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Relative influence of environmental factors on the timing and occurrence of multi-species coral reef fish aggregations

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dc.contributor Reef Magic Cruises
dc.contributor Coll Sci & Engn
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Reef Educ
dc.contributor James Cook Univ
dc.contributor James Cook University
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science CAPPO, MIKE FISHER, ERIC E. CHOAT, JOHN H. MCCORMICK, MARK I. 2019-01-20T18:38:25Z 2019-01-20T18:38:25Z 2019-07-08T02:08:56Z 2019-01-20T18:38:25Z 2019-01-20T18:38:25Z 2019-07-08T02:08:56Z 2018-12-21
dc.identifier.citation Fisher EE, Choat JH, McCormick MI, Cappo M (2018) Relative influence of environmental factors on the timing and occurrence of multi-species coral reef fish aggregations. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0209234
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.description.abstract Reef configuration and hydrodynamics were identified as the principle physical drivers behind coral reef fish aggregations on a mid-shelf patch reef in the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef (-16.845 degrees, 146.23 degrees). The study was carried out over a six-year period at a large reef pass on the oceanic margin of the northern Great Barrier Reef. Over this period (February 2006-December 2012) tidal state, moon phase and surface seawater temperature were monitored. The timing of sampling was organised to assess variation in physical environment at daily, monthly, seasonal and annual time scales. Over these time scales, temporal patterns of occurrence of 10 species of coral reef fish from 5 families representing 5 defined trophic groups were monitored. The study incorporated 1,357 underwater visual census counts involving 402,370 fish and these estimates were collated with data on tidal state, water temperature, lunar and seasonal periodicity. Aggregated boosted regression trees analysed the univariate responses of fish abundance and species richness to the variation in the physical environment of the reef pass. Flood tides or when water flows from open water through the pass and into the Moore Reef lagoon had 2.3 times as many fish and 1.75 times as many species compared to counts made on ebb tides. Fish abundance was highest in late winter and spring months (Austral calendar), but notably when water temperatures were below the long-term mean of 27 degrees C. Multivariate regression trees and Dufrene-Legendre indicator predicted 4 out of 10 times the occurrence of all 10 species at any temporal scale ranging from hours to years. Flood tides were the principle driver underlying the occurrence of all 10 species regardless of their trophic classification and produced distinct seasonal assemblages, indicative of fishes aggregating to forage and reproduce.
dc.description.sponsorship The authors received no specific funding for this work, the project was supported by Reef Magic Cruises and internal student grants from James Cook University (JCU) and AIMS@JCU.The funder Reef Magic Cruises/Experience Co. provided support in the form of salary for author [EEF] and the funder JCU provide support in the form of salaries for authors [JHC & MIM]. These funders had no additional role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of manuscript.
dc.language English
dc.subject Great-barrier-reef
dc.subject Zooplankton
dc.subject Science & Technology - Other Topics
dc.subject Lethrinidae
dc.subject Multidisciplinary Sciences
dc.subject Spawning Aggregations
dc.subject Herbivorous Fishes
dc.subject Reproductive-biology
dc.subject Shelf Reefs
dc.subject Trophic Status
dc.subject Islands
dc.subject Behavior
dc.title Relative influence of environmental factors on the timing and occurrence of multi-species coral reef fish aggregations
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0209234
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000454149400034

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