Free Content Habitat Complexity and the Abundance of Juvenile Fishes Residing on Small Scale Artificial Reefs

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Unraveled lengths of 0.5-in diameter polypropylene rope were evaluated as a means of increasing the abundance of juvenile fishes on man-made reefs. Ten rope “streamers” were installed on each of 12 PVC and concrete block reefs located in Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary in the Florida Keys. Twelve identical reefs without rope were used as controls. All the reefs were censused nine times over a 1-year period. Numbers of juvenile fishes were significantly higher on the streamer reefs (x¯ = 388 indiv./census) than on the plain reefs (x¯ = 132 indiv./census). The polypropylene rope streamers are inexpensive, easy to prepare and install, and durable. Such devices appear to be an effective means of increasing juvenile fish abundance on man-made reefs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1989

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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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