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Movement patterns, home range size and habitat utilization of the bluespine unicornfish, Naso unicornis (Acanthuridae) in a Hawaiian marine reserve

Synopsis

We quantified bluespine unicornfish, Naso unicornis, movement patterns, home range size and habitat preferences in a small Hawaiian marine reserve. Bluespine unicornfish were site-attached to home ranges situated within the reserve boundaries and their movements were aligned with topographic features. Two different diel movement patterns (‘commuting’ and ‘foraying’) were observed. Commuters made crepuscular migrations of several hundred meters between daytime foraging areas and nighttime refuge holes. Foraying fish did not partake in crepuscular migrations and utilized refuge holes both day and night. Two bluespine unicornfish were also nocturnally active. There was little direct evidence of dispersal from the reserve but differences in bluespine unicornfish abundance and size among reef habitat zones were consistent with ontogenetic habitat shifts. The influence of habitat topography on bluespine unicornfish movements suggests that gross habitat characteristics could be used to predict reef fish movements. This could provide a simple method for setting marine reserve boundaries at sites for which empirical fish movement data are unavailable.

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Correspondence to Carl G. Meyer.

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Meyer, C.G., Holland, K.N. Movement patterns, home range size and habitat utilization of the bluespine unicornfish, Naso unicornis (Acanthuridae) in a Hawaiian marine reserve. Environ Biol Fish 73, 201–210 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-005-0559-7

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Keywords

  • surgeonfish
  • diel migrations
  • nocturnal activities
  • acoustic telemetry