Species composition, abundance and spatial distribution of coastal fishes and their relation with the habitat structure of north Chilean kelp beds.


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Juergen.Laudien [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The present study aimed to examine whether species composition, abundance and spatial distribution of fish communities are driven by three distinct habitat structures: Macrocystis integrifolia beds, Lessonia trabecutata beds or patches of L. trabeculata colonizing barren grounds off northern Chile. Multivariable analysis revealed that the dense L. trabeculata kelp bed showed significantly higher fish species richness, abundance and diversity compared with the M. integrifolia habitat, where the fish community did not significantly differ from that of the L. trabeculata patches. In turn the latter was characterized by significantly lower abundances compared with the dense L. trabeculata bed, however, species richness and diversity did not strongly differ. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) revealed that the Peruvian morwong Cheilodactylus variegatus, the Pacific chromis Chromis crusma, and the Coquito sergeant Nexilosus latifrons accounted for most of the variability (18%) between kelp habitats. The dominant kelp fish C. variegatus was negatively related with kelp abundance, stipe number, wet mass, holdfast and frond width, and positively related with dichotomies per stipe, plant length and stipe number of L. trabeculata. Thus, kelp habitat complexity may modulate fish assemblages as a result of interactions between kelp and fish (e.g., shelter and habitat for prey), and vice versa (e.g., herbivory, control of herbivores). Therefore, on a spatial or temporal scale habitat variations, as observed during and after El Niño events, may change coastal fish communities.



Item Type
Conference (Talk)
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Peer revision
Not peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Event Details
CENSOR Endterm Symposium, 9-11 September 2008, Lima, Peru...
Eprint ID
19610
Cite as
Laudien, J. , Villegas, M. , Sielfeld, W. and Arntz, W. (2008): Species composition, abundance and spatial distribution of coastal fishes and their relation with the habitat structure of north Chilean kelp beds. , CENSOR Endterm Symposium, 9-11 September 2008, Lima, Peru.. .


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