Marine Biology

, Volume 147, Issue 1, pp 47–58

Spatial repartition and ontogenetic shifts in habitat use by coral reef fishes (Moorea, French Polynesia)

Research Article

Abstract

This study explores the extent to which ontogenetic habitat shifts modify spatial patterns of fish established at settlement in the Moorea Island lagoon (French Polynesia). The lagoon of Moorea Island was divided into 12 habitat zones (i.e. coral seascapes), which were distinct in terms of depth, wave exposure, and substratum composition. Eighty-two species of recently settled juveniles were recorded from March to June 2001. Visual censuses documented changes in the distribution of juveniles of each species over time among the 12 habitats. Two patterns of juvenile habitat use were found among species. Firstly, some species settled and remained in the same habitat until the adoption of the adult habitats (i.e. recruitment; e.g. Chaetodon citrinellus, Halichoeres hortulanus, Rhinecanthus aculeatus). Secondly, others settled to several habitats and then disappeared from some habitats through differential mortality and/or post-settlement movement (e.g. 65–70 mm size class for Ctenochaetus striatus, 40–45 mm size class for Epinephelus merra, 50–55 mm size class for Scarus sordidus). A comparison of the spatial distribution of juveniles to that of adults (61 species recorded at both stages) illustrated four patterns of subsequent recruitment in habitat use: (1) an increase in the number of habitats used during the adult stage (e.g. H. hortulanus, Mulloidichthys flavolineatus); (2) a decrease in the number of habitats adults used compared to recently settled juveniles (e.g. Chrysiptera leucopoma, Stethojulis bandanensis); (3) the use of different habitat types (e.g. Acanthurus triostegus, Caranx melampygus); and (4) no change in habitat use (e.g. Naso litturatus, Stegastes nigricans). Of the 20 most abundant species recorded in Moorea lagoon, 12 species modified the spatial patterns established at settlement by an ontogenetic habitat shift.

