April Boaden

April Boaden

Degree: PhD

Year Commenced: 2012

Contact Details

Email: april.boaden@my.jcu.edu.au

Phone: (W): (07) 47816446 (M): 0458565194

Room Number: DB023–128

Title: Predator/Prey Interactions and the Impact of Fishing and Marine Reserves on Coral Reef Fish Communities

Description of Project

Predatory fishes are the primary target of both commercial and recreational fisheries on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). As a result, predator abundance varies greatly amongst marine reserves zones, and may be very low in heavily exploited areas. Predation is a key process structuring coral reef fish assemblages, and the removal of predators through fishing is likely to have consequences further down the food chain. Although the impacts of fishing and marine reserves on targeted species has been the focus of many studies, comparatively little is known about the indirect effects on non-target species. My PhD project focusses on predator/prey interactions, and how the removal of predators through fishing affects the abundance, growth, and population demographics of non-targeted (prey) species. These data are essential in the application of ecosystem based management of fisheries and marine reserves on the GBR. The aims of the project are as follows:

  1. Assess the effects of fishing and marine reserves on the abundance of predatory fishes and their prey on the GBR

  2. Assess the impact of predators on growth in the early life history stage of prey

  3. Assess the effects of marine reserves on the population demographics of prey

  4. Investigate the relationship predators and important herbivorous fishes, and assess the impacts of fishing and marine reserves on herbivorous fishes

Publications

1. Boaden, A. E. and Kingsford, M. J. (2012). Diel behaviour and trophic ecology of Scolopsis bilineatus (Nemipteridae). Coral Reefs 31: 817-883.

2. Boaden, A. E. and Kingsford, M. J. (2013). Distributions and Habitat Associations of the Bridled Monocle Bream (Scolopsis bilineatus : Nemipteridae): a Demographic Approach. Journal of Fish Biology, 83: 618-641.