A small near shore artificial reef was constructed in the Gulf of Elat, northern Red Sea at a depth of 22-24 m. The colonization of fishes was monitored for a period of 728 days and a total of 94 species was recorded. Colonization was initially rapid. The first species to appear were Dascyllus trimaculatus and Chaetodon paucifasciatus (day 2). In the first seven months, a gradual increase in the number of species was observed, after which it leveled off. Subsequently, a reduction in the number of individuals increased diversity of the community, as measured by the Shannon and Weaver index. The low complexity of the major components of the artificial reef, in addition to its location on a muddy, silty substrate, resulted in a constant cover of fine grain particles which presumably discouraged settlement of invertebrates and small cryptic fish species on the artificial reef.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are indebted to U. Motro for his advice and help with the statistical analyses. We thank U. Erel, Director General of the Elat Foreshore Authority, for his encouragement and support and S. Taggar, Eilat Municipality, for his inspiration. The logistic assistance of the Eilat Sailing Club and the numerous diving buddies who joined in and helped out with the field work is gratefully acknowledged. This study was supported by a grant from the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
- Fish community
- Recruitment patterns
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science