Interactions between habitat use and patterns of abundance in coral-dwelling fishes of the genus Gobiodon

Munday, Philip L. (2000) Interactions between habitat use and patterns of abundance in coral-dwelling fishes of the genus Gobiodon. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 58 (4). pp. 355-369.

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Abstract

Coral-dwelling fishes from the genus Gobiodon are some of the most habitat specialised fishes on coral reefs. Consequently, we might expect that their population dynamics will be closely associated with the abundance of host corals. I used a combination of log-linear modelling and resource selection ratios to examine patterns of habitat use among eight species of Gobiodon in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. I then used multiple regression analysis to investigate relationships between the abundance of each species of Gobiodon and the abundance of the corals they inhabited. Each species of Gobiodon used one or more species of coral more frequently than expected by chance. The pattern of habitat use exhibited by each species of Gobiodon did not vary among reef zones or among reefs with different exposures to prevailing winds, despite changes in the relative abundances of corals among reef zones. This consistency in habitat use might be expected if the coral species inhabited confer considerable fitness advantages and, therefore, are strongly preferred. For most species of Gobiodon, abundances among reef zones and exposure regimes were correlated with the abundance of the coral species usually inhabited. Therefore, it appears that habitat availability helps determine abundances of most species of Gobiodon in Kimbe Bay. In addition to correlations with habitat availability, the abundances of G. histrio, G. quinquestrigatus, G. rivulatus (dark form) and the group lsquoothersrsquo were also associated with particular reef zones and exposure regimes. Therefore, in these species, reef type appears to influence patterns of abundance independently of coral availability. In contrast to other species of Gobiodon, the abundance of the most specialised species, Gobiodon sp.A, was not closely associated with the abundance of the only coral species it inhabited. This study demonstrates that even for habitat specialised species, the relationship between habitat availability and abundance varies widely and is multiscale.

Item ID: 12853
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Gobiidae; habitat specialisation; log-linear modelling; multiple regression; Papua New Guinea; rarity; resource selection ratios
ISSN: 1573-5133
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2012 02:42
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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