Inter-specific variation in susceptibility to grazing among common reef corals

Cole, A.J., and Pratchett, M.S. (2011) Inter-specific variation in susceptibility to grazing among common reef corals. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 422. pp. 155-164.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Download (382kB)
View at Publisher Website:


Many species of reef fishes, such as butterflyfishes and wrasses, feed almost continuously and at very high rates upon reef-building corals. This study quantified grazing rates on 4 common reef corals (Acropora hyacinthus, A. millepora, Pocillopora damicornis, and massive Porites) to assess the variation in susceptibility to coral predation. We also assessed the variation in predation intensity within A. hyacinthus and A. millepora by standardising grazing rates by colony surface. Rates of grazing on individual colonies were lowest (0.95 ± 0.33 bites per 20 min; mean ± SE) for massive Porites and highest (16.75 ± 0.30 bites per 20 min) for A. hyacinthus. Within coral species, grazing rates showed a linear increase with increasing size of the colony; however, the intensity of predation showed a negative relationship with increasing colony size. Predation intensity was highest for small to medium sized colonies with a peak intensity of 1.13 ± 0.17 and 0.56 ± 0.09 bites per 100 cm2 per 20 min per colony for for A. hyacinthus and A. millepora colonies (200 to 600 cm2), respectively. In contrast, predation intensity was lowest for both very small and very large colonies, with very small colonies (<200 cm2) rarely being consumed by corallivorous fishes.

Item ID: 15598
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1599
Keywords: coral-feeder; butterflyfish; corallivory; energetics; disturbance; selective predation
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2011 06:50
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1150
Last 12 Months: 96
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page