Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Ocean, Coastal, and Earth Sciences
Dr. Carlos E. Cintra-Buenrostro
Dr. Daniele Provenzano
Dr. Richard J. Kline
Most artificial reefs (ARs) in the Gulf of Mexico are considered intermediate to high vertical relief structures which have recruited large predatory species indicating lack of juvenile habitat. Small, inexpensive ARs, standard monitoring units for the recruitment of reef fish (SMURFs), were deployed at eight sites at -20m as habitat for juvenile fishes to understand and determine the effects of substrate type on juvenile fishes recruitment. Each site contained four SMURFs with four treatments: small and large rubble (~10 and ~20cm), oyster shells, and bare. Surveys yielded 39 juvenile species, including one of the most economically important species, Lutjanus campechanus, present across all replicates. Highest richness and diversity occurred in SMURFs containing oysters or small rubble while bare had the lowest. This study suggests deployment of low-relief structures with different substrate materials might affect recruitment of select species and provide further information useful to individuals designing ARs, aiding fisheries production.
Salinas, Stefany, "Effects of Artificial Substrates on the Recruitment of Juvenile Fishes in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 770.