, but not on variability in hawkfish density. Relative to treatments without hawkfish, hawkfish presence reduced prey abundance by 50%. This effect increased with a doubling of hawkfish density (an additional 33% reduction), and when hawkfish arrived later during community development (a 34% reduction). Hawkfish did not affect within-patch diversity (species richness), but they increased between-patch diversity (beta) based on species incidence (22%), and caused shifts in species composition. Our results suggest that the timing of predator arrival can be as important as predator density in modifying prey abundance and community composition.

  14. 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.

  15. Distribution of fish in seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs: life-stage dependent habitat use in Honduras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaxion-Harm, Jessica; Saunders, James; Speight, Martin R

    2012-06-01

    Many coral reef fish exhibit habitat partitioning throughout their lifetimes. Such patterns are evident in the Caribbean where research has been predominantly conducted in the Eastern region. This work addressed the paucity of data regarding Honduran reef fish distribution in three habitat types (seagrass, mangroves, and coral reefs), by surveying fish on the islands of Utila and Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras (part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef). During July 2nd - Aug 27th 2007 and June 22nd - Aug 17th, 2008, visual surveys (SCUBA and snorkel) were performed in belt transects in different areas: eleven coral reef, six seagrass beds, and six mangroves sites. Juvenile densities and total habitat surface area were used to calculate nursery value of seagrass and mangroves. A total of 113 fish species from 32 families were found during underwater surveys. Multi-dimensional analyses revealed distinct clusters of fish communities in each habitat type by separating fish associated with seagrass beds, mangroves, and coral reefs. Coral reefs showed the highest mean fish species richness and were dominated by adult fish, while juvenile fish characterized seagrass beds and mangrove sites. Habitat use differed widely at the fish species level. Scarus iseri (Striped Parrotfish), the most abundant fish in this study, were found in all three habitat types, while Lutjanus apodus (Schoolmaster Snapper) juveniles were located primarily in mangroves before migrating to coral reefs. Many species used seagrass beds and mangroves as nurseries; however, the nursery value could not be generalized at the family level. Furthermore, for some fish species, nursery value varied between islands and sites. Our results suggest that connectivity of seagrass, mangrove, and coral reef sites at a species and site levels, should be taken into consideration when implementing policy and conservation practices.

  16. Distribution of fish in seagrass, mangroves and coral reefs: life-stage dependent habitat use in Honduras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Jaxion-Harm

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Many coral reef fish exhibit habitat partitioning throughout their lifetimes. Such patterns are evident in the Caribbean where research has been predominantly conducted in the Eastern region. This work addressed the paucity of data regarding Honduran reef fish distribution in three habitat types (seagrass, mangroves, and coral reefs, by surveying fish on the islands of Utila and Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras (part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef. During July 2nd - Aug 27th 2007 and June 22nd - Aug 17th, 2008, visual surveys (SCUBA and snorkel were performed in belt transects in different areas: eleven coral reef, six seagrass beds, and six mangroves sites. Juvenile densities and total habitat surface area were used to calculate nursery value of seagrass and mangroves. A total of 113 fish species from 32 families were found during underwater surveys. Multi-dimensional analyses revealed distinct clusters of fish communities in each habitat type by separating fish associated with seagrass beds, mangroves, and coral reefs. Coral reefs showed the highest mean fish species richness and were dominated by adult fish, while juvenile fish characterized seagrass beds and mangrove sites. Habitat use differed widely at the fish species level. Scarus iseri (Striped Parrotfish, the most abundant fish in this study, were found in all three habitat types, while Lutjanus apodus (Schoolmaster Snapper juveniles were located primarily in mangroves before migrating to coral reefs. Many species used seagrass beds and mangroves as nurseries; however, the nursery value could not be generalized at the family level. Furthermore, for some fish species, nursery value varied between islands and sites. Our results suggest that connectivity of seagrass, mangrove, and coral reef sites at a species and site levels, should be taken into consideration when implementing policy and conservation practices. Rev. Biol. Trop. 60 (2: 683-698. Epub 2012 June 01.

  17. Trematodes of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia: emerging patterns of diversity and richness in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cribb, Thomas H; Bott, Nathan J; Bray, Rodney A; McNamara, Marissa K A; Miller, Terrence L; Nolan, Mathew J; Cutmore, Scott C

    2014-10-15

    The Great Barrier Reef holds the richest array of marine life found anywhere in Australia, including a diverse and fascinating parasite fauna. Members of one group, the trematodes, occur as sexually mature adult worms in almost all Great Barrier Reef bony fish species. Although the first reports of these parasites were made 100 years ago, the fauna has been studied systematically for only the last 25 years. When the fauna was last reviewed in 1994 there were 94 species known from the Great Barrier Reef and it was predicted that there might be 2,270 in total. There are now 326 species reported for the region, suggesting that we are in a much improved position to make an accurate prediction of true trematode richness. Here we review the current state of knowledge of the fauna and the ways in which our understanding of this fascinating group is changing. Our best estimate of the true richness is now a range, 1,100-1,800 species. However there remains considerable scope for even these figures to be incorrect given that fewer than one-third of the fish species of the region have been examined for trematodes. Our goal is a comprehensive characterisation of this fauna, and we outline what work needs to be done to achieve this and discuss whether this goal is practically achievable or philosophically justifiable. Copyright © 2014 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. High population density enhances recruitment and survival of a harvested coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wormald, Clare L; Steele, Mark A; Forrester, Graham E

    2013-03-01

    A negative relationship between population growth and population density (direct density dependence) is necessary for population regulation and is assumed in most models of harvested populations. Experimental tests for density dependence are lacking for large-bodied, harvested fish because of the difficulty of manipulating population density over large areas. We studied a harvested coral reef fish, Lutjanus apodus (schoolmaster snapper), using eight large, isolated natural reefs (0.4-1.6 ha) in the Bahamas as replicates. An initial observational test for density dependence was followed by a manipulation of population density. The manipulation weakened an association between density and shelter-providing habitat features and revealed a positive effect of population density on recruitment and survival (inverse density dependence), but no effect of density on somatic growth. The snappers on an individual reef were organized into a few shoals, and we hypothesize that large shoals on high-density reefs were less vulnerable to large piscivores (groupers and barracudas) than the small shoals on low-density reefs. Reductions in predation risk for individuals in large social groups are well documented, but because snapper shoals occupied reefs the size of small marine reserves, these ecological interactions may influence the outcome of management actions.

  20. Length-based assessment of coral reef fish populations in the main and northwestern Hawaiian islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc O Nadon

    Full Text Available The coral reef fish community of Hawaii is composed of hundreds of species, supports a multimillion dollar fishing and tourism industry, and is of great cultural importance to the local population. However, a major stock assessment of Hawaiian coral reef fish populations has not yet been conducted. Here we used the robust indicator variable "average length in the exploited phase of the population ([Formula: see text]", estimated from size composition data from commercial fisheries trip reports and fishery-independent diver surveys, to evaluate exploitation rates for 19 Hawaiian reef fishes. By and large, the average lengths obtained from diver surveys agreed well with those from commercial data. We used the estimated exploitation rates coupled with life history parameters synthesized from the literature to parameterize a numerical population model and generate stock sustainability metrics such as spawning potential ratios (SPR. We found good agreement between predicted average lengths in an unfished population (from our population model and those observed from diver surveys in the largely unexploited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Of 19 exploited reef fish species assessed in the main Hawaiian Islands, 9 had SPRs close to or below the 30% overfishing threshold. In general, longer-lived species such as surgeonfishes, the redlip parrotfish (Scarus rubroviolaceus, and the gray snapper (Aprion virescens had the lowest SPRs, while short-lived species such as goatfishes and jacks, as well as two invasive species (Lutjanus kasmira and Cephalopholis argus, had SPRs above the 30% threshold.

  1. Length-based assessment of coral reef fish populations in the main and northwestern Hawaiian islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadon, Marc O; Ault, Jerald S; Williams, Ivor D; Smith, Steven G; DiNardo, Gerard T

    2015-01-01

    The coral reef fish community of Hawaii is composed of hundreds of species, supports a multimillion dollar fishing and tourism industry, and is of great cultural importance to the local population. However, a major stock assessment of Hawaiian coral reef fish populations has not yet been conducted. Here we used the robust indicator variable "average length in the exploited phase of the population ([Formula: see text])", estimated from size composition data from commercial fisheries trip reports and fishery-independent diver surveys, to evaluate exploitation rates for 19 Hawaiian reef fishes. By and large, the average lengths obtained from diver surveys agreed well with those from commercial data. We used the estimated exploitation rates coupled with life history parameters synthesized from the literature to parameterize a numerical population model and generate stock sustainability metrics such as spawning potential ratios (SPR). We found good agreement between predicted average lengths in an unfished population (from our population model) and those observed from diver surveys in the largely unexploited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Of 19 exploited reef fish species assessed in the main Hawaiian Islands, 9 had SPRs close to or below the 30% overfishing threshold. In general, longer-lived species such as surgeonfishes, the redlip parrotfish (Scarus rubroviolaceus), and the gray snapper (Aprion virescens) had the lowest SPRs, while short-lived species such as goatfishes and jacks, as well as two invasive species (Lutjanus kasmira and Cephalopholis argus), had SPRs above the 30% threshold.

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of EMF emissions from undersea electric cables on coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilfoyle, Audie K; Jermain, Robert F; Dhanak, Manhar R; Huston, Joseph P; Spieler, Richard E

    2017-11-09

    The objective of this study was to determine if electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions from undersea power cables impacted local marine life, with an emphasis on coral reef fish. The work was done at the South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility of Naval Surface Warfare Center in Broward County, Florida, which has a range of active undersea detection and data transmission cables. EMF emissions from a selected cable were created during non-destructive visual fish surveys on SCUBA. During surveys, the transmission of either alternating current (AC), direct current (DC), or none (OFF) was randomly initiated by the facility at a specified time. Visual surveys were conducted using standardized transect and point-count methods to acquire reef fish abundances and species richness prior to and immediately after a change in transmission frequency. The divers were also tasked to note the reaction of the reef fish to the immediate change in EMF during a power transition. In general, analysis of the data did not find statistical differences among power states and any variables. However, this may be a Type II error as there are strong indications of a potential difference of a higher abundance of reef fish at the sites when the power was off, and further study is warranted. Bioelectromagnetics. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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    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.

  5. Additive partitioning of coral reef fish diversity across hierarchical spatial scales throughout the Caribbean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Francisco-Ramos

    Full Text Available There is an increasing need to examine regional patterns of diversity in coral-reef systems since their biodiversity is declining globally. In this sense, additive partitioning might be useful since it quantifies the contribution of alpha and beta to total diversity across different scales. We applied this approach using an unbalanced design across four hierarchical scales (80 sites, 22 subregions, six ecoregions, and the Caribbean basin. Reef-fish species were compiled from the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF database and distributions were confirmed with published data. Permutation tests were used to compare observed values to those expected by chance. The primary objective was to identify patterns of reef-fish diversity across multiple spatial scales under different scenarios, examining factors such as fisheries and demographic connectivity. Total diversity at the Caribbean scale was attributed to β-diversity (nearly 62% of the species, with the highest β-diversity at the site scale. [Formula: see text]-diversity was higher than expected by chance in all scenarios and at all studied scales. This suggests that fish assemblages are more homogenous than expected, particularly at the ecoregion scale. Within each ecoregion, diversity was mainly attributed to alpha, except for the Southern ecoregion where there was a greater difference in species among sites. β-components were lower than expected in all ecoregions, indicating that fishes within each ecoregion are a subsample of the same species pool. The scenario involving the effects of fisheries showed a shift in dominance for β-diversity from regions to subregions, with no major changes to the diversity patterns. In contrast, demographic connectivity partially explained the diversity pattern. β-components were low within connectivity regions and higher than expected by chance when comparing between them. Our results highlight the importance of ecoregions as a spatial scale to

  6. Additive partitioning of coral reef fish diversity across hierarchical spatial scales throughout the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francisco-Ramos, Vanessa; Arias-González, Jesús Ernesto

    2013-01-01

    There is an increasing need to examine regional patterns of diversity in coral-reef systems since their biodiversity is declining globally. In this sense, additive partitioning might be useful since it quantifies the contribution of alpha and beta to total diversity across different scales. We applied this approach using an unbalanced design across four hierarchical scales (80 sites, 22 subregions, six ecoregions, and the Caribbean basin). Reef-fish species were compiled from the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) database and distributions were confirmed with published data. Permutation tests were used to compare observed values to those expected by chance. The primary objective was to identify patterns of reef-fish diversity across multiple spatial scales under different scenarios, examining factors such as fisheries and demographic connectivity. Total diversity at the Caribbean scale was attributed to β-diversity (nearly 62% of the species), with the highest β-diversity at the site scale. [Formula: see text]-diversity was higher than expected by chance in all scenarios and at all studied scales. This suggests that fish assemblages are more homogenous than expected, particularly at the ecoregion scale. Within each ecoregion, diversity was mainly attributed to alpha, except for the Southern ecoregion where there was a greater difference in species among sites. β-components were lower than expected in all ecoregions, indicating that fishes within each ecoregion are a subsample of the same species pool. The scenario involving the effects of fisheries showed a shift in dominance for β-diversity from regions to subregions, with no major changes to the diversity patterns. In contrast, demographic connectivity partially explained the diversity pattern. β-components were low within connectivity regions and higher than expected by chance when comparing between them. Our results highlight the importance of ecoregions as a spatial scale to conserve local

  7. Diversity among macroalgae-consuming fishes on coral reefs: a transcontinental comparison.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Vergés

    Full Text Available Despite high diversity and abundance of nominally herbivorous fishes on coral reefs, recent studies indicate that only a small subset of taxa are capable of removing dominant macroalgae once these become established. This limited functional redundancy highlights the potential vulnerability of coral reefs to disturbance and stresses the need to assess the functional role of individual species of herbivores. However, our knowledge of species-specific patterns in macroalgal consumption is limited geographically, and there is a need to determine the extent to which patterns observed in specific reefs can be generalised at larger spatial scales. In this study, video cameras were used to quantify rates of macroalgae consumption by fishes in two coral reefs located at a similar latitude in opposite sides of Australia: the Keppel Islands in the Great Barrier Reef (eastern coast and Ningaloo Reef (western coast. The community of nominally herbivorous fish was also characterised in both systems to determine whether potential differences in the species observed feeding on macroalgae were related to spatial dissimilarities in herbivore community composition. The total number of species observed biting on the dominant brown alga Sargassum myriocystum differed dramatically among the two systems, with 23 species feeding in Ningaloo, compared with just 8 in the Keppel Islands. Strong differences were also found in the species composition and total biomass of nominally herbivorous fish, which was an order of magnitude higher in Ningaloo. However, despite such marked differences in the diversity, biomass, and community composition of resident herbivorous fishes, Sargassum consumption was dominated by only four species in both systems, with Naso unicornis and Kyphosus vaigiensis consistently emerging as dominant feeders of macroalgae.

  8. Complementarity of rotating video and underwater visual census for assessing species richness, frequency and density of reef fish on coral reef slopes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delphine Mallet

    Full Text Available Estimating diversity and abundance of fish species is fundamental for understanding community structure and dynamics of coral reefs. When designing a sampling protocol, one crucial step is the choice of the most suitable sampling technique which is a compromise between the questions addressed, the available means and the precision required. The objective of this study is to compare the ability to sample reef fish communities at the same locations using two techniques based on the same stationary point count method: one using Underwater Visual Census (UVC and the other rotating video (STAVIRO. UVC and STAVIRO observations were carried out on the exact same 26 points on the reef slope of an intermediate reef and the associated inner barrier reefs. STAVIRO systems were always deployed 30 min to 1 hour after UVC and set exactly at the same place. Our study shows that; (i fish community observations by UVC and STAVIRO differed significantly; (ii species richness and density of large species were not significantly different between techniques; (iii species richness and density of small species were higher for UVC; (iv density of fished species was higher for STAVIRO and (v only UVC detected significant differences in fish assemblage structure across reef type at the spatial scale studied. We recommend that the two techniques should be used in a complementary way to survey a large area within a short period of time. UVC may census reef fish within complex habitats or in very shallow areas such as reef flat whereas STAVIRO would enable carrying out a large number of stations focused on large and diver-averse species, particularly in the areas not covered by UVC due to time and depth constraints. This methodology would considerably increase the spatial coverage and replication level of fish monitoring surveys.

  9. Dynamics of fish diversity across an environmental gradient in the Seribu Islands reefs off Jakarta

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    HAWIS H. MADDUPPA

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Madduppa HH, Subhan B, Suparyani E, Siregar AM, Arafat D, Tarigan SA, Alimuddin, Khairudi D, Rahmawati F, Bramandito A. 2013. Dynamics of fish diversity across an environmental gradient in the Seribu Islands reefs off Jakarta. Biodiversitas 14: 17-24. The reefs of Seribu Islands have been affected by multitude of anthropogenic pressures. However, the biodiversity of reef fishes across the archipelago linked to environmental condition is poorly known. This study aimed to investigate the biodiversity and the trophic level of fish communities across the archipelago. The study on reef fish communities was conducted on 33 reef sites associated with islands or shoal randomly chosen from each zone along environmental gradients from the inshore water nearest of Jakarta Bay to the offshore water of the outer islands. The study sites represented each sub-districts within the archipelago, namely Pari, Tidung, Panggang, Kelapa, and Harapan. A total of 46,263 individual fishes were counted, belonging to 216 species and 29 families. The multivariate analysis of fish abundance using the Bray Curtis similarity index and non-metric multidimensional scaling (MDS clearly showed the clustering of sub-districts, near and far from Jakarta Bay. The results showed that the sub-districts can be clustered into three groups. Group one consists of one sub-district (Pari located in the southern part of the Seribu Islands near Jakarta Bay. Group two consists of three sub-districts (Tidung, Panggang, Kelapa located in mid of the archipelago. The third group consists of one sub-district (Harapan located in the northern part of the Seribu Islands. Based on species richness and fish diversity indices, the sub-districts can be clustered into two groups (1 = Pari and Tidung, 2 = Panggang Kelapa, Harapan. However, levels of similarities among sub-districts varied. The fish community in sub-district of Pari was dominated by carnivorous, omnivorous and herbivorous fishes, while those

  10. Vertical diel dynamic of fish assemblage associated with an artificial reef (Northern Adriatic Sea

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    Antonello Sala

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The vertical diel activity of a fish assemblage inhabiting the Senigallia artificial reef (northern Adriatic Sea, Italy was evaluated from July to November 1996 using enhanced hydroacoustic techniques. Extensive seabed mapping of the area was done using a multibeam echosounder to obtain background imagery of the reef structures and identify the most suitable locations for placing stationary acoustic transducers. Three acoustic transducers were placed inside the reef area, while a fourth was located in the open sea outside the area. Data analysis was conducted on three different depth layers: surface, midwater and bottom. In each layer, diel fish biomass inside the reef showed two peaks, one in the early morning and the other in the late evening. Slightly different behaviour was observed outside the protected area. Comparison of the layers showed that fish biomass was not homogeneously distributed along the water column throughout the sampling period. There were high values in the middle and bottom layers until the end of August. However, no significant biomass variations in time were observed outside the reef where low values were always recorded in each layer.

