Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 7, pp 1447–1458 | Cite as

High seagrass diversity and canopy-height increase associated fish diversity and abundance

  • Masakazu HoriEmail author
  • Takao Suzuki
  • Yaowaluk Monthum
  • Tippamas Srisombat
  • Yoshiyuki Tanaka
  • Masahiro Nakaoka
  • Hiroshi Mukai
Original Paper


Seagrass species function as typical foundation species that unifies most ecosystem processes. This ecosystem role depends largely on the morphological characteristics and structural complexity of seagrass beds, including their ecological importance for fish species. This study examined relationships between seagrass bed characteristics and associated fish communities in mixed seagrass beds. Correspondence analysis (CA) and canonical correlation analysis (CCoA) were performed to estimate relationships for individual seagrass bed characteristics. The CCoA results revealed that species richness and three-dimensional structure of seagrass had great effect on the biomass and richness of the associated fish community. The CA results revealed that the relative importance of seagrass bed characteristics differed among fish functional groups including fishes appearing on the surface of, inside, and on the bottom of seagrass beds. The fishes found on the surface of the beds preferred beds with low seagrass biomass and high three-dimensional structure, those inside the beds preferred beds with high seagrass biomass and high three-dimensional structure, and those on the bottom of the beds preferred locations with low seagrass biomass and low three-dimensional structure. The results of this study provide compelling evidence that seagrass beds with high species diversity and high three-dimensional structure, but intermediate biomass, may provide the great benefit to the associated fish community. Such niche complementarity among fishes may be a process facilitated by seagrass diversity for secondary production as an ecosystem functioning.


Seagrass Meadow Oyster Reef Seagrass Species Seagrass Biomass Nearshore Ecosystem 
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.



We are grateful to S. Pleumarom and the staff of Ranong Coastal Resource Research Station, Kasetsart University for logistical support during fieldwork, and C. Aryuthaka for her management of our research trip in Thailand. We are also grateful to K. Yamada and members of National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland Sea, Fishery Research Agency Japan for their assistance in conducting this study. This article is partially funded by the grants-in-aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (No. 16405007).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masakazu Hori
    • 1
    Email author
  • Takao Suzuki
    • 2
  • Yaowaluk Monthum
    • 3
  • Tippamas Srisombat
    • 3
  • Yoshiyuki Tanaka
    • 4
  • Masahiro Nakaoka
    • 5
    • 6
  • Hiroshi Mukai
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland Sea, Fisheries Research AgencyHiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Life Science Tohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of FisheriesKasetsart UniversityBangkokThailand
  4. 4.Ocean Research Institute The University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Graduate School of Science Chiba UniversityChibaJapan
  6. 6.Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere Hokkaido UniversityAkkeshi-cho, Akkeshi-gunJapan
  7. 7.Field Science Education and Research Center, Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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