The Ecology of Marine Fishes

The Ecology of Marine Fishes: California and Adjacent Waters

LARRY G. ALLEN
DANIEL J. PONDELLA
MICHAEL H. HORN
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Pages: 670
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pnfcv
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Ecology of Marine Fishes
    Book Description:

    Marine fishes have been intensively studied, and some of the fundamental ideas in the science of marine ecology have emerged from the body of knowledge derived from this diverse group of organisms. This unique, authoritative, and accessible reference, compiled by 35 luminary ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and ichthyologists, provides a synthesis and interpretation of the large, often daunting, body of information on the ecology of marine fishes. The focus is on the fauna of the eastern Pacific, especially the fishes of the California coast, a group among the most diverse and best studied of all marine ecosystems. A generously illustrated and comprehensive source of information, this volume will also be an important launching pad for future research and will shed new light on the study of marine fish ecology worldwide. The contributors touch on many fields in biology, including physiology, development, genetics, behavior, ecology, and evolution. The book includes sections on the history of research, both published and unpublished data, sections on collecting techniques, and references to important earlier studies.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93247-0
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. PART I Introduction
    • CHAPTER 1 Biogeography
      (pp. 3-25)
      MICHAEL H. HORN, LARRY G. ALLEN and ROBERT N. LEA

      The marine environment of the northeastern Pacific is a complex and dynamic system that offers a daunting challenge for any distributional analysis of its fish fauna, either of the entire region or a portion, such as the waters along the approximately 10° of latitude (32°–42°N) that border the state of California and that form the focus of this chapter. The narrow continental shelf of northern and central California gives way to a broader continental borderland off southern California that is etched with several deep-sea basins and marked with a series of islands of varying size and distance from the...

    • CHAPTER 2 Phylogeography
      (pp. 26-54)
      MICHAEL N DAWSON, ROBIN S. WAPLES and GIACOMO BERNARDI

      Phylogeography seeks to explain the geographic distribution of genetic lineages. To the extent that organisms are products of their DNA, phylogeography also seeks to explain the distribution of organisms, including variation within and, less commonly, between species. Because genetic variation may take thousands or millions of years to accrue, phylogeography has a strong historical component. Thus, phylogeography is closely allied with biogeography, particularly historical and cladistic biogeography, and can be thought of as opening a window in time through which we can observe the influence of historical factors on modern patterns of biodiversity.

      Since its inception (Avise et al., 1987),...

    • CHAPTER 3 Evolution
      (pp. 55-80)
      EDMUND S. HOBSON

      Attempts to understand determinants of species composition in animal communities generally have been limited to current influences on existing communities (e.g., MacArthur, 1969; Paine, 1966; Sale, 1977, 1991). Evolutionary history is routinely ignored, often because key issues can be examined only by inference. But more than 45 years of experience with marine communities has convinced me that major determinants of species structure lie in evolutionary processes that greatly transcend the current scene.

      The conclusions developed in this chapter draw from my widespread studies of marine communities of California, most in collaboration with Tony Chess. Our efforts in the south were...

    • CHAPTER 4 Ecological Classification
      (pp. 81-114)
      LARRY G. ALLEN and DANIEL J. PONDELLA II

      The marine environment off the California coastline supports a diverse ichthyofauna consisting of northern, cold water (Oregonian) and southern, warm water (San Diegan) fish species as well as Panamic species primarily from Cortez Province (Horn and Allen, 1978). To a large extent, this high faunal diversity reflects the great variety of marine habitats that are available to fishes within the expansive latitudinal range covered by California proper and Baja California (e.g., bays and estuaries, nearshore soft bottom, shelf, slope, rocky intertidal, kelp beds, shallow and deep rocky reefs, as well as pelagic habitats) (Horn, 1980). Fortunately, the fishes of these...

  4. PART II Habitats and Associated Fishes
    • SOFT SUBSTRATA
      • CHAPTER 5 Bays and Estuaries
        (pp. 119-148)
        LARRY G. ALLEN, MARY M. YOKLAVICH, GREGOR M. CAILLIET and MICHAEL H. HORN

        Few habitats offer a more challenging environment to marine fishes than bays and estuaries. These interfaces between land and sea at river mouths present highly variable physical and chemical conditions for marine fishes most of which usually have narrow tolerances to these environmental gradations. Virtually all of the prominent physical and chemical characteristics of water, such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and pH, change dramatically over space and time in these relatively shallow habitats. Tidal exchange, especially over the sometimes extensive mudflats and salt marshes, creates additional variability associated with strong currents, possible aerial exposure, and isolation in pools. Despite...

