Mark I McCormick

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The worldwide decline in coral cover has serious implications for the health of coral reefs. But what is the future of reef fish assemblages? Marine reserves can protect fish from exploitation, but do they protect fish biodiversity in degrading environments? The answer appears to be no, as indicated by our 8-year study in Papua New Guinea. A devastating(More)
There is increasing concern that ocean acidification, caused by the uptake of additional CO(2) at the ocean surface, could affect the functioning of marine ecosystems; however, the mechanisms by which population declines will occur have not been identified, especially for noncalcifying species such as fishes. Here, we use a combination of laboratory and(More)
The relationships between 6 measures of substratum topography or vertical relief and a tropical fish assemblage were evaluated and the merits of the various measures were assessed. A method of quantifying surface topography in the field using a profile gauge is introduced and found to be rapid and to generate concise summary statistics. Of the 6 measures of(More)
Elevated carbon dioxide (CO(2)) has recently been shown to affect chemosensory and auditory behaviour, and activity levels of larval reef fishes, increasing their risk of predation. However, the mechanisms underlying these changes are unknown. Behavioural lateralization is an expression of brain functional asymmetries, and thus provides a unique test of the(More)
While growth rates of pelagic larvae have been argued to be one of the principal determinants of the recruitment success of temperate marine fishes, it is not known if this is the case in the tropics. Here, we use larval growth histories derived from otoliths of a Caribbean reef fish to show that monthly variation in the intensity of settlement and(More)
For organisms with complex life cycles, variation among individuals in traits associated with survival in one life-history stage can strongly affect the performance in subsequent stages with important repercussions on population dynamics. To identify which individual attributes are the most influential in determining patterns of survival in a cohort of reef(More)
Coral bleaching is a significant and increasingly prevalent source of coral mortality, representing one of the most severe and widespread disturbances affecting coral reef ecosystems (Hoegh-Guldberg 1999; Pockley 2000). In the last few years (mostly since 1998), major episodes of coral bleaching have occurred on many coral reefs throughout the world,(More)
Little is known about the impact of ocean acidification on predator-prey dynamics. Herein, we examined the effect of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) on both prey and predator by letting one predatory reef fish interact for 24 h with eight small or large juvenile damselfishes from four congeneric species. Both prey and predator were exposed to control or elevated(More)
Mortality is known to be high during the transition from larval to juvenile life stages in organisms that have complex life histories. We are only just beginning to understand the processes that influence which individuals survive this period of high mortality, and which traits may be beneficial. Here we document a field experiment that examines the(More)
Most marine populations are sustained by the entry of juveniles that have survived the larval phase, during which time most die. The number of survivors depends strongly on the quality of the eggs produced by spawning females, but it is not known how the social conditions under which breeding occurs influence the quality of larvae produced. Here I show that(More)