MEPS - Vol. 361 - Feature article

Distribution of schooling bigeye jacks Caranx sexfasciatus
on exposed reefs can be predicted by modeling
Photo: M. Beger

Beger M, Possingham HP

 

Environmental factors that influence the distribution of coral reef fishes: modeling occurrence data for broad-scale conservation and management

 

The authors have identified 4 remotely measured environmental factors — water depth, land–sea interface, exposure, and distance to the nearest estuary — which on a regional scale predict the distributions of coral reef fishes. Statistically significant logistic regression models, in which all 4 variables are important for at least some species, were identified for 118 species. Beger & Possingham conclude that species distribution modeling with remotely determined predictors is a cheap method of informing coral reef management because occurrence point data can be converted quantitatively into full spatial coverage data.

 

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