Beyond the reef: the widespread use of non‐reef habitats by coral reef fishes

Sambrook, Katie, Hoey, Andrew S., Andréfouët, Serge, Cumming, Graeme S., Duce, Stephanie, and Bonin, Mary C. (2019) Beyond the reef: the widespread use of non‐reef habitats by coral reef fishes. Fish and Fisheries, 20 (5). pp. 903-920.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Marine ecology seeks to understand the factors that shape biological communities. Progress towards this goal has been hampered by habitat‐centric approaches that ignore the influence of the wider seascape. Coral reef fishes may use non‐reef habitats (e.g. mangrove and seagrass) extensively, yet most studies have focused on within‐reef attributes or connectivity between reefs to explain trends in their distribution and abundance. We systematically review the evidence for multihabitat use by coral reef fishes across life stages, feeding guilds and conservation status. At least 670 species of “coral reef fish” have been observed in non‐reef habitats, with almost half (293 species) being recorded in two or more non‐reef habitats. Of the 170 fish species for which both adult and juvenile data were available, almost 76% were recorded in non‐reef habitats in both life stages. Importantly, over half of the coral reef fish species recorded in non‐reef habitats (397 spp.) were potential fisheries targets. The use of non‐reef habitats by “coral reef” fishes appears to be widespread, suggesting in turn that attempts to manage anthropogenic impacts on fisheries and coral reefs may need to consider broader scales and different forms of connectivity than traditional approaches recommend. Faced with the deteriorating condition of many coastal habitats, there is a pressing need to better understand how the wider seascape can influence reef fish populations, community dynamics, food‐webs and other key ecological processes on reefs.

Item ID: 60342
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-2979
Keywords: macroalgae; mangrove; ontogenetic shifts; reef fish assemblages; seagrass; seascape ecology
Copyright Information: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARC CECRS)
Projects and Grants: JCU Postgraduate Research Scholarship
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2019 01:41
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 3
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page