Multispecies spawning sites for fishes on a low-latitude coral reef: spatial and temporal patterns

Claydon, J.A.B., McCormick, M.I., and Jones, G.P. (2014) Multispecies spawning sites for fishes on a low-latitude coral reef: spatial and temporal patterns. Journal of Fish Biology, 84 (4). pp. 1136-1163.

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Spawning sites used by one or more species were located by intensively searching nearshore coral reefs of Kimbe Bay (New Britain, Papua New Guinea). Once identified, the spawning sites were surveyed repeatedly within fixed 5 m radius circular areas, for  > 2000 h of observations ranging from before dawn to after dusk spanning 190 days between July 2001 and May 2004. A total of 38 spawning sites were identified on the seven study reefs distributed at an average of one site every 60 m of reef edge. Pelagic spawning was observed in 41 fish species from six families. On three intensively studied reefs, all 17 spawning sites identified were used by at least three species, with a maximum of 30 different species observed spawning at a single site. Spawning was observed during every month of the study, on all days of the lunar month, at all states of the tide and at most hours of the day studied. Nevertheless, the majority of species were observed spawning on proportionately more days from December to April, on more days around the new moon and in association with higher tides. The strongest temporal association, however, was with species-specific diel spawning times spanning < 3 h for most species. While dawn spawning, afternoon spawning and dusk spawning species were differentiated, the time of spawning for the striated surgeonfish Ctenochaetus striatus also differed significantly among sites. The large number of species spawning at the same restricted locations during predictable times suggests that these sites are extremely important on this low-latitude coral reef.

Item ID: 38434
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8649
Keywords: pelagic spawning, periodicity, resident, spatial distribution, spawning aggregation, transient
Funders: Mahonia Na Dari Research and Conservation Centre, Nature Conservancy, James Cook University
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2015 00:09
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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