Title

A Preliminary Examination of Depth Associated Spatial Variation in Fish Assemblages on Small Artificial Reefs

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1999

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Ichthyology

ISSN

0175-8659

Volume

15

Issue/No.

3

First Page

116

Last Page

121

Abstract

Small concrete artificial reef modules (hemisphere-shaped, approximately 1.3 m diameter, 1 m high) were placed at two sites, eight modules per site. The sites were in 7 m and 21 m of water, 1.6 km apart, off the coast of southeast Florida, USA. The reefs were censused monthly for fish over a 19-month period. Species, number of fish, and estimated total length of each individual were recorded by divers using SCUBA. After the monthly census, all fish were removed from the reefs with a piscicide. A total of 88 species were recorded in the study, with significantly greater diversity on the deep reefs (monthly mean of 7.6 versus 3.0 shallow, P < 0.001, anova). There were also significantly more biomass (calculated from length), and more large fish (>5 cm) on the reefs at 21 m than at 7 m (P < 0.001). There were more small fish at the shallow site (P < 0.05). Although it is not clear what variable(s) associated with the two depths is responsible for the differences, these results highlight the potential differences in artificial reef and ambient environment interactions within a localized area.

Comments

©1999 Blackwell Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin

DOI

10.1046/j.1439-0426.1999.00120.x

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