Functional composition of Chaetodon butterflyfishes at a peripheral and extreme coral reef location, the Persian Gulf

Pratchett, Morgan S., Hoey, Andrew S., Feary, David A., Bauman, Andrew G., Burt, John A., and Riegl, Bernhard M. (2013) Functional composition of Chaetodon butterflyfishes at a peripheral and extreme coral reef location, the Persian Gulf. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 72 (2). pp. 333-341.

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Abstract

The functional composition of reef fish assemblages is highly conserved across large biogeographic areas, but it is unknown whether assembly rules hold at biogeographical and environmental extremes for coral reefs. This study examined the functional composition of butterflyfishes in the Persian Gulf, Musandam Peninsula, and Gulf of Oman. Only five species of butterflyfishes were recorded during this study, and mostly just in the Gulf of Oman. Unlike most locations in the Indo–Pacific where butterflyfish assemblages are dominated by obligate corallivores, the only obligate corallivore recorded, Chaetodon melapterus, was rare or absent at all locations. The most common and widespread species was Chaetodon nigropunctatus, which is shown to be a facultative corallivore. The diversity of butterflyfishes in the Persian Gulf is likely to have been constrained by its’ biogeographical history and isolation, but functional composition appears to be further affected by limited abundance of prey corals and harsh environmental conditions.

Item ID: 28943
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: butterflyfishes; coral reefs; disturbance; dietary specialisation; habitat preferences; Scleractinian corals
Funders: New York University, Abu Dhabi
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2013 02:29
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 80%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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