- BACI model detects larval fish abundance before and after 30 years of development.
- Lower larval diversity and abundance at impact than at offshore control stations.
- The inshore-offshore cline in abundance can be related to lower SST and higher pH.
- Total larval fish abundance increased despite changes in zooplankton composition.
- 1st and 2nd stage larvae of certain families increased after development impact.
Changes in larval fish assemblages were studied before (1985-86) and after (2013–2014) rapid coastal development in the Klang Strait, Malaysia, based on a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design. Fish larvae were sampled by bongo-nets along an 18-km transect from the impact station at the Kapar power station (KPS) to four control stations in increasingly offshore waters. Families Gobiidae, Clupeidae, Sciaenidae and Engraulidae were most abundant at both sampling periods, demonstrating their adaptability and resilience to the natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Coastal development has reduced larval fish abundance at KPS, inevitably shifting higher larval abundance to the control stations. This shift is related to lower sea surface temperature and higher pH. Despite the coastal disturbances, there was an overall increase in total larval fish abundance attributed to the preflexion stage of the Gobiidae, Sciaenidae, Engraulidae, Cynoglossidae and Callionymidae, and the yolk-sac and preflexion larvae of unidentified taxa.
Chu C., Chew L. L., Chong V. C., Ching Ng C., Lin Ooi A. & Loh K.-H., 2021. Effect of coastal development on larval fish abundance in Klang Strait (Malaysia). Regional Studies in Marine Science: 101889. doi: 10.1016/j.rsma.2021.101889. Article (subscription required).