Microhabitat associations of a semi-terrestrial fish, Kryptolebias marmoratus (Poey 1880) in a mosquito-ditched mangrove forest, west-central Florida

Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus) is one of the few species of fish that is semi-terrestrial and able to use exposed intertidal and potentially supratidal habitats for prolonged periods of time. Based on previous work demonstrating frequent use of subterranean crab burrows as well as damp leaf litter and logs, we examined the microhabitat associations of rivulus in a mosquito-ditched mangrove forest on the Gulf coast of Florida near the northern limit of its distribution. We captured 161 rivulus on 20 dates between late April and mid-December 2007 using trench traps. Fish ranged in size from 7 to 35 mm SL. Peak abundance in mid-summer coincided with recruitment of a new year-class. The three study sites occurred within 0.5 km of one another, and experienced similar water temperatures and salinities. Nevertheless, they differed in their degree of tidal inundation, standing stock of leaf litter, and density of entrances to fiddler crab burrows. We consistently observed the highest mean catches of rivulus away from permanent subtidal waters of mosquito ditches, at intermediate relative elevations, and where leaf litter was locally abundant. Density of entrances to crab burrows was apparently unrelated to rivulus distribution or abundance in these forests.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Microhabitat associations of a semi-terrestrial fish, Kryptolebias marmoratus (Poey 1880) in a mosquito-ditched mangrove forest, west-central Florida
Series title Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Volume 401
Issue 1-2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
First page 48
Last page 56
Country United States
State Florida