Environmental factors that influence the distribution of coral reef fishes: modeling occurrence data for broad-scale conservation and management

Beger, Maria and Possingham, Hugh P. (2008) Environmental factors that influence the distribution of coral reef fishes: modeling occurrence data for broad-scale conservation and management. Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 361 1-13. doi:10.3354/meps07481


Author Beger, Maria
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Environmental factors that influence the distribution of coral reef fishes: modeling occurrence data for broad-scale conservation and management
Journal name Marine Ecology - Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
1616-1599
Publication date 2008-06-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps07481
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 361
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 14
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Abstract To manage coral reef species, it is important to identify the factors that determine their distribution inexpensively. We identified the remotely measured environmental factors that are most influential in determining the distributions of coral reef fish species on a regional scale. Logistic regression models for 227 fish species related presence/absence data to 4 remotely determined environmental predictor variables: depth, presence of a land–sea interface, exposure, and the distance to the nearest estuary. We compared modeled Akaike information criterion (AIC) values with AIC values of randomly distributed species with different numbers of occurrences and levels of habitat specificity to evaluate model significance. Efficient species distribution models were identified for 118 predominantly habitat-specific fishes of the 227 species for which we had data. All 4 predictor variables significantly influenced the distributions of at least some fish species. Depth was the most frequently efficient variable for single variable models. For combinations of 2 predictor variables, depth and exposure, as well as depth and distance from the nearest estuary, were the prevalent predictors of fish distributions. Several fish species responded to the combination of variables distance from an estuary and presence of the terrestrial–marine interface, indicating that these species depend on intact coastal reef habitat, which is in decline near the main sediment-laden rivers. Statistically significant models were predominantly developed for habitat-specific species. These habitat-specific species are of greater conservation concern than widespread species because threats affect them more severely if the threats are selectively affecting their habitat. For this reason, species distribution modeling using remotely determined environmental data may be an efficient method to build models for habitat-specific species and inform marine reserve design.
Keyword Species distribution modeling
Logistic regression
Environmental parameters
Coral reef fishes
Coral reef conservation
GLM
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 33 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 31 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 04 Dec 2008, 16:25:48 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences