Movements and space use of giant trevally in coral reef habitats and the importance of environmental drivers

Lédée, Elodie J.I., Heupel, Michelle R., Tobin, Andrew J., and Simpfendorfer, Colin A. (2015) Movements and space use of giant trevally in coral reef habitats and the importance of environmental drivers. Animal Biotelemetry, 3. 6. pp. 1-14.

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Background: Effective conservation of large predators requires a broad understanding of their ecology. Caranx ignobilis is a large marine predator well represented in coral reef environments, yet they are poorly studied. Passive acoustic monitoring was used to track the movements of 20 C. ignobilis at offshore reefs in the central Great Barrier Reef from 2012 to 2014. Using a modelling approach, temporal changes in movement patterns of C. ignobilis were explored to determine if individuals exhibited predictable movement patterns. The effects of biological and environmental variables on monthly space use, daily presence and hourly depth use were investigated to define any response to environmental changes.

Results: Caranx ignobilis typically remained at their capture reef with 98.8% of detections recorded at these locations. Individuals were recorded in the study site for periods from 9 to 335 days (mean = 125.9) with a mean residency index of 0.53, indicating movements away from the reef or out of detection range occurred on the scale of days. Inter-reef movements from only three individuals were recorded which coincided with the summer full moon so may have been related to spawning behaviour. Environmental drivers were correlated with daily presence and hourly depth use of C. ignobilis but had little influence on monthly space use. There was little or no effect of fish size on space use, presence and depth use.

Conclusion: By improving the current understanding of movement patterns of this large teleost among individual coral reefs, the results of this study reveal that site attachment may be present and that environmental parameters play a role in observed movement patterns related to depth and presence. These data provide useful information for the development of management plans, particularly in relation to space-based protection.

Item ID: 46478
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2050-3385
Keywords: acoustic monitoring, depth use, information theoretic approach, mixed-effects model, occurrence, residency
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© 2015 Lédée et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: National Environmental Research Program (NERP), Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2016 04:17
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 25%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 25%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 50%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830201 Fisheries Recreational @ 25%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 25%
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