Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 109–120 | Cite as

Impact of hurricane Firinga on fish community structure on fringing reefs of Reunion Island, S.W. Indian Ocean

  • Yves Letourneur
  • Mireille Harmelin-Vivien
  • René Galzin
Full paper

Synopsis

The reef flats of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Leu (Reunion Island, Indian Ocean) suffered badly from hurricane Firinga on 29 January 1989. The high degree of silting due to increased run-off killed the coral colonies. Fish communities were surveyed at four periods following the hurricane (March and September 1989, March and September 1990). An increase in both species richness (31 to 47 spp. per census) and abundance (169 to 265 individuals per census) of fishes was observed with time, along with changes in their trophic structure. This positive succession may be linked to the disappearance of the silt layer from reef flats since September 1989. Nevertheless, there were differences in fluctuations and trophic structure of the fish community between back-, inner- and outer-reef flats. Finally, differences in recovery between the two reefs are related to the overall environmental degradation of the Island, chiefly by human perturbation, prior to the hurricane.

Key words

Cyclone effect Coral reefs Ichthyofauna Recovery 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Allen, G.R. 1975. Damselfishes of the south seas. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City. 238pp.Google Scholar
  2. Bortone, S.A., J.J. Kimmel & C.M. Brundrick. 1989. A comparison of three methods for visually assessing reef fish communities: time and area compensated. Northeast Gulf Sci. 10: 85–96.Google Scholar
  3. Bouchon, C., Y. Bouchon-Navaro, D. Imbert & M. Louis. 1991. Effets de l'ouragan Hugo sur les communautés ctières de Guadeloupe (Antilles française). Ann. Inst. Océanogr., Paris 67: 5–33.Google Scholar
  4. Cuet, P. & O. Naim. 1989. Bilan des degradations de l'écosystème récifal. pp. 246–303. In: G. Faure, J.Y. Conan & L. Montaggioni (ed.) Les Platiers Récifaux de La Réunion. Univ. rRéunion, Labo. Mar. Boil., A.U.R. 303 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Dollar, S.J. 1982. Waves stress and coral community structure in Hawaii. Coral Reefs 1: 71–81.Google Scholar
  6. Endean, R. 1976. Destruction and recovery of coral reef communities. pp. 215–254. In: O.A. Jones & R. Endean (ed.) Biology and Geology of Coral Reefs. vol. 3, Academic Press. New York.Google Scholar
  7. Faure, G. 1982. Recherches sur les peuplements de scléractiniaires des récifs coralliens des Mascareignes (océan Indien occidental). Thèse cs sciences, Univ. Aix-Marseille II, Marseille. 206 pp.Google Scholar
  8. Fenner, D.P. 1991. Effects of hurricane Gilbert on coral reefs, fishes and sponges at Cozumel, Mexico. Bull. Mar. Sci. 48: 719–730.Google Scholar
  9. Flood, P.G. & J.S. Jell. 1977. The effect of cyclone David (January, 1976) on the sediment distribution patterns on Heron reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Proc. 3rd Internat. Coral Reef Symp. 2: 120–125.Google Scholar
  10. Fowler, A.J. 1987. The development of sampling strategies for population studies of coral reef fishes. A ease study. Coral Reefs 6: 49–58.Google Scholar
  11. Galzin, R. 1987a. Structure of fish communities of French Polynesian coral reef. I: Spatial scales. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 41: 129–136.Google Scholar
  12. Galzin, R. 1987b. Structure of fish communities of French Polynesian coral reef. II: Temporal scales. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Scr. 41: 137–145.Google Scholar
  13. Harmelin-Vivien, M.L. 1979. Ichtyofaune des récifs coralliens de Tuléar (Madagascar): écologie et relations trophiques. Thèse es sciences, Univ. Aix-Marseille II, Marseille. 281 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Harmelin-Vivien, M.L. & Y. Bouchon-Navaro. 1983. Feeding diets and significance of coral feeding among chaetodontid fishes in Moorea (French Polynesia). Coral Reefs 2: 119–127.Google Scholar
  15. Harmelin-Vivien, M.L., J. G. Harmelin, C. Chauvet, C. Duval, R. Galzin, P. Lejeune, G. Barnabé, F. Blanc, R. Chevalier, J. Duclerc & G. Lasserre. 1985. Evaluation visuelle des peuplements et populations de poissons: méthodes et problèmes. Rev. Ecol. (Terre Vie) 40: 467–539.Google Scholar
  16. Harmelin-Vivien, M.L. & P. Laboute. 1986. Catastrophic impact of hurricanes on atoll outer reef slopes in the Tuamotu (French Polynesia). Coral Reefs 5: 55–62.Google Scholar
