The effect of invasive lionfish on reef fish community structure along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Hackerott, Serena
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Marine Sciences
Abstract
  • Lionfish are invasive predators, native to the Indo-Pacific, assumed to be negatively affecting Caribbean coral reefs. Small-scale studies suggest lionfish can reduce the abundance and diversity of small prey individuals. However, it is unclear whether lionfish predation affects entire reef fish communities. Our goal was to assess the effect of lionfish on coral reef fish communities across a complex reef system. We quantified fish abundance, diversity, and community composition at sixteen reefs along ~250km of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize over five years, including the onset of the invasion. Lionfish had no effect on reef fish community structure on our sites in Belize. The effects of lionfish may be density dependent, and current densities in Belize are likely due to a combination of natural factors and lionfish removals. Because current densities have no effect on reef fish communities, additional lionfish removal efforts may not be necessary to prevent impacts.
Date of publication
Keyword
Subject
DOI
Identifier
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Castillo, Karl
  • Layman, Craig
  • Bruno, John
Degree
  • Master of Science
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
Language
Publisher
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
Access
  • There are no restrictions to this item.
Parents:

This work has no parents.

Items