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The littoral fish community of the Lebanese rocky coast (eastern Mediterranean Sea) with emphasis on Red Sea immigrants
Harmelin-Vivien, M.L.; Bitar, G.; Harmelin, J.-G.; Monestiez, P. (2005). The littoral fish community of the Lebanese rocky coast (eastern Mediterranean Sea) with emphasis on Red Sea immigrants. Biological Invasions 7: 625-637
In: Biological Invasions. Springer: London. ISSN 1387-3547; e-ISSN 1573-1464, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Coastal fishes

Authors  Top 
  • Harmelin-Vivien, M.L., more
  • Bitar, G.
  • Harmelin, J.-G.
  • Monestiez, P.

    The organisation of the coastal rocky fish community of Lebanon was investigated for the first time, using visual censuses. A total of 62 fish species were recorded between the surface and 32 m depth, 8 species being Red Sea migrants. Species richness and fish abundance were positively correlated first with substrate complexity and second with depth. The trophic structure of the community was dominated by diurnal zooplanktivores (Chromis chromis, Oblada melanura and Spicara smaris) and mesocarnivores 1 (Coris julis and Thalassoma pavo), and did not vary significantly with depth. The Lessepsian migrants represented 13% of the species richness and 19% of the total abundance of individuals. They dominated among herbivores, nocturnal zooplanktivores and macrocarnivores. The Lessepsian Siganus luridus and S. rivulatus (Siganidae), Pempheris vanicolensis (Pempheridae) and Sargocentron rubrum (Holocentridae) were now among the most common fish species on the Lebanese rocky coast. Lessepsian fish species displayed either similar ecological niches in the Red Sea and in the Levantine basin (P. vanicolensis, S. rubrum) or an enlargement of their depth distribution towards deeper waters in their new environment (S. luridus, S. rivulatus). This study will serve as a baseline for future studies as eastern Mediterranean communities are subjected to a steady increase in Red Sea migrant species.

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