  11. Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes.

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    Camilo Mora

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. 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

    2011-04-01

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Habitat biodiversity as a determinant of fish community structure on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    Increased habitat diversity is often predicted to promote the diversity of animal communities because a greater variety of habitats increases the opportunities for species to specialize on different resources and coexist. Although positive correlations between the diversities of habitat and associated animals are often observed, the underlying mechanisms are only now starting to emerge, and none have been tested specifically in the marine environment. Scleractinian corals constitute the primary habitat-forming organisms on coral reefs and, as such, play an important role in structuring associated reef fish communities. Using the same field experimental design in two geographic localities differing in regional fish species composition, we tested the effects of coral species richness and composition on the diversity, abundance, and structure of the local fish community. Richness of coral species overall had a positive effect on fish species richness but had no effect on total fish abundance or evenness. At both localities, certain individual coral species supported similar levels of fish diversity and abundance as the high coral richness treatments, suggesting that particular coral species are disproportionately important in promoting high local fish diversity. Furthermore, in both localities, different microhabitats (coral species) supported very different fish communities, indicating that most reef fish species distinguish habitat at the level of coral species. Fish communities colonizing treatments of higher coral species richness represented a combination of those inhabiting the constituent coral species. These findings suggest that mechanisms underlying habitat-animal interaction in the terrestrial environment also apply to marine systems and highlight the importance of coral diversity to local fish diversity. The loss of particular key coral species is likely to have a disproportionate impact on the biodiversity of associated fish communities.

  17. 76 FR 31874 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-02

    ... fishing. Comment 4: One commenter indicated regionalized gag management should be considered to allow a... with fishing at deeper depths. Rather than waste all of these fish, the Council set the quota at a..., Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Gag Grouper Management...

  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. 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. δ13C 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. PMID:23776658

  20. Environmental Extremes Are Associated with Dietary Patterns in Arabian Gulf Reef Fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rasha Shraim

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is affecting the trophic ecology of reef fishes through changes in reef-associated food availability and fish feeding behavior. The southern Arabian Gulf is a thermally extreme environment, providing an opportunity to study fish diets on reefs with summer temperatures representative of next-century conditions elsewhere. Using 18S metagenomic analyses of stomach contents, we provide the first description of the dietary composition of three abundant reef fishes (Pomacanthus maculosus, Pomacentrus aquilus, and Pomacentrus trichrourus from the thermally extreme southern Arabian Gulf, with five sampling periods across 1 year used to assess seasonal variation in diet. In total, 146 stomach content samples were sequenced, resulting in 9.6 million filtered reads that aligned to 17 classes in 14 phyla. Corals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa dominated stomach contents of all three fishes (overall mean: 74.6, 40.6, and 21.2% of stomach reads, respectively, suggesting coral consumption to be characteristic of reef fish diet in the region. Sanger sequencing validated the presence of corals in the stomach contents and identified two common genera in the region, Porites and Platygyra, as part of the diet. Other common phyla included sponges and annelid worms (P. maculosus: 14.9%, 4.1%; P. aquilus: 5.9%, 16.7%; P. trichrourus: 8.2%, 14.7%, respectively, with the remainder comprised of 11 other phyla. Algae were virtually absent in diets of all three species. The P. maculosus diet was consistently coral/sponge dominated across the year, but there was substantial seasonal variation in the damselfishes, with diets dominated by coral in the hottest month (August; P. aquilus: 89.4%, P. trichrourus: 51.5% but broadest in spring (March, May when corals became less common (<19.8% each and bivalves, free living ascidians, and various arthropods increased; parasitic cestodes were also abundant in damselfish stomachs in spring (mean: >16.4%. These results suggest that

  1. Mixed-species schooling behavior and protective mimicry involving coral reef fish from the genus Haemulon (Haemulidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Henrique Cipresso Pereira

    Full Text Available The present study analyzed heterotypic schooling behavior and protective mimicry relationships involving species of the genus Haemulon and other coral reef fishes on coastal reefs at Tamandaré, Pernambuco State, Northeastern Brazil. The work was performed during 35 hours of direct observation using the "focal animal" method. The observed events involved 14 species of reef fish in eight different families. The phenomenon of mixed schooling appeared to be related to the large number of individuals of the genus Haemulon present in reef environments and to the tendency of individuals with limited populations to try to aggregate in schools (e.g. genus Scarus.

  2. Mesophotic fishes of the Abrolhos Shelf, the largest reef ecosystem in the South Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, T; Pinheiro, H T; Moura, R L; Carvalho-Filho, A; Rocha, L A; Martins, A S; Mazzei, E; Francini-Filho, R B; Amado-Filho, G M; Joyeux, J-C

    2016-07-01

    Fishes inhabiting rhodolith beds and reefs at mesophotic depths on the Abrolhos Shelf, which encompasses the largest and richest coral reef formation in the South Atlantic Ocean, were assessed through technical diving and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). A total of 74 fish species were recorded, including at least one new species, one new record for the south-western Atlantic and six new records for the Abrolhos region. Overfishing, mining and port activities are already threatening many endangered and commercially important species recorded on the mesophotic reefs of Abrolhos Shelf, and the establishment of marine protected areas and off-reserve fisheries regulations are urgently needed. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  3. The influence of pearl oyster farming on reef fish abundance and diversity in Ahe, French Polynesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Laurent E; Carpenter, Kent E

    2014-01-15

    Many cultured pearl farms are located in areas of the Pacific that have thriving, highly diverse fish communities but the impacts of farming on these communities are poorly understood. We studied the effects of pearl oyster farming on shore fish abundance and diversity in the lagoon of Ahe, French Polynesia by adapting roving diver census methods to the coral reef bommies of the lagoon and compared 16 sites with high pearl farming impact to others with no direct impact. Pearl farming has a slightly positive effect on reef fish abundance (N) and no significant impact on fish diversity (H) or community composition. This is important when considering the ecological sustainability of pearl farming in French Polynesia and suggests that a potential synergy between pearl farms and marine conservation should be further explored. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. An Analysis of Artificial Reef Fish Community Structure along the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico Shelf: Potential Impacts of "Rigs-to-Reefs" Programs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Ajemian

    Full Text Available Artificial structures are the dominant complex marine habitat type along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico (GOM shelf. These habitats can consist of a variety of materials, but in this region are primarily comprised of active and reefed oil and gas platforms. Despite being established for several decades, the fish communities inhabiting these structures remain poorly investigated. Between 2012 and 2013 we assessed fish communities at 15 sites using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs. Fish assemblages were quantified from standing platforms and an array of artificial reef types (Liberty Ships and partially removed or toppled platforms distributed over the Texas continental shelf. The depth gradient covered by the surveys (30-84 m and variability in structure density and relief also permitted analyses of the effects of these characteristics on fish richness, diversity, and assemblage composition. ROVs captured a variety of species inhabiting these reefs from large transient piscivores to small herbivorous reef fishes. While structure type and relief were shown to influence species richness and community structure, major trends in species composition were largely explained by the bottom depth where these structures occurred. We observed a shift in fish communities and relatively high diversity at approximately 60 m bottom depth, confirming trends observed in previous studies of standing platforms. This depth was also correlated with some of the largest Red Snapper captured on supplementary vertical longline surveys. Our work indicates that managers of artificial reefing programs (e.g., Rigs-to-Reefs in the GOM should carefully consider the ambient environmental conditions when designing reef sites. For the Texas continental shelf, reefing materials at a 50-60 m bottom depth can serve a dual purpose of enhancing diving experiences and providing the best potential habitat for relatively large Red Snapper.

  5. 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.

  6. Structure of Mesophotic Reef Fish Assemblages in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Atsuko Fukunaga; Kosaki, Randall K.; Daniel Wagner; Corinne Kane

    2016-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) support diverse communities of marine organisms with changes in community structure occurring along a depth gradient. In recent years, MCEs have gained attention due to their depths that provide protection from natural and anthropogenic stressors and their relative stability over evolutionary time periods, yet ecological structures of fish assemblages in MCEs remain largely un-documented. Here, we investigated composition and trophic structure of reef fish a...

  7. Checklist of Reef Fishes of Diani and Galu, Kenya | Bock | Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper provides a checklist of the 195 species of coral reef fish observed in Diani Lagoon between April 1990 and November 1991, and the 203 species observed in Galu Lagoon between October 1991 and March 1994. Community structure, species richness and relative abundances were similar between Diani and ...

  8. Non-random habitat use by coral reef fish recruits in Mafia Island ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The habitat use by nearly 3 000 reef fish recruits, comprising 56 taxa, at seven sites in Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania, were examined. The study was carried out following the 1998 global coral bleaching event and all sites but one were dominated by dead coral and rubble. Mean recruit densities ranged between 0.1 ...

  9. Long-term Trends in Coral Reef Fish Yields and Exploitation Rates ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Daisy Ouya

    tonnes/km2/year) were used to analyse temporal trends in catches of the major demersal families of coral reef fish (e.g., Siganidae, Lethrinidae,. Lutjanidae, Scaridae, Acanthuridae, Serranidae and. 'others'). A locally-weighted scatterplot smoother. (LOWESS) (Cleveland, 1979) was used to fit smoothed trend lines to the full ...

  10. 78 FR 66683 - Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Special Coral Reef Ecosystem Fishing Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-06

    ... and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of final environmental..., LLC, to culture and harvest a coral reef ecosystem management unit fish species in a floating pen in... environmental assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed activity, and finds that there will be no...

  11. 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.

  12. Synthesizing mechanisms of density dependence in reef fishes: behavior, habitat configuration, and observational scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, J Wilson; Samhouri, Jameal F; Stier, Adrian C; Wormald, Clare L; Hamilton, Scott L; Sandin, Stuart A

    2010-07-01

    Coral and rocky reef fish populations are widely used as model systems for the experimental exploration of density-dependent vital rates, but patterns of density-dependent mortality in these systems are not yet fully understood. In particular, the paradigm for strong, directly density-dependent (DDD) postsettlement mortality stands in contrast to recent evidence for inversely density-dependent (IDD) mortality. We review the processes responsible for DDD and IDD per capita mortality in reef fishes, noting that the pattern observed depends on predator and prey behavior, the spatial configuration of the reef habitat, and the spatial and temporal scales of observation. Specifically, predators tend to produce DDD prey mortality at their characteristic spatial scale of foraging, but prey mortality is IDD at smaller spatial scales due to attack-abatement effects (e.g., risk dilution). As a result, DDD mortality may be more common than IDD mortality on patch reefs, which tend to constrain predator foraging to the same scale as prey aggregation, eliminating attack-abatement effects. Additionally, adjacent groups of prey on continuous reefs may share a subset of refuges, increasing per capita refuge availability and relaxing DDD mortality relative to prey on patch reefs, where the patch edge could prevent such refuge sharing. These hypotheses lead to a synthetic framework to predict expected mortality patterns for a variety of scenarios. For nonsocial, nonaggregating species and species that aggregate in order to take advantage of spatially clumped refuges, IDD mortality is possible but likely superseded by DDD refuge competition, especially on patch reefs. By contrast, for species that aggregate socially, mortality should be IDD at the scale of individual aggregations but DDD at larger scales. The results of nearly all prior reef fish studies fit within this framework, although additional work is needed to test many of the predicted outcomes. This synthesis reconciles some

  13. Structure of Mesophotic Reef Fish Assemblages in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsuko Fukunaga

    Full Text Available Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs support diverse communities of marine organisms with changes in community structure occurring along a depth gradient. In recent years, MCEs have gained attention due to their depths that provide protection from natural and anthropogenic stressors and their relative stability over evolutionary time periods, yet ecological structures of fish assemblages in MCEs remain largely un-documented. Here, we investigated composition and trophic structure of reef fish assemblages in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI along a depth gradient from 1 to 67 m. The structure of reef fish assemblages as a whole showed a clear gradient from shallow to mesophotic depths. Fish assemblages at mesophotic depths had higher total densities than those in shallower waters, and were characterized by relatively high densities of planktivores and invertivores and relatively low densities of herbivores. Fishes that typified assemblages at mesophotic depths included six species that are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The present study showed that mesophotic reefs in the NWHI support unique assemblages of fish that are characterized by high endemism and relatively high densities of planktivores. Our findings underscore the ecological importance of these undersurveyed ecosystems and warrant further studies of MCEs.

  14. Predictability of reef fish diversity and abundance using remote sensing data in Diego Garcia (Chagos Archipelago)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purkis, S. J.; Graham, N. A. J.; Riegl, B. M.

    2008-03-01

    The diversity, abundance and distribution of reef fish are related to heterogeneity and physical complexity of benthic habitat. However, the field effort required to evaluate these aspects of the benthos in situ, at the scale of entire reefscapes, is greatly constrained by logistical and resource limitations. With moderate ground truthing, both substratum type and seabed topography are amenable to monitoring using satellite data. Here, remote sensing imagery was used to resolve the bathymetry and benthic character of a reef system in Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory). Replicate fish counts were made at seven measurement stations across the study area using visual census. Monte Carlo simulation revealed that species richness and abundance of several guilds and size groupings of reef fish appraised in situ were correlated with the satellite-derived seabed parameters over areas of seafloor as large as 5,030 m2. The study suggests that satellite remote sensing is capable of predicting habitat complexity at a scale relevant to fish. Furthermore, as larger size classes of fish were better predicted with the satellite habitat complexity data, this technique could be used to predict fish stocks and identify potential sites for marine protected areas where intensive field surveys are not practical.

  15. Structure of Mesophotic Reef Fish Assemblages in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukunaga, Atsuko; Kosaki, Randall K; Wagner, Daniel; Kane, Corinne

    2016-01-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) support diverse communities of marine organisms with changes in community structure occurring along a depth gradient. In recent years, MCEs have gained attention due to their depths that provide protection from natural and anthropogenic stressors and their relative stability over evolutionary time periods, yet ecological structures of fish assemblages in MCEs remain largely un-documented. Here, we investigated composition and trophic structure of reef fish assemblages in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) along a depth gradient from 1 to 67 m. The structure of reef fish assemblages as a whole showed a clear gradient from shallow to mesophotic depths. Fish assemblages at mesophotic depths had higher total densities than those in shallower waters, and were characterized by relatively high densities of planktivores and invertivores and relatively low densities of herbivores. Fishes that typified assemblages at mesophotic depths included six species that are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The present study showed that mesophotic reefs in the NWHI support unique assemblages of fish that are characterized by high endemism and relatively high densities of planktivores. Our findings underscore the ecological importance of these undersurveyed ecosystems and warrant further studies of MCEs.

  16. 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

  17. Farming behaviour of reef fishes increases the prevalence of coral disease associated microbes and black band disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Jordan M; Ainsworth, Tracy D; Choat, J Howard; Connolly, Sean R

    2014-08-07

    Microbial community structure on coral reefs is strongly influenced by coral-algae interactions; however, the extent to which this influence is mediated by fishes is unknown. By excluding fleshy macroalgae, cultivating palatable filamentous algae and engaging in frequent aggression to protect resources, territorial damselfish (f. Pomacentridae), such as Stegastes, mediate macro-benthic dynamics on coral reefs and may significantly influence microbial communities. To elucidate how Stegastes apicalis and Stegastes nigricans may alter benthic microbial assemblages and coral health, we determined the benthic community composition (epilithic algal matrix and prokaryotes) and coral disease prevalence inside and outside of damselfish territories in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. 16S rDNA sequencing revealed distinct bacterial communities associated with turf algae and a two to three times greater relative abundance of phylotypes with high sequence similarity to potential coral pathogens inside Stegastes's territories. These potentially pathogenic phylotypes (totalling 30.04% of the community) were found to have high sequence similarity to those amplified from black band disease (BBD) and disease affected corals worldwide. Disease surveys further revealed a significantly higher occurrence of BBD inside S. nigricans's territories. These findings demonstrate the first link between fish behaviour, reservoirs of potential coral disease pathogens and the prevalence of coral disease. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  18. Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Reef Fish Spawning ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seychelles, encompassing December to April, is similar to that reported for this species on the northern Great Barrier Reef (Johannes & Squire,. 1988). In the case of E. chlorostigma, for which there were too few reports to adequately assess trends, empirical information reveals a protracted spawning period from November ...

  19. 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, fish exhibited risk-averse behavior that may 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Fifty million years of herbivory on coral reefs: fossils, fish and functional innovations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellwood, D R; Goatley, C H R; Brandl, S J; Bellwood, O

    2014-04-22

    The evolution of ecological processes on coral reefs was examined based on Eocene fossil fishes from Monte Bolca, Italy and extant species from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Using ecologically relevant morphological metrics, we investigated the evolution of herbivory in surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) and rabbitfishes (Siganidae). Eocene and Recent surgeonfishes showed remarkable similarities, with grazers, browsers and even specialized, long-snouted forms having Eocene analogues. These long-snouted Eocene species were probably pair-forming, crevice-feeding forms like their Recent counterparts. Although Eocene surgeonfishes likely played a critical role as herbivores during the origins of modern coral reefs, they lacked the novel morphologies seen in modern Acanthurus and Siganus (including eyes positioned high above their low-set mouths). Today, these forms dominate coral reefs in both abundance and species richness and are associated with feeding on shallow, exposed algal turfs. The radiation of these new forms, and their expansion into new habitats in the Oligocene-Miocene, reflects the second phase in the development of fish herbivory on coral reefs that is closely associated with the exploitation of highly productive short algal turfs.

  2. 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.

