Patterns of growth, mortality, and size of the tropical damselfish Acanthochromis polyacanthus across the continental shelf of the Great Barrier Reef

Kingsford, Michael J. and Hughes, Julian M. (2005) Patterns of growth, mortality, and size of the tropical damselfish Acanthochromis polyacanthus across the continental shelf of the Great Barrier Reef. Fishery Bulletin, 103(4), pp. 561-573.

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Abstract

Age-based analyses were used to demonstrate consistent differences in growth between populations of Acanthochromis polyacanthus (Pomacentridae) collected at three distance strata across the continental shelf (inner, mid-, and outer shelf) of the central Great Barrier Reef (three reefs per distance stratum). Fish had significantly greater maximum lengths with increasing distance from shore, but fish from all distances reached approximately the same maximum age, indicating that growth is more rapid for fish found on outer-shelf reefs. Only one fish collected from inner-shelf reefs reached >100 mm SL, whereas 38−67% of fish collected from the outer shelf were >100 mm SL. The largest age class of adult-size fish collected from inner and mid-shelf locations comprised 3−4 year-olds, but shifted to 2-year-olds on outer-shelf reefs. Mortality schedules (Z and S) were similar irrespective of shelf position (inner shelf: 0.51 and 60.0%; mid-shelf: 0.48 and 61.8%; outer shelf: 0.43 and 65.1%, respectively). Age validation of captive fish indicated that growth increments are deposited annually, between the end of winter and early spring. The observed cross-shelf patterns in adult sizes and growth were unlikely to be a result of genetic differences between sample populations because all fish collected showed the same color pattern. It is likely that cross-shelf variation in quality and quantity of food, as well as in turbidity, are factors that contribute to the observed patterns of growth. Similar patterns of cross-shelf mortality indicate that predation rates varied little across the shelf. Our study cautions against pooling demographic parameters on broad spatial scales without consideration of the potential for cross-shelf variabil

Item Type: Article
Title: Patterns of growth, mortality, and size of the tropical damselfish Acanthochromis polyacanthus across the continental shelf of the Great Barrier Reef
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Kingsford, Michael J.
Hughes, Julian M.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 103
Number: 4
Page Range: pp. 561-573
Date: 2005
ISSN: 0090-0656
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 9015
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2012 15:20
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2012 15:20
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/9015

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