      • CHAPTER 6 Surf Zone, Coastal Pelagic Zone, and Harbors
        (pp. 149-166)
        LARRY G. ALLEN and DANIEL J. PONDELLA II

        The nearshore zone off the Californias includes a number of other unique, primarily soft-bottom habitats. This expansive area spans the exposed, sandy beaches to the water column above the inner shelf along the entire coastline of California and south into Baja California. The fishes common to this area typically occur over the shallower portions of the shelf (see chapter 7) and the soft bottom surrounding rock reef and kelp bed environments (see chapter 8). The fish assemblages of this area tie all of the shallow water habitats closely together (Allen, 1985). In this chapter, three of the more distinctive fish...

      • CHAPTER 7 Continental Shelf and Upper Slope
        (pp. 167-202)
        M. JAMES ALLEN

        Historically, the continental shelf (conventionally defined from shore to 200 m) and the upper slope (depths of 200–500 m) have been the focus of much of the world’s marine fishing. The predominant habitat of the shelf and upper slope consists of sandy and muddy sediments. Many species of fish characteristically occur in this habitat, and some of these show unique adaptations to life on a relatively flat and featureless benthic habitat. This soft-bottom habitat is easily fished using bottom trawls, and hence the soft-bottom fish fauna is often the source of important fisheries in much of the world. More...

    • HARD SUBSTRATA
      • CHAPTER 8 Rocky Intertidal Zone
        (pp. 205-226)
        MICHAEL H. HORN and KAREN L. M. MARTIN

        Rocky intertidal habitats are small living spaces occupied by a variety of fishes either year-round as residents or temporarily as visitors. These species live at the very margin of the ocean and thus must contend with the fluctuating conditions of both marine and terrestrial environments. The rocky intertidal zone represents in part a shoreward extension of subtidal rocky reefs, and the intertidal fish fauna comprises those inshore species that to varying degrees have colonized this extreme, partially terrestrial habitat. As a result, some species occur in both subtidal and intertidal habitats although, as is discussed below, intertidal fishes represent largely...

      • CHAPTER 9 Rocky Reefs and Kelp Beds
        (pp. 227-252)
        JOHN S. STEPHENS JR., RALPH J. LARSON and DANIEL J. PONDELLA II

        California’s kelp bed and rock-reef habitats are among the most spectacular marine habitats in the world, due in part to the assemblage of fishes that occupy these areas. In Chapter 3, two shallow subtidal reef assemblages associated with kelp beds and rocky reefs were discussed. These assemblages are discussed together in this chapter for several reasons. Kelp beds are largely restricted to rocky reefs because they depend on hard substrate for the attachment of holdfasts. The composition of fishes within these two habitat groups overlaps almost entirely because there are very few obligate kelp species. Kelp may be limited in...

      • CHAPTER 10 Deep Rock Habitats
        (pp. 253-266)
        MILTON S. LOVE and MARY M. YOKLAVICH

        In this chapter, we discuss those fishes characteristically found on or over complex seafloor habitats comprising various amounts of cobble, boulders, and rock outcrops in water depths ranging from 30 to 500 m. This depth range encompasses the continental shelf and upper continental slope of California (Greene et al., 1999). We also discuss those fishes associated with such artificial structures as oil platforms off Southern California at similar depths. Because very little is known of fish assemblages associated with deep rock habitats off Baja California, we limit our discussion to California waters. See fig. 10-1 for a general depiction of...

    • PELAGIC HABITATS
      • CHAPTER 11 Ichthyoplankton
        (pp. 269-319)
        H.G. MOSER and W. WATSON

        The term ichthyoplankton is applied to fish eggs and larvae that are found among the other planktonic organisms drifting with the currents in the upper part of the water column. Fish eggs are immotile, whereas larvae swim feebly after hatching and become more motile as they develop toward the juvenile stage. Ichthyoplankters are further classified as meroplankton (temporary plankton), the early, planktonic ontogenetic stages of aquatic organisms that develop into juveniles and adults and ultimately occupy a variety of pelagic and demersal habitats.

        Plankton research began in the nineteenth century when British and German scientists, experimenting with fine-mesh nets of...

