Strong homing does not predict high site fidelity in juvenile reef fishes

Streit, Robert P., and Bellwood, David R. (2018) Strong homing does not predict high site fidelity in juvenile reef fishes. Coral Reefs, 37 (1). pp. 99-103.

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After being displaced, juvenile reef fishes are able to return home over large distances. This strong homing behaviour is extraordinary and may allow insights into the longer-term spatial ecology of fish communities. For example, it appears intuitive that strong homing behaviour should be indicative of long-term site fidelity. However, this connection has rarely been tested. We quantified the site fidelity of juvenile fishes of four species after returning home following displacement. Two species, parrotfishes and Pomacentrus moluccensis, showed significantly reduced site fidelity after returning home. On average, they disappeared from their home sites almost 3 d earlier than expected. Mortality or competitive exclusion does not seem to be the main reasons for their disappearance. Rather, we suggest an increased propensity to relocate after encountering alternative reef locations while homing. It appears that some juvenile fishes may have a higher innate spatial flexibility than their strict homing drive suggests.

Item ID: 52627
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: Homing behaviour, Site fidelity, Site attachment, Spatial resilience, Space use
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Copyright Information: © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 3 of the following PhD thesis: Streit, Robert Paul (2020) Space use by fishes on coral reefs: establishment, fidelity and reef resilience. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2018 07:36
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
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