Temporal dynamics of fish assemblages of natural and artificial tropical estuaries

Sheaves, Marcus, Johnston, Ross, and Connolly, Rod M. (2010) Temporal dynamics of fish assemblages of natural and artificial tropical estuaries. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 410. pp. 143-157.

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We sampled the fish fauna of 9 small natural estuaries and 2 constructed estuarine lakes in Australia’s dry tropics over 15 mo to detail the dynamics of fish assembly structures over time. The estuaries chosen were small enough that the cast net sampling method which we used could cover the full extent of the estuary, obviating the problem that within-estuary migration might lead to the false appearance of assemblage change over time. Temporal patterns in assemblage structure were consistent across the natural estuaries, overprinting complex spatial differences. Nursery ground utilisation and assemblage composition were intimately interlinked. In natural estuaries, assemblage change was a function of changes in both probability of encounter of individual species and in species compositions, and the recruitment, growth and subsequent emigration from the estuaries of juveniles was the main contributor to overall assemblage change. In contrast, in artificial lakes where connectivity with offshore sources of recruits was restricted, species compositions were attenuated and temporal change was not driven by the recruitment of offshore species.

Item ID: 15197
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1599
Keywords: estuary; tropics; fish; assemblage structure; temporal dynamics; connectivity
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2011 23:27
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 90%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 20%
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