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Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 85–95 | Cite as

Spatial variability of fish communities in a highly urbanised reef system

  • Daisuke Taira
  • Rosa Celia Poquita-Du
  • Tai Chong Toh
  • Kok Ben Toh
  • Chin Soon Lionel Ng
  • Lutfi Afiq-Rosli
  • Loke Ming Chou
  • Tiancheng Song
Article

Abstract

Rapid coastal development has generated interest in the ecology of human-modified marine environments. Coastal defence structures such as breakwaters and seawalls are increasingly built to reduce erosion and to mitigate the impacts of sea level rise but knowledge on the marine biodiversity around these structures is lacking. Benthic cover and fish community were surveyed at nine offshore sites, comprising seven coral reefs and two seawalls, in the Singapore’s highly urbanised reef system. A total of 4943 fishes from 70 taxa were recorded, dominated by Pomacentridae (56.5%) and Labridae (17.7%). The results showed a clear spatial variation in the fish community structure across the reefs. The southwestern reefs supported fish communities that were significantly different from those in the south. Generic diversity was significantly higher at the southwestern reefs than the southern ones while the abundance and generic richness were similar. The differences in fish community structure were moderately correlated with the abundance of coralline algae, foliose and submassive corals. The seawall sites supported fish communities different from coral reefs that were adjacent to them. While abundance was similar, the former had higher generic richness and diversity than the latter. The difference in community was attributed to two pomacentrid genera (i.e. Neopomacentrus and Pomacentrus) which were more abundant at the reefs. The findings demonstrated that urbanised coastal ecosystems can contribute to supporting fish diversity.

Keywords

Coastal modification Coral reef fishes Artificial shorelines Coral reefs Seawalls Singapore 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Singapore Maritime Institute, and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore under Grant nos. R-347-000-190-592 and R-347-000-215-490 respectively.

Supplementary material

11252_2017_691_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 22 kb)

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tropical Marine Science InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Maritime and Port Authority of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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