Species-specific habitat distribution of coral reef fish assemblages in relation to habitat characteristics in an Okinawan coral reef

Atsushi Nanami, Moritaka Nishihira, Takao Suzuki, Hiroyuki Yokochi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We determined the species-specific habitat associations of coral reef fishes and environmental characteristics in an Okinawan coral reef in Japan. We focused on three families (Pomacentridae, Gobiidae and Labridae) and attempted to determine differences in habitat utilization. We selected six sites along the coast of Amitori Bay, from the entrance to the innermost part, in order to cover a wide range of habitat characteristics (exposed habitat, semi-exposed habitat and sheltered habitat). The species diversity of coral assemblages was greater at the exposed and semi-exposed habitats, whereas branching coral mostly covered the sheltered habitat. The environmental factors that determine the species-specific spatial association in fishes differed among families. Both biological characteristics (coral morphology and coral species diversity) and physical characteristics (water depth and wave exposure) affected the spatial association of pomacentrids and gobiids. In contrast, physical characteristics such as substrate complexity and water depth affected the species-specific spatial association of labrid species. Further study is needed to determine the ecological factors that regulate the species-specific habitat preference in Okinawan coral reefs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-65
    Number of pages11
    JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
    Volume72
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jan

    Keywords

    • Coral morphology
    • Gobiidae
    • Habitat association
    • Habitat characteristics
    • Labridae
    • Pomacentridae

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Aquatic Science

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