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Article

Assessing the Drivers behind the Structure and Diversity of Fish Assemblages Associated with Rocky Shores in the Galapagos Archipelago

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Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Marine Biology Research Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Dean of Graduate School, Chea Sim University of Kamchaymear, No. 157, Preah Norodom Blvd, Phnom Penh 12156, Cambodia
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Facultad de Ciencias de la Vida, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Campus Gustavo Galindo, Guayaquil 09-01-5863, Ecuador
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Galapagos Marine Research and Exploration, GMaRE. Joint ESPOL-CDF program, Charles Darwin Research Station, Galapagos Islands 200102, Ecuador
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Department of Biosciences and Industrial Technology, Research Centre of Health and Water Technology, HOGENT, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Facultad de Ingeniería Marítima y Ciencias del Mar, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Campus Gustavo Galindo, Guayaquil 09-01-5863, Ecuador
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Centro del Agua y Desarrollo Sustentable, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Matemáticas, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Campus Gustavo Galindo, Guayaquil 09-01-5863, Ecuador
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Department of Data Analysis and Mathematical Modelling, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Tiralongo
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(4), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9040375
Received: 27 February 2021 / Revised: 25 March 2021 / Accepted: 26 March 2021 / Published: 1 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Fish Research)
Oceanic islands harbor unique yet fragile marine ecosystems that require evidence-based environmental management. Among these islands, the Galapagos archipelago is well known for its fish diversity, but the factors that structure communities within and between its islands remain poorly understood. In this study, water quality, physical habitats and geographical distance were assessed as potential predictors for the diversity and structure of fish assemblages. Differences in the structure of fish assemblages of the two studied islands (Santa Cruz and Floreana) were most likely driven by temperature and nutrient concentrations. In the relatively highly populated island Santa Cruz, the structure of fish assemblages was more affected by water conditions than physical habitats while the contrary was true for the more pristine area of Floreana. A wide variety of species with different geographical origins were distributed over the different islands, which indicates that most fish species are able to reach the islands of the archipelago. However, temperature gradients and elevated nutrient levels cause large differences in the structure of local fish assemblages. In addition, in Santa Cruz nutrient concentrations were negatively correlated with α diversity. Since pollution is a clear pressure on the fish assemblages of oceanic islands, environmental management of the coastal areas is of paramount importance. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal ecosystem; video monitoring; Tropical Eastern Pacific fish assemblage; Galapagos; water quality; anthropogenic pressure coastal ecosystem; video monitoring; Tropical Eastern Pacific fish assemblage; Galapagos; water quality; anthropogenic pressure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bruneel, S.; Van Echelpoel, W.; Ho, L.; Raat, H.; Schoeters, A.; De Troyer, N.; Sor, R.; Ponton-Cevallos, J.; Vandeputte, R.; Van der heyden, C.; De Saeyer, N.; Forio, M.A.E.; Bermudez, R.; Dominguez-Granda, L.; Luca, S.; Moens, T.; Goethals, P. Assessing the Drivers behind the Structure and Diversity of Fish Assemblages Associated with Rocky Shores in the Galapagos Archipelago. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9, 375. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9040375

AMA Style

Bruneel S, Van Echelpoel W, Ho L, Raat H, Schoeters A, De Troyer N, Sor R, Ponton-Cevallos J, Vandeputte R, Van der heyden C, De Saeyer N, Forio MAE, Bermudez R, Dominguez-Granda L, Luca S, Moens T, Goethals P. Assessing the Drivers behind the Structure and Diversity of Fish Assemblages Associated with Rocky Shores in the Galapagos Archipelago. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2021; 9(4):375. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9040375

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bruneel, Stijn, Wout Van Echelpoel, Long Ho, Heleen Raat, Amber Schoeters, Niels De Troyer, Ratha Sor, José Ponton-Cevallos, Ruth Vandeputte, Christine Van der heyden, Nancy De Saeyer, Marie A.E. Forio, Rafael Bermudez, Luis Dominguez-Granda, Stijn Luca, Tom Moens, and Peter Goethals. 2021. "Assessing the Drivers behind the Structure and Diversity of Fish Assemblages Associated with Rocky Shores in the Galapagos Archipelago" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 9, no. 4: 375. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9040375

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