The South Texas Banks are a mesophotic coral ecosystem (30-150m deep). Understanding the community structure, biodiversity and, geographic connectivity of the South Texas Banks is essential with increasing threats from climate change, ocean acidification, invasive species, and pollution. In this study, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was used to examine the fish communities at five of the South Texas Banks: Big Adam, Hospital, Mysterious, North Hospital, and Southern. Reef fish were identified to the lowest possible taxon and enumerated from ROV transect video footage. A total of 3,838 demersal and pelagic fishes were recorded representing 61 species in 22 families including invasive Pterois volitans. Bodianus pulchellus, Holocentrus adscensionis, Priacanthus arenatus, and the Gobiidae family were the only fishes observed at all five banks. Habitat suitability models were created that highlight the rich biodiversity found on the South Texas Bank, which will warrant for future research and conservation efforts.
|Commitee:||Figueroa, Diego, Kline, Richard|
|School:||The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley|
|Department:||Department of Biology|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biology, Aquatic sciences|
|Keywords:||Mesophotic, Reef fish, Remotely operated vehicle, South Texas Banks|
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