Paea Lagoon Aua i'a Fish Pond Monitoring, Group 2: Fish Biodiversity and Behavior Patterns, Tahiti, FP, 2022

METHODS:

For this project, we separated the fish pond into three sections; the interior of the pond, a four-meter buffer area surrounding the exterior wall, and further out into the lagoon. We split the interior pond and exterior perimeter into three sections, one for each person to observe, and for 20 minutes in each section we floated around and observed the behavior and relative abundance of 22 fish families that are frequently observed at and around the pond. To do this, we tallied how many fish of each family we saw and organized their behavior into 10 behavioral categories (A- feeding on algae, B- feeding on the substrate, C-feeding on coral, D- hiding in rocks, E- juvenile fish taking refuge, F- freely swimming with no distinguishable pattern, G- other behavior and provide comments, H-hunting, and T- protecting their territories). When we observed the outer lagoon, we focused on examining behaviors that we did not see in the pond rather than counting for fish individuals.

RESULTS:
Our results revealed some of the more common behavioral patterns observed inside and on the exterior of the wall:

  • Damselfishes were the most abundant family noted and were almost always found hiding inside of the wall rocks on the inside and outside of the pond. They exhibited typical territorial behavior and often chased other fish families away. Outside in the outer lagoon, we did not see a high abundance of damselfish due to the large amount of macroalgae, showing that the ponds provide an ideal habitat for this family.
  • In the inner and outer perimeter of the fish pond we observed juveniles from surgeonfish, butterflyfish, and triggerfish families. They were concentrated in smaller rocks that were not a part of the rock wall. None were sighted beyond the four-meter buffer zone, highlighting that the fish pond may serve as a nursery for a variety of families. In order to better facilitate the fish pond as a nursery, we suggest increasing the amount of smaller rocks within the center of the pond to provide this preferred habitat.
  • As a general pattern, we primarily observed families feeding on the benthic substrate, rather than coral or algae. We noted a lower density of herbivores than we have seen on other reefs. For example, we counted no rabbitfish and a lower abundance of surgeonfish.
  • We observed snappers and prey fish hiding in the rocks, which might indicate that the fish pond walls serve as a refuge for these fish.
Publicado por langzi langzi, 06 de agosto de 2022, 12:47 AM

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