Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 6, pp 2245–2253 | Cite as

Evaluating day–night changes in shallow Mediterranean rocky reef fish assemblages by visual census

  • Ernesto Azzurro
  • Antonio Pais
  • Pierpaolo Consoli
  • Franco Andaloro
Research Article

Abstract

Ecological information on coastal fish distribution patterns and habitat use can be greatly improved by nocturnal samplings and observations. To this purpose, the structure of a Mediterranean fish assemblage inhabiting the shallow rocky littoral of Linosa Island (Sicily Strait, Italy) was examined by using visual census to detect possible diel variations in species composition and abundance. Day–night fish distribution patterns were investigated by multivariate and univariate analyses. Overall, 42 fish taxa belonging to 19 families were recorded: 35 during the day and 24 during the night. Seventeen species were common to both diurnal and nocturnal assemblages. Within the diurnal assemblage, Chromis chromis was the most represented species (37.2%), followed by Thalassoma pavo (23.2%) and Sparisoma cretense (10.8%). Within the nocturnal assemblage, the most abundant taxon was Atherina spp. (33.9%), followed by Apogon imberbis (26.4%) and Boops boops (11.5%). Our results indicated wide variation in the abundance and species composition during the day and during the night. Multi Dimensional Scaling plot showed a clear-cut separation between the two assemblages and analysis of similarities found significant differences as well. SIMPER analysis revealed that ten species individually contributed by more than 2.5% to the dissimilarity between diurnal and nocturnal assemblages, T. pavo, C. chromis and S. cretense being the first three species in order of decreasing percentage. ANOVA performed on species richness and fish abundance detected significant differences between diurnal and nocturnal assemblages, the latter showing far lower average values for both variables.

Keywords

Fish Assemblage Fish Abundance Fish Assemblage Structure Visual Census Fish Taxon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work forms part of E.A.’s PhD thesis. We thank Prof. O. Carnevali for assisting in this research, Dr. E. Fanelli for critical reading of the manuscript and for her contributions during the field-work, Dr. G.S. Helfman for the help with literature Dr. M. Milazzo for useful suggestions and Dr. E. Mostarda for English revision. Finally, the authors would like to thank three anonymous referees for their useful criticism, which significantly improved this paper.

