Shallow reef fish communities of South Bahia coast, Brazil


  • Laís de C. T. Chaves Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; Programa de Pós-Graduação em Oceanografia
  • José de Anchieta C. C. Nunes Universidade Federal da Bahia; Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Biomonitoramento
  • Cláudio L. S. Sampaio Universidade Federal de Alagoas; Departamento de Engenharia de Pesca



Fish Community, Reef Ecology, Bahia Reefs


This study aims to describe for the first time the fish community structure of five shallow reefs located off the cities of Santa Cruz de Cabrália and Porto Seguro (Araripe-AR, Itacipanema-IT, Alagados-AL, Naufrágio-NA and Recife de Fora Marine Park-RF Reefs), South Bahia, Northeastern Brazil. Fish density and richness were assessed through stationary point counts of 2 m radius for small cryptic species and 3 m for more conspicuous species. A total of 1 802 fishes belonging to 23 families and 54 species were observed. The most abundant species were the pomacentrids Stegastes fuscus and Abudefduf saxatilis. No significant differences were found for species richness or density of conspicuous species, but density of small cryptic species was low on reefs with high bottom rugosity, where there were more holes and crevices available. Herbivores were dominant on AR, AL and RF, invertivores on AL and both groups were dominant on IT. Some habitat variables such as rugosity and benthic cover were strongly correlated to species and sites. High bottom heterogeneity was found among reefs but they still presented similar species composition, richness and density. Within small-scale studies, such similarities in composition and richness are to be expected for reef fish communities, as most of the species concerned have a wide distribution range.


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How to Cite

Chaves, L. de C. T., Nunes, J. de A. C. C., & Sampaio, C. L. S. (2010). Shallow reef fish communities of South Bahia coast, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Oceanography, 58(spe4), 33-46.