Recovery of the long-spined sea urchin Diadema Antillarum in Curacao (Netherlands Antilles) linked to lagoonal and wave sheltered shallow rocky habitats
SourceBulletin of Marine Science, 79, 2, (2006), pp. 415-424
Article / Letter to editor
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Animal Ecology & Ecophysiology
Bulletin of Marine Science
SubjectAnimal Ecology and Eco Physiology
Mangroves are an important fish habitat, but little is known of their nursery function and connectivity to other habitats such as coral reefs. Here, the present status of knowledge on connectivity between non-estuarine mangroves and coral reefs by post-larval coral reef fishes is reviewed. Only since the year 2000 has more indirect evidence been obtained for such connectivity, largely based on (1) studies quantifying juvenile/adult fish densities in these habitats to deduce ontogenetic migrations, (2) studies investigating the effect of absence of mangroves on reef fish populations, and (3) studies investigating the effect of mangrove size or distance away from mangroves on reef fish densities. Almost all studies have been in the Caribbean, and they are practically absent for the much larger Indo-Pacific region. So far, it appears that coral reef fish species do not show an obligate dependence on mangroves as a juvenile habitat, except perhaps for the vulnerable Caribbean parrotfish species Scarus guacamaia. Six Caribbean species of Haemulidae and Lutjanidae show high dependence on mangroves/seagrass beds as juvenile habitats, and may be the most vulnerable to loss of these habitats. A study on otolith microchemistry has provided some evidence for one species that mangroves may indeed contribute to coral reef fish populations.
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