Distributions and habitat associations of the bridled monocle bream Scolopsis bilineatus (Nemipteridae): a demographic approach

Boaden, A.E., and Kingsford, M.J. (2013) Distributions and habitat associations of the bridled monocle bream Scolopsis bilineatus (Nemipteridae): a demographic approach. Journal of Fish Biology, 83 (3). pp. 618-641.

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This study focussed on the demography and ecology of Scolopsis bilineatus at three locations on the Great Barrier Reef: the Lizard Island Group, Orpheus Island and One Tree Island. Scolopsis bilineatus lived for up to 16 years and had four distinct life-history stages, which varied in their distribution patterns, habitat use and reproductive behaviour. Pre-maturational sex change occurred whereby all males were derived from immature females, and males grew faster and larger than females. Small females and larger males generally formed pairs, which influenced their spatial distributions at small scales. Distributions of S. bilineatus were influenced by depth and exposure within reefs, particularly for juveniles, and most fish were found in shallow, sheltered habitats. Abundance was influenced by benthic cover, and was higher in areas of high coral cover and low where algae were abundant. Habitat associations were stronger at the microhabitat scale, and shelter sites were important for adults. Ontogenetic changes in microhabitat associations were found: juveniles occupied sand and rubble, and adults occupied shelters such as caves and overhangs. Adults showed site fidelity for shelter sites over a period of 4 days and returned to specific shelter sites repeatedly. These findings illustrate the importance of understanding the spatial ecology and habitat use of coral reef fishes, particularly with reference to size-based changes within species.

Item ID: 29504
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8649
Keywords: behaviour, demography, habitat associations, reproduction, sex change, site fidelity
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Royal Zoological Society of NSW
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2013 05:26
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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