  3. Fear of fishers: human predation explains behavioral changes in coral reef fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fraser A Januchowski-Hartley

    Full Text Available Prey flight decisions in response to predation risk are increasingly being considered in conservation and management decisions in the terrestrial realm, but are rarely considered in marine systems. This field-based study investigated how the behavioral response of coral reef fish families varied along a gradient of subsistence fishing pressure in Papua New Guinea. Specifically, we examined how fishing pressure was related to pre-flight behavior and flight initiation distance (FID, and whether FID was influenced by body size (centimeters total length, group size (including both con- and hetero-specific individuals, or life-history phase. Fishing pressure was positively associated with higher FID, but only in families that were primarily targeted by spear guns. Among these families, there were variable responses in FID; some families showed increased FID monotonically with fishing pressure, while others showed increased FID only at the highest levels of fishing pressure. Body size was more significant in varying FID at higher levels of fishing pressure. Although family-level differences in pre-flight behavior were reported, such behavior showed low concordance with fishing pressure. FID shows promise as a tool by which compliance and effectiveness of management of reef fisheries can be assessed.

  4. 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.

  5. Simple ecological trade-offs give rise to emergent cross-ecosystem distributions of a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grol, Monique G G; Nagelkerken, Ivan; Rypel, Andrew L; Layman, Craig A

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems are intricately linked by the flow of organisms across their boundaries, and such connectivity can be essential to the structure and function of the linked ecosystems. For example, many coral reef fish populations are maintained by the movement of individuals from spatially segregated juvenile habitats (i.e., nurseries, such as mangroves and seagrass beds) to areas preferred by adults. It is presumed that nursery habitats provide for faster growth (higher food availability) and/or low predation risk for juveniles, but empirical data supporting this hypothesis is surprisingly lacking for coral reef fishes. Here, we investigate potential mechanisms (growth, predation risk, and reproductive investment) that give rise to the distribution patterns of a common Caribbean reef fish species, Haemulon flavolineatum (French grunt). Adults were primarily found on coral reefs, whereas juvenile fish only occurred in non-reef habitats. Contrary to our initial expectations, analysis of length-at-age revealed that growth rates were highest on coral reefs and not within nursery habitats. Survival rates in tethering trials were 0% for small juvenile fish transplanted to coral reefs and 24-47% in the nurseries. As fish grew, survival rates on coral reefs approached those in non-reef habitats (56 vs. 77-100%, respectively). As such, predation seems to be the primary factor driving across-ecosystem distributions of this fish, and thus the primary reason why mangrove and seagrass habitats function as nursery habitat. Identifying the mechanisms that lead to such distributions is critical to develop appropriate conservation initiatives, identify essential fish habitat, and predict impacts associated with environmental change.

  6. Shelter use by large reef fishes: long-term occupancy and the impacts of disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Joanna A.; Goatley, Christopher H. R.; Brandl, Simon J.; Tebbett, Sterling B.; Bellwood, David R.

    2017-12-01

    Large fishes often shelter beneath structures on coral reefs. While avoidance of UV radiation has been proposed as the main driver of this behaviour, sheltering behaviour has only been studied during the day and over short timeframes. Here we applied passive acoustic telemetry techniques to continuously monitor shelter usage patterns by large reef fishes over a period of 7 months. For three sweetlip species (Haemulidae), one snapper species (Lutjanidae) and one surgeonfish species (Acanthuridae), diurnal shelter use was remarkably consistent, with occupation of shelters throughout the day, and under all weather conditions, suggesting that factors other than UV avoidance may be important in driving shelter use. Large-scale observations revealed that all fish species appeared to undertake long-distance migrations (>1 km) away from their shelter sites each night. With the exception of the surgeonfish Acanthurus dussumieri, all fishes returned to the same areas to shelter for the entire study period. Individuals of A. dussumieri, however, failed to return on the night of a severe tropical cyclone. They never reappeared at the shelter sites. The disappearance of this species suggests that A. dussumieri probably forage at night in a different location to the carnivorous haemulids and lutjanids. Overall, this study highlights the long-term importance of shelter structures for fishes that may range over large areas of coral reefs.

  7. Quantitative species-level ecology of reef fish larvae via metabarcoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimmerling, Naama; Zuqert, Omer; Amitai, Gil; Gurevich, Tamara; Armoza-Zvuloni, Rachel; Kolesnikov, Irina; Berenshtein, Igal; Melamed, Sarah; Gilad, Shlomit; Benjamin, Sima; Rivlin, Asaph; Ohavia, Moti; Paris, Claire B; Holzman, Roi; Kiflawi, Moshe; Sorek, Rotem

    2018-02-01

    The larval pool of coral reef fish has a crucial role in the dynamics of adult fish populations. However, large-scale species-level monitoring of species-rich larval pools has been technically impractical. Here, we use high-throughput metabarcoding to study larval ecology in the Gulf of Aqaba, a region that is inhabited by >500 reef fish species. We analysed 9,933 larvae from 383 samples that were stratified over sites, depth and time. Metagenomic DNA extracted from pooled larvae was matched to a mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I barcode database compiled for 77% of known fish species within this region. This yielded species-level reconstruction of the larval community, allowing robust estimation of larval spatio-temporal distributions. We found significant correlations between species abundance in the larval pool and in local adult assemblages, suggesting a major role for larval supply in determining local adult densities. We documented larval flux of species whose adults were never documented in the region, suggesting environmental filtering as the reason for the absence of these species. Larvae of several deep-sea fishes were found in shallow waters, supporting their dispersal over shallow bathymetries, potentially allowing Lessepsian migration into the Mediterranean Sea. Our method is applicable to any larval community and could assist coral reef conservation and fishery management efforts.

  8. Full-sibs in cohorts of newly settled coral reef fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo Bernardi

    Full Text Available Reef fishes exhibit a bipartite life cycle where a benthic adult stage is preceded by a pelagic dispersal phase during which larvae are presumed to be mixed and transported by oceanic currents. Genetic analyses based on twelve microsatellite loci of 181 three-spot dascyllus (Dascyllus trimaculatus that settled concurrently on a small reef in French Polynesia revealed 11 groups of siblings (1 full sibs and 10 half-sibs. This is the first evidence that fish siblings can journey together throughout their entire planktonic dispersal phase (nearly a month long for three-spot dascyllus. Our findings have critical implications for the dynamics and genetic structure of fish populations, as well as for the design of marine protected areas and management of fisheries.

  9. Connectivity of microbial populations in coral reef environments: microbiomes of sediment, fish and water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biddle, J.; Leon, Z. R.; McCargar, M.; Drew, J.

    2016-12-01

    The benthic environments of coral reefs are heavily shaped by physiochemical factors, but also the ecological interactions of the animals and plants in the reef ecosystem. Microbial populations may be shared between the ecosystem of sediments, seagrasses and reef fish, however it is unknown to what degree. We investigated the potential connections between the microbiomes of sediments, seagrass blades and roots (Syringodium isoetifolium), Surgeonfish (A. nigricauda, Acanthurinae sp. unknown, C. striatus) and Parrotfish (C. spinidens) guts in reef areas of Fiji. We contrasted these with sediment samples from the Florida Keys and ocean water microbiomes from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. In general, we see a higher diversity of sediment microbial communities in Fiji compared to the Florida Keys. However, many of the same taxa are shared in these chemically similar environments, whereas the ocean water environments are completely distinct with few overlapping groups. We were able to show connectivity of a core microbiome between seagrass, fish and sediments in Fiji, including identifying a potential environmental reservoir of a surgeonfish symbiont, Epulopiscum. Finally, we show that fish guts have different microbial populations from crop to hindgut, and that microbial populations differ based on food source. The connection of these ecosystems suggest that the total microbiome of these environments may vary as their animal inhabitants shift in a changing ocean.

  10. Indirect effects of sea otter recovery on temperate reef fish

    OpenAIRE

    Silberg, Joshua Neal

    2015-01-01

    The loss or recovery of apex predators can have profound positive or negative ecological and socio-economic impacts. Effects of predator depletion or recovery are frequently accompanied by time lags, which are often context-dependent. In temperate rocky reef ecosystems, sea otters (Enhydra lutris) trigger a cascade of direct and indirect effects driving transitions between kelp-depleted and kelp-dominated states. We quantified the indirect effects of sea otter recovery on copper rockfish (Seb...

  11. The social and mating system of the herbivorous reef fish Sparisoma viride : One-male versus multi-male groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rooij, J.M.; Kroon, Frederieke J.; Videler, J.J.

    1996-01-01

    We present a detailed description of the social and mating system of the protogynous reef herbivore Sparisoma viride at the fringing reef of Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles). Initial phase (IP) fish and terminal phase (TP) males occur either in one- or in multi-male groups, which are compared

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxton, Avery B; Pickering, Emily A; Adler, Alyssa M; Taylor, J Christopher; Peterson, Charles H

    2017-01-01

    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 reefs on the seafloor

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 77 FR 31734 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-30

    ... through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation..., from 2011 to 2012. In 2011, all Gulf states, except Texas, implemented compatible fishing seasons for... component of the reef fish fishery tends to fish in deeper water and has a higher discard mortality rate...

  17. 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.

  18. 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:...

  19. 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...

  20. 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,...

  1. Depth distribution and abundance of a coral-associated reef fish: roles of recruitment and post-recruitment processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smallhorn-West, Patrick F.; Bridge, Tom C. L.; Munday, Philip L.; Jones, Geoffrey P.

    2017-03-01

    The abundance of many reef fish species varies with depth, but the demographic processes influencing this pattern remain unclear. Furthermore, while the distribution of highly specialized reef fish often closely matches that of their habitat, it is unclear whether changes in distribution patterns over depth are the result of changes in habitat availability or independent depth-related changes in population parameters such as recruitment and mortality. Here, we show that depth-related patterns in the distribution of the coral-associated goby, Paragobiodon xanthosoma, are strongly related to changes in recruitment and performance (growth and survival). Depth-stratified surveys showed that while the coral host, Seriatopora hystrix, extended into deeper water (>20 m), habitat use by P. xanthosoma declined with depth and both adult and juvenile P. xanthosoma were absent below 20 m. Standardization of S. hystrix abundance at three depths (5, 15 and 30 m) demonstrated that recruitment of P. xanthosoma was not determined by the availability of its habitat. Reciprocal transplantation of P. xanthosoma to S. hystrix colonies among three depths (5, 15 and 30 m) then established that individual performance (survival and growth) was lowest in deeper water; mortality was three times higher and growth greatly reduced in individuals transplanted to 30 m. Individuals collected from 15 m also exhibited growth rates 50% lower than fish from shallow depths. These results indicate that the depth distribution of this species is limited not by the availability of its coral habitat, but by demographic costs associated with living in deeper water.

  2. 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 ...

  3. Distribution and reproduction of the reef fish Petrus rupestris (Pisces ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1988-05-06

    May 6, 1988 ... Bay, throughout the year. P. rupestris were found to be rudimentary hermaphrodites. The development of the functional sexes, and the occurrence of sexual dichromatism, are described. Sexual maturity is attained at about 575 mm fork length in those fishes in the spawning areas. Reproductively ripe fishes ...

  4. THE BEHAVIOUR OF REEF-DWELLING SPARID FISHES

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    I acknowledge the permission of the Secretary of National Education to publish this paper. REFERENCES. BIDEN, C.L. 1930. Sea angling fishes 0/ the Cape. London: Oxford University Press. PENRITH, MJ. (in press). Sex reversal in the sparid fish Chrysoblephuslaticeps. Koedoe. STANDER, G.H. & NEPGEN, C.S. 1968.

  5. The biogeography of tropical reef fishes: endemism and provinciality through time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowman, Peter F; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Floeter, Sergio R

    2017-11-01

    The largest marine biodiversity hotspot straddles the Indian and Pacific Oceans, driven by taxa associated with tropical coral reefs. Centred on the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA), this biodiversity hotspot forms the 'bullseye' of a steep gradient in species richness from this centre to the periphery of the vast Indo-Pacific region. Complex patterns of endemism, wide-ranging species and assemblage differences have obscured our understanding of the genesis of this biodiversity pattern and its maintenance across two-thirds of the world's oceans. But time-calibrated molecular phylogenies coupled with ancestral biogeographic estimates have provided a valuable framework in which to examine the origins of coral reef fish biodiversity across the tropics. Herein, we examine phylogenetic and biogeographic data for coral reef fishes to highlight temporal patterns of marine endemism and tropical provinciality. The ages and distribution of endemic lineages have often been used to identify areas of species creation and demise in the marine tropics and discriminate among multiple hypotheses regarding the origins of biodiversity in the IAA. Despite a general under-sampling of endemic fishes in phylogenetic studies, the majority of locations today contain a mixture of potential paleo- and neo-endemic fishes, pointing to multiple historical processes involved in the origin and maintenance of the IAA biodiversity hotspot. Increased precision and sampling of geographic ranges for reef fishes has permitted the division of discrete realms, regions and provinces across the tropics. Yet, such metrics are only beginning to integrate phylogenetic relatedness and ancestral biogeography. Here, we integrate phylogenetic diversity with ancestral biogeographic estimation of lineages to show how assemblage structure and tropical provinciality has changed through time. © 2017 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Coral recruitment and potential recovery of eutrophied and blast fishing impacted reefs in Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawall, Yvonne; Jompa, Jamaluddin; Litaay, Magdalena; Maddusila, Andi; Richter, Claudio

    2013-09-15

    Coral recruitment was assessed in highly diverse and economically important Spermonde Archipelago, a reef system subjected to land-based sources of siltation/pollution and destructive fishing, over a period of 2 years. Recruitment on settlement tiles reached up to 705 spat m(-2) yr(-1) and was strongest in the dry season (July-October), except off-shore, where larvae settled earlier. Pocilloporidae dominated near-shore, while a more diverse community of Acroporidae, Poritidae and others settled in the less polluted mid-shelf and off-shore reefs. Non-coral fouling community appeared to hardly influence initial coral settlement on the tiles, although, this does not necessarily infer low coral post-settlement mortality, which may be enhanced at the near- and off-shore reefs as indicated by increased abundances of potential space competitors on natural substrate. Blast fishing showed no local reduction in coral recruitment and live hard coral cover increased in oligotrophic reefs, indicating potential for coral recovery, if managed effectively. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laure Carassou

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Phylogeography of colour polymorphism in the coral reef fish Pseudochromis fuscus, from Papua New Guinea and the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messmer, Vanessa; van Herwerden, Lynne; Munday, Philip L.; Jones, Geoffrey P.

    2005-11-01

    Body colour has played a significant role in the evolution of coral reef fishes, but the phylogenetic level at which colour variation is expressed and the evolutionary processes driving the development and persistence of different colour patterns are often poorly understood. The aim of this study was to examine the genetic relationships between multiple colour morphs of Pseudochromis fuscus (family Pseudochromidae), both within and among geographic locations. Pseudochromis fuscus is currently described as a single species, but exhibits at least six discrete colour morphs throughout its range. In this study, P. fuscus from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, formed three genetically distinct clades based on mitochondrial DNA (control region) sequence data: (1) yellow and brown morphs from the GBR and southern PNG, as well as an orange morph from southern PNG; (2) a pink morph from southern PNG; and (3) all three morphs (pink, orange and grey) found in Kimbe Bay, northern PNG. The three groups showed deep levels of divergence ( d=14.6-25.4%), suggesting that P. fuscus is a complex of polychromatic species, rather than a single widespread species with many different colour morphs. Population genetic analyses indicate that the three clades have experienced unique evolutionary histories, possibly from differential effects of sea level fluctuations, barriers to gene flow and historical biogeography.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

    Andradi-Brown, Dominic A; 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.

  18. Peixes recifais da costa da Paraíba, Brasil Reef fishes from Paraíba, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz A. Rocha

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available The coral reef is an ecossystem which evokes great interest, for its beaury, species diversity and fisheries potential. The coast of Paraíba State, northeast Brazil, possesses several natural reefs and shipwrecks which are inhabited by a rich fish fauna. In order to survey the reef fish fauna of Paraíba State, a total of 118 dives, utilizing SCUBA diving techniques, were carriedoutin 27samplingpoints (depths: 0,5-66m, from February/1995 to May/1996. Specimens were collected whenever underwater identification was precluded. A total of 157 known species belonging to 59 families were found. Four unidentified species, one dasyatid, one haemulid, one scarid, and one labrid were recorded. Haemulidae was the most representative family in number of individuais, whereas Carangidae was the most speciose family. This paper is part of a broader study of the northeast Brazilian reef fishes.

  19. Variability in spatial and temporal occurrence of presettlement and settlement-stage fishes associated with shallow reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattrick, P; Strydom, N A

    2017-03-01

    Presettlement and settlement-stage fishes were studied in a large, log-spiral bay in temperate South Africa. The aim was to describe the assemblage composition, density and distribution associated with four types of habitats common to the bay: high profile reef, low profile reef, reef-associated sand and open sand spatially separated from reef. Samples were collected with both a plankton ring net and a light trap at each habitat type as part of a mixed-method approach. A total of 4084 presettlement and settlement-stage fishes belonging to 31 teleost families and 84 species were captured. Reef-associated sand and open sand habitats yielded higher species richness and diversity than the high and low-profile reef habitats. Engraulidae, Gobiidae, Clupeidae and Cynoglossidae were the dominant fish families captured with the ring net, while Engraulidae, Clupeidae, Carangidae and Clinidae were captured with the light trap. A temporal difference in the abundance of presettlement fishes occurred between the sampling periods with highest values recorded during the summer settlement period. Habitat type together with associated physico-chemical variables played a pivotal role in determining presettlement fish species composition, density and distribution across habitat types. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  20. Rapid transgenerational acclimation of a tropical reef fish to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donelson, J. M.; Munday, P. L.; McCormick, M. I.; Pitcher, C. R.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the capacity of species to acclimate and adapt to expected temperature increases is critical for making predictions about the biological impacts of global warming, yet it is one of the least certain aspects of climate change science. Tropical species are considered to be especially sensitive to climate change because they live close to their thermal maximum and exhibit limited capacity for acclimation. Here, we demonstrate that a tropical reef fish is highly sensitive to small increases in water temperature, but can rapidly acclimate over multiple generations. Acute exposure to elevated temperatures (+1.5°C and +3.0°C) predicted to occur this century caused a 15% and 30% respective decrease in individual's maximum ability to perform aerobic activities such as swimming or foraging, known as aerobic scope. However, complete compensation in aerobic scope occurred when both parents and offspring were reared throughout their lives at elevated temperature. Such acclimation could reduce the impact of warming temperatures and allow populations to persist across their current range. This study reveals the importance of transgenerational acclimation as a mechanism for coping with rapid climate change and highlights that single generation studies risk underestimating the potential of species to cope.

