Next Article in Journal
GPS Technology for Semi-Aquatic Turtle Research
Next Article in Special Issue
Cross-Shelf Variation in Coral Community Response to Disturbance on the Great Barrier Reef
Previous Article in Journal
Geomorphology and Altitude Effects on the Diversity and Structure of the Vanishing Montane Forest of Southern Ecuador
Previous Article in Special Issue
Deep-Reef Fish Communities of the Great Barrier Reef Shelf-Break: Trophic Structure and Habitat Associations
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Diversity 2019, 11(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11030033

The Distribution of Planktivorous Damselfishes (Pomacentridae) on the Great Barrier Reef and the Relative Influences of Habitat and Predation

Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville MC, Townsville, QLD 4810, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
Full-Text   |   PDF [13635 KB, uploaded 6 March 2019]   |  

Abstract

Planktivorous damselfishes (Pomacentridae) are diverse and abundant on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), are important prey for commercially harvested coral trout (Plectropomus spp.) and their feeding mode plays a central role in transferring energy from the plankton to the reef. However, little is known about their distribution patterns throughout the GBR and how those patterns are influenced by predators and habitat despite increasing pressures on both. Here we quantify the distribution and abundance of GBR planktivorous damselfishes, then examine the role of coral trout and habitat in shaping their assemblages. The assemblage structure of planktivorous damselfishes varied across the continental shelf, yet their total abundances varied sub-regionally, dependent on differences in coral habitat. Latitudinal patterns were relatively weak. Damselfish assemblages generally retained characteristics of their sub-regional setting over 20 years and assemblage degradation was only associated with major coral losses. Damselfish numbers were not negatively influenced by top-down control from coral trout. Instead, numbers of coral trout and damselfishes were both positively associated with coral habitat and each other. Our findings suggest that a complexity of factors and interactions shape reef fish assemblages and reinforce the fundamental importance of coral as the foundation of healthy reef communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: Great Barrier Reef; damselfishes; habitat; predation; planktivory Great Barrier Reef; damselfishes; habitat; predation; planktivory
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Emslie, M.J.; Logan, M.; Cheal, A.J. The Distribution of Planktivorous Damselfishes (Pomacentridae) on the Great Barrier Reef and the Relative Influences of Habitat and Predation. Diversity 2019, 11, 33.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Diversity EISSN 1424-2818 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top