Temperate rocky reef fish community patterns in a coastal marine protected area (MPA) from northern Chile, utilizing remote underwater video cameras (RUVs)

Gres, Mateo; Hune, Mathias; Baldanzi, S.; Perez-Matus, Alejandro; LANDAETA-DIAZ, MAURICIO FABIAN


Shallow water seascapes are complex systems, important for the life history and connectivity of many marine fish species. Remote Underwater Video cameras (RUVs) are an increasingly used, non-lethal technique able to record the occurrence of reef fish species with little disturbance. In this study, RUVs were installed in a Marine Protected Area (Cha & ntilde;aral Island, northern Chile, 29 degrees 2'S, 71 degrees 34'W) at three different depth strata (5, 10, 15 m) in three different habitats (sand and boulder, bedrock, and kelp forest) during October 2018, July 2021 and October 2021. The RUV system recorded a total of 20 species belonging to 16 families over 73.5 h of videotaping. The most recurrent fishes were damselfish Chromis crusma, Chilean sandperch Pinguipes chilensis, and marblefish Aplodactylus punctatus. There was a significant difference in fish assemblage composition among depth strata and seasons, but not among habitats. In July 2021 (austral winter) higher densities of small cryptobenthic fish (Helcogrammoides spp.) and medium-sized carnivorous Chirodactylus variegatus were detected, whereas P. chilensis was associated to the deeper stratum, and the herbivorous blenny Scartichthys viridis was related to the shallower depths, which is likely due to differences in the habitat structure and composition. Winter 2021 showed a higher species richness than in spring 2018, while the evenness (Pielou's J') was significantly higher in spring 2018 than winter/spring 2021. There was no other strong or consistent pattern, which suggests that most fish species use the entire depth gradient throughout the year. Finally, the results suggest that the use of RUVs for the estimation of biodiversity of rocky reef fishes is a cost-effective way to improve our understanding of nearshore community shifts in relation to environmental forcing.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:001134141400001 Not found in local WOS DB
Título según SCOPUS: ID SCOPUS_ID:85179428423 Not found in local SCOPUS DB
Título de la Revista: Regional Studies in Marine Science
Volumen: 69
Fecha de publicación: 2024