  1. Historical factors that have shaped the evolution of tropical reef fishes: a review of phylogenies, biogeography, and remaining questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowman, Peter F.

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity patterns across the marine tropics have intrigued evolutionary biologists and ecologists alike. Tropical coral reefs host 1/3 of all marine species of fish on 0.1% of the ocean’s surface. Yet our understanding of how mechanistic processes have underpinned the generation of this diversity is limited. However, it has become clear that the biogeographic history of the marine tropics has played an important role in shaping the diversity of tropical reef fishes we see today. In the last decade, molecular phylogenies and age estimation techniques have provided a temporal framework in which the ancestral biogeographic origins of reef fish lineages have been inferred, but few have included fully sampled phylogenies or made inferences at a global scale. We are currently at a point where new sequencing technologies are accelerating the reconstruction and the resolution of the Fish Tree of Life. How will a complete phylogeny of fishes benefit the study of biodiversity in the tropics? Here, I review the literature concerning the evolutionary history of reef-associated fishes from a biogeographic perspective. I summarize the major biogeographic and climatic events over the last 65 million years that have regionalized the tropical marine belt and what effect they have had on the molecular record of fishes and global biodiversity patterns. By examining recent phylogenetic trees of major reef associated groups, I identify gaps to be filled in order to obtain a clearer picture of the origins of coral reef fish assemblages. Finally, I discuss questions that remain to be answered and new approaches to uncover the mechanistic processes that underpin the evolution of biodiversity on coral reefs. PMID:25431581

  2. Individual consistency in the behaviors of newly-settled reef fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James R. White

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. First report of scuticociliatosis caused by Uronema sp. in ornamental reef fish imported into Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Pedro Henrique Magalhães; Balian, Simone de Carvalho; Matushima, Eliana Reiko; Pádua, Santiago Benites de; Martins, Maurício Laterça

    2017-01-01

    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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    in 1991 in an urban and tourism development area. There were ... fishermen and boat operators who take tourists out to snorkel. This led to ..... OB (2009) Seasonal variations in the diversity, abundance and composition of species in an estuarine fish community in the Tropical Eastern. Pacific, Mexico. The Ichthyological.

  9. Reef fishes recruited at midwater coral nurseries consume ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Each nursery consisted of a 6 m × 6 m PVC pipe frame, layered with a recycled 5.5-cm-mesh tuna net. Human cleaning effort was calculated based on daily dive logs. Nursery-associated fish assemblages and behaviour were video-recorded prior to harvesting corals after a 20-month growth period and seven months ...

  10. 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.

  11. Feeding characteristics reveal functional distinctions among browsing herbivorous fishes on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streit, Robert P.; Hoey, Andrew S.; Bellwood, David R.

    2015-12-01

    The removal of macroalgal biomass by fishes is a key process on coral reefs. Numerous studies have identified the fish species responsible for removing mature macroalgae, and have identified how this varies spatially, temporally, and among different algal types. None, however, have considered the behavioural and morphological traits of the browsing fishes and how this may influence the removal of macroalgal material. Using video observations of fish feeding on the brown macroalga Sargassum polycystum, we quantified the feeding behaviour and morphology of the four dominant browsing species on the Great Barrier Reef ( Kyphosus vaigiensis, Naso unicornis, Siganus canaliculatus, and Siganus doliatus). The greatest distinction between species was the algal material they targeted. K. vaigiensis and N. unicornis bit on the entire macroalgal thallus in approximately 90 % of bites. In contrast, Si. canaliculatus and Si. doliatus avoided biting the stalks, with 80-98 % of bites being on the macroalgal leaves only. This distinctive grouping into `entire thallus-biters' versus `leaf-biters' was not supported by size-standardized measures of biting morphology. Rather, species-specific adult body sizes, tooth shape, and feeding behaviour appear to underpin this functional distinction, with adults of the two larger fish species ( N. unicornis and K. vaigiensis) eating the entire macroalgal thallus, while the two smaller species ( Si. canaliculatus and Si. doliatus) bite only leaves. These findings caution against assumed homogeneity within this, and potentially other, functional groups on coral reefs. As functional redundancy within the macroalgal browsers is limited, the smaller `leaf-biting' species are unlikely to be able to compensate functionally for the loss of larger `entire thallus-biting' species.

  12. Comparative phylogeography of Atlantic reef fishes indicates both origin and accumulation of diversity in the Caribbean

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    Robertson D Ross

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Two processes may contribute to the formation of global centers of biodiversity: elevated local speciation rates (the center of origin hypothesis, and greater accumulation of species formed elsewhere (the center of accumulation hypothesis. The relative importance of these processes has long intrigued marine biogeographers but rarely has been tested. Results To examine how origin and accumulation affected the Greater Caribbean center of diversity, we conducted a range-wide survey of mtDNA cytochrome b in the widespread Atlantic reef damselfish Chromis multilineata (N = 183 that included 10 locations in all four tropical Atlantic biogeographic provinces: the Greater Caribbean, Brazil, the mid-Atlantic ridge, and the tropical eastern Atlantic. We analyzed this data and re-evaluated published genetic data from other reef fish taxa (wrasses and parrotfishes to resolve the origin and dispersal of mtDNA lineages. Parsimony networks, mismatch distributions and phylogenetic analyses identify the Caribbean population of C. multilineata as the oldest, consistent with the center of origin model for the circum-Atlantic radiation of this species. However, some Caribbean haplotypes in this species were derived from Brazilian lineages, indicating that mtDNA diversity has not only originated but also accumulated in the Greater Caribbean. Data from the wrasses and parrotfishes indicate an origin in the Greater Caribbean in one case, Caribbean origin plus accumulation in another, and accumulation in the remaining two. Conclusion Our analyses indicate that the Greater Caribbean marine biodiversity hotspot did not arise through the action of a single mode of evolutionary change. Reef fish distributions at the boundaries between Caribbean and Brazilian provinces (the SE Caribbean and NE Brazil, respectively indicate that the microevolutionary patterns we detected in C. multilineata and other reef fishes translate into macroevolutionary processes

  13. Comparative phylogeography of Atlantic reef fishes indicates both origin and accumulation of diversity in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Luiz A; Rocha, Claudia R; Robertson, D Ross; Bowen, Brian W

    2008-05-22

    Two processes may contribute to the formation of global centers of biodiversity: elevated local speciation rates (the center of origin hypothesis), and greater accumulation of species formed elsewhere (the center of accumulation hypothesis). The relative importance of these processes has long intrigued marine biogeographers but rarely has been tested. To examine how origin and accumulation affected the Greater Caribbean center of diversity, we conducted a range-wide survey of mtDNA cytochrome b in the widespread Atlantic reef damselfish Chromis multilineata (N = 183) that included 10 locations in all four tropical Atlantic biogeographic provinces: the Greater Caribbean, Brazil, the mid-Atlantic ridge, and the tropical eastern Atlantic. We analyzed this data and re-evaluated published genetic data from other reef fish taxa (wrasses and parrotfishes) to resolve the origin and dispersal of mtDNA lineages. Parsimony networks, mismatch distributions and phylogenetic analyses identify the Caribbean population of C. multilineata as the oldest, consistent with the center of origin model for the circum-Atlantic radiation of this species. However, some Caribbean haplotypes in this species were derived from Brazilian lineages, indicating that mtDNA diversity has not only originated but also accumulated in the Greater Caribbean. Data from the wrasses and parrotfishes indicate an origin in the Greater Caribbean in one case, Caribbean origin plus accumulation in another, and accumulation in the remaining two. Our analyses indicate that the Greater Caribbean marine biodiversity hotspot did not arise through the action of a single mode of evolutionary change. Reef fish distributions at the boundaries between Caribbean and Brazilian provinces (the SE Caribbean and NE Brazil, respectively) indicate that the microevolutionary patterns we detected in C. multilineata and other reef fishes translate into macroevolutionary processes and that origin and accumulation have acted in concert

  14. Contrasting effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on coral-associated reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonin, Mary C; Almany, Glenn R; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2011-07-01

    Disturbance can result in the fragmentation and/or loss of suitable habitat, both of which can have important consequences for survival, species interactions, and resulting patterns of local diversity. However, effects of habitat loss and fragmentation are typically confounded during disturbance events, and previous attempts to determine their relative significance have proved ineffective. Here we experimentally manipulated live coral habitats to examine the potential independent and interactive effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on survival, abundance, and species richness of recruitment-stage, coral-associated reef fishes. Loss of 75% of live coral from experimental reefs resulted in low survival of a coral-associated damselfish and low abundance and richness of other recruits 16 weeks after habitat manipulations. In contrast, fragmentation had positive effects on damselfish survival and resulted in greater abundance and species richness of other recruits. We hypothesize that spacing of habitat through fragmentation weakens competition within and among species. Comparison of effect sizes over the course of the study period revealed that, in the first six weeks following habitat manipulations, the positive effects of fragmentation were at least four times stronger than the effects of habitat loss. This initial positive effect of fragmentation attenuated considerably after 16 weeks, whereas the negative effects of habitat loss increased in strength over time. There was little indication that the amount of habitat influenced the magnitude of the habitat fragmentation effect. Numerous studies have reported dramatic declines in coral reef fish abundance and diversity in response to disturbances that cause the loss and fragmentation of coral habitats. Our results suggest that these declines occur as a result of habitat loss, not habitat fragmentation. Positive fragmentation effects may actually buffer against the negative effects of habitat loss and contribute

  15. Phylogeography and the conservation of coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, L. A.; Craig, M. T.; Bowen, B. W.

    2007-09-01

    Here we present a review of how the study of the geographic distribution of genetic lineages (phylogeography) has helped identify management units, evolutionary significant units, cryptic species, and areas of endemism, and how this information can help efforts to achieve effective conservation of coral reefs. These studies have confirmed the major biogeographic barriers that were originally identified by tropical species distributions. Ancient separations, identified primarily with mtDNA sequence comparisons, became apparent between populations on each side of the barriers. The general lack of correlation between pelagic larval duration and genetic connectivity across barriers indicates that life history and ecology can be as influential as oceanography and geography in shaping evolutionary partitions within ocean basins. Hence, conservation strategies require a recognition of ecological hotspots, those areas where habitat heterogeneity promotes speciation, in addition to more traditional approaches based on biogeography. Finally, the emerging field of genomics will add a new dimension to phylogeography, allowing the study of genes that are pertinent to recent and ongoing differentiation, and ultimately providing higher resolution to detect evolutionary significant units that have diverged in an ecological time scale.

  16. Structure, food and shade attract juvenile coral reef fish to mangrove and seagrass habitats: a field experiment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verwey, M.C.; Nagelkerken, I.; Graaff, D. de; Peeters, M.; Bakker, E.J.; Velde, G. van der

    2006-01-01

    Mangroves and seagrass beds are considered nurseries for juvenile fish, but little experimental evidence exists to elucidate which factors make them attractive habitats. A multifactorial field experiment on the use of these habitats by juvenile reef fish and their behaviour was performed during

  17. Structure, food and shade attract juvenile coral reef fish to mangrove and seagrass habitats: a field experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verweij, M.C.; Nagelkerken, I.; Graaff, de D.; Peeters, M.; Bakker, E.J.; Velde, van der G.

    2006-01-01

    Mangroves and seagrass beds are considered nurseries for juvenile fish, but little experimental evidence exists to elucidate which factors make them attractive habitats. A multifactorial field experiment on the use of these habitats by juvenile reef fish and their behaviour was performed during

  18. 76 FR 50143 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-12

    ... social and economic benefits for recreational red snapper fishermen. Recreational red snapper data from... the Recreational Quota for Red Snapper and Suspend the Recreational Red Snapper Closure Date AGENCY... red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish fishery for the 2011 fishing season and suspend the...

  19. Effects of elevated temperature on coral reef fishes: loss of hypoxia tolerance and inability to acclimate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, Göran E; Ostlund-Nilsson, Sara; Munday, Philip L

    2010-08-01

    Water temperature is expected to rise on coral reefs due to global warming. Here, we have examined if increased temperature reduces the hypoxia tolerance of coral reef fish (measured as critical [O(2)]), and if temperature acclimation in adults can change the resting rate of O(2) consumption and critical [O(2)]. Two common species from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) were tested, Doederlein's cardinalfish (Ostorhinchus doederleini) and lemon damselfish (Pomacentrus moluccensis). In both species, a 3 degrees C rise in water temperature caused increased oxygen consumption and reduced hypoxia tolerance, changes that were not reduced by acclimation to the higher temperature for 7 to 22 days. Critical [O(2)] increased by 71% in the cardinalfish and by 23% in the damselfish at 32 degrees C compared to 29 degrees C. The higher oxygen needs are likely to reduce the aerobic scope, which could negatively affect the capacity for feeding, growth and reproduction. The reduced hypoxia tolerance may force the fishes out of their nocturnal shelters in the coral matrix, exposing them to predation. The consequences for population and species survival could be severe unless developmental phenotypic plasticity within generations or genetic adaptation between generations could produce individuals that are more tolerant to a warmer future. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Making evolutionary history count: biodiversity planning for coral reef fishes and the conservation of evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heyden, Sophie

    2017-03-01

    Anthropogenic activities are having devastating impacts on marine systems with numerous knock-on effects on trophic functioning, species interactions and an accelerated loss of biodiversity. Establishing conservation areas can not only protect biodiversity, but also confer resilience against changes to coral reefs and their inhabitants. Planning for protection and conservation in marine systems is complex, but usually focuses on maintaining levels of biodiversity and protecting special and unique landscape features while avoiding negative impacts to socio-economic benefits. Conversely, the integration of evolutionary processes that have shaped extant species assemblages is rarely taken into account. However, it is as important to protect processes as it is to protect patterns for maintaining the evolutionary trajectories of populations and species. This review focuses on different approaches for integrating genetic analyses, such as phylogenetic diversity, phylogeography and the delineation of management units, temporal and spatial monitoring of genetic diversity and quantification of adaptive variation for protecting evolutionary resilience, into marine spatial planning, specifically for coral reef fishes. Many of these concepts are not yet readily applied to coral reef fish studies, but this synthesis highlights their potential and the importance of including historical processes into systematic biodiversity planning for conserving not only extant, but also future, biodiversity and its evolutionary potential.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sediment pollution impacts sensory ability and performance of settling coral-reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, J Jack; Lecchini, David; Beck, Hayden J; Cadiou, Gwenael; Lecellier, Gael; Booth, David J; Nakamura, Yohei

    2016-01-01

    Marine organisms are under threat globally from a suite of anthropogenic sources, but the current emphasis on global climate change has deflected the focus from local impacts. While the effect of increased sedimentation on the settlement of coral species is well studied, little is known about the impact on larval fish. Here, the effect of a laterite "red soil" sediment pollutant on settlement behaviour and post-settlement performance of reef fish was tested. In aquarium tests that isolated sensory cues, we found significant olfaction-based avoidance behaviour and disruption of visual cue use in settlement-stage larval fish at 50 mg L(-1), a concentration regularly exceeded in situ during rain events. In situ light trap catches showed lower abundance and species richness in the presence of red soil, but were not significantly different due to high variance in the data. Prolonged exposure to red soil produced altered olfactory cue responses, whereby fish in red soil made a likely maladaptive choice for dead coral compared to controls where fish chose live coral. Other significant effects of prolonged exposure included decreased feeding rates and body condition. These effects on fish larvae reared over 5 days occurred in the presence of a minor drop in pH and may be due to the chemical influence of the sediment. Our results show that sediment pollution of coral reefs may have more complex effects on the ability of larval fish to successfully locate suitable habitat than previously thought, as well as impacting on their post-settlement performance and, ultimately, recruitment success.

  4. Global Biogeography of Reef Fishes: A Hierarchical Quantitative Delineation of Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulbicki, Michel; Parravicini, Valeriano; Bellwood, David R.; Arias-Gonzàlez, Ernesto; Chabanet, Pascale; Floeter, Sergio R.; Friedlander, Alan; McPherson, Jana; Myers, Robert E.; Vigliola, Laurent; Mouillot, David

    2013-01-01

    Delineating regions is an important first step in understanding the evolution and biogeography of faunas. However, quantitative approaches are often limited at a global scale, particularly in the marine realm. Reef fishes are the most diversified group of marine fishes, and compared to most other phyla, their taxonomy and geographical distributions are relatively well known. Based on 169 checklists spread across all tropical oceans, the present work aims to quantitatively delineate biogeographical entities for reef fishes at a global scale. Four different classifications were used to account for uncertainty related to species identification and the quality of checklists. The four classifications delivered converging results, with biogeographical entities that can be hierarchically delineated into realms, regions and provinces. All classifications indicated that the Indo-Pacific has a weak internal structure, with a high similarity from east to west. In contrast, the Atlantic and the Eastern Tropical Pacific were more strongly structured, which may be related to the higher levels of endemism in these two realms. The “Coral Triangle”, an area of the Indo-Pacific which contains the highest species diversity for reef fishes, was not clearly delineated by its species composition. Our results show a global concordance with recent works based upon endemism, environmental factors, expert knowledge, or their combination. Our quantitative delineation of biogeographical entities, however, tests the robustness of the results and yields easily replicated patterns. The similarity between our results and those from other phyla, such as corals, suggests that our approach may be of broad utility in describing and understanding global marine biodiversity patterns. PMID:24386083

  5. Predators Exacerbate Competitive Interactions and Dominance Hierarchies between Two Coral Reef Fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    April Hall

    Full Text Available Predation and competition are critical processes influencing the ecology of organisms, and can play an integral role in shaping coral reef fish communities. This study compared the relative and interacting effects of competition and predation on two competing species of coral reef fish, Pomacentrus amboinensis and P. moluccensis (Pomacentridae, using a multifactorial experiment. Fish were subjected to the sight and smell of a known predator (Pseudochromis fuscus, the presence of the heterospecific competitor (i.e., P. amboinensis vs. P. moluccensis, or a combination of the two for a period of 19 days. The sub-lethal effects of predator/competitor treatments were compared with controls; a combination of otolith microstructure analysis and observations were used to determine otolith growth patterns and behaviour. We predicted that the stress of competition and/or predation would result in strong sub-lethal impacts, and act synergistically on growth and behavioural patterns. We found strong evidence to support this prediction, but only for P. amboinensis, which suffered reductions in growth in both predator and competitor treatments, with the largest reductions occurring when subjected to both predation and competition concurrently. There was strong evidence of asymmetrical competition between the two damselfish species, with P. moluccensis as the dominant competitor, displaying strong aggressive behaviour towards P. amboinensis. Growth reductions for P. amboinensis in predator/competitor treatments appeared to come about primarily due to increases in shelter seeking behaviour, which significantly reduced the foraging rates of individuals compared with controls. These data highlight the importance of predator/competitor synergisms in influencing key behaviours and demographic parameters for juvenile coral reef fishes.

