Colonization of Marine Fishes in a Newly Created Harbor, Honokohau, Hawaii

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1980-07
Authors
Brock, Richard E.
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University of Hawaii Press
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This study follows the colonization of marine fishes in a newly created Hawaiian harbor over a 5-year period. The inner harbor serves as a nursery ground; habitats in this area are distinguished by high turbidity, lowered salinities, long water-residence times, and a general lack of cover that renders the area unsuitable for colonization by many coral reef fishes. There appears to be a diminishing gradient of these characteristics in a seaward direction, which may be causal to the observed increase in marine fish species. A simple colonization curve (number of species over time) suggests that 80-87 species represented an equilibrial number of species under ecological conditions as they existed at the termination of this study within the harbor; about 50 months following construction was required to attain this status. The data suggest that seven of these colonizing species appear to be the most opportunistic. These fishes are probably generalists in their habitat requirements, and thus may be expected to colonize and persist in other similar newly opened habitats in the Hawaiian Islands.
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Brock RE. 1980. Colonization of marine fishes in a newly created harbor, Honokohau, Hawaii. Pac Sci 34(3): 313-326.
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