Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 153, Issue 6, pp 1233–1244 | Cite as

The effect of predation on artificial reef juvenile demersal fish species

  • Francisco LeitãoEmail author
  • Miguel N. Santos
  • Karim Erzini
  • Carlos Costa Monteiro
Research Article

Abstract

There is a concern that artificial reefs (AR) may act purely as fishing aggregation devices. Predators attracted to ARs can influence the distribution and abundance of prey fish species. Determining the role of predators in AR is important in advancing the understanding of community interactions. This paper documents the effects of predation on fish assemblages of AR located near a coastal lagoon fish nursery. The Dicentrarchus labrax is a very opportunistic species preying on juveniles (0+ and 1+ age classes) of several demersal fish species on the ARs. Reef prey and sea bass abundance were negatively correlated. The mean numbers of prey per sea bass stomach increased with the increase of reef fish prey abundance, suggesting that predation has a significant influence, resulting in a decrease in prey abundance. Prey mortality (4–48%) of demersal reef fish associated species depends on bass density. Prey selection was related both with prey abundance and vulnerability. Results showed that D. labrax predation on AR-fish associated species can increase prey natural mortality. However, the role of bass predation on the ecological functioning of exploited ARs is not clear. There may be increases in local fishing yields due either to an increase in predator biomass through aggregation of sea bass attracted to ARs or to greater production. In contrast, predation on juveniles of economically important reef fish preys, especially the most frequent and abundant (Boops boops), can contribute to a decrease in recruitment to the fishery. Our results indicate that inter-specific interactions (predator–prey) are important in terms of conservation and management, as well as for the evaluation of the long-term effects of reef deployment. Thus, it is necessary to consider ecological interactions, such as predation, prior to the development and deployment of artificial habitats as a tool for rehabilitation.

Keywords

Prey Species Reef Fish Artificial Reef Reef Fish Species Reef Fish Assemblage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Pedro Lino, Alexandra Garcia, João Cúrdia and Miguel Gaspar for their help during data collection. The first author is supported by a PhD grant from the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/10486/2002). This study was funded in part by the MARE program, within the project Implantação e estudo integrado de sistemas recifais. We would also like to thank Dr. Sean D. Connell and two other anonymous referees for their comments that contributed greatly to improve the manuscript.

