Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Volker Bahn (Advisor), Thomas Rooney (Committee Member), Lisa Kenyon (Committee Member), Leonard Kenyon (Other)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The coral reefs within Indonesia’s Wakatobi Marine National Park support a high diversity of reef-building hard corals and associated marine fish. Climate change threatens to dramatically affect coral reef ecosystems by altering the interactions between reef fish and the specific microhabitats they depend on for survival. To examine the spatially varied effects of habitat complexity on the community composition and trophic structure of marine fish assemblages, I analyzed fish community and habitat complexity data across reef zones. Habitat complexity metrics were: structural complexity, the percentage of hard coral (HC) cover, HC genera richness, HC genera diversity (Shannon index), and HC growth form diversity (Shannon index). The community composition of fish assemblages was significantly positively related to habitat complexity, reef zones, and reef systems. This study found that the overall direction and strength of relationships between the fish community and coral reef habitat complexity data varies spatially between reef zones. Marine conservation and restoration efforts need to include specific management plans that vary among reef zones based on how varied habitat complexity and fish communities are at local scales.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biological Sciences

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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