SUBSTRATE ASSOCIATION AND PATTERNS OF MICROHABITAT USE BY FISHES AT FERNANDO DE NORONHA ARCHIPELAGO (BRAZIL)

Paulo R. MEDEIROS, Ana Maria A. MEDEIROS, Ricardo S. ROSA

Resumo


The present study tested the degree of substrate association of five common species and their patterns of non-random preferences to benthic categories. Benthic estimates were made on four sites at the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, and using focal observations we determined substrate preferences of each species testing whether the observed patterns were different than randomly expected. Mobile species showed random substrate preferences, whereas site-attached and
territorial species showed somewhat distinguished patterns. Differences in substrate preferences of these two groups are likely to be an effect of contrasting foraging strategies. Nevertheless, even mobile species spent over 80% of their time within up to 30 cm above the substrate, suggesting that substrate plays an important role on their life histories, possibly offering protection sites against predators.

Keywords: Benthic cover, Oceanic island, Reef fishes.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5914/tropocean.v44i2.8299

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