Inter-Research > MEPS > v469 > p133-144  
MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp

MEPS 469:133-144 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09949

Evaluating the effects of marine reserves on diet, prey availability and prey selection by juvenile predatory fishes

Colin K. Wen1,*, Glenn R. Almany2, David H. Williamson2, Morgan S. Pratchett2, Geoffrey P. Jones1,2

1School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
2ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

ABSTRACT: Implementation of effective no-take marine reserves almost universally results in an increase in the abundance of adult stages of exploited predatory fishes. However, the effects of reserves on the ecology of the juvenile stages of predators are unknown. Increased predation pressure from adults in reserves may not only reduce juvenile recruitment directly, but as a result of non-consumptive effects, may impact on critical aspects of their foraging behaviour, including diet and prey selection. In general, the feeding ecology of juvenile stages of large predators is poorly understood due to their relatively low abundance and cryptic behaviour. Here, we examined differences between reserves and fished areas in recruit abundance, diet, prey availability, and prey selection indices for recruits and juveniles of 3 predatory fishes: Plectropomus maculatus, Lutjanus carponotatus and Epinephelus quoyanus. Recruit abundance was similar between reserves and open areas. The diets of the 3 study species did not differ between reserves and open areas, with variation in diets largely explained by fish species and body size. At small sizes, all species consumed high numbers of shrimp, but diets diverged with growth. Overall, our results provide little evidence that more abundant predators inside reserves influence juvenile feeding ecology.


KEY WORDS: Coral reef · Predator–prey relationships · Non-consumptive effect · Marine reserves · Serranidae · Lutjanidae · Great Barrier Reef · Recruitment


Full text in pdf format 
Cite this article as: Wen CK, Almany GR, Williamson DH, Pratchett MS, Jones GP (2012) Evaluating the effects of marine reserves on diet, prey availability and prey selection by juvenile predatory fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 469:133-144. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09949

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
Facebook - - linkedIn