      • CHAPTER 12 Surface Waters
        (pp. 320-341)
        LARRY G. ALLEN and JEFFREY N. CROSS

        The epipelagic realm technically encompasses the upper 200 m of the ocean beyond the continental shelf, world-wide (Parin, 1968; Helfman et al., 1997). It is easily the largest habitat off California and the home of 40% of the species and 50% of the families of fishes. The water column that overlies the continental shelf comprises what we will call the coastal pelagic (neritic) realm (fig. 12-1). Because the continental shelf off most of California and Baja California is narrow, the fish assemblages of the epipelagic zone and those of the coastal pelagic realm overlap and interact on a seasonal basis...

      • CHAPTER 13 Deep Sea
        (pp. 342-384)
        MARGARET A. NEIGHBORS and RAYMOND R. WILSON JR.

        Below the euphotic epipelagic zone is the realm of deep-sea fishes. The depth zones of this major portion of the earth’s oceans have been characterized by the physical features and types of organisms present (Hedgpeth, 1957; Angel, 1997). The upper limit of the mesopelagic zone (the interface with the epipelagic) occurs at approximately 100 m or even as deep as 200 to 250 m. The mesopelagic may be further subdivided into shallow and deep portions, often at about 600 to 700 m, based on the inhabitants (Angel, 1997). In the shallower portion, fish are silvery, and decapod crustaceans are a...

  5. PART III Population and Community Ecology
    • CHAPTER 14 Feeding Mechanisms and Trophic Interactions
      (pp. 387-410)
      MICHAEL H. HORN and LARA A. FERRY-GRAHAM

      The composition of the present-day California marine fish fauna is largely a reflection of trophic interactions, as stated by Hobson (see chapter 2). The diversity and complexity of the fauna are at least in part a response to these interactions over evolutionary time scales. As such, many of the feeding behaviors and associated morphologies of fishes in California waters have been shaped and honed in response to selective pressures specifically related to feeding performance. Whatever paths of evolution have resulted in this rich and varied fish fauna, the array of extant species represents much of the amazing dietary diversity seen...

    • CHAPTER 15 Recruitment
      (pp. 411-427)
      MARK CARR and CRAIG SYMS

      The vast majority of demersal¹ marine fishes have a bipartite life history, in which benthic adults produce pelagic offspring capable of dispersing great distances from their parental population (Sale, 1980; Leis, 1991; Booth and Brosnan, 1995; Caley et al., 1996). Consequences of this life history for the population and community ecology of marine fishes are striking. In marked contrast with the life history of terrestrial vertebrates, whose young disperse short distances and contribute directly to the replenishment of their parental populations, the great dispersal potential of many marine fish larvae can decouple the local production and recruitment of young to...

    • CHAPTER 16 Predation
      (pp. 428-448)
      MARK A. STEELE and TODD W. ANDERSON

      Common sense suggests that predation must play some, probably important, role in the ecology of marine fishes. Many fishes are piscivorous, and virtually all fishes are vulnerable to predation at some point in their lives. Until recently, however, the effects of predation on the ecology of populations and communities of marine fishes were poorly known, although the subject of widespread speculation (Hixon, 1991). A recent spat of experimental work, reviewed in this chapter, has advanced considerably our understanding of the role of predators in the ecology of marine fishes, yet much remains to be done before we have a better...

    • CHAPTER 17 Competition
      (pp. 449-465)
      MARK A. HIXON

      Competition occurs when organisms inhibit each other’s access to shared resources that are actually or potentially in short supply (Birch, 1957), and thereby have negative effects on each other at the individual or population level (Odum, 1953). Because overlap in resource use is usually greater within than between species, intraspecific (within-species) competition is typically thought to be more intense than interspecific (between-species) competition, all else being equal. Competition, especially within species, can be a major mechanism regulating populations (reviews by Murdoch, 1994; Hixon et al., 2002), and interspecific competition may additionally be an important interaction structuring ecological communities (reviews by...

    • CHAPTER 18 Disturbance
      (pp. 466-480)
      DEANNA J. STOUDER and MICHELLE L. McMULLIN

      Disturbance influences all elements of ecological organization (Pickett & White, 1985). Previous chapters on community organization (unit IV) have discussed important biological elements that may contribute to the organization of California marine fish assemblages, yet physical disturbance affects all of these (i.e., feeding and trophic interactions, dispersal, recruitment, predation, and competition). Despite limited information on the role of natural disturbance in California marine systems, we will describe examples on the effects of hypoxia, freshwater inflows, salinity changes, and storms on fish assemblages.

      We use Pickett and White’s (1985) definition of disturbance as “any relatively discrete event in time that disrupts...

  6. PART IV Behavioral Ecology
    • CHAPTER 19 Reproduction
      (pp. 483-523)
      EDWARD E. DeMARTINI and PAUL C. SIKKEL

      An overview of fundamental natural and life histories must first set the stage for any comprehensive review of reproductive ecology. An expanded construct of more quantitative, behavioral and other, higher-order ecological information can then be built atop this base. We have therefore organized the present chapter into four major parts. We begin with a section on reproductive natural history providing summary data on reproductive modes and spawning types, courtship, and a taxonomic survey of their distributions. This brief review of key life history topics such as body size-related reproductive effort and tradeoffs between the number and size of offspring produced...

    • CHAPTER 20 Movement and Activity Patterns
      (pp. 524-553)
      CHRISTOPHER G. LOWE and RICHARD N. BRAY

      Few aspects of fish behavior have been of greater interest to humans than movement and activity patterns. The rapid increase in our knowledge about where fish go and why has transformed us into the most efficient predator in the marine environment. At first, knowledge of movement and activity patterns of marine fishes was essential for human subsistence, but over time this information became vital to development and economic growth of nations. Unfortunately, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Along with the rapid development in fishing technology, this knowledge of movement and activity patterns has resulted in over-harvesting of...

    • CHAPTER 21 Symbiotic Relationships
      (pp. 554-564)
      JOHN E. McCOSKER

      The symbiotic relationships of plants and animals have fascinated terrestrial biologists for centuries, and with the development and improvement of scuba and underwater photographic and recording equipments since the mid-20th century the symbiotic stories of aquatic creatures are now becoming appreciated as well. It is the intent of this chapter to report upon examples of symbioses involving fishes in California coastal and offshore waters extending south to Magdalena Bay, Baja California (note that throughout this text references to California fishes will comprise that region). The symbiotic activities of tropical and subtropical fishes that are transient in California waters, such as...

  7. PART V Spatial and Temporal Change
    • CHAPTER 22 Subsistence, Commercial, and Recreational Fisheries
      (pp. 567-594)
      MILTON S. LOVE

      The marine fisheries of California extend back thousands of years and encompass many dozens of species. This chapter describes the broad trends in these fisheries from the time of the first aboriginal fishermen to the present day. We can only paint with a broad brush and we will leave the mass of catch statistics and other detailed analyses for such technical works as Leet et al. (2001).

      It is important to note that over the years landings in both the recreational and commercial fisheries have been quite volatile. As noted by Thomson (2001), “Landings tend to increase with stock abundance,...

    • CHAPTER 23 Pollution
      (pp. 595-610)
      M. JAMES ALLEN

      The California coast has been a focal point of human activity since the arrival of native Americans more than 10,000 years ago. While these early inhabitants may have fished some local populations heavily, they contributed little pollution and habitat alteration that might affect marine fishes. Although alteration of terrestrial habitats increased from the late 1700s onward with increasing non-native populations, significant marine habitat alteration did not begin until the mid-1800s. During the twentieth century, the production of fishing piers, alteration of coastal lagoons, and construction of artificial harbors and marinas along the coast began in earnest while rivers and streams...

    • CHAPTER 24 Alien Fishes
      (pp. 611-620)
      ROBERT E. SCHROETER and PETER B. MOYLE

      Over 90 species and subspecies of fish have been introduced into the waters of California; 69 of these have become established (Dill and Cordone, 1997). Although a majority of these fish are freshwater species, alien species have also become established in estuaries, bays and open water marine habitats along the Pacific Coast (Dill and Cordone, 1997; Moyle, 2002). So far, alien marine species that have achieved the greatest success are estuarine and anadromous species, although few attempts have been made to introduce true (stenohaline) marine species into coastal California waters (Dill and Cordone, 1997). The only major attempt in California...

    • CHAPTER 25 Climate Change and Overexploitation
      (pp. 621-636)
      MICHAEL H. HORN and JOHN S. STEPHENS JR.

      The complex evolutionary and biogeographic history of the California marine fish fauna has been amply demonstrated in the preceding chapters. In this concluding chapter our purposes are to summarize concisely the historical origins of the fauna, its present status, and the future of the fauna under a scenario of ongoing and perhaps accelerated climate change. This increased rate of change is most likely to be seen as increasing ocean temperatures in the northeastern Pacific into the foreseeable future. Over the last three decades the understanding of climate change has grown dramatically in both finer resolution on different spatial and temporal...

  8. INDEX
    (pp. 637-660)