PARADISE LOST: EXPATRIATION OF CORAL REEF FISHES INTO TEMPERATE SE AUSTRALIA
Images courtesy of http://www.daveharasti.com/nelsonbay/index.htm
Project leader: Prof David Booth
Collaborators: l, Dr Will Figueira (University of Sydney), Dr David Feary, Dr Ash Fowler (NSW DPI), Gigi Beretta (UTS), Dr Brigitte Sommer UTS
Research students: Max O'Connell, Alex Rigg, Lucas Djurichkovic
Since 2001, we have monitored the expatriation of coral reef fishes into southern temperate habitats via the East Australian Current and related patterns to climate change.
The newly established colony of a sub-tropical coral species (Pocillopora aliciae) off the coast of Sydney, NSW has garnered interest pertaining to the ability for these, termed, vagrant fish to find and utilise these corals as habitat.
With ocean temperatures rising and the tropicalisation of temperate ecosystems increasing in severity we aim to learn about the communities these tropical fish are creating in their new ecosystems, while also undertsanding how that impacts the locals. Also our project is focused on these tropical's ability to find these corals in thousands of kilometres of open ocean when they, as larvae, depart the Great Barrier Reef southwards.