References

  1. Abrams PA (1987) Indirect interactions between species that share a predator: varieties of indirect effects. In: Kerfoot WC, Sih A (eds) Predation: direct and indirect impacts on aquatic communities. University Press of New England, Hanover, pp 38–54Google Scholar
  2. Anderson TW (2001) Predator responses, prey refuges, and density-dependent mortality of a marine fish. Ecology 82:245–257Google Scholar
  3. Bayle-Sempere JT, Ramos-Esplá AA, Charton JAG (1994) Intra-annual variability of an artificial reef fish assemblage in the marine reserve of Tabarca (Alicante, Spain, SW Mediterraneana). Bull Mar Sci 552:825–835Google Scholar
  4. Bayle-Sempere JT, Ramos-Esplá AA, Palazón JA (2001) Análisis del efecto producción-attractión sobre la ictiofauna litoral de un arrecife artificial alveolar en la reserva marina de Tabarca (Alicante). Bol Inst Esp Oceanogr 17:73–85Google Scholar
  5. Bohnsack JA, Sutherland DL (1985) Artificial reef research: a review with recommendations for future priorities. Bull Mar Sci 37:11–39Google Scholar
  6. Caley MJ (1993) Predation, recruitment and the dynamics of communities of coral-reef fishes. Mar Biol 117:33–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carr MH, Hixon MA (1995) Predation effects on early post-settlement survivorship of coral-reef fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 124:31–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Connell SD (1997) The relationship between large predatory fish and recruitment and mortality of juvenile coral reef-fish on artificial reefs. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 209:261–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Connell SD (2000) Is there safety-in-numbers for prey?. Oikos 88:527–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Connell SD (2002) Effects of a predator and prey on a foraging reef fish: implications for understanding density-dependent growth. J Fish Biol 60:1551–1561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diggins MR, Summerfelt RC, Mnich MA (1979) Altered feeding electivity of the bluegill from increased prey accessibility following macrophyte removal. Proc Okla Acad Sci 59:4–11Google Scholar
  12. Farrugio H, Le Corre G (1986) Interactions entre pêcheries de lagunes, pêcheries côtières et pêche au chalut dans le Golfe du Lion. Rapport Convention CEE XIV-B1-85/2/M10 PGoogle Scholar
  13. Forrester GE, Steele MA (2000) Variation in the presence and cause of density-dependant mortality in three species of reef fishes. Ecology 81:2416–2427Google Scholar
  14. Forrester GE, Steele MA (2004) Predator, prey refuges and the spatial scaling of density-dependence prey mortality. Ecology 85:1332–1342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hart JB (1986) Foraging in teleost fishes. In: Pitcher TJ (eds) The behaviour of teleost fishes. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore pp 211–235Google Scholar
  16. Herrera R, Espino F, Garrido M, Haroun RJ (2002) Observations of fish colonization and predation on two artificial reefs in the Canary Islands. ICES J Mar Sci 59:69–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hixon MA (1991) Predation as a process structuring coral-reef fish communities. In: Sale PF (eds) The ecology of fishes on coral reefs. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 475–508Google Scholar
  18. Hixon MA, Beets JP (1989) Shelter characteristics and Caribbean fish assemblages: experiments with artificial reefs. Bull Mar Sci 44:666–680Google Scholar
  19. Hixon MA, Beets JP (1993) Predation, prey-refuges, and the structure of coral-reef fish assemblages. Ecol Monogr 63:77–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hixon MA, Carr MH (1997) Synergistic predation, density dependence, and population regulation in marine fish. Science 277:946–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hixon MA, Webster MS (2002) Density dependence in reef fish populations. In: Sale PF (ed) Coral reef fishes: dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 303–325Google Scholar
  22. Hixon MA, Jones GP (2005) Competition, predation, and density-dependent mortality in demersal marine fishes. Ecology 86:2847–2859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hixon MA, Pacala SW, Sandin SA (2002) Population regulation: historical context and contemporary challenges of open vs. closed systems. Ecology 83:1490–1508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hueckel GJ, Buckley RM (1987) The influence of prey communities on fish species assemblages on artificial reefs in Puget Sound, Washinton. Environ Biol Fishes 19:195–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hureau JC (1970) Biologie comparée de quelques poissons antartiques (Nototheniidae). Bull lnst Oceanogr Monaco 68:1–244Google Scholar
  26. Hyslop EJ (1980) Stomach contents analysis––a review of methods and their applications. J Fish Biol 17:411–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ivlev VS (eds) (1961) Experimental ecology of the feeding of fishes. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  28. Johnson DW (2006) Predation, habitat complexity, and variation in density-dependent mortality of temperate reef fishes. Ecology 87:1179–1188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Krebs JR (1978) Optimal foraging: decision rules for predators. In: Krebs JR, Davies NB (eds) Behavioral ecology and evolutionary approach. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 23–63Google Scholar
