Patterns of recruitment and microhabitat associations for three predatory coral reef fishes on the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Wen, C.K.C., Pratchett, M.S., Almany, G.R., and Jones, G.P. (2013) Patterns of recruitment and microhabitat associations for three predatory coral reef fishes on the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Coral Reefs, 32 (2). pp. 389-398.

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Abstract

This study examined recruitment patterns and microhabitat associations for three carnivorous fishes, Plectropomus maculatus, Lutjanus carponotatus and Epinephelus quoyanus, at the Keppel Islands, southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Habitat selectivity was highest for recruits that were found mostly with corymbose Acropora, predominantly on patches of live coral located over loose substrates (sand). Adults were more commonly associated with tabular Acropora. The proportion of P. maculatus (72 %) found with live corals was higher than for L. carponotatus (68 %) and E. quoyanus (44 %). Densities of recruits were highly variable among locations, but this was only partly related to availability of preferred microhabitats. Our findings demonstrate that at least some carnivorous reef fishes, especially during early life-history stages, strongly associate with live corals. Such species will be highly sensitive to increasing degradation of coral reef habitats.

Item ID: 28869
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: coral reefs, coral trout, habitat use, Plectropomus
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Funders: Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF), Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies), Australian Government, Adaptation Research Network for Marine Biodiversity and Resources
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2014 23:09
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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