Measuring niche overlap between co-occurring Plectropomus spp. using acoustic telemetry and stable isotopes

Matley, J.K., Heupel, M.R., Fisk, A.T., Simpfendorfer, C.A., and Tobin, A.J. (2017) Measuring niche overlap between co-occurring Plectropomus spp. using acoustic telemetry and stable isotopes. Marine and Freshwater Research, 68 (8). pp. 1468-1478.

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Investigating niche overlap in exploited fish species can reveal behavioural information necessary to improve conservation and fisheries management at a species level. The present study examined spatial and dietary overlap between two co-occurring reef fish, namely Plectropomus leopardus and P. maculatus, at an inshore reef in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park using acoustic telemetry and stable isotopes. Movements of tagged fish within an acoustic array of 19 receivers deployed along a narrow reef portion of Orpheus Island were monitored for up to 3 years. Although space use was similar between species, spatial overlap was rare and P. maculatus (n = 30) was consistently deeper than P. leopardus (n = 32). Dietary overlap between species was high based on overlapping delta N-15 and delta C-13 isotopic niches in muscle tissue (n = 20). The complementary stable isotope and acoustic telemetry data revealed these species had similar isotopic niches but distinct space use patterns, which may be a product of competition for resources. These findings show species-specific behaviours within a genus commonly managed or reported as a single entity, and provide new information on partitioning of resources by Plectropomus spp. in inshore reef environments.

Item ID: 50561
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: conservation, coral reefs, ecology, fisheries, Great Barrier Reef
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 6 of the following PhD thesis: Matley, Jordan Kyle (2017) Investigation of coral trout (Plectropomus spp.) movement patterns and resource use: a multidisciplinary approach using acoustic telemetry and dietary indicators. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: Australian Government's National Environmental Research Program (NERP), Australian Research Council (ARC), James Cook University (JCU), Canadian National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Australian Coral Reef Society (ACRS)
Projects and Grants: NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub Project 6.1, ARC Future Fellowship FT100101004, NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 10:04
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 80%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300502 Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 70%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 30%
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