Ichthyofaunal community structure at a coal combustion by-product reef and natural oyster reef in Galveston Bay, Texas
Christensen, John D.
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From February 1993 to March 1994, the differences in fish community structure at a coal combustion by-product artificial reef and a natural reef in Galveston Bay were studied. This study was based on a fisheries-independent sampling effort using experimental gill nets and a fisheries-dependent creel survey. Early comparisons revealed higher nekton yields at the natural reef sites. Therefore, the artificial reef was less attractive than a level bottom site and far less attractive than a natural site. However, a persistent measure of community growth was observed over the duration of the study. The artificial reef site community structure was influenced by density-dependent and density-independent processes. Within seasons, the supply of a food source was the most important factor influencing the reef's community structure.