Potential Influence of Food Abundance on Spawning Patterns in a Damselfish, Abudefduf Abdominalis
Temporal spawning patterns in coral-reef fishes are thought to be influenced by a variety of environmental factors including predation on offspring, current and light patterns, colonial nesting and costs of parental care. Although food availability is known to limit growth and reproduction in some pomacentrids, its effect on spawning patterns is not understood. Two populations of the Hawaiian sergeant, Abudefduf abdominalis, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, exhibited variable spawning patterns over a 5-year study ranging from patterns synchronized with lunar and semi-lunar cycles when spawning activity was relatively low, to acyclic spawning patterns when spawning activity was high. Stream discharge into Kaneohe Bay and spawning activity increased over the study period. Reproductive activity was positively correlated with stream discharge on both study reefs. A preliminary feeding experiment suggests food of adults is limited in Kaneohe Bay and that food availability may influence reproductive patterns. These results suggest that variations in food abundance can affect population-level spawning patterns and may partly account for intraspecific variability in spawning patterns observed in damselfishes.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1995-11-01
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