Relationships between butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) feeding rates and coral consumption on the Great Barrier Reef

Gregson, M.A., Pratchett, M.S., Berumen, M.L., and Goodman, B.A. (2008) Relationships between butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) feeding rates and coral consumption on the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs, 27 (3). pp. 583-591.

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Abstract

This study explored differences in the feeding rate among 20 species of coral reef butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Feeding rate, measured as bites per minute (b.p.m.), varied between 2.98 ± 0.65 and 12.29 ± 0.27 (mean ± SE) according to species and was positively related to the proportional consumption of coral (r 2 = 0.40, n = 20, P < 0.01), independent of phylogeny (standardised independent contrasts r 2 = 0.29, n = 19, P < 0.05). All species fed actively throughout the day, with obligate corallivores having a higher feeding rate at all times than either facultative corallivores or non-corallivores. The feeding rate of the obligate corallivores was also highest during the middle of the day. For eight of the species for which data was available, there was a positive correlation between bite rate and competitive dominance (r = 0.71, P < 0.05). Chaetodon ephippium was the only species for which the feeding rate of pairs was higher than for solitary individuals.

Item ID: 4877
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: competition; corallivore; diurnal variation; feeding guild; group behaviour; prey quality
ISSN: 1432-0975
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2009 00:21
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 11
Downloads: Total: 4
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