Publications

Andradi-Brown et al. 2017


scientific article | J Mar Biol Assoc UK

Wariness of reef fish to passive diver presence with varying dive gear type across a coral reef depth gradient

Andradi-Brown DA, Gress E, Laverick JH, Monfared MAA, Rogers AD, Exton DA

Adobe pdf disabled addd0070fc849240f18943197db4226a4caf211ae987143710823268485043aa
Www fec836ca290318f37dc3ecd481f22b98faf488d5ddef687807ca6b76d8e893ed
Gscholar 58dd9f05df3b8d1811d087e8507325500777053d6677b471fd75373a30a4cee1
Abstract

Both active and passive human interactions with reef fish communities are increasingly recognized to cause fish behavioural changes. However, few studies have considered how these behavioural adaptations impact standard reef survey techniques, particularly across natural gradients of interest to ecologists and reef managers. Here we measure fish abundance, biomass and minimum approach distance using stereo-video surveys to compare the effects of bubble-producing open-circuit scuba vs near-silent closed-circuit rebreathers. Surveys extended across a shallow to upper-mesophotic gradient on the fringing reefs of Utila, Honduras, to explore how the effects of diver gear choice vary with depth. For most fish families we recorded similar abundances and biomass with the two diving techniques, suggesting that open-circuit transects are generally appropriate for surveying western Atlantic reefs similar to Utila with regular tourist diving but no spearfishing. Despite no overall significant difference in fish abundance or biomass, we identified several fish families (Labridae, Pomacentridae, Scaridae) that allowed closed-circuit rebreather divers to approach more closely than open-circuit divers. In addition, smaller fish generally allowed divers to approach more closely than larger fish, and in most cases divers could approach fish more closely on mesophotic than shallow reefs. Despite these significant differences in approach distances, their magnitude suggest they are unlikely to affect reef fish detectability during normal fish surveys for most families. Our findings highlight the importance of considering variation in fish behavioural adaptations along natural gradients such as depth, which otherwise has the potential to cause biases when surveying by traditional monitoring programmes.

Andradi brown 2017 4
Meta-data
Depth range
5- 40 m

Mesophotic “mentions”

 Full text not (yet) indexed.

Fields
Biodiversity Ecology Fisheries Methods and Technology

Research focus
Fishes

Locations
Honduras - Bay Islands

Research platforms
Diving - Regular Open-Circuit Diving - Technical Open-Circuit Diving - Technical Rebreather
Author profiles
Dominic Andradi-Brown ( 8 pubs)
Jack Laverick ( 3 pubs)
Erika Gress ( 5 pubs)