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Community structure of soft sediment pool fishes in Moreton Bay, Australia

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Abstract:

A survey of soft sediment tide pools was conducted to assess the occupation and assemblage of fishes on three different intertidal shores in Moreton Bay, Australia, between January and December 2009. Tide-pool volume ranged from 0· 30 to 29· 75 l and varied significantly between months and sites. A total of 1364 individuals representing 15 species and nine families of fishes were observed. At Dunwich, fish assemblages were dominated by the sand goby Favonigobius lentiginosus (89%) and whiting, Sillago spp. (10%). At Manly, the gobies Favonigobius exquisitus (37%), Pseudogobius sp. (31%) and the blenny Omobranchus punctatus (19%) dominated the shores while at Godwin Beach, F. lentiginosus (15%), F. exquisitus (45%) and Sillago spp. (25%) were the most abundant species. The mean ±s.e.density of fishes ranged from 0· 29 ± 0· 13 to 5· 04 ± 1· 74 fishes l−1 and abundance of fish correlated with pool volume. Juveniles (75%) dominated assemblages suggesting that soft sediment pools may act as nurseries. The persistent and recurrent fish assemblages found in soft sediment tide pools in Moreton Bay suggest that these shores are behaving more like a tropical than a temperate climate shore, as there was no significant difference of fish abundances between seasons.

Keywords: Gobiidae; fish assemblages; nursery; tide pools

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02866.x

Affiliations: 1: Moreton Bay Research Station, The University of Queensland, Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland 4183, Australia 2: School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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