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Tropical seaweed beds as important habitats for juvenile fish
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 6
2017 (English)In: Marine and Freshwater Research, ISSN 1323-1650, E-ISSN 1448-6059, Vol. 68, no 10, 1921-1934 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seaweed beds within tropical seascapes have received little attention as potential fish habitat, despite other vegetated habitats, such as seagrass meadows and mangroves, commonly being recognised as important nurseries for numerous fish species. In addition, studies of vegetated habitats rarely investigate fish assemblages across different macrophyte communities. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the role of tropical seaweed beds as fish habitat, particularly for juvenile fish, by comparing their fish assemblages with those of closely situated seagrass beds. Fish assemblages were assessed by visual census in belt transects, where fish were identified and their length estimated, and habitat variables were estimated for each transect. The abundance of juvenile fish in seaweed beds was twice as high as that in seagrass meadows, whereas there was no difference in total, subadult or adult fish abundance. In addition, the abundance of commercially important and coral reef-associated juveniles was higher in seaweed beds, as was fish species richness. Fish assemblages differed between habitats, with siganids being more common in seagrass meadows and juvenile Labridae and Serranidae more common in seaweed beds. These results highlight that tropical seaweed beds are important juvenile fish habitats and underscore the need to widen the view of the shallow tropical seascape.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 68, no 10, 1921-1934 p.
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-148944DOI: 10.1071/MF16153ISI: 000411826800013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-148944DiVA: diva2:1156620
Available from: 2017-11-13 Created: 2017-11-13 Last updated: 2017-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Tano, Stina A.Eggertsen, MariaWikström, Sofia A.Berkström, CharlotteHalling, Christina
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Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant SciencesStockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
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Biological SciencesEarth and Related Environmental Sciences

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