Objective selection of surrogate families to describe reef fish assemblages in a subtropical marine park
Malcolm, HA & Smith, SDA 2010, 'Objective selection of surrogate families to describe reef fish assemblages in a subtropical marine park', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 19, no. 12, pp. 3611-3618.
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Effective representation of biodiversity in a marine park can be limited by lack of sampling at a suitable scale due to various methodological, logistical and taxonomic constraints. Surrogates that describe key components of biodiversity can benefit management planning and assist evaluation of zoning arrangements by improving efficiency and effectiveness of sampling. Reef fish are considered an important component of biodiversity in the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP), New South Wales, Australia. Fish assemblages were surveyed using 30-min timed counts at 68 sites spread across the extent of shallow reef in the SIMP. The overall assemblage was compared with various subsets of taxa using the RELATE procedure in PRIMER to determine useful surrogates. Two families, Labridae and Pomacentridae, showed a high concordance with overall patterns and the highest correlation in estimating species richness by site. These families were the two most speciose (43, 32 species, respectively) comprising 30% of the species richness out of 66 families and 254 species. Surveying a subset of species that includes these two families has utility for marine park management in the SIMP, including evaluating the influence of ‘no take’ zones on assemblage patterns and systematic planning for biodiversity representation.