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Habitat selection and the colonization of new territories by Chromis viridis

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The settlement and recruitment patterns of Chromis viridis were followed during three consecutive seasons along the reefs of Eilat, Red Sea. The findings, based on intensive field surveys and a translocation experiment, indicated a strong and repeatable preference for some, but not other, colonies of the branching coral Acropora eurystoma; with significantly more larvae settling onto preferred colonies that house conspecific adults and juveniles. Furthermore, these findings showed that, given high recruitment rates, settlement-site selection could drive migration by adults and older juveniles. As only some C. viridis schools received direct settlement, it was suggested that settlement-driven migration is responsible for the replenishment of those schools that do not receive settlement and to the colonization of previously unoccupied coral colonies.
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Keywords: Red Sea; coral-reef fishes; migration; recruitment; replenishment; settlement

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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