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Climatic conditions and nursery habitat quality provide indicators of reef fish recruitment strength

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dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Res Sch Biol
dc.contributor Australian National University
dc.contributor Sch Life & Environm Sci
dc.contributor Australian Natl Univ
dc.contributor University Of Western Australia
dc.contributor Marine Sci Program
dc.contributor Deakin University
dc.contributor Univ Western Australia
dc.contributor Deakin Univ
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Oceans Inst
dc.contributor Dept Pk & Wildlife FULTON, CHRISTOPHER J. WILSON, SHAUN K. DEPCZYNSKI, MARTIAL HOLMES, THOMAS H. NOBLE, MAE M. RADFORD, BEN T. TINKLER, PAUL 2017-11-05T18:55:33Z 2017-11-05T18:55:33Z 2018-11-01T03:22:01Z 2017-11-05T18:55:33Z 2017-11-05T18:55:33Z 2018-11-01T03:22:01Z 2017-09-01
dc.identifier.citation Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Holmes TH, Noble MM, Radford B, Tinkler P, Fulton CJ (2017) Climatic conditions and nursery habitat quality provide indicators of reef fish recruitment strength. Limnology and Oceanography 62(5): 1868-1880
dc.identifier.issn 0024-3590
dc.description.abstract Identifying and protecting nursery habitats for species is a key conservation strategy for the long-term sustainability of populations. In tropical ecosystems, macroalgal habitats have recently been identified as nurseries for fish of commercial and conservation significance. Here, we explore how local-scale variations in seaweed habitat quality interact with large-scale climatic conditions (Southern Oscillation Index, SOI) to influence the recruitment of three tropical fish species (Lethrinus spp.), often targeted by fishers. New fish recruits and juveniles of all species were almost exclusively found in macroalgal nursery habitats, while adults of two of these species were predominantly found on adjacent coral reefs. Annual supply rates of new recruits were found to be strongly correlated to variations in the SOI, with La Nina conditions associated with higher recruitment. However, local rates of recruitment were generally poor predictors of older juvenile abundance. Instead, local juvenile abundance was more closely related to structural characteristics of macroalgae nursery habitat quality (density, canopy height, canopy cover) and/or predator biomass, at the time of survey, with species-specific habitat associations apparent. Given the dynamic nature of fish recruitment supply to the SOI, coupled with the effects of climatic and oceanic processes on the structure of macroalgal patches, these results suggest protection of macroalgal nursery habitats that maintain high canopy density, height and cover is critical to supporting the conservation of fish populations.
dc.language English
dc.subject Great-barrier-reef
dc.subject Western Rock Lobster
dc.subject Lethrinus-nebulosus
dc.subject Ryukyu Islands
dc.subject Coral-reef
dc.subject Ningaloo-marine-park
dc.subject Limnology
dc.subject Marine & Freshwater Biology
dc.subject Seasonal-changes
dc.subject Oceanography
dc.subject Spatial-distribution
dc.subject Seagrass Beds
dc.subject Leeuwin Current
dc.title Climatic conditions and nursery habitat quality provide indicators of reef fish recruitment strength
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1002/lno.10540
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000410726500006

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