Age-based studies

Choat, J. Howard, and Robertson, D. Ross (2002) Age-based studies. In: Sale, Peter S., (ed.) Coral Reef Fishes: dynamic and diversity in a complex ecosystem. Elsevier, San Diego, CA, USA, pp. 57-80.

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[Extract] T here exists a vast literature on the age and growth of fishes (Hilborne and Waiters, 1992; Secor et al., 1995a). Much of this reflects a century of research on the major stocks of exploited fishes, primarily those of temperate water, open-ocean, and deep-water habitats. In contrast, there is relatively little age-based demographic information available on coral reef fishes. There are a number of reasons for advocating a more comprehensive understanding of the age-based demography of coral reef fishes. The primary reason relates to the increasing exploitation of reef fish stocks by both artisanal and commercial fisheries, some of the latter (e.g., the live fish trade) being internationally based (Jennings and Polunin, 1996; Birkeland, 1997a; Lee and Sadovy, 1998). Demographic information will provide a better basis for reef fish conservation and management.

Assembling age-based data for coral reef fishes will be a complex task. Most species have wide distributions spanning significant geographic gradients (Myers, 1999). Within localized areas a species will occur in a variety of habitats. As poikilotherms, fish are sensitive to prevailing environmental conditions (Atkinson, 1994). Growth and life history patterns of reef fishes can be expected to vary, at geographic, latitudinal, and habitat scales. An emerging picture of the demography of reef fishes suggests three things. Many taxa will be relatively long-lived (Munro and Polunin, 1997), with life-spans exceeding 15 years; they will have highly distinctive patterns of growth, and age-based demographic features will show a strong phylogenetic structure (Hart and Russ, 1996; Newman et al., 1996; Choat and Axe, 1996; Choat et al., 1996). Most importantly, it is becoming evident that size and age in many taxa of reef fishes may be decoupled (Hart and Russ, 1996; Newman et al., 1996, 2000b). Although reef fishes occur in a wide range of sizes, large size may not correlate with longevity. In addition, many species of coral reef fishes may have complex sexual ontogenies, which can in turn influence size and sex-specific growth patterns (Sadovy and Shapiro, 1987; Choat et al., 1996).

Item ID: 14366
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-12-615185-5
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2010 05:45
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060807 Animal Structure and Function @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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