Coral Reefs

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 879–889 | Cite as

Recruitment dynamics and first year growth of the coral reef surgeonfish Ctenochaetus striatus, with implications for acanthurid growth models

  • Elizabeth D. L. Trip
  • Peter Craig
  • Alison Green
  • J. Howard Choat
Report

Abstract

Newly recruited Ctenochaetus striatus were monitored over a 16-month period in American Samoa, 2002–2003. During this period, a mass recruitment of age-0 C. striatus occurred in March 2002 with numbers reaching 22.9 recruits m−2. This program provided an invaluable opportunity to (1) analyze the dynamics of a mass recruitment episode and to assess its significance with respect to more typical patterns of recruitment and (2) establish the pattern of recruit growth during their first year of life. Age-based analysis indicated that the mass recruitment generated about 90 % of annual recruitment, but recruit mortality was high; thus, most recruitment was provided by continuous settlement throughout the year. The mass event appeared to be a short-lived pulse with recruits residing on the reef an average of 14.1 d compared with 161.1 d for other recruits. Recruits grew rapidly, achieving 90 % of their adult size during their first year, and they formed their first otolith annulus after 1 yr, thereby providing a firm basis for otolith interpretation of fish ages during the early life history phase of this species. The extensive age-based documentation of their first year growth in this study validates the distinctive “square” growth pattern exhibited by acanthurids as described in the literature (i.e., long life span with rapid initial growth that quickly reaches an asymptotic size), and it demonstrates the impact that the presence of age-0 fish has when generating growth parameters for populations exhibiting square growth. We found that the parameters from the re-parameterized von Bertalanffy growth function have preferred characteristics when modeling square growth in fish and that fixing age-at-length zero to pelagic larval duration is a preferable method to constrain growth models when lacking age-0 fish.

Keywords

Acanthuridae Ctenochaetus striatus Early life history Recruitment Growth 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Field research was supported by the Ofu Marine Field Station (National Park of American Samoa) and the Dept. of Marine and Wildlife Resources (American Samoa). Ale Malae assisted with field collections. Otoliths were processed at James Cook University through facilities provided by the School of Marine and Tropical Biology. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments, which significantly helped improve this manuscript.

