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Factors affecting distribution of fish within a tidally drained mangrove forest in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

Sridharan, Bhanu and Namboothri, Naveen (2015) Factors affecting distribution of fish within a tidally drained mangrove forest in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. In: WETLANDS ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, 23 (5). pp. 909-920.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11273-015-9428-0


Mangrove forests in meso-tidal areas are completely drained during low tides, forming only temporary habitats for fish. We hypothesised that in such temporary habitats, where stranding risks are high, distance from tidal creeks that provided access to inundated areas during receding tides would be the primary determinant of fish distribution. Factors such as depth, root density and shade were hypothesised to have secondary effects. We tested these hypotheses in a tidally drained mangrove patch in the Andaman Islands, India. Using stake nets, we measured fish abundance and species richness relative to distance from creeks, root density/m(2), shade, water depth and size (total length) of fish. We also predicted that larger fish (including potential predators) would be closer to creeks, as they faced a greater chance of mortality if stranded. Thus we conducted tethering trials to examine if predation would be greater close to the creeks. Generalised linear mixed effects models showed that fish abundance was negatively influenced by increasing creek distance interacting with fish size and positively influenced by depth. Quantile regression analysis showed that species richness was limited by increasing creek distance. Proportion of predation was greatest close to the creeks (0-25 m) and declined with increasing distance. Abundance was also low very close to the creeks, suggesting that close to the creeks predation pressure may be an important determinant of fish abundance. The overall pattern however indicates that access to permanently inundated areas, may be an important determinant of fish distribution in tidally drained mangrove forests.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the SPRINGER, VAN GODEWIJCKSTRAAT 30, 3311 GZ DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS
Keywords: Mangrove; Fish; Nursery; Tide; Creeks; Andaman Islands
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2015 07:12
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2015 07:12
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/52593

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