Importance of mangrove shorelines for rainbow parrotfish Scarus guacamaia: Habitat suitability modeling in a subtropical bay

Ethan G.P. Machemer, John F. Walter, Joseph E. Serafy, David W. Kerstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rainbow parrotfish Scarus guacamaia is a coral-reef herbivore that requires both mangrove and coral-reef habitat to complete its life cycle. This species is listed as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The present study used a long-term visual survey of mangrove fishes to develop a predictive habitat model for juvenile S. guacamaia. The factors tested were temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, average depth, distance from offshore channel openings, temperature variation (ΔT), and salinity variation (ΔS). The average depth, distance from offshore channel openings, ΔT, and ΔS emerged as significant within the model evaluations. The results suggested that high variation in salinity reduces mangrove habitat suitability for this species. Salinity variation along many of south Florida's coastal bays is largely driven by water management-related freshwater canal discharges. Everglades restoration efforts seek to reduce ΔS along south Florida's mainland shoreline; thus, if successful, restoration may also confer benefits to Scarus guacamaia through the subsequent expansion of suitable mangrove habitat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
JournalAquatic Biology
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Coral reefs
  • Habitat suitability
  • Logistic regression
  • Ontogenetic shifts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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