Evaluating patterns of fish assemblage changes from different-aged reforested mangroves in Lingayen Gulf

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Fish assemblages in planted mangroves of different ages in northwestern Lingayen Gulf, northwestern Philippines, composed of: seven-year (Tondol, Anda), nine-year (Pangapisan, Alaminos), 11-yr (Imbo, Anda), 12-yr (Pilar, Bolinao), and 19-yr stands (Bangrin, Bani) were investigated. A modified local triangular trap was deployed ~1 m from the edge of the plantation of each site at low tide for three days (before, during, and after spring tide) in December 2008 and February 2009. Fish samples were collected the following day, measured, then weighed in the laboratory. Fish species were categorized based on trophic level and habitat preferences. A total of 593 individuals belonging to 50 species from 22 families were recorded. There were no apparent trends in terms of fish abundance, fish biomass, and trophic categories with age of mangrove stands. In terms of habitat preference, mangrove-associated species dominated the mature plantation (> 12 yr) while reef-associated species were mostly found in younger stands (< 12 yr). The fish assemblages have 43% similarity between seven-year and nine-year plantation, and 35% similarity between 11-year and 12-yr plantation. In contrast, the 19-yr old plantation was clearly separated from the younger plantations, indicating a possible shift of fish assemblages with age of mangrove stands.

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