Feeding macroecology of territorial damselfishes (Perciformes: Pomacentridae)

Barneche, Diego R., Floeter, S.R., Ceccarelli, D.M., Frensel, D.M.B., Dinslaken, D.F., Mario, H.F.S., and Ferreira, C.E.L. (2009) Feeding macroecology of territorial damselfishes (Perciformes: Pomacentridae). Marine Biology, 156 (3). pp. 289-299.

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Abstract

The present study provides the first analysis of the feeding macroecology of territorial damselfishes (Perciformes: Pomacentridae), a circumtropical family whose feeding and behavioral activities are important in structuring tropical and subtropical reef benthic communities. The analyses were conducted from data collected by the authors and from the literature. A strong positive correlation was observed between bite rates and sea surface temperature (SST) for the genus Stegastes. A negative correlation was found between bite rates and mean body size for the genera Stegastes and Pomacentrus, but this relationship was not significant when all territorial pomacentrids were analyzed together. A negative correlation between body size and SST was observed for the whole group and for the genera Stegastes, and Pomacentrus. No relationship was found between territory size and feeding rates. Principal Components Analysis showed that differences in feeding rates accounted for most of the variability in the data. It also suggested that body size may be important in characterizing the different genera. In general, tropical species are smaller and have higher bite rates than subtropical ones. This study extended the validity of Bergmann’s rule, which states that larger species or larger individuals within species occur towards higher latitudes and/or lower temperatures, for an important group of reef fishes. The identification of large-scale, robust ecological patterns in the feeding ecology of pomacentrid fishes may establish a foundation for predicting large-scale changes in reef fish assemblages with expected future changes in global SST.

Item ID: 7873
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2010 01:54
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 12
Downloads: Total: 2
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