Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 96, Issue 8, pp 981–994 | Cite as

Demographic patterns in the peacock grouper (Cephalopholis argus), an introduced Hawaiian reef fish

  • Mary K. Donovan
  • Alan M. Friedlander
  • Edward E. DeMartini
  • Megan J. Donahue
  • Ivor D. Williams


This study took advantage of a unique opportunity to collect large sample sizes of a coral reef fish species across a range of physical and biological features of the Hawaiian Archipelago to investigate variability in the demography of an invasive predatory coral reef fish, Cephalopholis argus (Family: Epinephelidae). Age-based demographic analyses were conducted at 10 locations in the main Hawaiian Islands and estimates of weight-at-length, size-at-age, and longevity were compared among locations. Each metric differed among locations, although patterns were not consistent across metrics. Length-weight relationships for C. argus differed among locations and individuals weighed less at a given length at Hilo, the southernmost location studied. Longevity differed among and within islands and was greater at locations on Maui and Hawaii compared to the more northern locations on Oahu and Kauai. Within-island growth patterns differed at Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii. This work provides a case study of fundamental life history information from distant and/or spatially limited locations that are critical for developing robust fishery models. The differences observed both among and within islands indicate that variability may be driven by cross-scale mechanisms that need to be considered in fisheries stock assessments and ecosystem-based management.


Growth rate Coral reef fish Cephalopholis argus Grouper Invasive Marine introduction 



This project was made possible by the many fishers throughout Hawaii who have caught roi over the years. Funding was provided by NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and the Hawaii Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit. We thank B. Wolfe, V. Scarborough, S. Ciarcia, N. Torkelson, E. Richards, T. Wooton, B. Roehl, H. Koike, P. Usseglio, K. Stamoulis, E. Schemmel, I. Iglesias, and H. Holt who assisted with data collection. Chad Wiggens, J. Giddens and M. Ramsey were instrumental in forming collaborations and obtaining samples. This project was in collaboration with P. Bienfang and S. Defelice of the Pacific Research Center for Marine Biomedicine who were funded by National Science Foundation grants OCE08-52301 and OCE11-29199.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary K. Donovan
    • 1
  • Alan M. Friedlander
    • 2
  • Edward E. DeMartini
    • 3
  • Megan J. Donahue
    • 4
  • Ivor D. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem DivisionHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.US Geological Survey Hawaii Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, and University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Fisheries Research and Monitoring DivisionNOAA Fisheries, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science CenterHonoluluUSA
  4. 4.Hawaii Institute of Marine BiologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaKaneoheUSA

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