We aim to understand the relationships between physical conditions and characteristics of the immature-fish community in surf zones of sandy beaches. Therefore, we obtained fish samples between March 2007 and February 2008 and analyzed certain physical conditions in the surf zones of 21 sandy beaches on the coastline of the northwestern Kyushu Island, Japan. We collected a total of 83 species and 6458 immature individuals. In a BIO-ENV analysis, the highest correlation was observed between fish assemblage and S20 (i.e., the slope from the shoreline to the sites where the depth was 20 m) and current velocity (CV) values. Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses revealed that the number of species and individuals decrease with an increase in the S20 and CV values. These results show that species richness and the abundance of immature-fish increase under shelving and calm conditions. Thus, immature-fish assemblages are strongly influenced by the prevailing physical conditions. Moreover, in six of the 10 dominant species, a negative correlation was observed between CV and abundance. On the other hand, S20 was found to be the explanatory variable only in the case of the most dominant species, i.e., Gymnogobius breunigii. Furthermore, a positive correlation was observed between S1 (i.e., the slope from the shoreline to the sites where the depth was 1.0 m at the mean tidal level) and median particle size (i.e., MPS of the sediments) and the abundances of Sillago japonica and Favonigobius gymnauchen, respectively, and a negative correlation with salinity, in the case of Acanthogobius lactipes. We conclude that the characteristics of the fish community in surf zones on sandy beaches are determined by not only the shelving and calm conditions, which influence fish assemblages and abundances, but also the habitat diversity, which influences the diversity of fish species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science