Predicting Fish Species on Artificial Reefs Using Indicator Biota from Natural Reefs
A list of Natural Reef Indicator (NRI) species, comprised of 24 invertebrate and 5 algal species identified at three productive natural rocky reef sites in Puget Sound, Washington, was used to predict fish species assemblages at prospective artificial reef sites. This prediction was based on the degree of similarity between the NRI species and the number of NRI species identified at each site prior to reef construction. Macro-invertebrate and macro-algal species assemblages at 11 prospective Puget Sound artificial reef sites were compared to the NRI species list. Species common with the NRI species list ranged from two (7%) to 25 (86%). The number of recreationally important fish species observed during the first 2 years on artificial reefs constructed at the 11 sites was significantly correlated with the number of NRI species identified at each reef site. This correlation remained significant following surveys over 6 years on artificial reefs at sites with high (15) and low (2) numbers of NRI species. This NRI species list proved to be an effective indicator regardless of the time (year) of artificial reef construction. The use of NRI species to predict future fish species assemblages provides a methodology which complies with the artificial reef siting criteria established for the United States in the National Artificial Reef Plan.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1989-03-01
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