Population demographic of Pomacanthus paru (French angelfish) in comparison to seafloor rugosity

Species conservation is becoming an important aspect in marine environments. Climate change and anthropogenic interactions have had a direct impact on the health of local species in all of the world‟s oceans, and coral reef ecosystems are no exception. Studies from around the globe have focused on angelfish demographics. In general, species within the family Pomacanthidae reside in places containing crevices and cliffs but are also seen in sandy areas with reef and seagrass patches. Some species are seen in groups of up to five fish, having one male in a harem of one to four females. Pomacanthidae are also known to predate on sponges and are generally found in areas which contain them. On the fringing reefs in the Dutch Caribbean, the species Pomacanthus paru (French angelfish) have not been extensively studied in terms of population in relation to maximum reef relief. To measure both aspects, 30 m transects were laid out at depths of 3, 6 and 15 m. The number of P. paru individuals as well as seafloor rugosity was documented and compared through statistical analysis during a five week period from September to October 2012. Results showed that most P. paru were found along the deeper transects of 6 and 15 m which had higher rugosity and juveniles were only seen in the less rugose, sandy flats at 3 m. Data collected will aid in providing a baseline for conservation efforts due to the declining state of natural environments, and in turn, the decline of individuals within populations.

This student research was retrieved from Physis: Journal of Marine Science XII (Fall 2012)19: 59-63 from CIEE Bonaire.

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