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Free Content Effects of Three Substrate Variables on Two Artificial Reef Fish Communities

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Effects of substrate rugosity, percent substrate cover, and vertical reflief on resident and semiresident ichthyofaunal communities associated with two sunken barges were investigated off Panama City, Florida.

Measures of substrate rugosity and percentage substrate cover indicate Offshore Barge had 1.75 times the amount of surface area accessible to reef organisms for both sand and metal substrates compared to that available at Inshore Barge. Offshore Barge also supported a significantly greater abundance and species richness of resident fishes during summer (≥ 21°C) and winter (≤ 18°C) censuses. Both barges supported similar dominant species with no significant differences detected in the evenness of fish abundances. Midwater structures on Inshore Barge supported significantly greater numbers of semiresident species during summer censuses. However, greater abundance of semiresident species on Offshore Barge during winter indicated that higher structural complexities take precedence over vertical relief in attracting or concentrating these fishes when abundances (or temperatures) drop below a critical level.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1985

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  • 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.
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