Coral reef fish association with macroalgal beds on a tropical reef system in North-eastern Brazil

Chaves, L.T.C., Pereira, P.H.C., and Feitosa, J.L.L. (2013) Coral reef fish association with macroalgal beds on a tropical reef system in North-eastern Brazil. Marine and Freshwater Research, 64 (12). pp. 1101-1111.

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Abstract

Macroalgal beds are recognised for their role as nursery and feeding grounds for several marine species. This study was conducted in the Tamandaré reef complex within the limits of the Costa dos Corais Marine Protected Area (MPA), North-eastern Brazil. The macroalgal bed studied is subjected to several disturbances, especially from tourism. The reef fish were assessed with free dives during the day and night using visual censuses within transects (20 × 2 m) and random swims. The percentage algal cover was estimated using quadrats (40 cm2). The behavioural traits of the fish also provided an understanding of their habitat use. In total, 68 fish species were recorded. The most abundant species were representatives of the families Labridae, Pomacentridae, Acanthuridae and Haemulidae. Sargassum polyceratium, Dictyopteris delicatula and Canistrocarpus cervicornis were the most abundant macroalgae. Because the most abundant fish trophic guild included primarily mobile invertebrate feeders (41.8%) and carnivores (28.4%), it is suggested that the high-canopy macroalgae harbour epiphytic invertebrates, which these fish use for food. Thereby, the study area would act as important nursery and feeding grounds. Tourism activity (e.g. laying chairs, trampling and anchoring) may disrupt fish behaviour and life- history traits and result in damage that would require mitigation through environmental awareness and law enforcement in the most affected areas.

Item ID: 33369
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: associated macrofauna, macroalgal beds, nursery areas, shelter
ISSN: 1448-6059
Funders: CAPES, CNPq, Rufford Small Grant, Idea Wild
Date Deposited: 25 May 2014 06:44
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961303 Protected Conservation Areas in Marine Environments @ 50%
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