Coral Reefs

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 15–21 | Cite as

Objectives and background to the 1994 Franco-Australian expedition to Taiaro Atoll (Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia)

  • R. Galzin
  • S. Planes
  • M. Adjeroud
  • C. Chauvet
  • P. J. Doherty
  • J. Poupin
REPORT

Abstract

 The 9 km2 uplifted lagoon of Taiaro Atoll (15°45′S, 144°38′W) is hypersaline due to its isolation from the ocean, yet it contains a high diversity of fish. The question unifying our expedition was to discover whether these assemblages could be self-sustaining despite very limited contact with the ocean. Although we were constrained by time, collections of fish larvae showed that some species can complete their life-cycle within the lagoon, while others differed genetically between the lagoon and the ocean, consistent with restricted gene flow. The lagoon contained few oceanic species of zooplankton, confirming its general isolation, but nevertheless some fish species may depend upon infrequent colonisation from the ocean (when large waves drive water over the normally dry reef crest). Isotopic signatures in fish otoliths suggest the basis for a more definitive and inclusive test of the sources of the lagoonal assemblage.

Key words Coral reef fishes Surveys Life cycle Hydrodynamics Larval dispersal 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Galzin
    • 1
  • S. Planes
    • 1
  • M. Adjeroud
    • 1
  • C. Chauvet
    • 4
  • P. J. Doherty
    • 3
  • J. Poupin
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre de Biologie et d’Ecologie Tropicale et Mediterraneenne, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, URA CNRS 1453, Universite de Perpignan, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France; Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement, BP 1013, Moorea, Polynesie FrançaiseFR
  2. 2.Service Mixte de Surveillance Radiologique et Biologique, B.P. 208, 91311 Monthlery Cedex, FranceFR
  3. 3.Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3, Townsville, Q 4810, AustraliaAU
  4. 4.Université Française du Pacifique, BP 4477, Noumea, New CaledoniaNC

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