References

  1. Annese DM, Kingsford MJ (2005) Distribution, movements and diet of nocturnal fishes on temperate reefs. Environ Biol Fishes 72:161–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arrington DA, Winemiller KO (2003) Diel changeover in sandbank fish assemblages in a neotropical floodplain river. J Fish Biol 63:442–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Axenrot T, Didrikas T, Danielsson C, Hansson S (2004) Diel patterns in pelagic fish behaviour and distribution observed from a stationary, bottom-mounted, and upward-facing transducer. ICES J Mar Sci 61:1100–1104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bell JD, Harmelin-Vivien ML (1983) Fish fauna of French Mediterranean Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows. 2. Feeding habits. Tethys 11:1–14Google Scholar
  5. Bussotti S, Denitto F, Guidetti P, Belmonte G (2002) Fish assemblages in shallow marine caves of the Salento peninsula (Southern Apulia, SE Italy). Mar Ecol 23(s1):11–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carpentieri P, Colloca F, Ardizzone GD (2005) Day–night variations in the demersal nekton assemblage on the Mediterranean shelf-break. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 63:577–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clarke KR (1993) Non-parametric multivariate analyses of changes in community structure. Austr J Ecol 18:117–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clarke KR, Warwick RM (2001) Change in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation, 2nd edn. PRIMER-E, PlymouthGoogle Scholar
  9. Collette BB, Talbot FH (1972) Activity patterns of coral reef fishes with emphasis on nocturnal-diurnal changeover. Bull Nat Hist Mus Los Angeles 14:98–124Google Scholar
  10. Copp GH, Jurajda P (1993) Do small riverine fish move inshore at night? J Fish Biol 43(Suppl A):229–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Debelius H (1997) Mediterranean and Atlantic fish guide. IKAN, FrankfurtGoogle Scholar
  12. Dulčić J, Fencil M, Matić-Skoko S, Kraljević M, Glamuzina B (2004) Diel catch variations in a shallow-water fish assemblage at Duće Glava, eastern Adriatic (Croatian Coast). J Mar Biol Assoc UK 84:659–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fabi G, Sala A (2002) An assessment of biomass and diel activity of fish at an artificial reef (Adriatic sea) using a stationary hydroacoustic technique. ICES J Mar Sci 59:411–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fischer W, Schneider M, Bauchot ML (1987) Fiches FAO d’identification des espèces pour les besoins de la pêche (Révision 1). Méditerranée et Mer Noire. Zone de pêche 37, vol II. Vertebrés. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  15. Francour P, Liret V, Harvey E (1999) Comparison of fish abundance estimates made by remote underwater video and visual census. Nat Sicil 35(Suppl):155–168Google Scholar
  16. Galzin R (1987) Structure of fish communities of French Polynesian coral reefs. II. Temporal scales. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 41:137–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. García-Charton JA, Pérez-Ruzafa A (2001) Spatial pattern and the habitat structure of a Mediterranean reef fish local assemblage. Mar Biol 138:917–934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gilbert M, Rasmussen JB, Kramer DL (2005) Estimating the density and biomass of moray eels (Muraenidae) using a modified visual census method for hole-dwelling reef fauna. Environ Biol Fishes 73:415–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Guidetti P (2002) The importance of experimental design in detecting the effects of protection measures on fish in Mediterranean MPAs. Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 12:619–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guidetti P, Boero F (2002) Spatio-temporal variability in abundance of the parrotfish, Sparisoma cretense, in SE Apulia (SE Italy, Mediterranean Sea). Ital J Zool 69:229–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Guidetti P, Bianchi CN, La Mesa G, Modena M, Morri C, Sara G, Vacchi M (2002) Abundance and size structure of Thalassoma pavo (Pisces: Labridae) in the western Mediterranean Sea: variability at different spatial scales. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 82:495–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harmelin JG (1987) Structure et variabilité de l’ichtyofaune d’une zone rocheuse protégée en Méditerranée (Parc national de Port-Cros, France). Mar Ecol 8:263–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Harmelin-Vivien ML (1982) Ichtyofaune des herbiers de posidonies du Parc National de Port-Cros: I. composition et variations spatio-temporelles. Trav Sci Parc Nation Port-Cros 8:69–92Google Scholar
  24. Harmelin-Vivien ML, Francour P (1992) Trawling or visual censuses? Methodological bias in the assessment of fish populations in seagrass beds. Mar Ecol 13:41–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harmelin-Vivien ML, Harmelin JG, Chauvet C, Duval C, Galzin R, Lejeune P, Barnabé G, Blanc F, Chevalier R, Duclerc J, Lassere G (1985) Evaluation visuelle des peuplements et populations de poissons: méthodes et problèmes. Rev Ecol (Terre Vie) 40:467–539Google Scholar
