Mike J H Hickford

Mike J H Hickford
University of Canterbury | UC · School of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

41
Publications
3,455
Reads
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766
Citations
Citations since 2016
24 Research Items
417 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220204060
20162017201820192020202120220204060
20162017201820192020202120220204060
20162017201820192020202120220204060
Additional affiliations
January 2001 - November 2003
University of California, Santa Barbara
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 1991 - present
University of Canterbury
Position
  • Research Biologist

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
Full-text available
Many species traverse multiple habitats across ecosystems to complete their life histories. Degradation of critical, life stage-specific habitats can therefore lead to population bottlenecks and demographic deficits in sub-populations. The riparian zone of waterways is one of the most impacted areas of the coastal zone because of urbanisation, defo...
Article
Full-text available
Marine larval development gives amphidromous fishes a powerful ability to disperse, but the low directional swimming ability of small amphidromous juveniles returning to freshwater increases the risk of expatrial dispersal. We used otolith microchemistry to investigate philopatry in Galaxias maculatus, whose juveniles constitute an important but de...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the demonstrated benefits of marine protected areas, there has been relatively little dialogue about freshwater protected areas (FPAs) even though some have been established to protect freshwater species from recreational and commercial fishers. After populations recover from fishing pressure, abundances and densities of formerly fished spe...
Preprint
Full-text available
With the global decline of freshwater fishes, quantifying the body size-specific habitat use of vulnerable species is crucial for accurately evaluating population health, identifying the effects of anthropogenic stressors, and directing effective habitat restoration. Populations of New Zealand’s endemic kōkopu species ( Galaxias fasciatus , G. arge...
Article
Galaxiid post-larvae constitute five of the six species in New Zealand’s iconic whitebait fishery. Distinguishing the five species needs to occur at a younger age than is convenient for easy identification. Traditional identification uses subjective characteristics such as colouration of fresh specimens and fin position, but supervised classificati...
Article
Whitebait comprise a culturally, commercially and recreationally important fishery in New Zealand, where post-larvae are netted while returning from their marine phase. In this study, we expanded an historical (1964) sampling programme to gain a contemporary understanding of the species composition of the whitebait fishery; 87 rivers were sampled o...
Article
• The Mw 7.8 earthquake that struck the north‐east coast of the South Island of New Zealand in November 2016 caused extensive upheaval, of up to 6 m, over 110 km of coastline. Intertidal habitats were greatly affected with extensive die‐off of algal communities, high mortalities of benthic invertebrates, and greatly reduced ecosystem functioning, s...
Article
Full-text available
Amphidromy is the most prevalent type of diadromous migration. Despite this, the conservation and management of amphidromous species is exceptionally challenging because this life history type, with larval development in a pelagic habitat (usually marine) and adult development in fresh water, is poorly resolved. The chronological properties of otol...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A survey methodology for locating and mapping īnanga spawning sites near coastal rivermouths.
Article
• Galaxias maculatus is a riparian spawning fish that supports an important recreational fishery in New Zealand, with spawning habitat requirements strongly structured by salinity gradients at river mouths. This study reports changes to the spawning habitat following a series of large earthquakes that resulted in the widespread deformation of groun...
Article
Galaxias maculatus is a diadromous riparian-spawning fish that supports an important fishery. Eggs develop terrestrially as with several other teleost fishes. Spawning habitat occurs in specific locations near rivermouths and its protection is a conservation priority. However, quantifying the areas involved is hampered by high egg mortality rates o...
Preprint
Full-text available
We studied the effectiveness of conservation planning methods for Galaxias maculatus , a riparian spawning fish, following earthquake-induced habitat shift in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Mapping and GIS overlay techniques were used to evaluate three protection mechanisms in operative or proposed plans in two study catchments over two year...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Canterbury earthquakes resulted in numerous changes to the waterways of Ōtautahi Christchurch. These included bank destabilisation, liquefaction effects, changes in bed levels, and associated effects on flow regimes and inundation levels. This study set out to determine if these effects had altered the location and pattern of sites utilised by...
Preprint
Full-text available
Galaxias maculatus is a riparian spawning fish that supports an important recreational fishery in New Zealand with spawning habitat requirements strongly structured by salinity gradients at rivermouths. This study reports changes to the spawning habitat following a series of large earthquakes that resulted in widespread deformation of ground surfac...
Article
Here, we describe a methodology for quantifying the spawning habitat of īnanga (Galaxias maculatus), a protected native fish species. Our approach is demonstrated with a survey of the Heathcote/Ōpāwaho following the Canterbury earthquakes that produced unexpected findings. Spawning habitat was detected over a 2.5 km reach and the area occupied by s...
Article
Terrestrial egg development is advantageous for the amphidromous fish Galaxias maculatus because it increases access to oxygen, increases incubation temperatures, and reduces aquatic predation. The characteristics of New Zealand's riparian vegetation have changed considerably since colonial times from native vegetation to exotic grasses, with poten...
Article
Gaps in understanding variability among populations of inanga Galaxias maculatus in the timing of reproduction were addressed in southern New Zealand (NZ), where G. maculatus constitutes a declining fishery. Reproductive activity was delayed by 1 month on the west coast compared with the east coast and the west coast spawning season was prolonged i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Īnanga (Galaxias maculatus) are known to use specific locations for spawning. These sites are on riparian margins in upper estuarine areas near the spring high tide waterline. Many anthropogenic activities that occur in the same area may present threats to the availability and condition of spawning sites. These factors suggest that spawning may be...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
New Zealand’s whitebait fishery is comprised mainly of inanga (Galaxias maculatus). The unique life history of this diadromous species includes obligate spawning in tidally inundated riparian vegetation in upper estuarine areas. At the time of European settlement, the riparian vegetation in inanga spawning sites likely comprised tall overarching fo...
Technical Report
This report details the diversity, abundance and community composition patterns of intertidal rocky reefs in central Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour. Twenty reefs were surveyed across the low, mid and high tidal zones using ten 0.25 m2 quadrats along 30 m transects. We analysed richness, diversity, abundance patterns of culturally and ecologically sig...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Canterbury earthquakes resulted in numerous changes to the waterways of Ōtautahi Christchurch. These included bank destabilisation, liquefaction effects, changes in bed levels, and associated effects on flow regimes and inundation levels. This study set out to determine if these effects had altered the location and pattern of sites utilised by...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Canterbury earthquakes resulted in numerous changes to the waterways of Ōtautahi Christchurch. These included bank destabilisation, liquefaction effects, changes in bed levels, and associated effects on flow regimes and inundation levels. This study set out to determine if these effects had altered the location and pattern of sites utilised by...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Galaxias maculatus (inanga) is the primary species in New Zealand’s whitebait fishery. Each year, myriad juveniles (whitebait) are caught as they re-enter freshwater after a six month marine larval phase. There is no existing knowledge of the natal source of these fish, although genetic studies suggest considerable mixing and dispersal while at sea...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species can have significant impacts on the diversity and productivity of recipient ecological communities. The kelp Undaria pinnatifida (Harvey) Suringar is one of the world’s most successful invasive species but, although its purported impacts are strong, there is little empirical evidence that it displaces native species. Furthermore, a...
Article
Riparian vegetation has been compromised worldwide by anthropogenic stressors, including urbanization and livestock grazing. In New Zealand, one consequence has been a reduction in the obligate riparian spawning habitat of Galaxias maculatus. This diadromous species forms the basis of an important fishery where juveniles are caught as they migrate...
Article
Anthropogenic impacts from urbanization, deforestation, and agriculture have degraded the riparian margins of waterways worldwide. In New Zealand, such impacts have caused changes in native vegetation, enhanced invasion by exotic grasses, and altered river bank morphology. One consequence has been a great reduction in obligate spawning habitat of a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Numerous stressors from agriculture, urbanisation and natural disturbances affect coastal margins and the species that rely on riparian habitats to complete their life-histories. One effect of changes to riparian vegetation is that the ground-level light, temperature and humidity environment has also been altered. Galaxias maculatus, one of the mos...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic impacts, including urbanization, deforestation, farming, and livestock grazing have altered riparian margins worldwide. One effect of changes to riparian vegetation is that the ground-level light, temperature, and humidity environment has also been altered. Galaxias maculatus, one of the most widely distributed fishes of the southern...
Article
Mortality from predation during the early life-stages of most teleost fishes can be extreme, and many species have developed specialized spawning strategies to reduce predation. In the diadromous fish Galaxias maculatus there is terrestrial development of eggs which restricts aquatic predation, but exposes them to terrestrial predators and a more e...
