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Habitat Selectivity and Reliance on Live Corals for Indo-Pacific Hawkfishes (Family: Cirrhitidae).

Coker DJ, Hoey AS, Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Graham NA, Hobbs JP, Holmes TH, Pratchett MS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats.Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively.These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia; Red Sea Research Center, Division of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.

ABSTRACT
Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.

No MeSH data available.


Reefs and number of sites sampled within each location.Key: number of sites (number of abundance transects, number of substrate transects). Location abbreviations: CI = Christmas Island, WA = Western Australia, and GBR = Great Barrier Reef.
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pone.0138136.g001: Reefs and number of sites sampled within each location.Key: number of sites (number of abundance transects, number of substrate transects). Location abbreviations: CI = Christmas Island, WA = Western Australia, and GBR = Great Barrier Reef.

Mentions: Surveys of abundance and habitat use for hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) were recorded at six geographically distinct locations across both the Indian (Chagos, Aceh, Christmas Island (CI), and Western Australia (WA)) and Pacific (Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Fiji) Oceans. The distances between these locations were greater than 2,500 km and spanned a total of 11,000 km of geographic distance. A hierarchical sampling design was used to record abundance and habitat association with 3–6 replicate transects within each of 2–15 sites at each location (see Fig 1 for details). Data used in this study was derived from independent studies conducted in the six different locations, such that there were slight variations in the sampling intensity and units used. However, all surveys were conducted at a water depth of 3–6 m, by divers using SCUBA between 08:00 and 17:00 hours during the Austral summer months. No specific permissions were required for these locations/activities. All fieldwork and data collection was observational and non-extractive. The field studies did not involve endangered or protected species.


Habitat Selectivity and Reliance on Live Corals for Indo-Pacific Hawkfishes (Family: Cirrhitidae).

Coker DJ, Hoey AS, Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Graham NA, Hobbs JP, Holmes TH, Pratchett MS - PLoS ONE (2015)

Reefs and number of sites sampled within each location.Key: number of sites (number of abundance transects, number of substrate transects). Location abbreviations: CI = Christmas Island, WA = Western Australia, and GBR = Great Barrier Reef.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4631501&req=5

pone.0138136.g001: Reefs and number of sites sampled within each location.Key: number of sites (number of abundance transects, number of substrate transects). Location abbreviations: CI = Christmas Island, WA = Western Australia, and GBR = Great Barrier Reef.
Mentions: Surveys of abundance and habitat use for hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) were recorded at six geographically distinct locations across both the Indian (Chagos, Aceh, Christmas Island (CI), and Western Australia (WA)) and Pacific (Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Fiji) Oceans. The distances between these locations were greater than 2,500 km and spanned a total of 11,000 km of geographic distance. A hierarchical sampling design was used to record abundance and habitat association with 3–6 replicate transects within each of 2–15 sites at each location (see Fig 1 for details). Data used in this study was derived from independent studies conducted in the six different locations, such that there were slight variations in the sampling intensity and units used. However, all surveys were conducted at a water depth of 3–6 m, by divers using SCUBA between 08:00 and 17:00 hours during the Austral summer months. No specific permissions were required for these locations/activities. All fieldwork and data collection was observational and non-extractive. The field studies did not involve endangered or protected species.

Bottom Line: Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats.Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively.These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia; Red Sea Research Center, Division of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.

ABSTRACT
Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.

No MeSH data available.