Article

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
assumed.

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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.
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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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