Environmental influences on the replenishment of lizardfish (family Synodontidae) in Caribbean Panama

Lemberget, T., McCormick, M.I., and Wilson, D.T. (2009) Environmental influences on the replenishment of lizardfish (family Synodontidae) in Caribbean Panama. Coral Reefs, 28 (3). pp. 737-750.

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Lizardfish (family Synodontidae) are little studied despite their potentially important predatory role in epibenthic coral reef communities. The present study documented the temporal and spatial larval supply patterns of five Caribbean lizardfish species together with environmental variables (solar radiation, rainfall, water temperature, onshore-offshore winds, alongshore winds and wind-induced turbulence) to examine: (1) whether species within the same family respond differently to their developmental environment and (2) if larval supply in year-round warm waters is influenced by climatic changes. To address these questions, late-stage larvae of Synodus foetens, Synodus intermedius, Synodus poeyi, Saurida suspicio and Saurida brasiliensis were collected in replicate light traps in three different reef habitats (back-reef, lagoon and exposed) in the San Blas Archipelago, Panama, over 18 consecutive lunar months. Although replenishment of lizardfish occurred year-round, the temporal and spatial supply patterns were species-specific: S. foetens, S. intermedius and S. poeyi were most abundant during the dry season while S. suspicio and S. brasiliensis were most prevalent during the wet season. When seasons were analysed separately, water temperature explained 39 and 26% of the variance in light trap catches of S. foetens and S. intermedius, respectively, in the dry season while wind-induced turbulence accounted for 25% of the variability in S. suspicio and S. brasiliensis catches during the wet season. These findings stress the importance of analysing larval supply in conjunction with environmental data at a high taxonomic resolution to better understand the mechanisms that drive replenishment in reef systems at low latitudes.

Item ID: 5525
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: recruitment; supply; larvae; temperature; turbulence; coral reef; marine science
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2010 04:12
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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