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Diel rhythms in shallow Mediterranean rocky-reef fishes: a chronobiological approach with the help of trained volunteers
Azzurro, E.; Aguzzi, J.; Maynou, F.; Chiesa, J.J.; Savini, D. (2013). Diel rhythms in shallow Mediterranean rocky-reef fishes: a chronobiological approach with the help of trained volunteers. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 93(2): 461-470. hdl.handle.net/10.1017/S0025315412001166
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    rocky-reef fishes; activity rhythms; visual census; waveform analysis; Fourier analysis; Mediterranean Sea; Citizen Science

Authors  Top 
  • Azzurro, E.
  • Aguzzi, J.
  • Maynou, F.
  • Chiesa, J.J.
  • Savini, D.

Abstract
    Behavioural rhythms in marine species have been mostly investigated in laboratory organisms and their expression within the animals' natural environments remains largely unknown. Here, we studied diel (i.e. 24-hours-based) and intra-diel (i.e. 12-hours-based) rhythmic variations in the abundance of seven shallow rocky-reef fish species, namely Coris julis, Epinephelus marginatus, Sarpa salpa, Serranus cabrilla, Serranus scriba, Sparisoma cretense and Thalassoma pavo, along the rocky shores of Linosa Island (Mediterranean Sea). Data were visually collected by trained volunteers along fixed transects at 3-hourly intervals throughout six consecutive 24-hours periods. Density estimates can vary greatly between consecutive days and during 24-hours periods according not only to the major day–night changeover but also to minor intra-diel variations at the daylight hours. In the case of T. pavo, C. julis, S. cabrilla and S. salpa waveform analyses showed midday troughs in abundance within the 24-hours period but significant variation within the hours of daylight was highlighted only for T. pavo. Although results were not conclusive at the intra-dial level, the employment of volunteers represented a valuable tool for chronobiology, suitable to improve our understanding of fish behaviour in natural systems.

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