References

  1. Almany G, Webster M (2006) The predation gauntlet: early post-settlement mortality in reef fishes. Coral Reefs 25:19–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berumen M (2005) The importance of juveniles in modeling growth: butterflyfish at Lizard Island. Environ Biol Fish 72:409–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birkeland C, Randall R, Wass R, Smith B, Wilkens S (1987) Biological resource assessment of the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA Tech Memo NOS MEMD No.3Google Scholar
  4. Birkeland C, Craig P, Fenner D, Smith L, Kiene W, Riegl B (2008) Geologic setting and ecological functioning of coral reefs in American Samoa. In: Riegl B, Dodge R (eds) Coral reefs of the USA. Springer, New York, pp 1–34Google Scholar
  5. Boehlert G (1985) Using objective criteria and multiple regression models for age determination in fishes. Fish Bull 83:103–117Google Scholar
  6. Brainard R, Asher J, Gove J, Helyer J, Kenyon J, Mancini F, Miller J, Myhre S, Nadon M, Rooney M, Schroeder R, Smith E, Vargas-Angel B, Vogt S, Vroom P, Balwani S, Ferguson S, Hoeke R, Lammers M, Lundblad E, Maragos J, Moffitt R, Timmers M, Vetter O (2007) Coral reef ecosystem monitoring report for American Samoa: 2002-2006. NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, SP-08-002Google Scholar
  7. Caley MJ, Carr MH, Hixon MA, Hughes TP, Jones GP, Menge BA (1996) Recruitment and the local dynamics of open marine populations. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 27:477–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Choat JH, Axe L (1996) Growth and longevity in acanthurid fishes: an analysis of otolith increments. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 134:15–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Choat JH, Robertson R (2002) Age-based studies on coral reef fishes. In: Sale P (ed) coral reef fishes. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 57–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Craig P (1999) The von Bertalanffy growth curve: when a good fit is not good enough. Naga 22:28–29Google Scholar
  11. Craig P, Birkeland C, Belliveau S (2001) High temperatures tolerated by a diverse assemblage of shallow-water corals in American Samoa. Coral Reefs 20:185–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Craig P, Green A, Tuilagi F (2008) Subsistence harvest of coral reef resources in the outer islands of American Samoa: modern, historic and prehistoric catches. Fish Res 89:230–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Craig P, Choat JH, Axe L, Saucerman S (1997) Population biology and harvest of a coral reef surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus) in American Samoa. Fish Bull 95:680–693Google Scholar
  14. Doherty P (2002) Variable replenishment and the dynamics of reef fish populations. In: Sale P (ed) Coral reef fishes. Academic Press, San Diego, Dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem, pp 327–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Doherty P, Dufour V, Galzin R, Hixon M, Meekan M, Planes S (2004) High mortality during settlement is a population bottleneck for a tropical surgeonfish. Ecology 85:2422–2428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dulvy NK, Sadovy Y, Reynolds JD (2003) Extinction vulnerability in marine populations. Fish Fish 4:25–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Francis RI (1988) Maximum likelihood estimation of growth and growth variability from tagging data. NZ J Mar Freshwater Res 22:43–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Green A (2002) Status of coral reefs on the main volcanic islands of American Samoa: a resurvey of long term monitoring sites (benthic communities, fish communities, and key macroinvertebrates). Report prepared for the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources, Pago Pago, American SamoaGoogle Scholar
  19. Haddon M (2001) Modelling and quantitative methods in fisheries. Chapman and Hall/CRC Press, Boca Raton, USAGoogle Scholar
  20. Jennings S, Reynolds JD, Polunin NVC (1999) Predicting the vulnerability of tropical reef fishes to exploitation with phylogenies and life histories. Conserv Biol 13:1466–1475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jones GP, Almany GR, Russ GR, Sale PF, Steneck RS, van Oppen MJH, Willis BL (2009) Larval retention and connectivity among populations of corals and reef fishes: history, advances and challenges. Coral Reefs 28:307–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kami H, Ikehara I (1976) Notes on the annual juvenile siganid harvest in Guam. Micronesica 12:323–325Google Scholar
  23. Kendall M, Poti M, Wynne T, Kinlan B, Bauer L (2011) Ocean currents and larval transport among islands and shallow seamounts of the Samoan Archipelago and adjacent island nations. In: Kendall M, Poti M (eds) A biogeographic assessment of the Samoan Archipelago. NOAA Tech Memo, NOS NCCOS 132, Silver Springs, Maryland, pp. 27–96Google Scholar
  24. Kendall M, Poti M, Wynne T, Kinlan B, Bauer L (2013) Consequences of the life history traits of pelagic larvae on interisland connectivity during a changing climate. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 489:43–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lecchini R, Galzin D (2005) Spatial repartition and ontogenetic shifts in habitat use by coral reef fishes (Moorea, French Polynesia). Mar Biol 147:47–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lou D, Moltschaniwsky N (1992) Daily otolith increments in juvenile tropical parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43:973–981CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Newman SJ, Cappo M, McB Williams D (2000) Age, growth, mortality rates and corresponding yield estimates using otoliths of the tropical red snappers, Lutjanus erythropterus, L. malabaricus and L. sebae, from the central Great Barrier Reef. Fish Res 48:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ochavillo D, Tofaeono S, Sabater M, Trip EL (2011) Population structure of Ctenochaetus striatus (Acanthuridae) in Tutuila, American Samoa: the use of size-at-age in multi-scale population size surveys. Fish Res 107:14–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pillai CS, Mohan M, Kunhikoya KK (1983) Unusual massive recruitment of the reef fish Ctenochaetus strigosus (Bennet) (Perciformes: Acanthuridae) to the Minicoy atoll and its significance. Indian Journal of Fisheries 30:261–268Google Scholar
  30. Ponwith B (1991) The shoreline fishery of American Samoa: a 12-year comparison. Department of Marine & Wildlife Resources. American Samoa. Biological Report Series 23:1–51Google Scholar
  31. Priest MA, Halford AR, McIlwain JL (2012) Evidence of stable genetic structure across a remote island archipelago through self-recruitment in a widely dispersed coral reef fish. Ecol Evol 2:3195–3213PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sabater M, Tofaeono S (2007) Scale and benthic composition effects on biomass and trophic group distribution of reef fishes in American Samoa. Pac Sci 61:503–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Trip EL, Choat JH, Wilson, Robertson R (2008) Inter-oceanic analysis of demographic variation in a widely distributed Indo-Pacific coral reef fish. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 373:97–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wilson D, McCormick M (1999) Microstructure of settlement-marks in the otoliths of tropical reef fishes. Mar Biol 134:29–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth D. L. Trip
    • 1
  • Peter Craig
    • 2
  • Alison Green
    • 3
  • J. Howard Choat
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Natural and Mathematical SciencesMassey UniversityAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.National Park of American SamoaPago PagoUSA
  3. 3.The Nature ConservancyWest EndAustralia
  4. 4.School of Marine and Tropical BiologyJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

Personalised recommendations