Ecological determinants of recruitment to populations of a temperate reef fish, Trachinops caudimaculatus (Plesiopidae)
Taylor L Hunt, John R Ford, Stephen E Swearer
MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2011
Although recruitment is often influenced by microhabitat characteristics that affect larval settlement and post-settlement growth and survival, the influence of some habitat features, such as the presence of conspecifics and the accessibility of food, are poorly understood, particularly on temperate reefs. We investigated the ecological determinants of recruitment in the southern hulafish (Trachinops caudimaculatus; McCoy, 1890), a small zooplanktivorous reef fish in Port Phillip Bay, Australia. We hypothesised that T. caudimaculatus would show positive relationships with microhabitat characteristics that provide greater access to food and shelter for newly settled recruits. To test this hyp..View full abstract
The authors are grateful to Christian Jung, Dean Chamberlain, Malcolm Lindsay, Bruce Abaloz, Peter Krotsis and John Ahern for technical assistance, and Andrew Boulton, Stephen Simpson, Jenn Caselle and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on the manuscript. This study was funded by the University of Melbourne and conducted under the University of Melbourne Animal Ethics Committee Register Number 05148.