Free Content

Density, species and size distribution of groupers (Serranidae) in three habitats at Elbow Reef, Florida Keys

Authors: Sluka, Robert; Chiappone, Mark; Sullivan, Kathleen M.; Potts, Thomas A.; Levy, Jose M.; Schmitt, Emily F.; Meester, Geoff

Source: Bulletin of Marine Science, Volume 62, Number 1, January 1998 , pp. 219-228(10)

Publisher: University of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Buy & download fulltext article:

Free content The full text is free.

View now:
PDF 4,841.1kb 


We examined the density, size and species distribution of groupers in three habitats on an inshore-to-offshore transect across Elbow Reef, Florida Keys: high-relief spur-and-groove (4–9 m depth), relict spur-and-groove (10–20 m), and deep fore reef slope (21–30 m). Physical relief was greatest in the high-relief spur-and-groove (up to 3 m), lowest in the relict spur-and-groove habitat (<0.5–1 m), and intermediate in the deep fore reef slope habitat (1–1.5 m). Benthic coverage in the three habitats was dominated by algae (>30%). There were significant differences in the density, size, and species distribution of groupers among the three habitats. Graysby, Epinephelus cruentatus, was numerically dominant, constituting 82–91% of individual observed. Black grouper, Mycteroperca bonaci, and Nassau grouper, E. striatus, were more abundant in high to moderate relief habitats, whereas red hind, E. guttatus, was more abundant in the low-relief habitat. The size distribution was shifted towards smaller sizes in lowest relief habitat and towards larger sizes in areas with greater (>0.5 m) vertical relief. We suggest that fishing pressure in the Florida Keys has resulted in an offshore grouper assemblage dominated by graysby, a small grouper species (<40 cm total length) which is not targeted by fishermen, and that habitat selection and biological interactions have significantly influenced the ecological structure of the grouper assemblage of this coral reef.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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



Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page