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SMURFs: standard monitoring units for the recruitment of temperate reef fishes
Ammann, A.J. (2004). SMURFs: standard monitoring units for the recruitment of temperate reef fishes. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 299(2): 135-154
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Marine

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  • Ammann, A.J.

Abstract
    I evaluated a standard monitoring unit for the recruitment of reef fishes (SMURF) as a tool for ascertaining spatial and temporal patterns of reef fish recruitment in central California, USA. SMURFs consisted of a 1.0×0.35 m dia. cylinder of fine mesh plastic grid that contained a folded section of larger mesh plastic grid. SMURFs collected new recruits of 20 species of fish with 92% of the individuals collected from 10 species, mostly rockfish (genus Sebastes). An experiment varying depth of SMURFs in the water column (surface, mid-depth, or bottom) showed that surface SMURFs collected the greatest diversity of species and significantly greater abundance for eight species, with two species having significantly greater abundance on mid-depth SMURFs and three species having significantly greater abundance on bottom SMURFs. A comparison of cumulated recruitment from SMURFs that varied in sampling frequency (removal of new recruits every 1-3, 7, or 28 days) suggested that increasing the time between sampling caused a significant decrease in recruitment estimates for some species but not for others. To determine how well temporal patterns of recruitment to SMURFs reflected patterns to nearby reefs, I compared within season temporal patterns of recruitment to SMURFs with that at nearby reefs, estimated by visual transect surveys conducted on scuba. Temporal patterns of recruitment to SMURFs were significantly and positively related to early recruitment on reefs for one group of benthic-algal associated rockfish species when diver surveys were lagged by 30 days (r=0.87) and for another group of canopy-algal associated rockfish species when lagged by 5 days (r=0.72). SMURFs appeared to be an effective and efficient method for indexing relative rates of delivery of competent juveniles for many temperate nearshore reef fishes.

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