Depth-related composition and structuring of tropical riverine fish assemblages revealed by baited video

Cousins, Stephen, Kennard, Mark J., and Ebner, Brendan C. (2017) Depth-related composition and structuring of tropical riverine fish assemblages revealed by baited video. Marine and Freshwater Research, 68 (10). pp. 1965-1975.

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The aim of the present study was to determine whether boat-based deployment of remote underwater video cameras is effective for surveying fish assemblages in the deepest reaches of two large tropical rivers in north-eastern Australia. In addition, we compared fish assemblages recorded on baited versus unbaited cameras, and evaluated the sampling effort (duration of recording) required to estimate fish assemblages using remote underwater videos. We found that fish assemblages differed according to the depth, with statistically significant differences largely attributable to the prevalence of small-bodied species (,10-cm total length, TL), such as Ambassis sp., Melanotaenia sp. and Pseudomugil signifer recorded in shallow (0.4–2.0 m) and intermediate (2.1–4.9 m) depths, and larger-bodied fish species (.10 cm TL), such as Lutjanus argentimaculatus, Mesopristes argenteus and Caranx sexfasciatus, in deep water (.5.0 m). Estimates of fish assemblage attributes generally stabilised after 60 min recording duration, suggesting that interrogation of video footage beyond this duration may not be cost-effective. We conclude that depth is an important consideration when surveying large and deep river fish assemblages and that where water clarity is favourable, underwater video provides one of the means by which an assemblage can be investigated across the entire depth profile.

Item ID: 50940
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: crocodiles, rapid assessment, species richness, tropical rivers, Wet Tropics
Funders: Winifred Violet Scott Foundation, Australian Rivers Institute
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2017 03:22
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310304 Freshwater ecology @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4199 Other environmental sciences > 419999 Other environmental sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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