Determining trigger values of suspended sediment for behavioral changes in a coral reef fish

Wenger, Amelia S., and McCormick, Mark I. (2013) Determining trigger values of suspended sediment for behavioral changes in a coral reef fish. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 70 (1-2). pp. 73-80.

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Sediment from land use increases water turbidity and threatens the health of inshore coral reefs. This study performed experiments with a damselfish, Pomacentrus moluccensis, in four sediment treatments, control (0 mg l−1), 10 mg l−1(~1.7 NTU), 20 mg l−1(~3.3 NTU) and 30 mg l−1 (~5 NTU), to determine when sediment triggers a change in habitat use and movement. We reviewed the literature to assess how frequently P. moluccensis would experience sub-optimal sediment conditions on the reef. Preference for live coral declined from 49.4% to 23.3% and movement between habitats declined from 2.1 to 0.4 times between 20 mg l−1 and 30 mg l−1, suggesting a sediment threshold for behavioral changes. Inshore areas of the Great Barrier Reef, P. moluccensis may encounter sub-optimal conditions between 8% and 53% of the time. Changes in these vital processes may have long-term effects on the persistence of populations, particularly as habitat loss on coral reefs increases.

Item ID: 28729
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: suspended sediment, turbidity, coral reef fish, habitat degradation, migration, threshold
Funders: Australian Coral Reef Society
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2013 05:29
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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