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TitleDistribution and abundance of native marine species and an invasive predator on coral reefs of Eleuthera, the Bahamas
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LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorDavis, A C D
SourceProgram and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada; by Todd, B JORCID logo; Brown, C J; Lacharité, M; Gazzola, V; McCormack, E; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8295, 2017 p. 45, Open Access logo Open Access
LinksGeoHab 2017
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Meeting2017 GeoHab: Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping; Dartmouth, NS; CA; May 1-4, 2017
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Program and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
File formatpdf
AreaEleuthera Island; Bahamas
Lat/Long WENS -77.0000 -76.0000 26.0000 24.0000
SubjectsNature and Environment; mapping techniques; oceanography; marine environments; coastal studies; conservation; marine organisms; marine ecology; resource management; ecosystems; reefs; Corals; Biology; Invasive species; Fisheries resources; Marine biology
ProgramOffshore Geoscience
Released2017 09 26
AbstractEcosystem based management (EBM) is a holistic approach that uses species-specific data to guide management but also incorporates environmental factors such as habitat and human-caused effects. Instead of focusing on the species of interest in isolation, EBM focuses on the system as a whole in order to create a comprehensive plan that ensures sustainability of the entire system. Though EBM is more common in terrestrial systems, this it is becoming more popular in management of marine ecosystems.
The coral-reef ecosystem in the Bahamas has experienced severe stress in the last few decades. In addition to habitat degradation due to coral bleaching, overfishing, and disease, a predatory fish species invaded the region in the early 2000s. The Indo-Pacific red lionfish (Pterois volitans) has added insult to an already injured system by reducing densities of a variety of reef fishes, which in some cases leads to local extinction. If we wish to preserve diversity of coral-reef fishes, it is now more important than ever to have a comprehensive view of the local distributions and abundances of species of importance in order to manage and conserve the ecosystem effectively.
Here I present distribution and abundance maps of the southern edge of Eleuthera Island, the Bahamas, for commercially and economically important native species, as well as the invasive red lionfish. Previous datasets for this area are relatively depauperate and mostly limited to long-line catch and release of sharks, and time series data of large grouper for one or two isolated locations. By incorporating counts and observations from SCUBA surveys over multiple years with satellite derived bathymetry data, we can create a more comprehensive picture of the macrofauna of the region that will aid the Bahamian government to manage and conserve species of interest.
Preliminary data indicate that vector ruggedness measure (VRM), rugosity, slope of slope, and bathymetric position index (BPI) are important model variables for predicting lionfish distributions on reefs. Additionally, undersea observations suggest that lionfish learn to evade divers on shallow reefs and may avoid areas that may have high human traffic, such as reefs with mooring balls or close to harbours. These patterns indicate that locations of popular dive sites and distance from shore may also be informative variables for predicting the distribution of lionfish.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The sixteenth annual GeoHab Conference was held this year (2017) at the Waterfront Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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