Patterns of food and microhabitat resource use by two benthic gobiid fishes
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The mechanisms responsible for different patterns of habitat use by two benthic gobiid fishes, Acentrogobius sp. 1 and A. sp. 2, which displayed identical food use but resided in shallow and deep zones of coarse and fine sediments, respectively, in Lake Hamana, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, were investigated by field removal and laboratory sediment-grain size selection experimentation. Following field manipulation, involving removal of both species, the distribution patterns of each were found to be similar in both control and manipulated quadrats, suggesting their differential habitat use patterns may be the outcome not of competition but of differing preferences for habitat characteristics. Results of a sediment-grain size selection experiment in the laboratory suggested a weak preference of A. sp. 2 for fine sediment, while A. sp. 1 showed no grain size preference. The observed difference in the distribution patterns between these two species, therefore, may possibly have resulted from, at least in part, a combination of differences in their preference for sediment grain size and other habitat characteristics such as water depth.
KeywordsHabitat segregation Removal experiment Grain-size selection experiment Habitat preference Acentrogobius spp.
I am grateful to Akinori Hino, Yuzuru Suzuki, Hisashi Kurokura, Ken Okamoto, Shigeru Aoki, Naoki Mizuno, Takuhiko Takase, Tadaaki Kubo, Takae Takami, Kimiyo Urushibata, Tsuneko Ushiyama, Atsuko Kurata, Shinji Uehara, Masuo Iida and all the staffs of the Fisheries Laboratory, University of Tokyo, for their generous assistance in the field work. Constructive comments on the manuscript from Graham Hardy, Mitsuhiko Sano, Kouki Kanou, Kouji Seto and anonymous reviewers were much appreciated. I thank the fishermen’s Unions in Lake Hamana for their permission to dive using SCUBA. This study was supported by Grants-in Aid for Young Scientists (B) from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan (No. 15780134) and Mikimoto Fund for Marine Ecology.
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