Influence of nursery microhabitats on the future abundance of a coral reef fish

Shaun K. Wilson, Martial Depczynski, C.J. Fulton, Thomas H. Holmes, B.T. Radford, P. Tinkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.Species habitat associations are often complex, making it difficult to assess their influence on populations. Among coral reef fishes, habitat requirements vary among species and with ontogeny, but the relative importance of nursery and adult-preferred habitats on future abundances remain unclear. Moreover, adult populations may be influenced by recruitment of juveniles and assessments of habitat importance should consider relative effects of juvenile abundance.We conducted surveys across 16 sites and 200 km of reef to identify the microhabitat preferences of juveniles, sub-adults and adults of the damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis. Microhabitat preferences at different life-history stages were then combined with 6 years of juvenile abundance and microhabitat availability data to show that the availability of preferred juvenile microhabitat (corymbose corals) at the time of settlementwas a strong predictor of future sub-adult and adult abundance. However, the influence of nursery microhabitats on future population size differed spatially and at some locations abundance of juveniles and adult microhabitat (branching corals) were better predictors of local populations. Our results demonstrate that while juvenile microhabitats are important nurseries, the abundance of coral-dependent fishes is not solely dependent on these microhabitats, especially when microhabitats are readily available or following large influxes of juveniles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume283
Issue number1836
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Coral Reefs
Reefs
Nurseries
microhabitat
Anthozoa
Fish
microhabitats
coral reefs
coral reef
Ecosystem
Fishes
Availability
fish
Population
corals
coral
Population Density
Life Cycle Stages
habitat
habitats

Cite this

@article{2a7a495bc4c342c5a4bd122b6b8b9f5a,
title = "Influence of nursery microhabitats on the future abundance of a coral reef fish",
abstract = "{\circledC} 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.Species habitat associations are often complex, making it difficult to assess their influence on populations. Among coral reef fishes, habitat requirements vary among species and with ontogeny, but the relative importance of nursery and adult-preferred habitats on future abundances remain unclear. Moreover, adult populations may be influenced by recruitment of juveniles and assessments of habitat importance should consider relative effects of juvenile abundance.We conducted surveys across 16 sites and 200 km of reef to identify the microhabitat preferences of juveniles, sub-adults and adults of the damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis. Microhabitat preferences at different life-history stages were then combined with 6 years of juvenile abundance and microhabitat availability data to show that the availability of preferred juvenile microhabitat (corymbose corals) at the time of settlementwas a strong predictor of future sub-adult and adult abundance. However, the influence of nursery microhabitats on future population size differed spatially and at some locations abundance of juveniles and adult microhabitat (branching corals) were better predictors of local populations. Our results demonstrate that while juvenile microhabitats are important nurseries, the abundance of coral-dependent fishes is not solely dependent on these microhabitats, especially when microhabitats are readily available or following large influxes of juveniles.",
author = "Wilson, {Shaun K.} and Martial Depczynski and C.J. Fulton and Holmes, {Thomas H.} and B.T. Radford and P. Tinkler",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1098/rspb.2016.0903",
language = "English",
volume = "283",
journal = "Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: series B",
issn = "0962-8452",
publisher = "ROYAL SOCIETY",
number = "1836",

}

Influence of nursery microhabitats on the future abundance of a coral reef fish. / Wilson, Shaun K.; Depczynski, Martial; Fulton, C.J.; Holmes, Thomas H.; Radford, B.T.; Tinkler, P.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 283, No. 1836, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Influence of nursery microhabitats on the future abundance of a coral reef fish

AU - Wilson, Shaun K.

AU - Depczynski, Martial

AU - Fulton, C.J.

AU - Holmes, Thomas H.

AU - Radford, B.T.

AU - Tinkler, P.

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - © 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.Species habitat associations are often complex, making it difficult to assess their influence on populations. Among coral reef fishes, habitat requirements vary among species and with ontogeny, but the relative importance of nursery and adult-preferred habitats on future abundances remain unclear. Moreover, adult populations may be influenced by recruitment of juveniles and assessments of habitat importance should consider relative effects of juvenile abundance.We conducted surveys across 16 sites and 200 km of reef to identify the microhabitat preferences of juveniles, sub-adults and adults of the damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis. Microhabitat preferences at different life-history stages were then combined with 6 years of juvenile abundance and microhabitat availability data to show that the availability of preferred juvenile microhabitat (corymbose corals) at the time of settlementwas a strong predictor of future sub-adult and adult abundance. However, the influence of nursery microhabitats on future population size differed spatially and at some locations abundance of juveniles and adult microhabitat (branching corals) were better predictors of local populations. Our results demonstrate that while juvenile microhabitats are important nurseries, the abundance of coral-dependent fishes is not solely dependent on these microhabitats, especially when microhabitats are readily available or following large influxes of juveniles.

AB - © 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.Species habitat associations are often complex, making it difficult to assess their influence on populations. Among coral reef fishes, habitat requirements vary among species and with ontogeny, but the relative importance of nursery and adult-preferred habitats on future abundances remain unclear. Moreover, adult populations may be influenced by recruitment of juveniles and assessments of habitat importance should consider relative effects of juvenile abundance.We conducted surveys across 16 sites and 200 km of reef to identify the microhabitat preferences of juveniles, sub-adults and adults of the damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis. Microhabitat preferences at different life-history stages were then combined with 6 years of juvenile abundance and microhabitat availability data to show that the availability of preferred juvenile microhabitat (corymbose corals) at the time of settlementwas a strong predictor of future sub-adult and adult abundance. However, the influence of nursery microhabitats on future population size differed spatially and at some locations abundance of juveniles and adult microhabitat (branching corals) were better predictors of local populations. Our results demonstrate that while juvenile microhabitats are important nurseries, the abundance of coral-dependent fishes is not solely dependent on these microhabitats, especially when microhabitats are readily available or following large influxes of juveniles.

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.2016.0903

DO - 10.1098/rspb.2016.0903

M3 - Article

VL - 283

JO - Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: series B

JF - Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: series B

SN - 0962-8452

IS - 1836

ER -