  6. Alterations in gill structure in tropical reef fishes as a result of elevated temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowden, A J; Gardiner, N M; Couturier, C S; Stecyk, J A W; Nilsson, G E; Munday, P L; Rummer, J L

    2014-09-01

    Tropical regions are expected to be some of the most affected by rising sea surface temperatures (SSTs) because seasonal temperature variations are minimal. As temperatures rise, less oxygen dissolves in water, but metabolic requirements of fish and thus, the demand for effective oxygen uptake, increase. Gill remodelling is an acclimation strategy well documented in freshwater cyprinids experiencing large seasonal variations in temperature and oxygen as well as an amphibious killifish upon air exposure. However, no study has investigated whether tropical reef fishes remodel their gills to allow for increased oxygen demands at elevated temperatures. We tested for gill remodelling in five coral reef species (Acanthochromis polyacanthus, Chromis atripectoralis, Pomacentrus moluccensis, Dascyllus melanurus and Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus) from populations in northern Papua New Guinea (2° 35.765' S; 150° 46.193' E). Fishes were acclimated for 12-14 days to 29 and 31°C (representing their seasonal range) and 33 and 34°C to account for end-of-century predicted temperatures. We measured lamellar perimeter, cross-sectional area, base thickness, and length for five filaments on the 2nd gill arches and qualitatively assessed 3rd gill arches via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). All species exhibited significant differences in the quantitative measurements made on the lamellae, but no consistent trends with temperature were observed. SEM only revealed alterations in gill morphology in P. moluccensis. The overall lack of changes in gill morphology with increasing temperature suggests that these near-equatorial reef fishes may fail to maintain adequate O2 uptake under future climate scenarios unless other adaptive mechanisms are employed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Predators Exacerbate Competitive Interactions and Dominance Hierarchies between Two Coral Reef Fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, April; Kingsford, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Predation and competition are critical processes influencing the ecology of organisms, and can play an integral role in shaping coral reef fish communities. This study compared the relative and interacting effects of competition and predation on two competing species of coral reef fish, Pomacentrus amboinensis and P. moluccensis (Pomacentridae), using a multifactorial experiment. Fish were subjected to the sight and smell of a known predator (Pseudochromis fuscus), the presence of the heterospecific competitor (i.e., P. amboinensis vs. P. moluccensis), or a combination of the two for a period of 19 days. The sub-lethal effects of predator/competitor treatments were compared with controls; a combination of otolith microstructure analysis and observations were used to determine otolith growth patterns and behaviour. We predicted that the stress of competition and/or predation would result in strong sub-lethal impacts, and act synergistically on growth and behavioural patterns. We found strong evidence to support this prediction, but only for P. amboinensis, which suffered reductions in growth in both predator and competitor treatments, with the largest reductions occurring when subjected to both predation and competition concurrently. There was strong evidence of asymmetrical competition between the two damselfish species, with P. moluccensis as the dominant competitor, displaying strong aggressive behaviour towards P. amboinensis. Growth reductions for P. amboinensis in predator/competitor treatments appeared to come about primarily due to increases in shelter seeking behaviour, which significantly reduced the foraging rates of individuals compared with controls. These data highlight the importance of predator/competitor synergisms in influencing key behaviours and demographic parameters for juvenile coral reef fishes.

  8. 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.

  9. Relative importance of coral cover, habitat complexity and diversity in determining the structure of reef fish communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeriya Komyakova

    Full Text Available The structure of coral reef habitat has a pronounced influence on the diversity, composition and abundance of reef-associated fishes. However, the particular features of the habitat that are most critical are not always known. Coral habitats can vary in many characteristics, notably live coral cover, topographic complexity and coral diversity, but the relative effects of these habitat characteristics are often not distinguished. Here, we investigate the strength of the relationships between these habitat features and local fish diversity, abundance and community structure in the lagoon of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. In a spatial comparison using sixty-six 2m(2 quadrats, fish species richness, total abundance and community structure were examined in relation to a wide range of habitat variables, including topographic complexity, habitat diversity, coral diversity, coral species richness, hard coral cover, branching coral cover and the cover of corymbose corals. Fish species richness and total abundance were strongly associated with coral species richness and cover, but only weakly associated with topographic complexity. Regression tree analysis showed that coral species richness accounted for most of the variation in fish species richness (63.6%, while hard coral cover explained more variation in total fish abundance (17.4%, than any other variable. In contrast, topographic complexity accounted for little spatial variation in reef fish assemblages. In degrading coral reef environments, the potential effects of loss of coral cover and topographic complexity are often emphasized, but these findings suggest that reduced coral biodiversity may ultimately have an equal, or greater, impact on reef-associated fish communities.

  10. Relative importance of coral cover, habitat complexity and diversity in determining the structure of reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komyakova, Valeriya; Munday, Philip L; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2013-01-01

    The structure of coral reef habitat has a pronounced influence on the diversity, composition and abundance of reef-associated fishes. However, the particular features of the habitat that are most critical are not always known. Coral habitats can vary in many characteristics, notably live coral cover, topographic complexity and coral diversity, but the relative effects of these habitat characteristics are often not distinguished. Here, we investigate the strength of the relationships between these habitat features and local fish diversity, abundance and community structure in the lagoon of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. In a spatial comparison using sixty-six 2m(2) quadrats, fish species richness, total abundance and community structure were examined in relation to a wide range of habitat variables, including topographic complexity, habitat diversity, coral diversity, coral species richness, hard coral cover, branching coral cover and the cover of corymbose corals. Fish species richness and total abundance were strongly associated with coral species richness and cover, but only weakly associated with topographic complexity. Regression tree analysis showed that coral species richness accounted for most of the variation in fish species richness (63.6%), while hard coral cover explained more variation in total fish abundance (17.4%), than any other variable. In contrast, topographic complexity accounted for little spatial variation in reef fish assemblages. In degrading coral reef environments, the potential effects of loss of coral cover and topographic complexity are often emphasized, but these findings suggest that reduced coral biodiversity may ultimately have an equal, or greater, impact on reef-associated fish communities.

  11. Relative Importance of Coral Cover, Habitat Complexity and Diversity in Determining the Structure of Reef Fish Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komyakova, Valeriya; Munday, Philip L.; Jones, Geoffrey P.

    2013-01-01

    The structure of coral reef habitat has a pronounced influence on the diversity, composition and abundance of reef-associated fishes. However, the particular features of the habitat that are most critical are not always known. Coral habitats can vary in many characteristics, notably live coral cover, topographic complexity and coral diversity, but the relative effects of these habitat characteristics are often not distinguished. Here, we investigate the strength of the relationships between these habitat features and local fish diversity, abundance and community structure in the lagoon of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. In a spatial comparison using sixty-six 2m2 quadrats, fish species richness, total abundance and community structure were examined in relation to a wide range of habitat variables, including topographic complexity, habitat diversity, coral diversity, coral species richness, hard coral cover, branching coral cover and the cover of corymbose corals. Fish species richness and total abundance were strongly associated with coral species richness and cover, but only weakly associated with topographic complexity. Regression tree analysis showed that coral species richness accounted for most of the variation in fish species richness (63.6%), while hard coral cover explained more variation in total fish abundance (17.4%), than any other variable. In contrast, topographic complexity accounted for little spatial variation in reef fish assemblages. In degrading coral reef environments, the potential effects of loss of coral cover and topographic complexity are often emphasized, but these findings suggest that reduced coral biodiversity may ultimately have an equal, or greater, impact on reef-associated fish communities. PMID:24349455

  12. With a Little Help from My Friends: Group Orientation by Larvae of a Coral Reef Fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Olivier Irisson

    Full Text Available Theory and some empirical evidence suggest that groups of animals orient better than isolated individuals. We present the first test of this hypothesis for pelagic marine larvae, at the stage of settlement, when orientation is critical to find a habitat. We compare the in situ behaviour of individuals and groups of 10-12 Chromis atripectoralis (reef fish of the family Pomacentridae, off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Larvae are observed by divers or with a drifting image recording device. With both methods, groups orient cardinally while isolated individuals do not display significant orientation. Groups also swim on a 15% straighter course (i.e. are better at keeping a bearing and 7% faster than individuals. A body of observations collected in this study suggest that enhanced group orientation emerges from simple group dynamics rather than from the presence of more skilful leaders.

  13. Cross-continent comparisons reveal differing environmental drivers of growth of the coral reef fish, Lutjanus bohar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Joyce J. L.; Rountrey, Adam N.; Marriott, Ross J.; Newman, Stephen J.; Meeuwig, Jessica J.; Meekan, Mark G.

    2017-03-01

    Biochronologies provide important insights into the growth responses of fishes to past variability in physical and biological environments and, in so doing, allow modelling of likely responses to climate change in the future. We examined spatial variability in the key drivers of inter-annual growth patterns of a widespread, tropical snapper, Lutjanus bohar, at similar tropical latitudes on the north-western and north-eastern coasts of the continent of Australia. For this study, we developed biochronologies from otoliths that provided proxies of somatic growth and these were analysed using mixed-effects models to examine the historical drivers of growth. Our analyses demonstrated that growth patterns of fish were driven by different climatic and biological factors in each region, including Pacific Ocean climate indices, regional sea level and the size structure of the fish community. Our results showed that the local oceanographic and biological context of reef systems strongly influenced the growth of L. bohar and that a single age-related growth trend cannot be assumed for separate populations of this species that are likely to experience different environmental conditions. Generalised predictions about the growth response of fishes to climate change will thus require adequate characterisation of the spatial variability in growth determinants likely to be found throughout the range of species that have cosmopolitan distributions.

  14. 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.

  15. A test of trophic cascade theory: fish and benthic assemblages across a predator density gradient on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Jordan M; Baird, Andrew H; Brandl, Simon J; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Rizzari, Justin R; Frisch, Ashley J; Mirbach, Christopher E; Connolly, Sean R

    2017-01-01

    Removal of predators is often hypothesized to alter community structure through trophic cascades. However, despite recent advances in our understanding of trophic cascades, evidence is often circumstantial on coral reefs because fishing pressure frequently co-varies with other anthropogenic effects, such as fishing for herbivorous fishes and changes in water quality due to pollution. Australia's outer Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has experienced fishing-induced declines of apex predators and mesopredators, but pollution and targeting of herbivorous fishes are minimal. Here, we quantify fish and benthic assemblages across a fishing-induced predator density gradient on the outer GBR, including apex predators and mesopredators to herbivores and benthic assemblages, to test for evidence of trophic cascades and alternative hypotheses to trophic cascade theory. Using structural equation models, we found no cascading effects from apex predators to lower trophic levels: a loss of apex predators did not lead to higher levels of mesopredators, and this did not suppress mobile herbivores and drive algal proliferation. Likewise, we found no effects of mesopredators on lower trophic levels: a decline of mesopredators was not associated with higher abundances of algae-farming damselfishes and algae-dominated reefs. These findings indicate that top-down forces on coral reefs are weak, at least on the outer GBR. We conclude that predator-mediated trophic cascades are probably the exception rather than the rule in complex ecosystems such as the outer GBR.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Variability in abundance of temperate reef fishes estimated by visual census.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irigoyen, Alejo J; Galván, David E; Venerus, Leonardo A; Parma, Ana M

    2013-01-01

    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 study provides

  19. Coral Reefs: A Gallery Program, Grades 7-12.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Dept. of Education.

    Gallery classes at the National Aquarium in Baltimore give the opportunity to study specific aquarium exhibits which demonstrate entire natural habitats. The coral reef gallery class features the gigantic western Atlantic coral reef (325,000 gallons) with over 1,000 fish. The exhibit simulates a typical Caribbean coral reef and nearby sandy…

  20. Cascading effects of fishing on Galapagos rocky reef communities: reanalysis using corrected data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnenholzner, Jorge I.; Ladah, Lydia B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2009-01-01

    This article replaces Sonnenholzner et al. (2007; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 343:77–85), which was retracted on September 19, 2007, due to errors in entry of data on sea urchins. We sampled 10 highly fished and 10 (putatively) lightly fished shallow rocky reefs in the southeastern area of the Galapagos Marine Reserve, Ecuador. After the correction, these are the new results: there was a negative association between slate-pencil urchins Eucidaris galapagensis and non-coralline algae. In addition, pencil urchins were less abundant where there were many predators. An indirect positive association between predators and non-coralline algae occurred. Fishing appeared to affect this trophic cascade. The spiny lobster Panulirus penicillatus, the slipper lobster Scyllarides astori, and the Mexican hogfish Bodianus diplotaenia were significantly less abundant at highly fished sites. Urchin density was higher at highly fished sites. Non-coralline algae were nearly absent from highly fished sites, where a continuous carpet of the anemone Aiptasia sp. was recorded, and the algal assemblage was mainly structured by encrusting coralline and articulated calcareous algae.

  1. 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.

  2. Remote sensing and fish-habitat relationships in coral reef ecosystems: review and pathways for multi-scale hierarchical research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellin, Camille; Andréfouët, Serge; Kulbicki, Michel; Dalleau, Mayeul; Vigliola, Laurent

    2009-01-01

    Understanding spatial variations in alpha, beta, and gamma coral reef fish diversity, as well as both local community and regional metacommunity structures, is critical for science and conservation of coral reef ecosystems. This quest implies that fish-habitat relationships are characterized across different spatial scales. Remote sensing allows now for a routine description of habitats from global-regional to detailed reef scales, thus theoretically offering access to hierarchical spatial analysis at multiple scales. To judge the progress in using remotely sensed habitat variables for reef fish study, existing peer-reviewed papers on the subject are reviewed. We tabulated the significant fish-habitat relationships given the different study sites, fish and habitat variables, statistical analysis, sampling efforts and scales. Studies generally do not corroborate each other. Instead, the exercise provides a diversity of thematic results from which lessons remain equivocal. It is thus justified to recommend more systematic and hierarchical remote-sensing based research in the future. We advocate the use of remote-sensing early in the design of the fish study, as part of a coherent conceptual scheme spanning all spatial scales.

  3. Reproductive benefits of no-take marine reserves vary with region for an exploited coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, A B; Davies, C R; Emslie, M J; Mapstone, B D; Russ, G R; Tobin, A J; Williams, A J

    2017-08-29

    No-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are expected to benefit fisheries via the net export of eggs and larvae (recruitment subsidy) from reserves to adjacent fished areas. Quantifying egg production is the first step in evaluating recruitment subsidy potential. We calculated annual egg production per unit area (EPUA) from 2004 to 2013 for the commercially important common coral trout, Plectropomus leopardus, on fished and NTMR reefs throughout the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Geographic region, NTMR status, fish size, and population density were all found to affect EPUA. The interactions among these factors were such that, EPUA on NTMR reefs compared to reefs open to fishing was 21% greater in the southern GBR, 152% greater in the central GBR, but 56% less in the northern GBR. The results show that while NTMRs can potentially provide a substantial recruitment subsidy (central GBR reefs), they may provide a far smaller subsidy (southern GBR), or serve as recruitment sinks (northern GBR) for the same species in nearby locations where demographic rates differ. This study highlights the importance of considering spatial variation in EPUA when assessing locations of NTMRs if recruitment subsidy is expected from them.

  4. 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.

  5. Modeling coral reef fish home range movements in Dry Tortugas, Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Nicholas A; Ault, Jerald S

    2014-01-01

    Underestimation of reef fish space use may result in marine reserves that are too small to effectively buffer a portion of the stock from fishing mortality. Commonly used statistical home range models, such as minimum convex polygon (MCP) or 95% kernel density (95% KD) methods, require the exclusion of individuals who move beyond the bounds of the tracking study. Spatially explicit individual-based models of fish home range movements parameterized from multiple years of acoustic tracking data were developed for three exploited coral reef fishes (red grouper Epinephelus morio, black grouper Mycteroperca bonaci, and mutton snapper Lutjanus analis) in Dry Tortugas, Florida. Movements were characterized as a combination of probability of movement, distance moved, and turning angle. Simulations suggested that the limited temporal and geographic scope of most movement studies may underestimate home range size, especially for fish with home range centers near the edges of the array. Simulations provided useful upper bounds for home range size (red grouper: 2.28±0.81 km2 MCP, 3.60±0.89 km2 KD; black grouper: 2.06±0.84 km2 MCP, 3.93±1.22 km2 KD; mutton snapper: 7.72±2.23 km2 MCP, 6.16±1.11 km2 KD). Simulations also suggested that MCP home ranges are more robust to artifacts of passive array acoustic detection patterns than 95% KD methods.

  6. Modeling Coral Reef Fish Home Range Movements in Dry Tortugas, Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A. Farmer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Underestimation of reef fish space use may result in marine reserves that are too small to effectively buffer a portion of the stock from fishing mortality. Commonly used statistical home range models, such as minimum convex polygon (MCP or 95% kernel density (95% KD methods, require the exclusion of individuals who move beyond the bounds of the tracking study. Spatially explicit individual-based models of fish home range movements parameterized from multiple years of acoustic tracking data were developed for three exploited coral reef fishes (red grouper Epinephelus morio, black grouper Mycteroperca bonaci, and mutton snapper Lutjanus analis in Dry Tortugas, Florida. Movements were characterized as a combination of probability of movement, distance moved, and turning angle. Simulations suggested that the limited temporal and geographic scope of most movement studies may underestimate home range size, especially for fish with home range centers near the edges of the array. Simulations provided useful upper bounds for home range size (red grouper: 2.28±0.81 km2 MCP, 3.60±0.89 km2 KD; black grouper: 2.06±0.84 km2 MCP, 3.93±1.22 km2 KD; mutton snapper: 7.72±2.23 km2 MCP, 6.16±1.11 km2 KD. Simulations also suggested that MCP home ranges are more robust to artifacts of passive array acoustic detection patterns than 95% KD methods.

  7. 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 Umax. 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

  8. Pelagic larval duration and settlement size of a reef fish are spatially consistent, but post-settlement growth varies at the reef scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leahy, Susannah M.; Russ, Garry R.; Abesamis, Rene A.

