Microhabitat selectivity underpins regional indicators of fish abundance and replenishment

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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Species with specialized resource use can display strong spatial heterogeneity in abundance according to the availability of their preferred habitats. If these preferences shift with ontogeny, then a wide range of habitats may need to be protected in order to support both adult populations and their replenishment. We explored whether microhabitat selectivity interacts with habitat availability to provide an effective suite of indicators for regional fish abundance and replenishment, using offshore rocky reefs in south-eastern Australia as a case study. We examined generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs) in a full subsets approach to infer the best predictors for adult and juvenile fish density in four diverse families (Labridae, Odacidae, Pomacentridae, Serranidae), based on rapid underwater visual surveys across transects (∼500 m2), wave exposures (0.3-1 km), and sites (0.3-48 km). We then examined whether these regional fish-habitat models aligned with the microhabitat electivity of individuals (at scale of
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-231
StatePublished - 2016

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