Predatory fish coral reefs

Nurseries

Mangrove forests are one of the world’s most threatened tropical ecosystems with global loss exceeding 35%. Juvenile coral reef fish often inhabit mangroves, but the importance of these nurseries to reef fish population dynamics has not been quantified. Indeed, mangroves might be expected to have negligible influence on reef fish communities: juvenile fish can inhabit alternative habitats and fish populations may be regulated by other limiting factors such as larval supply or fishing. MSEL showed that mangroves are unexpectedly important, serving as an intermediate nursery habitat that may increase the survivorship of young fish. Mangroves in the Caribbean strongly influence the community structure of fish on neighbouring coral reefs. In addition, the biomass of several commercially important species is more than doubled when adult habitat is connected to mangroves. The largest herbivorous fish in the Atlantic, Scarus guacamaia, has a functional dependency on mangroves and has suffered local extinction after mangrove removal. Current rates of mangrove deforestation are likely to have severe deleterious consequences for the ecosystem function, fisheries productivity and resilience of reefs. Conservation efforts should protect connected corridors of mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs.

Predator-prey interactions

Predation of fishes, particularly new settlers, is an important factor affecting fish populations on reefs. It is particularly important because mortality is frequently density-dependent; the probability of an individual fish being eaten depends on the abundance of that species. The probability of mortality may increase or decrease with group size (or be density independent). The mechanism underlying this density dependence is poorly understood, but in the short term could be driven by the functional response of predators or predator aggregation. MSEL is exploring these underlying mechanisms to explore the drivers of density dependence and how it might be affected by fishing pressure and decreasing habitat quality.


Impact of spear fishing on the abundance of large predatory coral reef fishes
Book (The University)

Bald eagles congregating in Homer, AK

2012-06-16 14:55:39 by howzthatworkn4ya


'Eagle Lady,' - Jean Keene - who died in January 2009. A January 20, 2009 article about Jean Keene published in the Los Angeles Times explains:
With her flaming red hair, bright red lipstick and large round glasses, Keene was a fixture in Homer, an Alaska fishing and artists community 130 miles south of Anchorage.
She started feeding the eagles in the late 1970s, when she was working at a fish-processing plant called Icicle Seafoods, located on the narrow spit of land that juts into the Kachemak Bay. Every day she would chop hundreds of pounds of salmon heads and tails, as well as cod and herring, most of it spoiled or freezer-burned, and toss it to the predatory birds


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