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  • Abstracts of PapersTwenty-ninth Annual Albert L. Tester Memorial Symposium, 11-12 March 2004
  • Pedro Afonso-Santos, Christopher E. Bird, Rachel Blaser, David R. Bybee, Tim Clark, Tamar Saturen Cunha, Kanesa Duncan, Claudia Farfán, Orou G. Gaoué, Aaron Hebshi, Jennifer Hoof, Gayla Ivey, Danielle Jayewardene, Sam Kahng, Han Lee, David Q. Matus, Sarah A. McTee, Sheldon Plentovich, Teresa Restom, Brett Schumacher, Lance Smith, Heather Spalding, Kornelia M. Szauter, and Chela J. Zabin

The Albert L. Tester Memorial Symposium is held in honor of Professor Albert Tester, who, at the time of his death in 1974, was Senior Professor of Zoology at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. The faculty and students of the Department of Zoology proposed an annual symposium of student research papers as a means of honoring, in a continuing and active way, Dr. Tester's lively encouragement of student research in a broad range of fields within marine biology. Papers reporting original research on any aspect of science are solicited from students at the university and these papers are presented at the symposium, which takes place during the spring semester. Income from contributions to the Albert L. Tester Memorial Fund of the University of Hawai'i Foundation is used to provide prizes for the three best papers, judged on quality, originality, and importance of research reported, as well as the quality of the public presentation. Judges include Department of Zoology faculty members and the previous year's student award winners. In addition, a distinguished scholar from another university or research institution is invited to participate in the symposium as a judge and to present the major symposium address. In 2004 the distinguished visitor and judge was Dr. Philip J. Motta, professor of biology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.

Distribution, Reproduction, and Movements of Parrotfish in the Azores2

Pedro Afonso-Santos

The parrotfish Sparisoma cretense sustains a growing gill-net fishery around the islands of the Azores, Northeast Atlantic. However, little is known about its life history and population dynamics. We conducted underwater visual census, biology, and acoustic telemetry studies to assess their distribution, reproduction, and space use. Parrotfish are abundant around the islands (7±12 fish per 250-m2 transect) and occur in a wide variety of habitats, with a peak in abundance around 10 to 15 m depth. Size composition varied along the archipelago, with larger individuals being more abundant in those islands with less fishing pressure. Reproduction takes place from July to September. During that period, individuals either are territorial, with males forming harems in hydrodynamic coastlines, or they school and spend most of their time in sheltered bays, but both groups gather in the territorial areas during early morning when spawning takes place. Therefore, two different social and reproductive strategies seem to coexist in the population. Adult parrotfish display typically small home ranges, and information obtained so far indicates high site fidelity and reduced dispersion. Our results indicate that the netting fishery, which operates in sheltered coasts, might be impacting parrotfish populations considerably by selectively removing larger and schooling fishes. We argue that adequately enforced [End Page 111] marine reserves of small to medium size might effectively protect core populations of this species within boundaries if they include connected habitats.

A priori Optimization of Point-Intercept Sampling

Christopher E. Bird

Point-intercept sampling is a popular and powerful tool for sampling the percentage cover of benthic species. Many researchers have empirically tested the accuracy and precision of point-intercept sampling against that of other sampling methods. Unfortunately, the results of these studies have been varied, with "system specific" conclusions, indicating that the accuracy of point-intercept cover estimates must be empirically determined separately for each system. Using a computer model to generate "quadrats" with various degrees of species richness, dispersion, and percentage cover and to analyze the quadrats with various numbers of randomly positioned point intercepts, we found random point-intercept cover estimates to be unbiased, precise, and predictable with the binomial equation for standard deviation. The absolute precision of a cover estimate is doubled by quadrupling the number of point intercepts, is the poorest at 50% cover, and increases as 0% and...