A set of small lagoonal patch reefs was searched every 1 to 3 days during the peak recruitment seasons of three summers and newly settled juvenile fishes were located. The majority of species remain rather sedentary during the first few days in the demersal environment, and we assumed that the site occupied was the site chosen at settlement. A series of characteristics of the occupied site were recorded, including percent cover of different types of substratum, and attributes related to the site's position on the patch reef. A set of null sites was randomly located on the same reefs for comparison with those selected by the fish. Sites chosen by individuals of eight common species were compared with these null sites, and sites chosen by fourteen species (including the eight) were compared with each other. Multiple discriminant analysis was used to assess the degree to which each species selected a unique type of site, and, for the eight species, the degree to which sites chosen by fish could be discriminated from randomly selected sites on the same patch reefs. Chosen sites were readily discriminated from null sites in seven of eight species, however the procedure was poor at discriminating among sites chosen by different species, and 8 pairs of species among the 14 chose sites which on average did not differ in the attributes measured. Attributes most important in discriminating sites chosen by each species are considered. Overall, the results indicate that while juvenile fish do not settle indiscriminantly onto lagoonal patch reefs, sites chosen by different species are often not very different from one another.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie