Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse environments on the planet, one of the most incredibly diverse habitats of shapes, colors and organisms, as well as one of the most beautiful and majestic places we are lucky to observe. In this tropical environment, fish communities are a key and vital component for maintaining the balance and health of the ecosystem. Fish fauna is thus an excellent model for studying the health status of coral reefs as well as the evolutionary processes linked to the relationship between form and function and the relative adaptations to colonized habitats. Moreover, considering that tropical fish depends largely on the survival of many coastal human communities, especially for the contribution of noble proteins through fishing, and the tourist and economic development of many areas, the study and description of a fish community can provide useful information for the management of all human activities concerning the sea, from fishing to tourism.
At the end of this theoretical-practical course the student will be able to:
- recognize the main families of tropical fish associated with the reef habitat;
- recognize at the level of genus or species the most important fish of the Indian ocean fauna.·
- describe a fish community based on the trophic groups that compose it.
- Understand and describe the temporal and spatial variations (nictimeral rhythms, reef zoning) of fish communities.·
- List the main patterns and processes that influence the structure of a fish community.·
- Design and execute visual census operations, for the study and monitoring of fish communities.·
- Identify the signs of overfishing, which can damage entire biological communities.
- List the most significant indicator species in the area.
- Collect useful photographic data as a search method or as visual documentation
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