High temporal resolution sampling reveals reef fish settlement is highly clustered
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
NRC Research Press (Canadian Science Publishing)
© 2017 NRC Research Press
Coral reef fish larvae settle on reefs predominantly at night around the new-moon phase, after an early developmental period spent in the pelagic environment. Most sampling is conducted across whole nights, and any studies that have examined the frequency of arrival within nights have typically been limited to coarse sampling time scales of 1–5 h. Here, we present results for arrival numbers of fish caught between dusk and midnight from light traps sampled every 15 min at an Indonesian coral reef, providing the finest temporal resolution for this type of study to date. A spatial analysis by distance indices analysis, adapted to temporal data, revealed clustering of reef arrival times for many species, with an increase in catches immediately after dusk dropping off towards midnight. Importantly, the timing of clusters differed among species, indicating that different factors determine the timing of arrival among taxa. Our results support the hypothesis that larval behaviour influences the timing of arrival at a coral reef for different fish species.
The research was supported through a Natural Environment Research Council doctoral grant and by Operation Wallacea.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from NRC Research Press via the DOI in this record.
Published online 25 May 2017