Data Set (knb-lter-mcr.2001.5)

MCR LTER: Coral Reef: Community Dynamics: Physical Characteristics of Branching Acropora Patches and Species Richness and Abundances of Associated Fishes

  Summary and Data Links People and Organizations Temporal, Geographic and Taxonomic Coverage Methods and Protocols  
Data Set General Information:
Identifier: knb-lter-mcr.2001.5 (in the knb Catalog System)
Alternate Identifier: 10.6073/pasta/50566d7ad5c876cf0f15903f447dd5e5
Alternate Identifier: knb-lter-mcr.2001

Branching corals, like many in the genus Acropora, provide structurally complex habitats for reef fishes and other organisms. Fluctuations in the abundance, distribution and characteristics of staghorn Acroporid corals may contribute to changes in the abundance and species composition of reef fishes due to changes in the availability of shelter habitat and food. Farming damselfishes of the genus Stegastes occur in high abundances in staghorn thickets and actively defend food and nest space against organisms that threaten these resources. Here I examine the value of staghorn thickets as habitat for fishes, and how the presence of territorial farming damselfishes may influence the assemblage of fishes that associate with staghorn corals. Surveys of 185 Acropora pulchra thickets located in the lagoons surrounding the island of Moorea, French Polynesia revealed 85 species of fish from 25 families. Total fish abundance and species richness values ranged from no fish on a thicket to a high of 275 individuals and 26 species. Thicket area was the most important characteristic in explaining variation in attributes of the fish assemblage among staghorn thickets, with other characteristics explaining little of the species composition or trophic structure. Behavioral observations revealed that farming damselfishes were most aggressive toward corallivores, herbivores, and egg predators, while they ignored most carnivores and omnivores. Despite this pattern, I observed positive covariance between Stegastes and the group of fishes that elicited the strongest aggressive response when the effect of thicket area was removed, suggesting these fishes remain drawn to the resources produced or enhanced by Stegastes on A. pulchra thickets.

Short Name: Acropora Fish Community Thesis
Publication Date: 2010
Language: english
Time Period:
Detailed Data Description and Download:
Survey Patch Physical Characteristics
Acropora pulchra patch physical characteristics, Table 1.
Behavioral Survey all Species
Behavioral Survey for all species, Table 2.
Behavioral Survey Stegastes
Behavioral Survey for Stegastes, Table 3.
Patch Fish Survey 2008
Survey of all fish present on Acropora pulchra patches, Table 4.
People and Organizations:
View complete information for all parties
Contact: Information Manager (Moorea Coral Reef LTER) [  email ]
Organization Moorea Coral Reef LTER
Owner: Johnson, Michele (Moorea Coral Reef LTER, Graduate student) [  email ]

Data Set Citation

How to cite this dataset: Johnson, M of Moorea Coral Reef LTER. 2010. MCR LTER: Coral Reef: Community Dynamics: Physical Characteristics of Branching Acropora Patches and Species Richness and Abundances of Associated Fishes. knb-lter-mcr.2001.5

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Key Words and Terms

By Thesaurus:
LTER, MCR, Moorea Coral Reef, Staghorn coral
Institute, Organization, or Funding Agency California State University Northridge, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, NSF, Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station, University of California Santa Barbara
Acropora, Stegastes
MCR LTER Site East Shore, French Polynesia, LTER 1 Fringing Reef, Moorea, North Shore, Pink Roof, Rudys, Temae
KNB Community, Marine
NBII Biocomplexity Thesaurus Abundance (organisms), Aggressive behavior, Algae, Biodiversity, Coral Reef, Corals, Depth, Dimensions, Fishes, Morphometry, Physical properties, Species Richness, Territorial behavior, Tropical Fishes
LTER Core Research Area Populations

Data Set Usage Rights

Data collected under the auspices of the MCR LTER are available to the public after primary publication, or at most two years after the completion of the study unless proprietary restrictions are warranted. Use of MCR LTER data is subject to acceptance of the following conditions:

  • 1. The user agrees to provide valid name and contact information prior to downloading online data. This information will be used to contact the user in case of changes to the data, and may also be used by data set authors and MCR LTER project administrators to document data usage.
  • 2. The user agrees to cite the data set author and MCR LTER in all publications in which the data are used, as per the instructions in the data documentation. If no specific instructions are provided in the data documentation, the user is requested to include the following statement: "Data sets were provided by the Moorea Coral Reef Ecosystem LTER, funded by the US National Science Foundation (OCE-0417412)."
  • 3. The user agrees to provide one copy of any manuscript based on MCR LTER data to the data set author prior to submitting it for publication.
  • 4. The user agrees to send two hard copies of any published manuscript based on MCR LTER data to the following address: Dr. Andrew J. Brooks Deputy Program Director, MCR LTER Marine Science Institute University of California Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6150 The user also agrees to send one electronic copy (pdf format) to the following e-mail address:
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Additional Metadata

View the original XML file (in Ecological Metadata Language) Viewable in Oxygen XML Editor