Extended breeding and recruitment periods of fishes on a low latitude coral reef

Srinivasan, M., and Jones, G.P. (2006) Extended breeding and recruitment periods of fishes on a low latitude coral reef. Coral Reefs, 25 (4). pp. 673-682.

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The temporal dynamics of fish recruitment to equatorial Indo-Pacific coral reefs are not well known. This paper documents fish recruitment over a 2.5-year period in Kimbe Bay (PNG) and shows that it is much less seasonal than is typically described for higher latitude coral reefs. Two families, wrasses (Labridae) and damselfishes (Pomacentridae), which accounted for 90% of all non-cryptic reef fish settlers, exhibited contrasting patterns. Most wrasse species had year-round recruitment with irregular peaks in abundance between November and May. Damselfish species showed a wider range of recruitment patterns, but most had negligible recruitment during the wet season (December–February), followed by one or two recruitment peaks between May and November. Species with longer seasonal recruitment periods exhibited higher cumulative levels of recruitment. For three focal damselfish species, reproductive output was reduced during the wet season, but this alone did not account for the low recruitment at this time. The lack of damselfish recruitment during the wet season is hypothesised to be due to a combination of reduced reproductive output and increased larval mortality associated with monsoonal conditions. The results indicate that there are consistent family-wide recruitment strategies that may play a significant role in the dynamics of populations in equatorial waters.

Item ID: 4180
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: coral reefs; population dynamics; seasonality; settlement; spawning; temporal patterns
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2009 07:14
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 10%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 10%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 80%
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