Comparative palatability among eggs of mass-spawning corals

Pratchett, M.S., Baird, A.H., and Marquis, C.P. (2002) Comparative palatability among eggs of mass-spawning corals. In: Proceedings of the Ninth International Coral Reef Symposium (1) pp. 391-394. From: World Coral Reefs in the New Millenium: bridging research and management for sustainable development, 23-27 October 2000, Bali, Indonesia.

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The eggs and larvae of mass-spawning reef corals are seasonally abundant and highly nutritious and are therefore a potentially important food source for planktivorous fishes. While there arc several reports of fish feeding on coral propagules, it is not known whether propagules of different coral species are equally palatable. Here we report that the planktivorous fish Pomacentrus moluccensis readily consumed, and did not distinguish between, food pellets made from eggs of Acropora millepora and A. humilis. In contrast, pellets made from eggs of Pachyseris speciosa were often tasted but then rejected. Pomacemrus moluccensis consistently selected pellets made from eggs of the Acropora species over pellets made from eggs of P. speciosa. These preliminary findings suggest that not all coral propagules are equally palatable. Consequently rates of larval mortality resulting from fish predation may vary greatly among different coral species.

Item ID: 10241
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-979-8105-97-5
Keywords: chemical defence; coral reproduction; feeding preference; larval mortality; mass spawning; predator satiation
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Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2010 04:56
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%
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