  30. Laffaille P, Lefeuvre JC, Feunteun E (2000) Impact of sheep grazing on 0-group sea bass, Dicentrachus labrax L., in tidal salt marshes. Biol Conserv 96:271–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Leitão F, Santos MN, Monteiro CC (2007) Contribution of artificial reefs to the diet of the white sea-bream (Diplodus sargus). ICES J Mar Sci 64:473–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lewis WM, Helms DR (1964) Vulnerability of forage organisms to large mouth black bass. Trans Am Fish Soc 93:315–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Monteiro CC, Santos MN (2000) Portuguese artificial reefs. In: Jensen AC, Collins KJ, Lockwood APM (eds) Artificial reefs in European Seas. Kluwer Academic Publishers, London, pp 249–261Google Scholar
  34. Monteiro CC, Lassèrre G, Lam Hoi T (1990) Organisation spatiale des communautés ichtyologiques de la Lagune Ria Formosa (Portugal). Oceanol Acta 13:79–96Google Scholar
  35. Monteiro P, Bentes L, Coelho R, Correia C, Gonçalves JMS, Lino PG, Ribeiro J, Erzini K (2006) Age and growth, mortality, reproduction and relative yield per recruit of the bogue, Boops boops Linné, 1758 (Sparidae), from the Algarve (South of Portugal) longline fishery. J Appl Ichthyol 22:345–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Overholtzer-McLeod KL (2006) Consequences of patch reef spacing for density-dependent mortality of coral-reef fishes. Ecology 87:1017–1026PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pinkas L, Oliphant MS, Iverson ILK (1971) Food habitats of albacore, blue-fin tuna, and bonito in California waters. Fish Bull Calif Dep Fish Game 152:1–105Google Scholar
  38. Polovina JJ (1991) Fisheries applications and biological impacts of artificial habitats. In: Seaman Jr W, Sprague L (eds) Artificial habitats for marine and freshwater fisheries. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 153–176Google Scholar
  39. Sale PF, Tolimieri N (2000) Density dependence at some time and place? Oecologia 124:166–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sandin SA, Pacala SW (2005) Fish aggregation results in inversely density-dependent predation on continuous coral reefs. Ecology 86:1520–1530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Santos MN (1997) Ichthyofauna of the artificial reefs of the Algarve coast. Exploitation strategies and management of local fisheries. Phd thesis, University of Faro, FaroGoogle Scholar
  42. Santos MN, Monteiro CC, Erzini K (1995a) Comparision of natural reef and artificial reef fish assemblages in Algarve waters (South Portugal). In: Proceeding of the international conference on ecological system enhancement technology for aquatic environments (ECOSET), Tokyo, Japan 1, pp 210–214Google Scholar
  43. Santos MN, Monteiro CC, Erzini K (1995b) Aspects of the biology and fisheries of the axillary seabream (Pagellus acarne, Risso) and the common pandora (Pagellus erythrinus, Linnaeus) from Algarve (south Portugal). Fish Res 23:223–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Santos MN, Monteiro CC, Gaspar MB (2002) Diurnal variations in the fish assemblage at an artificial reef. ICES J Mar Sci 59:32–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Santos MN, Monteiro CC, Lassèrre G (2005) Observations and trends on the intra-annual variation of the fish assemblages on two artificial reefs in Algarve coastal waters (southern Portugal). Sci Mar 69:415–426Google Scholar
  46. Shulman MJ (1985a) Recruitment of coral reef fishes: effect of distribution of predators and shelter. Ecology 66:1056–1066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shulman MJ (1985b) Coral reef fish assemblage: intra-and inter-specific competition for shelter sites. Environ Biol Fishes 13:81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shulman MJ, Ogden JC, Ebersole JP, McFarland WN, Miller SL, Wolf NG (1983) Priority effects in the recruitment of juvenile coral reef fishes. Ecology 64:1508–1513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sigurdsson TH, Astthorsson OS (1991) Aspects of the feeding of capelin (Mallotus villosus) during autumn and early winter in the waters North of Iceland. ICES C.M./H49, pp 1–11Google Scholar
  50. Sih A, Crowley P, McPeek M, Petranka J, Strohmeier K (1985) Predation, competition, and prey communities: a review of field experiments. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 16:269–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Stewart BD, Jones GP (2001) Associations between the abundance of piscivorous fishes and their prey on coral reefs: implications for prey-fish mortality. Mar Biol 138:383–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Strong DR (1986) Density-vague population change. Trends Ecol Evol 1:39–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Thomas G (1974) The influence of encountering a food object in the subsequent searching behaviour in Gasterosteus aculeatus L. Anim Behav 22:941–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zar JH (1996) Biostatistical analysis. Prentice-Hall International Inc., New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  55. Zaret TM (1980) Predation and freshwater communities. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco Leitão
    • 1
    Email author
  • Miguel N. Santos
    • 1
  • Karim Erzini
    • 2
  • Carlos Costa Monteiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro Regional de Investigação Pesqueira do Sul (CRIPSul)IPIMAROlhãoPortugal
  2. 2.Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR)Universidade do AlgarveCampus de GambelasPortugal

Personalised recommendations