Title

Effects of habitat on the recruitment variation of coral reef fishes.

Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Sale, Peter F.,

Keywords

Biology, Ecology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Coral reef fish life cycles have two distinct phases that take place in different parts of their environment. Benthonic or pelagic eggs spawned by adults hatch into larvae that join the water column, after spending some variable time in it they settle back on to a reef. It is well documented that recruitment is highly variable across space and time. This variation can be a reflection of factor occurring during the pelagic larval phase, or during the settlement event. Prior to settlement the number of larvae settling to a given location could be a consequence of oceanographic features, as well as random events taking place during the pelagic larval phase which might affect the survival of larvae. Larvae then have been found to settle differentially to a preferred habitat. These associations have been studied at several spatial scales with contrasting results. In order to explore relationships between habitat and patterns of recruitment, we must first describe the habitat features found at a given location. Chapter two explored the effects that sampling intensity (i.e. number of sampling points or quadrats) and method (point-intercept vs. photo quadrats) have on the comprehensiveness and precision of percent cover estimates of substratum abundances. Chapter three assessed the degree to which habitat type can explain the spatial and temporal variation observed in the recruitment of 2 coral reef species. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Biological Sciences. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2004 .U87. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 43-01, page: 0150. Adviser: Peter F. Sale. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2004.