    2015-12-01

    Recent research has demonstrated that, despite a pelagic larval stage, many coral reef fishes disperse over relatively small distances, leading to well-connected populations on scales of 0-30 km. Although variation in key biological characteristics has been explored on the scale of 100-1000 s of km, it has rarely been explored at the scale relevant to actual larval dispersal and population connectivity on ecological timescales. In this study, we surveyed the habitat and collected specimens ( n = 447) of juvenile butterflyfish, Chaetodon vagabundus, at nine sites along an 80-km stretch of coastline in the central Philippines to identify variation in key life history parameters at a spatial scale relevant to population connectivity. Mean pelagic larval duration (PLD) was 24.03 d (SE = 0.16 d), and settlement size was estimated to be 20.54 mm total length (TL; SE = 0.61 mm). Both traits were spatially consistent, although this PLD is considerably shorter than that reported elsewhere. In contrast, post-settlement daily growth rates, calculated from otolith increment widths from 1 to 50 d post-settlement, varied strongly across the study region. Elevated growth rates were associated with rocky habitats that this species is known to recruit to, but were strongly negatively correlated with macroalgal cover and exhibited negative density dependence with conspecific juveniles. Larger animals had lower early (first 50 d post-settlement) growth rates than smaller animals, even after accounting for seasonal variation in growth rates. Both VBGF and Gompertz models provided good fits to post-settlement size-at-age data ( n = 447 fish), but the VBGF's estimate of asymptotic length ( L ∞ = 168 mm) was more consistent with field observations of maximum fish length. Our findings indicate that larval characteristics are consistent at the spatial scale at which populations are likely well connected, but that site-level biological differences develop post-settlement, most likely as a

  9. Evidence of sustained populations of a small reef fish on artificial structures. Does depth affect production on artificial reefs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, A M; Booth, D J

    2012-03-01

    The length frequencies and age structures of resident Pseudanthias rubrizonatus (n = 407), a small protogynous serranid, were measured at four isolated artificial structures on the continental shelf of north-western Australia between June and August 2008, to determine whether these structures supported full (complete size and age-structured) populations of this species. The artificial structures were located in depths between 82 and 135 m, and growth rates of juveniles and adults, and body condition of adults, were compared among structures to determine the effect of depth on potential production. All life-history stages, including recently settled juveniles, females and terminal males, of P. rubrizonatus were caught, ranging in standard length (L(s)) from 16·9 to 96·5 mm. Presumed ages estimated from whole and sectioned otoliths ranged between 22 days and 5 years, and parameter ±s.e. estimates of the von Bertalanffy growth model were L(∞) = 152 ± 34 mm, k = 0·15(±0·05) and t(0) = -1·15(±0·15). Estimated annual growth rates were similar between shallow and deep artificial structures; however, otolith lengths and recent growth of juveniles differed among individual structures, irrespective of depth. The artificial structures therefore sustained full populations of P. rubrizonatus, from recently settled juveniles through to adults; however, confirmation of the maximum age attainable for the species is required from natural populations. Depth placement of artificial reefs may not affect the production of fish species with naturally wide depth ranges. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of spearfishing on reef fish populations in a multi-use conservation area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisch, Ashley J; Cole, Andrew J; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A; Rizzari, Justin R; Munkres, Katherine P

    2012-01-01

    Although spearfishing is a popular method of capturing fish, its ecological effects on fish populations are poorly understood, which makes it difficult to assess the legitimacy and desirability of spearfishing in multi-use marine reserves. Recent management changes within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) fortuitously created a unique scenario by which to quantify the effects of spearfishing on fish populations. As such, we employed underwater visual surveys and a before-after-control-impact experimental design to investigate the effects of spearfishing on the density and size structure of target and non-target fishes in a multi-use conservation park zone (CPZ) within the GBRMP. Three years after spearfishing was first allowed in the CPZ, there was a 54% reduction in density and a 27% reduction in mean size of coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), the primary target species. These changes were attributed to spearfishing because benthic habitat characteristics and the density of non-target fishes were stable through time, and the density and mean size of coral trout in a nearby control zone (where spearfishing was prohibited) remained unchanged. We conclude that spearfishing, like other forms of fishing, can have rapid and substantial negative effects on target fish populations. Careful management of spearfishing is therefore needed to ensure that conservation obligations are achieved and that fishery resources are harvested sustainably. This is particularly important both for the GBRMP, due to its extraordinarily high conservation value and world heritage status, and for tropical island nations where people depend on spearfishing for food and income. To minimize the effects of spearfishing on target species and to enhance protection of functionally important fishes (herbivores), we recommend that fishery managers adjust output controls such as size- and catch-limits, rather than prohibit spearfishing altogether. This will preserve the cultural and social

  14. Effects of spearfishing on reef fish populations in a multi-use conservation area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley J Frisch

    Full Text Available Although spearfishing is a popular method of capturing fish, its ecological effects on fish populations are poorly understood, which makes it difficult to assess the legitimacy and desirability of spearfishing in multi-use marine reserves. Recent management changes within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP fortuitously created a unique scenario by which to quantify the effects of spearfishing on fish populations. As such, we employed underwater visual surveys and a before-after-control-impact experimental design to investigate the effects of spearfishing on the density and size structure of target and non-target fishes in a multi-use conservation park zone (CPZ within the GBRMP. Three years after spearfishing was first allowed in the CPZ, there was a 54% reduction in density and a 27% reduction in mean size of coral trout (Plectropomus spp., the primary target species. These changes were attributed to spearfishing because benthic habitat characteristics and the density of non-target fishes were stable through time, and the density and mean size of coral trout in a nearby control zone (where spearfishing was prohibited remained unchanged. We conclude that spearfishing, like other forms of fishing, can have rapid and substantial negative effects on target fish populations. Careful management of spearfishing is therefore needed to ensure that conservation obligations are achieved and that fishery resources are harvested sustainably. This is particularly important both for the GBRMP, due to its extraordinarily high conservation value and world heritage status, and for tropical island nations where people depend on spearfishing for food and income. To minimize the effects of spearfishing on target species and to enhance protection of functionally important fishes (herbivores, we recommend that fishery managers adjust output controls such as size- and catch-limits, rather than prohibit spearfishing altogether. This will preserve the cultural

  15. 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).

  16. Fatal septicemia caused by the zoonotic bacterium Streptococcus iniae during an outbreak in Caribbean reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keirstead, N D; Brake, J W; Griffin, M J; Halliday-Simmonds, I; Thrall, M A; Soto, E

    2014-09-01

    An outbreak of Streptococcus iniae occurred in the early months of 2008 among wild reef fish in the waters of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, lasting almost 2 months. Moribund and dead fish were collected for gross, histological, bacteriological, and molecular analysis. Necropsy findings included diffuse fibrinous pericarditis, pale friable livers, and serosal petechiation. Cytological and histological analysis revealed granulocytic and granulomatous inflammation with abundant coccoid bacterial organisms forming long chains. Necrosis, inflammation, and vasculitis were most severe in the pericardium, meninges, liver, kidneys, and gills. Bacterial isolates revealed β-hemolytic, Gram-positive coccoid bacteria identified as S. iniae by amplification and 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. Results from biochemical and antimicrobial susceptibility analysis, together with repetitive element palindromic polymerase chain reaction fingerprinting, suggest that a single strain was responsible for the outbreak. The inciting cause for this S. iniae-associated cluster of mortalities is unknown. © The Author(s) 2013.

  17. Changes in mesophotic reef fish assemblages along depth and geographical gradients in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukunaga, Atsuko; Kosaki, Randall K.; Wagner, Daniel

    2017-09-01

    Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) extend from 30 to 150 m in depth and support diverse communities of marine organisms. We investigated changes in the structure of mesophotic reef fish assemblages (27-100 m) in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) along depth and geographical gradients using open- and closed-circuit trimix diving. There were clear changes in the assemblage structure from the southeastern to the northwestern end of the NWHI and from shallow to deep waters. Interactive effects of depth and location were also detected. MCEs in the NWHI can be treated as three regions: southeastern and mid regions primarily separated by the presence and absence, respectively, of the introduced species Lutjanus kasmira, and a northwestern region where fish assemblages are largely composed of endemic species. These spatial patterns may be explained, at least in part, by differences in temperature among the regions.

  18. 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.

  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 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Syndromes or flexibility: behavior during a life history transition of a coral reef fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James R White

    Full Text Available The theory of behavioral syndromes focuses on quantifying variation in behavior within and among individual organisms and attempts to account for the maintenance of differences in behavior that occur in a consistent manner among individuals. Behavioral syndromes have potentially important ecological consequences (e.g. survivorship tradeoffs and can be shaped by population dynamics through selective mortality. Here, we search for any evidence for consistency of behavior across situations in juveniles of a common damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis (Pomacentridae at the transition between larval habitats in the plankton and juvenile habitats on the reef. Naïve fish leaving the pelagic phase to settle on reefs were caught by light traps and their behaviors observed using similar methods across three different situations (small aquaria, large aquaria, field setting; all of which represent low risk and well-sheltered environments. Seven behavioral traits were compared within and among individuals across situations to determine if consistent behavioral syndromes existed. No consistency was found in any single or combination of behavioral traits for individuals across all situations. We suggest that high behavioral flexibility is likely beneficial for newly-settled fish at this ontogenetic transition and it is possible that consistent behavioral syndromes are unlikely to emerge in juveniles until environmental experience is gained or certain combinations of behaviors are favored by selective mortality.

  3. 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.

  4. Habitat preferences of a corallivorous reef fish: predation risk versus food quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, R. M.; Munday, P. L.; Mcleod, I. M.; Jones, G. P.

    2013-09-01

    Many animals preferentially select a habitat from a range of those potentially available. However, the consequences of these preferences for distribution and abundance, and the underlying basis of habitat preferences are often unknown. The present study, conducted at Great Keppel Island, Australia, examined how distribution and abundance of an obligate corallivorous filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris, relates to coral architecture and diversity. The main drivers of the distribution and abundance of O. longirostris among reefs were coral species richness and availability of branching coral. Feeding territories had a higher percentage of Acropora coral than surrounding habitat. In addition, feeding territories had a higher percentage of the structurally important branching coral, Acropora nobilis, and a primary prey species, Acropora millepora. A series of pair-wise choice experiments in which both structural complexity and coral tissue quality were independently manipulated showed that habitat choice was primarily based on structural complexity and shelter characteristics. In addition, the choice for the preferred coral ( A. nobilis) was stronger in the presence of a piscivorous fish. These results indicate that species-diverse coral habitats, which provide sufficient structural complexity along with nutritionally important prey, are essential for population persistence of this small, corallivorous reef fish.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Pollutants and biomarker responses in two reef fish species (Haemulon aurolineatum and Ocyurus chrysurus) in the Southern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gold-Bouchot, Gerardo; Rubio-Piña, J; Montero-Muñoz, J; Ramirez-Miss, N; Echeverría-García, A; Patiño-Suarez, V; Puch-Hau, C A; Zapata-Pérez, O

    2017-03-15

    The environmental quality differences between two groups of reefs in the Veracruz Reef System were evaluated. The North group of reefs is very close to Veracruz, an urban and port zone, whereas the South group is more isolated, with minor anthropogenic disturbances. To prove the hypothesis that the North group is more affected by anthropogenic activities, the concentrations of hydrocarbons in liver, metals and metalloids such as Se, As, Ba, Cd, Hg and V in muscle, and PAH metabolites in bile were evaluated, and related to biomarkers (transcript abundance of cytochrome P4501A, Vitellogenin, and Glutathione-S-transferase) in two species of fish: Haemulon aurolineatum and Ocyurus chysurus. H. aurolineatum presents the highest concentrations for many pollutants, but O. chysurus shows the most significant differences in pollutant concentrations and biomarkers between the two reef groups, suggesting that this species could be used as a sentinel in future studies in the Gulf of Mexico. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Larval fish dispersal in a coral-reef seascape

    KAUST Repository

    Almany, Glenn R.

    2017-05-23

    Larval dispersal is a critical yet enigmatic process in the persistence and productivity of marine metapopulations. Empirical data on larval dispersal remain scarce, hindering the use of spatial management tools in efforts to sustain ocean biodiversity and fisheries. Here we document dispersal among subpopulations of clownfish (Amphiprion percula) and butterflyfish (Chaetodon vagabundus) from eight sites across a large seascape (10,000 km2) in Papua New Guinea across 2 years. Dispersal of clownfish was consistent between years, with mean observed dispersal distances of 15 km and 10 km in 2009 and 2011, respectively. A Laplacian statistical distribution (the dispersal kernel) predicted a mean dispersal distance of 13–19 km, with 90% of settlement occurring within 31–43 km. Mean dispersal distances were considerably greater (43–64 km) for butterflyfish, with kernels declining only gradually from spawning locations. We demonstrate that dispersal can be measured on spatial scales sufficient to inform the design of and test the performance of marine reserve networks.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Fish4Knowledge: Collecting and Analyzing Massive Coral Reef Fish Video Data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.B. Fisher (Robert); Y.-H. Chen-Burger (Yun-Heh (Jessica)); D. Giordano (Daniela); L. Hardman (Lynda); F.-P. Lin (Fang-Pang)

    2016-01-01

    textabstractThis 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

  13. Dynamics of fish assemblages on a continuous rocky reef and adjacent unconsolidated habitats at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, tropical western Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo R. Medeiros

    Full Text Available In recent years, many studies investigated how density-dependent factors, such as shortages in microhabitat and food availability influence the structure of reef fish assemblages. Most of what is currently known, however, comes from comparisons of isolated patch reefs and from correlations between fish abundance and one or few microhabitat variables. In addition, most studies were done in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific regions, whereas the South Atlantic region has been, to date, understudied. The present study evaluated spatial and temporal variations in reef fish abundance and species richness in a continuous rocky reef and adjacent unconsolidated habitats in a Southwestern Atlantic reef, using underwater techniques to assess both fish numbers and microhabitat variables (depth, rugosity, number of crevices and percent cover of live benthic organisms, bare rock, sand, and limestone. Higher species richness was observed at consolidated substratum stations on both sampling periods (May and October, but fish abundance did not show a significant spatial variation. Topographical complexity and percent cover of algae (except coralline algae were amongst the most important determinants of species richness, and correlations between fish size and refuge crevice size were observed. The non-random patterns of spatial variation in species richness, and to a lesser extent, fish abundance, were related to differences in substratum characteristics and the inherent characteristics of fishes (i.e. habitat preferences and not to geographical barriers restraining fish movement. This study highlights the importance of concomitantly assessing several microhabitat variables to determine their relative influence in reef fish assemblages.

  14. 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

  15. Reef fishes have higher parasite richness at unfished Palmyra Atoll compared to fished Kiritimati Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Shaw, Jenny C.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2008-01-01

    We compared parasite communities at two coral atolls in the Line Islands chain of the central Pacific (Kiritimati Island and Palmyra Atoll). Palmyra Atoll is relatively pristine while Kiritimati Island is heavily fished. At each island, we sampled five fish species for helminth and arthropod endoparasites: Chromis margaritifer, Plectroglyphidodon dickii,Paracirrhites arcatus, Acanthurus nigricans, and Lutjanus bohar. The surveys found monogeneans, digeneans, cestodes, nematodes, acanthocephalans, and copepods. Parasite richness was higher at Palmyra compared to Kiritimati for all five fish species. Fishes from Palmyra also tended to have more parasites species per host, higher parasite prevalence, and higher parasite abundance than did fishes from Kiritimati. The lower parasitism at Kiritimati may result from a simplified food web due to over fishing. Low biodiversity could impair parasite transmission by reducing the availability of hosts required by parasites with complex life cycles. Most notably, the lower abundances of larval shark tapeworms at Kiritimati presumably reflect the fact that fishing has greatly depleted sharks there in comparison to Palmyra.

  16. Reef fish and benthic assemblages of the Trindade and Martin Vaz Island group, southwestern Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme Henrique Pereira-Filho

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The Trindade and Martin Vaz island group (TMVIG is located at about 1,120 km off the Brazilian coast. Despite its importance, highlighted by the presence of several endemic fish species, the TMVIG lacks detailed information on the structure of fish and benthic assemblages. Presented here is the first quantitative assessment of reef fish and benthic assemblages of the TMVIG in a depth gradient ranging from 5 to 45 m. Additional qualitative information on reef assemblages between 45 and 100 m was obtained using advanced gas diving techniques (TRIMIX and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV. Similarly to other Brazilian oceanic islands, the TMVIG possesses depauperated fish and benthic assemblages, possibly due to its isolation and small size in comparison to the mainland. Depth was the most important factor affecting the structure of fish assemblages, with the density of most fish species declining with depth. Deep reefs (> 45 m were characterized by the presence of extensive rhodolith beds and rocky reefs sparsely covered with crustose coralline algae, black coral (Cirripathes sp. and a few massive or plate-like reef corals. Part-time or obligatory planktivorous fishes (e.g. Cephalopholis furcifer and Clepticus brasiliensis also dominated deep reefs. Similar characteristics were recorded in mesophotic reef ecosystems across the Western Atlantic. Evidence of overfishing (obtained here and in other recent studies, the presence of four endemic and restricted range fish species, as well as the increase in number of new (and still undescribed endemic taxa, indicates that the adoption of precautionary conservation measures are urgently needed in order to maintain the fragile and unique ecosystems of the TMVIG.O conjunto insular de Trindade e Martin Vaz (CITMV está localizado a aproximadamente 1.120 km da costa brasileira. Apesar de sua importância, salientada pela presença de diversas espécies endêmicas de peixes, não existem informações detalhadas

  17. Feeling the heat: the effect of acute temperature changes on predator-prey interactions in coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, Bridie J M; Domenici, Paolo; Munday, Phillip L; McCormick, Mark I

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrate that the elevated temperatures predicted to occur by the end of the century can affect the physiological performance and behaviour of larval and juvenile fishes; however, little is known of the effect of these temperatures on ecological processes, such as predator-prey interactions. Here, we show that exposure to elevated temperatures significantly affected the predator-prey interactions of a pair of common reef fish, the planktivorous damselfish (Pomacentrus wardi) and the piscivorous dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus). When predators exposed to elevated temperatures interacted with prey exposed in a similar manner, maximal attack speeds increased. This effect coupled with decreasing prey escape speeds and escape distances led to increased predation rates. Prey exposed to elevated temperatures also had decreased reaction distances and increased apparent looming threshold, suggesting that their sensory performance was affected. This occurred despite the increase in maximal attack speeds, which in other species has been shown to increase reaction distances. These results suggest that the escape performance of prey is sensitive to short-term increases in ambient temperature. As marine environments become more thermally variable in the future, our results demonstrate that some predators may become more successful, suggesting that there will be strong selection for the maintenance of maximal escape performance in prey. In the present era of rapid climate change, understanding how changes to individual performance influence the relationships between predators and their prey will be increasingly important in predicting the effects of climate change within ecosystems.