  26. Helfman GS (1993) Fish behaviour by day, night and twilight. In: Pitcher TJ (ed) The behaviour of teleost fishes, 2nd edn. Chapman & Hall, London, pp 479–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hobson ES (1965) Diurnal-nocturnal activity of some inshore fishes in the Gulf of California. Copeia 1965:291–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Holland-Bartels LE, Dewey MR (1997) The influence of seine capture efficiency on fish abundance estimates in the upper Mississippi River. J Fresh Ecol 12:101–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jadot C, Ovidio M, Voss J (2002) Diel activity of Sarpa salpa (Sparidae) by ultrasonic telemetry in a Posidonia oceanica meadow of Corsica (Mediterranean Sea). Aquat Living Resour 15:343–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jadot C, Donnay A, Acolas ML, Cornet Y, Bégout Anras ML (2006) Activity patterns, home-range size, and habitat utilization of Sarpa salpa (Teleostei: Sparidae) in the Mediterranean Sea. ICES J Mar Sci 63:128–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. La Mesa G, Di Muccio S, Vacchi M (2006) Structure of a Mediterranean cryptobenthic fish community and its relationships with habitat characteristics. Mar Biol 149:149–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maes J, Pas J, Taillieu A, Van Damme PA, Ollevier F (1999) Diel changes in the vertical distribution of juvenile fish in the Zeeschelde Estuary. J Fish Biol 54:1329–1333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McCleave JD, Fried SM (1975) Night time catches of fishes in a tidal cove in Montsweag Bay near Wiscasset Maine. Trans Am Fish Soc 104:30–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nash RDM (1982) The diel behavior of small demersal fish on soft sediments on the west coast of Scotland using a variety of techniques: with special reference to Lesueurigobius friesii (Pisces: Gobiidae). Mar Ecol 3:161–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nash RDM (1986) Diel fluctuations of a shallow water fish community in the inner Oslofjord, Norway. Mar Ecol 7:219–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nash RDM, Santos RS (1998) Seasonality in diel catch rate of small fishes in a shallow-water fish assemblage at Porto Pim bay, Faial, Azores. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 47:319–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nash RDM, Santos RS, Geffen AJ, Hughes G, Ellis TR (1994) Diel variability in catch rate of juvenile flatfish on two small nursery grounds (Port Erin Bay, Isle of Man and Porto Pirn Bay, Faial, Azores). J Fish Biol 44:35–45Google Scholar
  38. Parsley MJ, Palmer DE, Burkhardt RW (1989) Variation in capture efficiency of a beach seine for small fishes. North Am J Fish Manage 9:239–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Petrakis G, MacLennan DN, Newton AW (2001) Day–night and depth effects on catch rates during trawl surveys in the North Sea. ICES J Mar Sci 58:50–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Piet GJ, Guruge WAHP (1997) Diel variation in feeding and vertical distribution of ten co-occurring fish species: consequences for resource partitioning. Environ Biol Fishes 50:293–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Radford CA, Jeffs AG, Tindle CT, Cole RG, Montgomery JC (2005) Bubbled waters: the noise generated by underwater breathing apparatus. Mar Freshw Behav Phy 38:259–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Reebs G (2002) Plasticity of diel and circadian activity rhythms in fishes. Rev Fish Biol Fish 12:349–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Robertson DR, Sheldon JM (1979) Competitive interactions and the availability of sleeping sites for a diurnal coral reef fish. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 40:285–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rooker JR, Dennis GD (1991) Diel, lunar and seasonal changes in a mangrove fish assemblage off southwestern Puerto Rico. Bull Mar Sci 49:684–698Google Scholar
  45. Rooker JR, Dokken QR, Pattengill CV, Holt GJ (1997) Fish assemblages on artificial and natural reefs in the flower garden banks national marine sanctuary, USA. Coral Reefs 16:83–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rossier O (1997) Comparison of gillnet sampling and night visual census of fish communities in the littoral zone of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Arch Hydrobiol 139:223–233Google Scholar
  47. Tortonese E (1975) Fauna d’Italia Vol XI. Osteichthyes—Pesci ossei. Calderini, BolognaGoogle Scholar
  48. Underwood AJ (1997) Experiments in ecology: their logical design and interpretation using analysis of variance. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  49. Walsh SJ (1991) Diel variation in availability and vulnerability of fish to a survey trawl. J Appl Ichthyol 7:147–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wolter C, Freyhof J (2004) Diel distribution patterns of fishes in a temperate large lowland river. J Fish Biol 64:632–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernesto Azzurro
    • 1
  • Antonio Pais
    • 2
  • Pierpaolo Consoli
    • 1
  • Franco Andaloro
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of MilazzoICRAM, Central Institute for Marine ResearchMilazzoItaly
  2. 2.Sezione di Acquacoltura ed Ecologia Marina, Dipartimento di Scienze ZootecnicheUniversità degli Studi di SassariSassariItaly
  3. 3.ICRAM, Central Institute for Marine Research, STS PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations