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Contrasting patterns in habitat selection and recruitment of temperate reef fishes among natural and artificial reefs


Komyakova, V and Swearer, SE, Contrasting patterns in habitat selection and recruitment of temperate reef fishes among natural and artificial reefs, Marine Environmental Research, 143 pp. 71-81. ISSN 0141-1136 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2018.11.005


Artificial reefs, a common management tool for stock enhancement of recreational fisheries and marine habitat restoration, have been deployed all over the world. However, little is known about the attractiveness of artificial compared to natural reefs to reef fishes. Here we investigated the habitat preferences of three reef fish species: Trachinops caudimaculatus, Vincentia conspersa and Trinorfoklia clarkei through the observation of recruitment patterns to three study habitats: Reef Ball reefs, custom-designed artificial reefs, and natural reefs in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. Additionally, we examined habitat preferences of new recruits of T. caudimaculatus and V. conspersa using laboratory-based habitat choice experiments. In general, T. caudimaculatus recruitment was at least twice as high on natural reefs compared to both artificial reefs, whereas V. conspersa recruitment was almost three times greater on Reef Ball reefs compared to the other two habitats. T. clarkei recruited in equal numbers across all habitats. However, in the laboratory experiments T. caudimaculatus recruits selected the Reef Ball reef almost three times as often as the other two habitats, while V. conspersa exhibited no habitat preference. Little is known about the growth, condition, survival or reproduction of individuals that occupy artificial reefs. In areas where habitat is not limiting, the higher preference or equal attractiveness of some artificial habitats may negatively influence fish populations, if larvae are redirected to poorer quality artificial reef habitat, that lead to lower fitness advantages.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:artificial habitat, reef design, habitat attractiveness, choice experiments, ecological trap, marine ecology, conservation
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Komyakova, V (Dr Valeriya Komyakova)
ID Code:137790
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2020-03-04
Last Modified:2020-04-07

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