Influência da composição de substrato do recife na atividade e distribuição de peixes zoobentívoros no arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco / The influence of substratum composition on the activity and distribution of benthic carnivorous reef fishes of the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago


IBICT - Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia




Reefs provide shelter and food for several fish species and, thus, there may be a correlation between the abundance and behaviour of fishes and the reef bottom composition-Physical factors, such as water movement and depth, may also have a profound impact in species distribuiton and activity on reefs. Here, the possible relationship between the distribution and activity of reef fishes, mainly benthic carnivores, and reef bottom composition, water movement and depth was studied in the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, off Northeast Brazil. The main benthic carnivorous fishes at the archipelago forage mostly on substrata composed by filamentous and brown algae covered by sediments, and the different types of substrata present on reefs were used disproportionaly to their availability. Some studied species also varied their foraging substratum selection between nearby reefs. The main items in the diet of the benthic carnivorous fishes were polychaetes and crustaceans. We also studied the local variation in the activity of four fish species, and Haemulon chrysargyreum, Halichoeres radiatus, e Cephalopholis fulva tended to avoid swimming in the water column when there was higher water movement. On the other hand, Thalassoma noronhanum did not vary its activity with diferent degres of water movement. We also recorded that the presence of substratum disturbance on soft sediments may alter the activity of opportunistic carnivorous fishes, since they were attracted by disturbance on the bottom caused experimentaly and started to forage in the area where the substratum was disturbed. In general, water movement was the main factor influencing the fish communities in Fernando de Noronha, especially of herbivorous and planktivorous fishes. Abundance and biomass of fishes in general were greater in reefs with less water movement, deeper (>10m) and whith more coral cover. The benthic carnivorous fishes of Fernando de Noronha, however, were mostly versatile in their habitat use and foraging substratum selection and its distribution seem not to be influenced by the avalability of their main foraging substratum.


peixe recifal carnívoro bentônico mullidae labridae recife rochoso ilhas oceânicas reef fishes benthic carnivorous fishes mullidae labridae rocky reef oceanic islands

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