Skip to main content

Free Content Diel Variation in the Fish Fauna of a Tropical Seagrass Feeding Ground

Download Article:
 Download
(PDF 2,281.9 kb)
 

Abstract:

A diver-operated encircling net was used to quantify diel variation in the fish fauna present in the tropical, Thalassia-dominated, seagrass meadow of Tague Bay, St. Croix. Diel variation in fish density was evident at the familial level, and for the major species found, accurately represented patterns of feeding activity. Small, permanently resident grass bed fishes characterized the diurnal fish community with parrotfishes (Scaridae) and wrasses (Labridae) dominating. At night, grunts (Haemulidae), squirrelfishes (Holocentridae) and cardinal fishes (Apogonidae) were the dominant active fishes. A twilight changeover, similar to that observed among fishes on coral reefs, marked the transition between these day and night seagrass fish communities.

The seagrass bed served as an important feeding ground for coral reef fishes. Fifteen species (51% of the nocturnal collection) moved from diurnal resting sites to feed over seagrass at night. More than 87% of these nocturnal visitors (10 species) were primary coral reef fishes, representing 79% of the fishes actively feeding in the grass bed at night. Resources of shelter and food, represented by the coral reef during the day, and the seagrass meadow at night, respectively, were important in structuring this seagrass fish fauna.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1984

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
umrsmas/bullmar/1984/00000034/00000003/art00003
dcterms_title,dcterms_description,pub_keyword
6
5
20
40
5

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more