A Preliminary Examination of Depth Associated Spatial Variation in Fish Assemblages on Small Artificial Reefs
Journal of Applied Ichthyology
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.
Robin L. Sherman, David S. Gilliam, and Richard E. Spieler. 1999. A Preliminary Examination of Depth Associated Spatial Variation in Fish Assemblages on Small Artificial Reefs .Journal of Applied Ichthyology , (3) : 116 -121. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/167.