Patterns of recruitment of coral reef fishes in a monsoonal environment

Abesamis, R.A., and Russ, G.R. (2010) Patterns of recruitment of coral reef fishes in a monsoonal environment. Coral Reefs, 29 (4). pp. 911-921.

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Abstract

The abundance of newly settled recruits of coral reef fishes was monitored at a total of 11 sites at two islands and two coastal locations in the central Philippines for a 20-month period (February 2008 to September 2009) that included two monsoon cycles. Recruitment occurred throughout the year. Most of the abundant species exhibited protracted recruitment seasons. This confirms the expectation of extended breeding of reef fishes at lower latitudes. The annual pattern of recruitment of reef fishes as a group was predictable. Annual fluctuations of sea surface temperature and wind strength largely explained the pattern. Rainfall, however, did not significantly influence the pattern of recruitment. Peaks in density and species richness of recruits occurred during the southwest monsoon and the second inter-monsoonal period of the year (July to October) when temperatures were highest and when most of the sites were sheltered from winds or when winds were weak. Conversely, lowest density and species richness were observed during the northeast monsoon (November to March) when temperatures were lowest and most sites were exposed to winds. The same pattern could also be seen in the recruitment of both damselfishes (Pomacentridae) and wrasses (Labridae), notwithstanding a tenfold difference in abundance of recruits between the two families. The pattern was fairly consistent across most sites, among most of the species that were examined, and between the 2 years that were sampled. This study is one of the few to provide insights into the influence of environmental factors on the recruitment patterns of fishes on Indo-Pacific coral reefs situated at lower latitudes.

Item ID: 16931
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: coral reef fish, reproduction, recruitment seasonality, monsoons, Philippines
ISSN: 1432-0975
Date Deposited: 11 May 2011 01:47
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070499 Fisheries Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 60%
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