Occurrence and activity of mobile macrofauna on a sublittoral reef: Diel and seasonal variation

Lois A Nickell, Martin Sayer

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Abstract

Underwater television observations were made of mobile macrofauna inhabiting two parts of a sublittoral reef on the west coast of Scotland for 48h periods in spring, summer, autumn and winter. Continuous occurrence profiles (mean hourly frequency of occurrence, %) were detailed for 12 species of fish (Chirolophis ascanii, Conger conger, Ctenolabrus rupestris, Lepadogaster candollei, Myoxocephalus scorpius, Pholis gunnellus, Pollachius pollachius, Raniceps raninus, Phrynorhombus regius, Zeugopterus punctatus, Thorogobius ephippiatus and Trisopterus minutus), ten crustacean species (Cancer pagurus, Carcinus maenas, Galathea strigosa, Homarus gammarus, Inachus spp., Munida rugosa, Necora puber, Brachyuran sp., Caridean sp. and Pagurid sp.) and four echinoderm species (Antedon bifida, Asterias rubens, Henricia oculata and Solaster endeca). Rhythmic patterns of diel activity and/or occurrence were identified for several species. Chirolophis ascanii, Ctenolabrus rupestris, L. candollei, Myoxocephalus scorpius, Pholis gunnellus, Pollachius pollachius, Thorogobius ephippiatus, Trisopterus minutus and Munida rugosa were predominantly diurnal, but Ctenolabrus rupestris, Myoxocephalus scorpius and Trisopterus minutus also showed some evidence of crepuscular activity. Raniceps raninus activity was predominantly nocturnal but became continuous in summer. In other species (the topknots Phrynorhombus regius and Z. punctatus and the crustaceans Cancer pagurus and Homarus gammarus) identifiable occurrence patterns changed with season or site. The greatest number of fish species occurred in winter with Myoxocephalus scorpius, Pollachius pollachius and topknots (Phrynorhombus regius and Z. punctatus) showing greater occurrence/activity during spring and winter. Go-occurrence analysis was used to identify species interactions or avoidances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1082
Number of pages22
JournalJ MAR BIOL ASSOC UK
Volume78
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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Keywords

  • IRELAND
  • COD GADUS-MORHUA
  • WEST-COAST
  • UNDERWATER TELEVISION OBSERVATIONS
  • BEHAVIOR
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • GOBIUS-CRUENTATUS
  • GOBIIDAE
  • HABITAT SELECTION
  • ATLANTIC COD
  • THOROGOBIUS-EPHIPPIATUS TELEOSTEI

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