Article
Gill-nets are highly selective in terms of the sizes of fish they catch, but often unselective in terms of the suite of fish species they capture. We investigated gill-net selectivity from the point of view of behavioural interactions between the fish and the gear. We observed interactions between fish and gill-nets of three mesh sizes (65 mm, 88 m...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in the chemical composition of fish otoliths has been used in recent years to address a range of ecological questions, including levels of stock mixing, variation in habitat use, and rates of larval exchange. While some of these questions have been answered with varying success, the degree to which discrete populations are connected via l...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted ichthyoplankton surveys on the east coast of the South Island, New Zealand, to address 2 questions: (1) Are certain types of reef fish larvae more likely to be dispersed on an exposed temperate coast? (2) Is larval dispersal more strongly associated with taxa that have pelagic eggs? Analyses were based on 492 plankton net samples colle...
Article
Full-text available
Subtidal surveys were done on rocky reefs in three regions of southern New Zealand: the east coast of the central South Island (Kaikoura and Banks Peninsula), Fiordland, and the Chatham Islands. The abundance and percentage cover of large brown algae and understorey species were assessed, and herbivorous invertebrates were counted in several depth...
Article
Full-text available
We compared 2 methods of collecting fish larvae in inshore temperate waters near the Kaikoura Peninsula, New Zealand: night collection with light traps and with a plankton net. The sampling design incorporated seasons (summer anti autumn), moon phases (full and new) and habitats (reef and beach). The 2 methods were simultaneously deployed over 2 ni...
Article
Full-text available
Commercial gill‐nets of three mesh sizes (3.5”, 4.5”, 5.5” diagonal measure) were joined into a single net 300 m long and 5 m high, and set at three localities (New Plymouth, Palliser Bay, Bay of Plenty) in the lower North Island, New Zealand. The nets were bottom‐set in shallow (9–26 m depth) and deep (35–100 m depth) water, mostly for 16 h, to te...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the catch from gill nets set on nearshore rocky reefs around the Kaikoura Peninsula on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The combined catch of 114 net sets of three net mesh sizes (2.5'', 3.5'', and 4.5'') was analyzed for the mode of entanglement of captured fish and for duration effects on fish. Fusiform speci...
Article
This study investigated the relationships between visual counts of fishes and the catch from gill-nets on rocky reefs in southern New Zealand. Visual censuses were done and then gill-nets of three mesh sizes (2.5″, 3.5″ and 4.5″) were set in the surveyed areas. There were significant differences among habitats in the assemblages of reef fishes. The...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This project will investigate how to overcome bottlenecks to dispersal and recruitment for valued freshwater fish species and macroinvertebrates that result from changes we make to our river networks. Key focuses will be understanding how the dispersal capabilities and behaviour of different organisms can be exploited to minimise the impact of habitat fragmentation, and to what degree the recruitment of freshwater organisms may be limited by habitat bottlenecks resulting from modified river environments.
Project
Integrating the conservation of migratory galaxiids and the sustainable management of recreational whitebait fisheries
Project
This project features work from two natural disaster events - both of which involved major earthquakes that affected coastal environments and communities. Themes featured in both research programmes include the assessment of impacts on natural features, ecosystems and resources. The fields of research include spatial ecology, ecohydrology, and scenario modelling, and application to natural hazard management, conservation planning, disaster risk reduction and climate change. Recovery trajectories of the coastal marine ecosystem following the Kaikōura earthquakes: In November 2016 the 7.8 M Kaikōura earthquake and severe aftershocks brought unprecedented changes to the coastal ecosystem along ~130 km of the east coast of the South Island. in response, the University of Canterbury developed a four year research programme addressing "Community concerns, key species and wahi taonga – recovery trajectories of the marine ecosystem from the Kaikōura earthquakes" funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in addition to other post-disaster survey work funded by the Ministry of Primary Industries. Earthquake effects on sea levels and their implications for conservation and climate change: This study was a PhD project undertaken by Shane Orchard at the University of Canterbury that investigated the resilience and recovery of shoreline environments following relative sea-level changes caused by the Canterbury earthquakes. A novel aspect of the study involved the assessment of similarities between sea-level change induced by tectonic ground displacements, and the potential impacts of sea-level rise caused by climate change. For more information see the research blog www.resilientshorelines.nz