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Patterns of variation in behaviour within and among reef fish species on an isolated tropical island: influence of exposure and substratum

  • João Paulo Krajewski (a1) (a2), Sergio R. Floeter (a3), Geoffrey P. Jones (a2) and Fosca P.P. Leite (a1)

Here we studied the activity budgets of nine common reef fish in the oceanic archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, off north-east Brazil. Species were variable in their behaviour between different sites and similarities in their activity budgets were not necessarily associated with their trophic group. For four species we investigated the relationship of their activity budgets to wave exposure and substratum composition. Staying close to the substratum was positively correlated to wave exposure for most species and foraging was negatively correlated to exposure for two species. By behaving this way, these fish may save energy by avoiding swimming in higher water flux. In contrast to relationships with wave exposure, the responses to substratum composition were species specific. Our results highlight that the activity budgets of fish living in oceanic rocky reefs can be variable and influenced by the local and temporal variation in environmental variables.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: J.P. Krajewski, Departamento de Biologia Animal, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP, 13083-970, Brazil email:
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D.R. Bellwood and P.C. Wainwright (2002) The history and biogeography of fishes on coral reefs. In P.F. Sale (ed.) Coral reef fishes: dynamics and diversity on a complex ecosystem. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. pp. 532.

G.P. Jones and M.I. McCormick (2002) Numerical and energetic processes in the ecology of coral reef fishes. In P.F. Sale (ed.) Coral reef fishes: dynamics and diversity on a complex ecosystem. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, pp. 221238.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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