  17. Kahn, J.H. 1984. Geomorphic recovery of the Chandeleur islands, Louisiana, after a major hurricane. Littoralia 1: 31–40.Google Scholar
  18. Kaufman, L.S. 1983. Effects of hurricane Allen on reef fish assemblages near Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Coral Reefs 2: 43–47.Google Scholar
  19. Laboute, P. 1985. Evaluation of damage done by the cyclones of 1982–1983 to the outer slopes of the Tuamotu and Takapoto atolls (Tuamotu Archipelago). Proc. 5th Internat. Coral Reef Symp. 3: 323–329.Google Scholar
  20. Lassig, B.R. 1983. The effects of a cyclonic storm on coral reef fish assemblage. Env. Biol. Fish. 9: 55–63.Google Scholar
  21. Letourneur, Y. 1991. Modifications du peuplement de poissons du platier récifal de Saint-Pierre (le de La Réunion, océan Indien) consécutives au passage du cyclone Firinga. Cybium 15: 159–170.Google Scholar
  22. Letourneur, Y. 1992. Dynamique des peuplements ichtyologiques des platiers récifaux de file de La Réunion. Thèse Océanologie Biologique, Univ. Aix-Marseille II, Marseille. 244 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Montaggioni, L. & G. Faure. 1980. Les récifs coralliens des Mascareignes (océan Indien). Coll. Trav. Centre Univ., Univ. Fr. O. Indien. 151 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Moran, D.P. & M.L. Reaka-Kudla. 1991. Effects of disturbance: disruption and enhancement of coral reef cryptofaunal populations by hurricanes. Coral Reefs 9: 215–224.Google Scholar
  25. Naim, O. 1980. Bilan qualitatif et quantitatif de la petite faune associée aux algues du lagon de Tiahura (Moorea, Polynésie française). C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris 291: 549–551.Google Scholar
  26. Pfeffer, R.A. & G.W. Tribble. 1985. Hurricane effects on an aquarium fish fishery in the Hawaiian islands. Proc. 5th Internat. Coral Reef Symp. 3: 331–336.Google Scholar
  27. Risk, M.J. 1972. Fish diversity on a coral reef in the Virgin islands. Atoll Res. Bull. 193: 1–6.Google Scholar
  28. Roberts, C.M. & R.F. Ormond. 1987. Habitat complexity and coral reef fish diversity and abundance on Red Sea fringing reefs. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 41: 1–8.Google Scholar
  29. Sale, P.E. & B.J. Sharp. 1983. Correction for bias in visual transect censuses of coral reef fishes. Coral Reefs 2: 49–63.Google Scholar
  30. Sano, M., M. Shimizu & Y. Nose. 1984. Changes in structure of coral reef fish communities by destruction of hermatypic corals: observational and experimental views. Pacific. Sci. 38: 51–79.Google Scholar
  31. Smith, M.M. & P.C. Heemstra (ed.) 1986. Smiths' sea fishes. Springer Verlag, Berlin. 1047 pp.Google Scholar
  32. Stoddart, D.R. 1971. Coral reefs and islands and catastrophic storms. pp. 155–197. In J.A. Steers (ed.) Applied Coastal Geomorphology, Macmillan, London.Google Scholar
  33. Walsh, W.J. 1983. Stability of a coral reef fish community following a catastrophic storm. Coral Reefs 2: 49–63.Google Scholar
  34. Wellington, G.M. & B.C. Victor. 1985. El Niño mass coral mortality: a test of resource limitation in a coral reef damselfish population. Oecologia 68: 15–19.Google Scholar
  35. Williams, A.H. 1984. The effects of hurricane Allen on back reef populations of Discovery Bay, Jamaica. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 75: 233–243.Google Scholar
  36. Williams, D.McB. 1982. Patterns in the distribution of fish communities across the central Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 1: 35–43.Google Scholar
  37. Woodley, J.D., E.A. Chornesky, P.A. Clifford, J.B.C. Jackson, L.S. Kaufman, N. Knowlton, J.C. Lang, M.P. Pearson, J.W. Porter, M.C. Rooney, K.W. Rylaarsdam, V.J. Tunnicliffe, C.M. Wahle, J.L. Wulff, A.S.G. Curtis, M.D. Dallmeyer, B.P. Jupp, M.A.R. Koelh, J. Neigel & E.M. Sides. 1981. Hurricane Allen's impact on Jamaican coral reefs. Science 214: 749–755.Google Scholar
  38. Yoshioka, P.M. & B.B. Yoshioka. 1987. Variable effects of hurricane David on the shallow water gorgonian of Puerto Rico. Bull. Mar. Sci. 40: 132–144.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Letourneur
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mireille Harmelin-Vivien
    • 1
  • René Galzin
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre d'Océanologie de Marseille, Station Marine d'Endoume, URA CNRS 41Université Aix-Marseille IIMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Biologie MarineUniversité de La RéunionSaint-Denis Cedex, La RéunionFrance
  3. 3.Centre de Biologie et d'Ecologie tropicale, E.P.H.E., URA CNRS 1453Université de PerpignanPerpignan CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations