NS  Vol.4 No.8 , August 2012
Fish assemblages in seagrass habitat along the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba
ABSTRACT
The spatial distribution and community structure of the fishes were studied at different depths and sites along the Jordanian coast in seagrass habitat. A total of 37,034 fishes were counted representing 132 species belonging to 35 families observed during visual census in three sites (average of 4741.6 fish per transect). Out of the 132 species encountered, 5 species of them including Neopomacentrus miryae Lethrinus borbonicus, Pseudanthias squamipinnis, Lethrinus variegatus, Siganus rivulatus accounted for 57.7% of all individuals. Fishes were most abundant and significantly higher at 12 m depths (mean N = 2889.6) in comparison with shallow 6m depth (mean = 1225.3 with (p = 0.0218). This may be attributed to many plank-tivorous fishes that inhabit this depth such as P. squampinnis, Paracheilinus octotaenia, Chromis pelloura, Decapterus macarellus, and Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis probably with high abundance of plankton at 12 m depth than 6 m. The number of species was significantly higher in Phosphate Loading Berth (PLB; mean S = 54.7) than in Hotels area site (HA; mean S = 12.8) with (p = 0.0002) and Tala Bay site (TB; mean S = 31) with (p = 0.0484). This may be due to higher hard coral cover at Phophate Loading Berth.

Cite this paper
Khalaf, M. , Al-Rousan, S. and Al-Horani, F. (2012) Fish assemblages in seagrass habitat along the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. Natural Science, 4, 517-525. doi: 10.4236/ns.2012.48069.
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