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Opportunistic predation by small fishes on epibiota of jetty pilings in urban waterways


Moreau, S and Peron, C and Pitt, KA and Connolly, RM and Lee, SY and Meziane, T, Opportunistic predation by small fishes on epibiota of jetty pilings in urban waterways, Journal of Fish Biology, 72, (1) pp. 205-217. ISSN 0022-1112 (2008) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2008 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2007.01705.x


Epibiota were sampled on nine small jetties in the tidal, urban canals of south-east Queensland, Australia, to determine if the small fishes that are associated with these jetties prey on the epibiota on the pilings of the jetties and whether these fishes depend on the epibiota as a source of food. Epibiota was dominated by barnacles, filamentous and foliose algae and ranged in thickness from 4 to 11 mm. The two species of fishes that associated most closely with jetty pilings, Pandaka lidwilli (Gobiidae) and Monodactylus argenteus (Monodactylidae), were sampled twice during the day and twice during the night for analysis of stomach contents. During the day, the diet of P. lidwilli was dominated by amphipods (c. 70%, by mass of organic content), with copepods, bivalves and bryozoans each contributing <10%. At night, amphipods contributed less (c. 45%) and copepods more (c. 35%). The diet of M. argenteus was dominated by filamentous algae (55%) and amphipods (20%) during the day and filamentous algae (70%) and barnacle cirri (23%) at night. Epibiota, therefore, made a substantial contribution to the diet of the fishes but were not the sole source of food for either species. As jetties were the only structures that supported epibiota in the area, fishes probably sourced their epibiota from the pilings of the jetties. Whether fishes depended on the epibiota was, therefore, tested using a manipulative before-after-control-impact (BACI) study. Three jetties were assigned randomly to each of three treatments: (1) epibiota removed from pilings, (2) epibiota cut and damaged (a procedural control) and (3) epibiota left undisturbed. Abundances of P. lidwilli and M. argenteus around jetty pilings remained similar across all treatments from before to after the removal of epibiota. These results indicate that although fishes consumed epibiota on the jetties, they did not depend on the epibiota of the jetties for food.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:artificial structures, canals, Monodactylus argenteus, Pandaka lidwilli, trophic ecology
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Moreau, S (Dr Sebastien Moreau)
UTAS Author:Peron, C (Dr Clara Peron)
ID Code:92769
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:19
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2014-06-26
Last Modified:2017-07-31

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