Structure of fish communities on outer slopes of inshore, mid-shelf and outer shelf reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef


Temporal Range: From 01-Jan-1980 To 30-Sep-1982

Resource Summary

The structure of fish communities on the outer slopes of one inshore reef (Pandora), one mid-shelf reef (Rib) and one outer shelf reef (Myrmidon) in the central region of the Great Barrier Reef was examined using small, standardised plastic explosive charges.

Ten collections (5 at a depth of 5m and 5 at 9m), were made on each reef in areas of the outer reef slope with the greatest abundance and diversity of fish and coral. Charges were laid on the bottom and after detonation fish were affected over a area of approximately 150 m².

Immediately after detonation of the explosive, dead and stunned fish were collected by divers and from a boat using hand nets. Fish were later identified to species, weighed and assigned to trophic categories and feeding guilds within these categories.

Earlier visual censuses of reef fish across the continental shelf, based on a limited number of species, identified a strong gradient in species composition. In this study, the differences in fish communities among reefs, including biomass measurements and trophic structure were examined for a more comprehensive list of species, by collecting fish using small explosive charges, which is an effective and non-selective collection method.

A total of 323 species belonging to 45 families and comprising 28,537 individuals were collected.

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Cite this Record
Copy
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). (2008). Structure of fish communities on outer slopes of inshore, mid-shelf and outer shelf reefs of the central Great Barrier Reef, https://apps.aims.gov.au/metadata/view/a2a663b0-4561-11dc-ae0d-00008a07204e, accessed 12-May-2021.