  18. A honeymoon in Brazil: the spawning behavior of an exotic reef fish in the western south Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osmar J Luiz

    Full Text Available The reproductive strategies of surgeonfishes of the genus Acanthurus are well known for all Atlantic species except the Monrovia doctorfish, Acanthurus monroviae, an eastern Atlantic surgeonfish whose biology remains largely unknown. We provide here the first account on the spawning behavior of A. monroviae, an exotic fish on rocky reefs of southeastern Brazilian coast.

  19. 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

    ... provide an indication of the value of these gear modifications, or there may be some sea turtle repellant... on sea turtle take estimates for the commercial reef fish fishery of the eastern Gulf, all but one... west coast, as illustrated by recent research efforts to satellite-tag and track sea turtles in the...

  20. 77 FR 28308 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-14

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 RIN 0648-BB90 Fisheries of the Caribbean... the document ``Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of... opportunities, and protecting marine ecosystems. To further this goal, the Magnuson- Stevens Act requires...

  1. Relative importance of interlinked mangroves and seagrass beds as feeding habitats for juvenile reef fish on a Caribbean island

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nagelkerken, I.A.; Velde, G. van der

    2004-01-01

    Mangroves and seagrass beds are important daytime shelter habitats for juvenile Caribbean reef fish species, but little is known about their relative importance as feeding grounds. In the present study, we tested the degree to which these 2 habitats are used as a feeding ground for 4 nocturnally

  2. 75 FR 35335 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-22

    ... greater amberjack sector of the Gulf reef fish fishery. These actions are necessary to reduce overfishing... new requirements that annual catch limits (ACLs) and AMs be established to end overfishing and prevent overfishing from occurring. AMs are management controls to prevent ACLs from being exceeded, and correct or...

  3. Mesophotic reef fish assemblages of the remote St. Peter and St. Paul's Archipelago, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Marcos Rogerio; Alves, Aline Cristina; Medeiros, Diego Valverde; Coni, Ericka Oliveira Cavalcanti; Ferreira, Camilo Moitinho; Ferreira, Beatrice Padovani; de Souza Rosa, Ricardo; Amado-Filho, Gilberto Menezes; Pereira-Filho, Guilherme Henrique; de Moura, Rodrigo Leão; Thompson, Fabiano Lopes; Sumida, Paulo Yukio Gomes; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo Bastos

    2016-03-01

    Mesophotic reef fish assemblages (30-90 m depth) of the small and remote St. Peter and St. Paul's Archipelago (SPSPA), Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Brazil, were characterized using remotely operated vehicles. Ordination analyses identified distinct fish assemblages in the upper (30-50 m) and lower (50-90 m) mesophotic zones, the former characterized by high abundances of species that are also abundant at euphotic reefs ( Caranx lugubris, Melichthys niger, Stegastes sanctipauli and Chromis multilineata) and the latter dominated by two mesophotic specialists ( Prognathodes obliquus and Chromis enchrysura). Planktivores dominated fish assemblages, particularly in the upper mesophotic zone, possibly due to a greater availability of zooplankton coming from the colder Equatorial Undercurrent in mesophotic depths of the SPSPA. Turf algae, fleshy macroalgae and scleractinian corals dominated benthic assemblages between 30 and 40 m depth, while bryozoans, black corals and sponges dominated between 40 and 90 m depth. Canonical correspondence analysis explained 74 % of the relationship between environmental characteristics (depth, benthic cover and complexity) and structure of fish assemblages, with depth as the most important independent variable. Juveniles of Bodianus insularis and adults of P. obliquus and C. enchrysura were clearly associated with branching black corals ( Tanacetipathes spp.), suggesting that black corals play key ecological roles in lower mesophotic reefs of the SPSPA. Results from this study add to the global database about mesophotic reef ecosystems (MREs) and provide a baseline for future evaluations of possible anthropogenic and natural disturbances on MREs of the SPSPA.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Assessment of coral reef fish communities in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands from 2015-06-08 to 2015-06-19 (NCEI Accession 0151727)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Belt Transect method is used to conduct fish surveys in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands (USVI) as part of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP). The...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Mangrove habitat use by juvenile reef fish: meta-analysis reveals that tidal regime matters more than biogeographic region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias M Igulu

    Full Text Available Identification of critical life-stage habitats is key to successful conservation efforts. Juveniles of some species show great flexibility in habitat use while other species rely heavily on a restricted number of juvenile habitats for protection and food. Considering the rapid degradation of coastal marine habitats worldwide, it is important to evaluate which species are more susceptible to loss of juvenile nursery habitats and how this differs across large biogeographic regions. Here we used a meta-analysis approach to investigate habitat use by juvenile reef fish species in tropical coastal ecosystems across the globe. Densities of juvenile fish species were compared among mangrove, seagrass and coral reef habitats. In the Caribbean, the majority of species showed significantly higher juvenile densities in mangroves as compared to seagrass beds and coral reefs, while for the Indo-Pacific region seagrass beds harbored the highest overall densities. Further analysis indicated that differences in tidal amplitude, irrespective of biogeographic region, appeared to be the major driver for this phenomenon. In addition, juvenile reef fish use of mangroves increased with increasing water salinity. In the Caribbean, species of specific families (e.g. Lutjanidae, Haemulidae showed a higher reliance on mangroves or seagrass beds as juvenile habitats than other species, whereas in the Indo-Pacific family-specific trends of juvenile habitat utilization were less apparent. The findings of this study highlight the importance of incorporating region-specific tidal inundation regimes into marine spatial conservation planning and ecosystem based management. Furthermore, the significant role of water salinity and tidal access as drivers of mangrove fish habitat use implies that changes in seawater level and rainfall due to climate change may have important effects on how juvenile reef fish use nearshore seascapes in the future.

  11. [The feeding activity of herbivorous fishes and their impact on coral reefs with different levels of anthropogenic degradation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durán, Alain; Claro, Rodolfo

    2009-09-01

    The feeding activity of three herbivorous fishes (Sparisoma viride, Scarus iserti and Acanthurus coeruleus) and its impact on two coral reefs were studied during the dry (February) and rainy (August) seasons of 2006 in Cuba. One of the reef stations is at the "Acuario" dive point in the Guanahacabibes National Park, and is relatively pristine. The second one is located at the north coast of Havana City facing the Instituto de Oceanología (IdO) and is subject to pollution and fishing pressures. Herbivore fish composition was analized, and foraging intensity was measured for all Acanthurid and Scarid species, by counting fish bites in 1 m2 during five minute intervals (25 replicates). Concurrently, species foraging intensity was measured for juvenile, intermediate, and adult phases, counting fish bites during 10 minutes intervals (10 replicates). Algal consumption rate was estimated using a coefficent of consumed biomass per bite, for each size class. The algal cover was sampled at 20 m linear transects with four replicates at each site. Food items were assessed sampling algae at the observed bitten substrates. Compared to Acuario, herbivores in IdO showed lower species richness and higher density of small size fishes, but large-sized parrotfish was almost absent due to intense fishing. The highest bite rate was observed for the smallest fish size, but net consumption rate was three times greater for medium and great size fishes, which were more abundant in the protected area. Algal cover was lower in Acuario, while in IdO it was very high, and coral cover was very low. In both locations epiphytic algae were the preferred food. These results support generalizations referring to the importance of great size herbivores fishes in controlling excesive algal proliferation on coral reefs.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

    with corals leading to their mortality, which subsequently turns a coral dominant reef into an algal reef (Hughes et al. 2007; Diaz-Pullido et al. 2009). Other factors like mechanical destruction and outbreak of coral eaters that facilitate the substrate... were processed manually by classifying different benthic forms including the abiotic forms like sand and measuring their area coverage using a graph paper with the factor of simple proportion. The corals were identified using the keys described...

  14. Human-mediated loss of phylogenetic and functional diversity in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'agata, Stéphanie; Mouillot, David; Kulbicki, Michel; Andréfouët, Serge; Bellwood, David R; Cinner, Joshua E; Cowman, Peter F; Kronen, Mecki; Pinca, Silvia; Vigliola, Laurent

    2014-03-03

    Beyond the loss of species richness, human activities may also deplete the breadth of evolutionary history (phylogenetic diversity) and the diversity of roles (functional diversity) carried out by species within communities, two overlooked components of biodiversity. Both are, however, essential to sustain ecosystem functioning and the associated provision of ecosystem services, particularly under fluctuating environmental conditions. We quantified the effect of human activities on the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of fish communities in coral reefs, while teasing apart the influence of biogeography and habitat along a gradient of human pressure across the Pacific Ocean. We detected nonlinear relationships with significant breaking points in the impact of human population density on phylogenetic and functional diversity of parrotfishes, at 25 and 15 inhabitants/km(2), respectively, while parrotfish species richness decreased linearly along the same population gradient. Over the whole range, species richness decreased by 11.7%, while phylogenetic and functional diversity dropped by 35.8% and 46.6%, respectively. Our results call for caution when using species richness as a benchmark for measuring the status of ecosystems since it appears to be less responsive to variation in human population densities than its phylogenetic and functional counterparts, potentially imperiling the functioning of coral reef ecosystems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Comparative analysis of free and scuba diving for benthopelagic and cryptic fish species associated with rocky reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo Gutterres Giordano

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This work aimed to assess, through experimental comparisons between free and scuba diving performed in Arraial do Cabo city, RJ, Brazil, the abundances of Scartella cristata e Chaetodon striatus -two reef fish species of contrasting behaviors- in different depth layers of sheltered and exposed rocky reefs. C. striatus was homogeneously distributed through all the depth strata (0-10 m and scuba diving should be preferred over free diving to assess the abundance of this species at exposed rocky shores, undergoing continuous effects of waves and winds. Both free and scuba diving can be used indistinctly and with no data biases to appraise the abundances of C. striatus in non-turbulent reefs or in shallow zones (i.e., ≤ 5 m of exposed reefs, and, for S. cristata, in all depth layers (i.e., up to 10 m of both sheltered and exposed reefs. Although the abundances of S. cristata did not significantly differ between free and scuba diving, contrasting with most previous studies that stressed the risk of the first method to underestimate the abundance of small and cryptic species, it should be considered that the previous experience of the diver and the nature of our study (i.e., focused specifically on a cryptic species may have contributed to our findings. Further studies are, however, necessary to test our findings in different conditions (i.e., depths, hydrodynamic characteristics, and habitat complexity and for other tropical reef fish species, in order to increase the truthfulness of underwater visual census and reduce the risk of failure of fish conservation and management programs potentially based on biased data.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  18. Molecular signatures of transgenerational response to ocean acidification in a species of reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schunter, Celia; Welch, Megan J.; Ryu, Taewoo; Zhang, Huoming; Berumen, Michael L.; Nilsson, Göran E.; Munday, Philip L.; Ravasi, Timothy

    2016-11-01

    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 2 levels; however, individual variation exists that might promote adaptation. Here, we show a clear signature of parental sensitivity to high CO 2 in the brain molecular phenotype of juvenile spiny damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, primarily driven by circadian rhythm genes. Offspring of CO 2-tolerant and CO 2-sensitive parents were reared at near-future CO 2 (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 2 and the expression of parental tolerance to high CO 2 in the offspring molecular phenotype. Exposure to high CO 2 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 2 conditions. This transgenerational molecular signature suggests that individual variation in CO 2 sensitivity could facilitate adaptation of fish populations to ocean acidification.

  19. Comparative Allometric Growth of the Mimetic Ephippid Reef Fishes Chaetodipterus faber and Platax orbicularis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Breno; Sakai, Yoichi; Pereira, Pedro H C; Gasset, Eric; Buchet, Vincent; Maamaatuaiahutapu, Moana; Ready, Jonathan S; Oliveira, Yrlan; Giarrizzo, Tommaso; Vallinoto, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. Colonization and community development of fish assemblages associated with estuarine artificial reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heath Folpp

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite the long history of the development of artificial structures in NSW estuaries there are no studies that provide any comprehensive scientific evaluation of post-deployment goals. We assessed the effectiveness of estuarine artificial reefs as a fisheries enhancement initiative; described the diversity and abundance of species associated with them, and detailed the patterns of colonization and community development associated with an artificial reef deployment in Lake Macquarie, a large coastal barrier lagoon on the southeast coast of Australia. Six artificial reefs (one artificial reef group, constructed from artificial reef units (Reef Balls®, were deployed in December 2005 and sampled six times per season over two years using baited remote underwater video (BRUV. Colonization of the artificial reef group was relatively rapid with the majority of species identified over the two-year study period observed within the first year post-deployment. Overall, 27 species from 17 families were identified. Key colonising species included Pelates sexlineatus (Terapontidae, Acanthopagrus australis (Sparidae, Pagrus auratus (Sparidae and Rhabdosargus sarba (Sparidae. Species richness showed evidence of potential seasonal fluctuations, being higher in warm water months (Summer/Autumn, and lower in the colder water months (Winter/Spring, while species diversity increased significantly with reef age. Fish assemblage composition remained relatively stable after the first year of sampling, with few discernible patterns in assemblage structure evident after the first year. Distinct separation in reef age groupings was evident during the second year of sampling; a pattern primarily driven by a decrease in abundance of P. sexlineatus, a result of the isolated nature of the artificial reefs and the interrelated effects of density dependence and predation.A despeito da longa história do desenvolvimento de estruturas artificiais nos estuários de NSW, n

  1. 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

  2. Interactive effects of shelter and conspecific density shape mortality, growth, and condition in juvenile reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, John R; Shima, Jeffrey S; Swearer, Stephen E

    2016-06-01

    How landscape context influences density-dependent processes is important, as environmental heterogeneity can confound estimates of density dependence in demographic parameters. Here we evaluate 19 populations in a shoaling temperate reef fish (Trachinops caudimaculatus) metapopulation within a heterogeneous seascape (Port Phillip Bay, Australia) to show empirically that shelter availability and population density interact to influence juvenile mortality, growth and condition. Although heterogeneity in shelter availability obscured the underlying patterns of density dependence in different ways, the combination of habitat and its interaction with density were two to six times more important than density alone in explaining variation in demographic parameters for juveniles. These findings contradict many small-scale studies and highlight the need for landscape-scale observations of how density dependence interacts with resource availability and competition to better understand how demographic parameters influence the dynamics of metapopulations in heterogeneous environments.

  3. Diet reveals links between morphology and foraging in a cryptic temperate reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Natalia S; Paz-Goicoechea, Maite; Lamb, Robert W; Pérez-Matus, Alejandro

    2017-12-01

    Predators select prey so as to maximize energy and minimize manipulation time. In order to reduce prey detection and handling time, individuals must actively select their foraging space (microhabitat) and populations exhibit morphologies that are best suited for capturing locally available prey. We explored how variation in diet correlates with habitat type, and how these factors influence key morphological structures (mouth gape, eye diameter, fin length, fin area, and pectoral fin ratio) in a common microcarnivorous cryptic reef fish species, the triplefin Helcogrammoides cunninghami. In a mensurative experiment carried out at six kelp-dominated sites, we observed considerable differences in diet along 400 km of the Chilean coast coincident with variation in habitat availability and prey distributions. Triplefins preferred a single prey type (bivalves or barnacles) at northern sites, coincident with a low diversity of foraging habitats. In contrast, southern sites presented varied and heterogeneous habitats, where triplefin diets were more diverse and included amphipods, decapods, and cumaceans. Allometry-corrected results indicated that some morphological structures were consistently correlated with different prey items. Specifically, large mouth gape was associated with the capture of highly mobile prey such as decapods, while small mouth gape was more associated with cumaceans and copepods. In contrast, triplefins that capture sessile prey such as hydroids tend to have larger eyes. Therefore, morphological structures co-vary with habitat selection and prey usage in this species. Our study shows how an abundant generalist reef fish exhibits variable feeding morphologies in response to the distribution of potential habitats and prey throughout its range.

  4. Baseline Assessment of Mesophotic Reefs of the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain Based on Water Quality, Microbial Diversity, Benthic Cover and Fish Biomass Data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro M Meirelles

    Full Text Available Seamounts are considered important sources of biodiversity and minerals. However, their biodiversity and health status are not well understood; therefore, potential conservation problems are unknown. The mesophotic reefs of the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain (VTC were investigated via benthic community and fish surveys, metagenomic and water chemistry analyses, and water microbial abundance estimations. The VTC is a mosaic of reef systems and includes fleshy algae dominated rhodolith beds, crustose coralline algae (CCA reefs, and turf algae dominated rocky reefs of varying health levels. Macro-carnivores and larger fish presented higher biomass at the CCA reefs (4.4 kg per frame than in the rhodolith beds and rocky reefs (0.0 to 0.1 kg per frame. A larger number of metagenomic sequences identified as primary producers (e.g., Chlorophyta and Streptophyta were found at the CCA reefs. However, the rocky reefs contained more diseased corals (>90% than the CCA reefs (~40% and rhodolith beds (~10%. Metagenomic analyses indicated a heterotrophic and fast-growing microbiome in rocky reef corals that may possibly lead to unhealthy conditions possibly enhanced by environmental features (e.g. light stress and high loads of labile dissolved organic carbon. VTC mounts represent important hotspots of biodiversity that deserve further conservation actions.

