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The mechanisms of settlement success in coral reef fishes

Funding: 2005: $80,000
2006: $75,000
2007: $75,000

Project Member(s): Booth, D.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)
Australian Research Council (Other funds for ARC projects)

Start year: 2005

Summary: Settlement and early establishment (recruitment) are major determinants of population viability of marine fishes. Early survival through the settlement gauntlet can be affected by fish condition and body size, interacting with biotic (e.g., competitors, predators) and physical (e.g., habitat) factors. Here, the mechanisms for this link will be investigated, including effects of condition and body size on survival, food competition, and growth. A series of innovative laboratory and field experiments will assess the relative importance and synergism of these mechanisms, and lead to a model of reef fish establishment that will assist in sustainable management of fisheries resources on coral reefs and similar marine habitats.

Keywords: fish settlement, physiological condition, predation risk, food competition,

FOR Codes: Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology), Sociobiology and Behavioural Ecology, Life Histories (incl. Population Ecology), Fish not elsewhere classified, Living resources (flora and fauna), Population Ecology, Behavioural Ecology, Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity