Large tropical fishes and their use of the nearshore littoral, intertidal and subtidal habitat mosaic

Adkins, Merritt E., Simpfendorfer, Colin A., and Tobin, Andrew J. (2016) Large tropical fishes and their use of the nearshore littoral, intertidal and subtidal habitat mosaic. Marine and Freshwater Research, 67. MF14339. pp. 1534-1545.

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Abstract

Shallow-coastal habitats are highly productive environments supporting a diverse community of fishes. Historical research suggests these habitats primarily function to support and nurture juvenile fishes; however, contemporary research indicates large and mature fishes also utilise these habitats. Moreover, few studies have considered the continuous cross-shore nature (i.e. extending seaward) of shallow-coastal habitats consisting of conjoined littoral, intertidal and subtidal habitats. To investigate the community of large-bodied fishes (>200 mm) and how they distribute themselves across a mosaic of littoral, intertidal and subtidal habitats, seasonal sampling was conducted over 1 year in north-eastern Australia. A total of 1119 individuals from 26 families and 36 species were sampled, though four families accounted for 79.1% of the total sample (Latidae, Polynemidae, Ariidae and Carcharhinidae). The littoral and subtidal communities differed significantly from each other, whereas the intertidal community shared some species-specific characteristics with both adjacent fish communities. Teleosts were the dominant group in the littoral and intertidal habitats, whereas sharks dominated the subtidal. These patterns are likely driven by a combination of biological and ecological processes; however, further research is necessary to better understand the role of these processes on shaping the large-bodied fish communities of shallow-coastal waters.

Item ID: 43763
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: Cleveland Bay, fish communities, shallow-coastal habitats, sharks
Funders: National Environmental Research Program (NERP)
Date Deposited: 05 May 2016 06:13
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