  5. Baseline Assessment of Mesophotic Reefs of the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain Based on Water Quality, Microbial Diversity, Benthic Cover and Fish Biomass Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirelles, Pedro M; Amado-Filho, Gilberto M; Pereira-Filho, Guilherme H; Pinheiro, Hudson T; de Moura, Rodrigo L; Joyeux, Jean-Christophe; Mazzei, Eric F; Bastos, Alex C; Edwards, Robert A; Dinsdale, Elizabeth; Paranhos, Rodolfo; Santos, Eidy O; Iida, Tetsuya; Gotoh, Kazuyoshi; Nakamura, Shota; Sawabe, Tomoo; Rezende, Carlos E; Gadelha, Luiz M R; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B; Thompson, Cristiane; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2015-01-01

    Seamounts are considered important sources of biodiversity and minerals. However, their biodiversity and health status are not well understood; therefore, potential conservation problems are unknown. The mesophotic reefs of the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain (VTC) were investigated via benthic community and fish surveys, metagenomic and water chemistry analyses, and water microbial abundance estimations. The VTC is a mosaic of reef systems and includes fleshy algae dominated rhodolith beds, crustose coralline algae (CCA) reefs, and turf algae dominated rocky reefs of varying health levels. Macro-carnivores and larger fish presented higher biomass at the CCA reefs (4.4 kg per frame) than in the rhodolith beds and rocky reefs (0.0 to 0.1 kg per frame). A larger number of metagenomic sequences identified as primary producers (e.g., Chlorophyta and Streptophyta) were found at the CCA reefs. However, the rocky reefs contained more diseased corals (>90%) than the CCA reefs (~40%) and rhodolith beds (~10%). Metagenomic analyses indicated a heterotrophic and fast-growing microbiome in rocky reef corals that may possibly lead to unhealthy conditions possibly enhanced by environmental features (e.g. light stress and high loads of labile dissolved organic carbon). VTC mounts represent important hotspots of biodiversity that deserve further conservation actions.

  6. Upper and lower mesophotic coral reef fish communities evaluated by underwater visual censuses in two Caribbean locations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinheiro, H. T.; Goodbody-Gringley, G.; Jessup, M. E.; Shepherd, B.; Chequer, A. D.; Rocha, L. A.

    2016-03-01

    Despite more than 60 yr of coral reef research using scuba diving, mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) between 30 and 150 m depth remain largely unknown. This study represents the first underwater visual census of reef fish communities in the Greater Caribbean on MCEs at depths up to 80 m in Bermuda and 130 m in Curaçao. Sampling was performed using mixed-gas closed-circuit rebreathers. Quantitative data on reef fish communities were obtained for four habitats: coral reefs (45-80 m), rhodolith beds (45-80 m), ledges (85-130 m) and walls (85-130 m). A total of 38 species were recorded in Bermuda and 66 in Curaçao. Mesophotic reef fish communities varied significantly between the two localities. MCEs in Bermuda had lower richness and abundance, but higher biomass than those in Curaçao. Richness, abundance and biomass increased with depth in Bermuda, but decreased in Curaçao. A high turnover of species was found among depth strata and between Bermuda and other Caribbean upper MCEs (45-80 m), indicating that depth was an important driver of community structure at all localities. However, local and evolutionary factors (habitat and endemism) are likely the main factors shaping communities in isolated locations such as Bermuda. High fishing pressure is evident in both localities, as total biomass of apex predators was generally low, and thus may be driving a "refugia" scenario in Bermuda, as the abundance and biomass of macro-carnivores increased with depth and distance from the coast.

  7. Effects of elevated CO2 on predator avoidance behaviour by reef fishes is not altered by experimental test water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip L. Munday

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Pioneering studies into the effects of elevated CO2 on the behaviour of reef fishes often tested high-CO2 reared fish using control water in the test arena. While subsequent studies using rearing treatment water (control or high CO2 in the test arena have confirmed the effects of high CO2 on a range of reef fish behaviours, a further investigation into the use of different test water in the experimental arena is warranted. Here, we used a fully factorial design to test the effect of rearing treatment water (control or high CO2 and experimental test water (control or high CO2 on antipredator responses of larval reef fishes. We tested antipredator behaviour in larval clownfish Amphiprion percula and ambon damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis, two species that have been used in previous high CO2 experiments. Specifically, we tested if: (1 using control or high CO2 water in a two channel flume influenced the response of larval clownfish to predator odour; and (2 using control or high CO2 water in the test arena influenced the escape response of larval damselfish to a startle stimulus. Finally, (3 because the effects of high CO2 on fish behaviour appear to be caused by altered function of the GABA-A neurotransmitter we tested if antipredator behaviours were restored in clownfish treated with a GABA antagonist (gabazine in high CO2 water. Larval clownfish reared from hatching in control water (496 µatm strongly avoided predator cue whereas larval clownfish reared from hatching in high CO2 (1,022 µatm were attracted to the predator cue, as has been reported in previous studies. There was no effect on fish responses of using either control or high CO2 water in the flume. Larval damselfish reared for four days in high CO2 (1,051 µatm exhibited a slower response to a startle stimulus and slower escape speed compared with fish reared in control conditions (464 µatm. There was no effect of test water on escape responses. Treatment of high-CO2 reared

  8. An annotated list of fish parasites (Isopoda, Copepoda, Monogenea, Digenea, Cestoda, Nematoda) collected from Snappers and Bream (Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae, Caesionidae) in New Caledonia confirms high parasite biodiversity on coral reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Coral reefs are areas of maximum biodiversity, but the parasites of coral reef fishes, and especially their species richness, are not well known. Over an 8-year period, parasites were collected from 24 species of Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae and Caesionidae off New Caledonia, South Pacific. Results Host-parasite and parasite-host lists are provided, with a total of 207 host-parasite combinations and 58 parasite species identified at the species level, with 27 new host records. Results are presented for isopods, copepods, monogeneans, digeneans, cestodes and nematodes. When results are restricted to well-sampled reef fish species (sample size > 30), the number of host-parasite combinations is 20–25 per fish species, and the number of parasites identified at the species level is 9–13 per fish species. Lutjanids include reef-associated fish and deeper sea fish from the outer slopes of the coral reef: fish from both milieus were compared. Surprisingly, parasite biodiversity was higher in deeper sea fish than in reef fish (host-parasite combinations: 12.50 vs 10.13, number of species per fish 3.75 vs 3.00); however, we identified four biases which diminish the validity of this comparison. Finally, these results and previously published results allow us to propose a generalization of parasite biodiversity for four major families of reef-associated fishes (Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae, Serranidae and Lethrinidae): well-sampled fish have a mean of 20 host-parasite combinations per fish species, and the number of parasites identified at the species level is 10 per fish species. Conclusions Since all precautions have been taken to minimize taxon numbers, it is safe to affirm than the number of fish parasites is at least ten times the number of fish species in coral reefs, for species of similar size or larger than the species in the four families studied; this is a major improvement to our estimate of biodiversity in coral reefs. Our results suggest that

  9. Selective feeding by coral reef fishes on coral lesions associated with brown band and black band disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong-Seng, K. M.; Cole, A. J.; Pratchett, M. S.; Willis, B. L.

    2011-06-01

    Recent studies have suggested that corallivorous fishes may be vectors for coral disease, but the extent to which fishes actually feed on and thereby potentially transmit coral pathogens is largely unknown. For this study, in situ video observations were used to assess the level to which fishes fed on diseased coral tissues at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef. Surveys conducted at multiple locations around Lizard Island revealed that coral disease prevalence, especially of brown band disease (BrB), was higher in lagoon and backreef locations than in exposed reef crests. Accordingly, video cameras were deployed in lagoon and backreef habitats to record feeding by fishes during 1-h periods on diseased sections of each of 44 different coral colonies. Twenty-five species from five fish families (Blennidae, Chaetodontidae, Gobiidae, Labridae and Pomacentridae) were observed to feed on infected coral tissues of staghorn species of Acropora that were naturally infected with black band disease (BBD) or brown band disease (BrB). Collectively, these fishes took an average of 18.6 (±5.6 SE) and 14.3 (±6.1 SE) bites per hour from BBD and BrB lesions, respectively. More than 40% (408/948 bites) and nearly 25% (314/1319 bites) of bites were observed on lesions associated with BBD and BrB, respectively, despite these bands each representing only about 1% of the substratum available. Moreover, many corallivorous fishes ( Labrichthys unilineatus, Chaetodon aureofasciatus, C. baronessa, C. lunulatus, C. trifascialis, Cheiloprion labiatus) selectively targeted disease lesions over adjacent healthy coral tissues. These findings highlight the important role that reef fishes may play in the dynamics of coral diseases, either as vectors for the spread of coral disease or in reducing coral disease progression through intensive and selective consumption of diseased coral tissues.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. The importance of the marine ornamental reef fish trade in the wider Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckner, A W

    2005-05-01

    The marine ornamental fish trade began in the 1930s in Sri Lanka, spread to Hawaii and the Philippines in the 1950s, and expanded to a multi-million dollar industry in the 1970s with fisheries established throughout the tropical Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Currently, 45 countries supply global markets an estimated 14-30 million fish annually, with an import value of US$28-44 million. The largest suppliers are Indonesia and the Philippines, followed by Brazil, Maldives, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Hawaii. In the tropical Western Atlantic, 16 countries have export fisheries, including the U.S. (Florida and Puerto Rico). The U.S. is the world's largest buyer, followed by the European Union and Japan. The global trade consists of over 1400 species of reef fishes, of which only about 25 are captive bred on a commercial scale. Damselfish, anemonefish, and angelfish constitute over 50% of the global volume; butterflyfish, wrasses, blennies, gobies, triggerfish, filcfish, hawkfishes, groupers and basselets account for 31% of the trade, and the remaining 16% is represented by 33 families. The most important fishes from the Caribbean are angelfish (six species), seahorses (two species), royal gramma, jawfish, queen triggerfish, redlip blenny, puddingwife, bluehead wrasse, and blue chromis. The Caribbean currently supplies a small percentage of the global trade in marine ornamental species, but ornamental fisheries in this region represent important emerging industries. It is critical that effective ornamental fishery management plans and regulations are developed and enforced, and fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data are collected and utilized in decision making processes to ensure sustainable ornamental fisheries throughout the region.

  13. Archaeological evidence of validity of fish populations on unexploited reefs as proxy targets for modern populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longenecker, Ken; Chan, Yvonne L; Toonen, Robert J; Carlon, David B; Hunt, Terry L; Friedlander, Alan M; Demartini, Edward E

    2014-10-01

    Reef-fish management and conservation is hindered by a lack of information on fish populations prior to large-scale contemporary human impacts. As a result, relatively pristine sites are often used as conservation baselines for populations near sites affected by humans. This space-for-time approach can only be validated by sampling assemblages through time. We used archaeological remains to evaluate whether the remote, uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) might provide a reasonable proxy for a lightly exploited baseline in the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). We used molecular and morphological techniques to describe the taxonomic and size composition of the scarine parrotfish catches present in 2 archaeological assemblages from the MHI, compared metrics of these catches with modern estimates of reproductive parameters to evaluate whether catches represented by the archaeological material were consistent with sustainable fishing, and evaluated overlap between size structures represented by the archaeological material and modern survey data from the MHI and the NWHI to assess whether a space-for-time substitution is reasonable. The parrotfish catches represented by archaeological remains were consistent with sustainable fishing because they were dominated by large, mature individuals whose average size remained stable from prehistoric (AD approximately 1400-1700) through historic (AD 1700-1960) periods. The ancient catches were unlike populations in the MHI today. Overlap between the size structure of ancient MHI catches and modern survey data from the NWHI or the MHI was an order of magnitude greater for the NWHI comparison, a result that supports the validity of using the NWHI parrotfish data as a proxy for the MHI before accelerated, heavy human impacts in modern times. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Effects of Pile Driving on the Residency and Movement of Tagged Reef Fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iafrate, Joseph D; Watwood, Stephanie L; Reyier, Eric A; Scheidt, Douglas M; Dossot, Georges A; Crocker, Steven E

    2016-01-01

    The potential effects of pile driving on fish populations and commercial fisheries have received significant attention given the prevalence of pile driving occurring in coastal habitats throughout the world. Behavioral impacts of sound generated from these activities on fish typically have a greater area of influence than physical injury, and may therefore adversely affect a greater portion of the local population. This study used acoustic telemetry to assess the movement, residency, and survival of 15 sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus) and 10 grey snapper (Lutjanus griseus) in Port Canaveral, Florida, USA, in response to 35 days of pile driving at a wharf complex. No obvious signs of mortality or injury to tagged fish were evident from the data. Received sound pressure levels from pile strikes on the interior of the wharf, where reef fish primarily occur, were on average 152-157 dB re 1 μPa (peak). No significant decrease in sheepshead daytime residency was observed during pile driving within the central portion of the wharf and area of highest sound exposure, and no major indicators of displacement from the exposure wharf with the onset of pile driving were observed. There was evidence of potential displacement from the exposure wharf that coincided with the start of pile driving observed for 2 out of 4 grey snapper, along with a decrease in daytime residency for a subset of this species with high site fidelity prior to the event. Results indicate that snapper may be more likely to depart an area of pile driving disturbance more readily than sheepshead, but were less at risk for behavioral impact given the lower site fidelity of this species.

  15. 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...

  16. The relationship between coral reef health, alien algae, and fish biomass at sites on Oahu and the Big Island, Hawaii, during 2004-2005 (NODC Accession 0002619)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Data in this set come from two studies: "Ability of protected reefs to resist alien algae" and "How many fish does it take to keep the alien algae out?" Both are...

  17. Functional connectivity of coral reef fishes in a tropical seascape assessed by compound-specific stable isotope analyses

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton W.

    2011-01-01

    The ecological integrity of tropical habitats, including mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs, is coming under increasing pressure from human activities. Many coral reef fish species are thought to use mangroves and seagrass beds as juvenile nurseries before migrating to coral reefs as adults. Identifying essential habitats and preserving functional linkages among these habitats is likely necessary to promote ecosystem health and sustainable fisheries on coral reefs. This necessitates quantitative assessment of functional connectivity among essential habitats at the seascape level. This thesis presents the development and first application of a method for tracking fish migration using amino acid (AA) δ13C analysis in otoliths. In a controlled feeding experiment with fish reared on isotopically distinct diets, we showed that essential AAs exhibited minimal trophic fractionation between consumer and diet, providing a δ13C record of the baseline isoscape. We explored the potential for geochemical signatures in otoliths of snapper to act as natural tags of residency in seagrass beds, mangroves and coral reefs in the Red Sea, Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean. The δ13C values of otolith essential AAs varied as a function of habitat type and provided a better tracer of residence in juvenile nursery habitats than conventional bulk stable isotope analyses (SIA). Using our otolith AA SIA approach, we quantified the relative contribution of coastal wetlands and reef habitats to Lutjanus ehrenbergii populations on coastal, shelf and oceanic coral reefs in the Red Sea. L. ehrenbergii made significant ontogenetic migrations, traveling more than 30 km from juvenile nurseries to coral reefs and across deep open water. Coastal wetlands were important nurseries for L. ehrenbergii; however, there was significant plasticity in L. ehrenbergii juvenile habitat requirements. Seascape configuration played an important role in determining the functional connectivity of L

  18. Qualitative modelling of gold mine impacts on Lihir Island's socioeconomic system and reef-edge fish community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dambacher, Jeffrey M; Brewer, David T; Dennis, Darren M; Macintyre, Martha; Foale, Simon

    2007-01-15

    Inhabitants of Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea, have traditionally relied on reef fishing and rotational farming of slash-burn forest plots for a subsistence diet. However, a new gold mine has introduced a cash economy to the island's socioeconomic system and impacted the fringing coral reef through sedimentation from the near-shore dumping of mine wastes. Studies of the Lihirian people have documented changes in population size, local customs, health, education, and land use; studies of the reef have documented impacts to fish populations in mine affected sites. Indirect effects from these impacts are complex and indecipherable when viewed only from isolated studies. Here, we use qualitative modelling to synthesize the social and biological research programs in order to understand the interaction of the human and ecological systems. Initial modelling results appear to be consistent with differences in fish and macroalgae populations in sites with and without coral degradation due to sedimentation. A greater cash flow from mine expansion is predicted to increase the human population, the intensity of the artisanal fishery, and the rate of sewage production and land clearing. Modelling results are being used to guide ongoing research projects, such as monitoring fish populations and artisanal catch and patterns and intensity of land clearing.

  19. Spatial Distribution of Reef Fish Species along the Southeast US Atlantic Coast Inferred from Underwater Video Survey Data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan M Bacheler

    Full Text Available Marine fish abundance and distribution often varies across spatial scales for a variety of reasons, and this variability has significant ecological and management consequences. We quantified the distribution of reef-associated fish species along the southeast United States Atlantic coast using underwater video survey samples (N = 4,855 in 2011-2014 to elucidate variability within species across space, depths, and habitats, as well as describe broad-scale patterns in species richness. Thirty-two species were seen at least 10 times on video, and the most commonly observed species were red porgy (Pagrus pagrus; 41.4% of videos, gray triggerfish (Balistes capriscus; 31.0%, black sea bass (Centropristis striata; 29.1%, vermilion snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens; 27.7%, and red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus; 22.6%. Using generalized additive models, we found that most species were non-randomly distributed across space, depths, and habitats. Most rare species were observed along the continental shelf break, except for goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara, which was found on the continental shelf in Florida and Georgia. We also observed higher numbers of species in shelf-break habitats from southern North Carolina to Georgia, and fewer in shallower water and at the northern and southern ends of the southeast United States Atlantic coast. Our study provides the first broad-scale description of the spatial distribution of reef fish in the region to be based on fishery-independent data, reinforces the utility of underwater video to survey reef fish, and can help improve the management of reef fish in the SEUS, for example, by improving indices of abundance.

  20. The use of butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) species richness as a proxy of total species richness of reef fish assemblages in the Western and Central Pacific

    OpenAIRE

    Kulbicki, M.; Bozec, Y. M.

    2005-01-01

    1. A new use of butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) is proposed for monitoring programmes, based on the relationship existing between the total species richness of reef fish assemblages and the species richness of butterflyfishes. These two variables are highly correlated and it is possible under certain circumstances to predict the total species richness of a reef fish assemblage from the butterflyfish species richness. 2. In the present study, the effects on this relationship of three regions ...

  1. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Kauai Island, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 16 October - 14...

  2. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Ofu And Olosega Islands, American Samoa in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 18 February - 19 March...

  3. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Aguijan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 5 April - 14 April...

  4. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Pearl And Hermes Atoll, NW Hawaiian Islands in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 12 September - 12...

  5. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Pagan Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  6. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Zealandia Bank, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 15 April - 7 May 2009,...

  7. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Hawaii Island, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 16 October - 14...

  8. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Reef Fish Survey at Palmyra, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 2010-01-21 to...

  9. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Niihau Island, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To support a long-term NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) for sustainable management and conservation of coral reef ecosystems, from 16 October - 14...

  10. CRED REA Reef Fish Assessment Survey at Farallon De Pajaros Island, Marianas Archipelago in 2009

    <