References

  1. Benzécri JP (1973) L’analyse des correspondances. Dunod, ParisGoogle Scholar
  2. Beukers JS, Jones GP (1998) Habitat complexity modifies the impact of piscivores on a coral reef fish population. Oecologia 114:50–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Booth DJ (2002) Distribution changes after settlement in six species of damselfish (Pomacentridae) in One Tree Island lagoon, Great Barrier Reef. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 226:157–164Google Scholar
  4. Chancerelle Y (1996) Caractérisation des paysages récifaux sous marins de l’île de Moorea (Polynésie française). PhD thesis, French University of the PacificGoogle Scholar
  5. Connell SD, Jones GP (1991) Influence of habitat complexity on post-recruitment processes in a temperate reef fish population. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 151:271–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dahlgren CP, Eggleston DB (2000) Ecological processes underlying ontogenetic habitat shifts in a coral reef fish. Ecology 81:2227–2240Google Scholar
  7. Deegan LA (1990) Effects of estuarine environmental conditions on population dynamics of young of the year Gulf menhaden. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 68:195–205Google Scholar
  8. Doherty PJ (2002) Variable replenishment and the dynamics of reef fish populations. In: Sale PF (ed) Coral reef fishes: dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 327–358Google Scholar
  9. Dufour V, Galzin R (1993) Colonization patterns of reef fish larvae to the lagoon at Moorea Island, French Polynesia. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 102:143–152Google Scholar
  10. Eggleston DB (1995) Recruitment in Nassau grouper Epinephelus striqtus: post-settlement abundance, microhabitat features, and ontogenetic habitat shifts. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 124:9–22Google Scholar
  11. Finn MD, Kingsford MJ (1996) Two phase recruitment of Apogonids (Pisces) on the Great Barrier Reef. Mar Freshw Res 47:423–432Google Scholar
  12. Frederick JL (1997) Post-settlement movement of coral reef fishes and bias in survival estimates. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 150:65–74Google Scholar
  13. Galzin R (1977) Biomasse ichtyologique dans les écosystèmes récifaux. Etude préliminaire de la dynamique d’une population de Pomacentrus nigricans dans le lagon de Moorea (Société, Polynésie française). Rev Trav Inst Pêches Marit 40:575–578Google Scholar
  14. Galzin R, Pointier JP (1985) Moorea Island, Society archipelago. Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:73–102Google Scholar
  15. Gerstner CL (1998) Use of substratum ripples for flow refuging by Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua. Environ Biol Fish 51:455–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gillanders BM, Able KW, Brown JA, Eggleston DB, Sheridan PF (2003) Evidence of connectivity between juvenile and adult habitats for mobile marine fauna: an important component of nurseries. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 247:281–295Google Scholar
  17. Holbrook SJ, Brooks AJ, Schmitt RJ (2002) Predictability of fish assemblages on coral patch reefs. Mar Freshw Res 53:181–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Juncker M (2001) Impact de l’habitat sur la mortalité et le comportement des juvéniles de Chromis viridis. Mémoire de DEA, University of Aix-Marseille IIGoogle Scholar
  19. Lecchini D (2003) Identification of habitat use strategies between the colonisation and recruitment stages of coral reef fish in the lagoon of Moorea (French Polynesia): approach by behavioural ecology. PhD thesis, University of Paris VIGoogle Scholar
  20. Lefevre A (1991) Dynamique de l’installation des juvéniles de poissons sur les récifs coralliens (Moorea, Polynésie française). PhD thesis, University of Paris VIGoogle Scholar
  21. Leis JM, McCormick MI (2002) The biology, behaviour and ecology of the pelagic, larval stage of coral reef fishes. In: Sale PF (ed) Coral reef fishes: dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 171–199Google Scholar
  22. McCormick MI, Hoey AS (2004) Larval growth history determines juvenile growth and survival in a tropical marine fish. Oikos 106:225–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McCormick MI, Makey LJ (1997) Post-settlement transition in coral reef fishes: overlooked complexity in niche shifts. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 153:247–257Google Scholar
  24. Nagelkerken I, Roberts CM, Velde G van der, Dorenbosch M, Riel MC van, Cocheret de la Monière E, Nienhuis PH (2002) How important are mangroves and seagrass beds for coral reef fish? The nursery hypothesis tested on an island scale. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 244:299–305Google Scholar
  25. Ohman MC, Munday PL, Jones GP, Caley MJ (1998) Settlement strategies and distribution patterns of coral reef fishes. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 225:219–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Parrish JD (1989) Fish communities of interacting shallow water habitats in tropical oceanic regions. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 58:143–160Google Scholar
  27. Renon JP (1989) Le zooplancton des milieux récifo-lagonaires de Polynésie—variations temporelles, variations spatiales et bilan de production et d’échanges. PhD thesis, University of OrléansGoogle Scholar
  28. Shapiro DY (1987) Inferring larval recruitment strategies from the distributional ecology of settled individuals of a coral reef fish. Bull Mar Sci 41:289–295Google Scholar
  29. Sponaugle S, Cowen RK (1996) Larval supply and patterns of recruitment for two Caribbean reef fishes Stegates partitus and Acanthurus bahianus. Mar Freshw Res 47:433–447Google Scholar
  30. Vigliola L, Harmelin-Vivien M (2001) Postsettlement ontogeny in three Mediterranean reef fish species of the genus Diplodus. Bull Mar Sci 68:271–286Google Scholar
  31. Wilks SS (1932) Certain generalizations in the analysis of variance. Biometrika 24:471–494Google Scholar
  32. Wood BM, Bain MB (1995) Morphology and microhabitat use in stream fish. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 52:1487–1498Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, UMR-CNRS 8046Université de PerpignanPerpignanFrance
  2. 2.Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’EnvironnementMooreaFrench Polynesia
  3. 3.Laboratory of Ecology and SystematicsUniversity of the RyukyusOkinawaJapan

Personalised recommendations