Local Replenishment of Coral Reef Fish Populations in a Marine Reserve

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 06/2007; 316(5825):742-4. DOI: 10.1126/science.1140597
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The scale of larval dispersal of marine organisms is important for the design of networks of marine protected areas. We examined
the fate of coral reef fish larvae produced at a small island reserve, using a mass-marking method based on maternal transmission
of stable isotopes to offspring. Approximately 60% of settled juveniles were spawned at the island, for species with both
short (<2 weeks) and long (>1 month) pelagic larval durations. If natal homing of larvae is a common life-history strategy,
the appropriate spatial scales for the management and conservation of coral reefs are likely to be much smaller than previously

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Available from: Simon R Thorrold, Sep 02, 2015
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    • "Our focal species is regularly used to model coral reef fish connectivity in the Coral Triangle (Almany et al. 2007; Berumen et al. 2012b; Pratchett et al. 2014). Evidence of reef fish population connectivity is an important driver for improved reef management and the implementation of notake marine reserves (Almany et al. 2007; Jones et al. 2009; Berumen et al. 2012b), but reef-scale variability in key life history traits for this species is not yet known. "
    Coral Reefs 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00338-015-1330-y · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    • "Damselfish are abundant and conspicuous in the back reef zones of coral reefs (Allen 1991). They are grazers, browsers or plankton feeders that feed near habitat refuges that provide quick escape from predators. "
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    ABSTRACT: Because fish have a high dispersal ability, an understanding coral reef fish metacommunity structure is vital for effective conservation. Coral reefs provide patchy habitat of various sizes and scales. We examined the species-area relationship (SAR) of damselfish (Pomacentridae) assemblages over 81 environmentally homogenous patch reefs ranging 0.07-45.4 m2 with low coral cover. Patch reefs were located in the shallow back reef (1/2500) color aerial photograph used as a fine-scale seascape map. To assess the effects of three-dimensional meso-scale rugosity on species richness, we assumed that all reefs had a cylindrical shape and examined species by volume (area × height) relationships (SVR). Patch reef volume was a better determinant of species richness than area, and the regression functions of SVR provided better estimates of patch reef species richness. Neither the observed SVRs nor SARs, however, could be explained by a random placement model alone. Our results suggest that several small reefs are likely to have higher species richness than a single large reef of equivalent area in the shallow back reef where large patch reefs are flat. Thus, total patch reef volume (area × height) better reflects meso-scale rugosity and is a useful indicator of total species richness relative to the total amount of essential habitat in shallow back reefs.
    Ecological Research 04/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11284-015-1268-0 · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    • "Trophically similar species may come close to fitting the neutrality assumption, but differences in dispersal may prevent them from being functionally equivalent. Differences in dispersal might arise through differences in seed size (Muller-Landau and Hardesty, 2005), differences in fruit size (Seidler and Plotkin, 2006) but might also manifest themselves as differences in flight prowess (Valtonen et al., 2013) or differences in pelagic larval duration in coral reef fish (Victor and Wellington, 2000; Almany et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, the neutral theory of biodiversity has stirred up community assembly theory considerably by suggesting that stochasticity in the form of ecological drift is an important factor determining community composition and community turnover. The neutral theory assumes that all species within a community are functionally equivalent (the neutrality assumption), and therefore applies best to communities of trophically similar species. Evidently, trophically similar species may still differ in dispersal ability, and therefore may not be completely functionally equivalent. Here we present a new sampling formula that takes into account the partitioning of a community into two guilds that differ in immigration rate. We show that, using this sampling formula, we can accurately detect a subdivision into guilds from species abundance distributions, given ecological data about dispersal ability. We apply our sampling formula to tropical tree data from Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Tropical trees are divided depending on their dispersal mode, where biotically dispersed trees are grouped as one guild, and abiotically dispersed trees represent another guild. We find that breaking neutrality by adding guild structure to the neutral model significantly improves the fit to data and provides a better understanding of community assembly on BCI. Our findings are thus an important step towards an integration of neutral and niche theory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Theoretical Biology 03/2015; 374. DOI:10.1016/j.jtbi.2015.03.018 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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