Synopsis: Recruitment of reef fish has generally been found to be unrelated to or positively related to adult densities. This paper reports an inverse relationship between the number of recruits of Chaetodon miliaris and the density of conspecific adults. C. miliaris are non-territorial, planktivorous butterflyfish. The study populations occurred on the flanks of patch reefs of about 30 m in diameter. At their peak densities populations consisted of 300–400 C. miliaris. Recruitment (the appearance in the stock of fish less than ? 3.5cm in total length) occurred primarily from April to June and corresponded to the new moon period in these months. Populations generally showed a steady decline in numbers during months of the year when recruitment was not occurring: the finite rate of decline was approximately 30% per month. Populations varied in the density of adults at the start of the spring-summer period of recruitment, and the magnitude of recruitment to a reef was inversely related to the density of these conspecific adults. Reduction of the densities of adult C. miliaris through trap fishing, resulted in increased recruitment to the fished stock. These results provide evidence that in some. species of reef fish, benthic processes may play an important role in determining the magnitude of recruitment to an adult stock, in contrast to the widely held view that recruitment is in large part a result of chance events in the plankton or that recruitment is directly related to adult densities.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics