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Patterns of fish movement on eastern Tasmanian rocky reefs


Edgar, GJ and Barrett, NS and Morton, AJ, Patterns of fish movement on eastern Tasmanian rocky reefs, Environmental Biology of Fishes, 70, (3) pp. 273-284. ISSN 0378-1909 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1023/B:EBFI.0000033342.89719.39


We assessed small-scale movement patterns of fishes on three eastern Tasmanian reefs by divers visually resighting 1040 individuals of 16 species marked with unique colour-coded tags. With the possible exception of the monacanthid Acanthaluteres vittiger, common species showed high fidelity to site, with individuals generally resighted <100m from the initial tagging site and remaining near the tagging site throughout the 1 year duration of study. The wrasses Pictilabrus laticlavius and Notolabrus tetricus were more sedentary than Notolabrus fucicola and the monacanthids Meuschenia australis and Meuschenia freycineti. Body length, sex, water temperature and time since tagging had little influence on distance moved compared to variation between individuals, other than movement distance increasing with body length for N. tetricus. Movement patterns were generally consistent at all three sites, although mean distance moved by N. fucicola was double at Swanport and Return Point compared to Lobster Point. N. tetricus but not P. laticlavius emigrated from areas artificially cleared of macroalgae. The sedentary nature of most small- to medium-sized reef fish species, particularly labrids, indicates that relatively small (≈1km diameter) marine protected areas should generally provide conservation benefits for these fishes but few 'spillover' benefits in surrounding areas.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Barrett, NS (Associate Professor Neville Barrett)
UTAS Author:Morton, AJ (Mr Alastair Morton)
ID Code:31138
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:TAFI - Zoology
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2005-04-19

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