Physiological tolerance to hyperthermia and hypoxia and effects on species richness and distribution of rockpool fishes of Loggerhead Key, Dry Tortugas National Park

Rummer, J.L., Fangue, N.A., Jordan, H.L., Tiffany, B.N., Blansit, K.J., Galleher , S., Kirkpatrick, A., Kizlauskas, A.A., Pomory, C.M., and Bennett, W.A. (2009) Physiological tolerance to hyperthermia and hypoxia and effects on species richness and distribution of rockpool fishes of Loggerhead Key, Dry Tortugas National Park. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 371. pp. 155-162.

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Abstract

Rockpools on Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park experience cyclic tidal changes in water quality and physical dimension resulting in ichthyofaunal assemblages that differ markedly from the adjacent coral reef. Within the beach rock formations and areas transitioning to the nearby reef, we observed 45 fish species; however, only four species – schoolmaster, Lutjanus apodus, French grunt, Haemulon flavolineatum, cocoa damsel, Pomacentrus variabilis, and frillfin goby, Bathygobius soporator – were found in all rockpools. All fishes were transient juveniles except for frillfin goby, which was a pool resident. High temperature tolerance, (Critical Thermal Maxima), and low oxygen tolerance, (Critical Oxygen Minima) for schoolmaster, French grunt, cocoa damsel, and frillfin goby were 40.9, 36.2, 37.6, 40.9 °C and 0.56, 0.77, 0.50, and 0.27 mg/L, respectively. All four species demonstrated thermal and hypoxia tolerance values similar to those published for species traditionally noted as abiotic specialists. Although fish distribution patterns in rockpools were likely influenced by structural complexity and spatial limitations, the relationship between pool morphology and species richness was weak, suggesting that physiological tolerance to high temperature and low oxygen among reef fishes may be more influential in determining which species inhabit the rockpools. Harsh thermal and oxic conditions that cannot be exploited by less tolerant species may be beneficial for some Loggerhead Key reef fishes in providing refuge from predators, foraging grounds, or potential nursery areas.

Item ID: 33077
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: abiotic specialist, CTM, marginal habitats, oxygen tolerance, reef fish biodiversity, thermal tolerance
ISSN: 0022-0981
Funders: University of West Florida, USa, Florida Institute of Oceanography, USA
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2016 22:28
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060203 Ecological Physiology @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060303 Biological Adaptation @ 34%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 33%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 34%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9601 Air Quality > 960104 Marine Air Quality @ 33%
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