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The replenishment of coral reef fish populations
Doherty, P.J.; Williams, D.M. (1988). The replenishment of coral reef fish populations. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 26: 487-551
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Coral reefs; Reef fish; Stocking (organisms); Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Doherty, P.J.
  • Williams, D.M.

    Three models of the ecological processes contributing to the replenishment of populations of coral reef fishes are outlined. The evidence supporting each is reviewed. We conclude that there is little evidence for resource limitation of local densities of reef fishes but substantial support for non-equilibrium models. It is argued that in such systems the dynamics of populations will be strongly influenced by fluctuations in recruitment and that recruitment variations should be preserved in the age structure of the populations. An extensive review is made of spatial and temporal variation in recruitment (appearance of young 0+ fishes on reefs) over scales ranging from metres to 1000+ km and from days to many years. The complex mixture of stochastic and deterministic patterns at all scales is emphasized and some likely mechanisms are discussed. We suggest that the factors limiting the abundance of fishes on coral reefs do not differ in any fundamental way from those of more temperate coastal regions.

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