Multi-scale Data Used to Analyze the Spatial Distribution of French Grunts, Haemulon Flavolineatum, Relative to Hard and Soft Bottom in a Benthic Landscape
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- Kendall, M.S., Christensen, J.D. & Hillis-Starr, Z. Environmental Biology of Fishes (2003) 66: 19. doi:10.1023/A:1023255022513
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We evaluated the day-time distribution of juvenile and adult French grunts, Haemulon flavolineatum, relative to the spatial configuration of hard and soft bottom areas in a benthic landscape. Probability of juvenile presence on hard bottom sites was inversely correlated with distance to soft bottom. Adults presence at hard bottom sites showed no significant relationship with distance to soft bottom. A significant and positive relationship was found between presence of juveniles on hard bottom sites and area of soft bottom within 100 m, but no significant relationship was found for area of soft bottom within 500 m. Adults exhibited no significant relationship with area of soft bottom for either distance tested. These distributions are suspected to be the result of the combined influence of larval settlement patterns and foraging behaviors associated with hard and soft bottom. This study indicates that data collected at very fine scales can be analyzed in the context of the broad-scale mosaic of habitats in the benthic landscape to predict patterns of fish distribution. Such spatially explicit conclusions are not possible through analysis of fine-scale or broad-scale data alone.