Free Content Enhancement of Recruitment to Coral Reefs Using Light-Attractors

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Methods that enhance larval settlement are required to examine the importance of recruitment in the dynamics of coral reef fish populations. Although it is known that larval reef fishes are attracted to light, here we show for the first time that a light-attraction device positioned above patch reefs at Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef) significantly increased the number of fish settling on the reefs below. The device was a modified light trap with a tube allowing the vertical movement of larvae from the trap to the reef. The number of species of settling fishes, and the abundance and diversity of immigrant fishes were also greater on the light-enhanced reefs. By comparison, the alternative technique of enhancing recruitment using surface buoys moored to reefs was unsuccessful. Further studies are now required to determine whether enhanced recruitment using light-attractors leads to a longer-term increase in population size, as opposed to temporarily concentrating juveniles on the reef.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1998

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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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