Understanding mechanisms that contribute to coral persistence is recognized as a high priority research topic. Herbivory is an important mechanism that prevents macroalgae from dominating disturbed coral reefs. In this study, we focused on the feeding ecology of herbivorous fish species in Moorea, French Polynesia. Using video recording and field assays, we analyzed the foraging behavior of common herbivores in the lagoon reef habitat. Our results show that 7 of 8 herbivorous fish species fit conventional Indo-Pacific functional group classifications, with the exception of the bullethead parrotfish, Chlorurus spilurus. Previous research has classified the bullethead as an excavator of epilithic turf algae, however our results show this species takes 40% of bites on macroalgae. Additional foraging observations of 134 individual bulletheads of various sizes suggest this species may be more of a generalist herbivore, consuming multiple species of macroalgae in addition to turf. Creating a selectivity index based on food availability and mass specific bite rates will confirm if the role of the bullethead can be context dependent on fish size, reef habitat, and benthic cover. As one of the most abundant herbivores in Moorea, the bullethead likely plays a major role in coral reef communities. The results of this study contribute to the understanding of how different functional groups drive community composition and function.
Ask the author a question about this poster.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Biogeochemical modeling in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico: Seasonal , interannual and mesoscale variability of the chlorophyll concentration
P. Damien, O. Pasqueron de Fommervault , J. Sheinbaum , J. Jouanno & O. Duteil
On the mean Deep Western Boundary Current recirculation in the North Atlantic subtropics: structure and forcing mechanisms
Biló, T. C.; Johns, W. E.
An Unusual tRNA Synthetase Action Leading to Unusual Amino Acid Incorporation Leading to Unusual Protein Folding Leading to Unusual Neurological Disease: The Story of BMAA. A Review and Three Proposals
Zev Leifer, Ph.D.
Estimation of the lakes optical water types from satellites' images
Kristi Uudeberg, Getter Põru, Ilmar Ansko, Ave Ansper, Martin Ligi
Development of a standalone solar tracking hyperspectral sensor platform
Dieter Vansteenwegen (VLIZ), Kevin Ruddick (RBINS), André Cattrijsse (VLIZ), Thanos Gkritzalis (VLIZ), Dimitry Van der Zande (RBINS)