Effects of life phase and schooling patterns on the foraging behaviour of coral-reef fishes from the genus Haemulon

Pereira, P.H.C., and Ferreira, B.P. (2013) Effects of life phase and schooling patterns on the foraging behaviour of coral-reef fishes from the genus Haemulon. Journal of Fish Biology, 82 (4). pp. 1226-1238.

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During this study (December 2009 to December 2010), underwater visual surveys using the focal animal method were performed in the coastal reefs of Tamandaré, north-eastern Brazil. The aim was to analyse the effects of the life phase (juvenile and adult) and schooling patterns (school and solitary) on the feeding behaviour (foraging rates and substratum preferences) of four species of the genus Haemulon (Haemulon aurolineatum, Haemulon parra, Haemulon plumieri and Haemulon squamipinna). PERMANOVA analysis (P < 0.05) indicated that ontogenetic changes and schooling patterns directly influence foraging behaviour. Schooling individuals had low foraging rates (mean ± s.d. = 2.3 ± 2.1 bites 10 min−1) and mobility, usually remaining near the bottom; however, solitary fishes had high foraging rates (mean ± s.d. = 12.5 ± 4.6 bites 10 min−1). Juveniles preferred feeding in the water column (75% of the total number of bites), whereas adults foraged mainly in sand (80%) and bare rock (20%). All four Haemulon species displayed similar patterns of feeding behaviour as well as preferences for foraging sites and display competition for food resources. In contrast, little is known about their habitat use and foraging behaviour over the diel cycle, particularly the newly settled and early juvenile stages.

Item ID: 33354
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8649
Keywords: feeding rates; grunts; reef-fish behaviour; western Atlantic Ocean
Funders: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES)
Date Deposited: 25 May 2014 04:36
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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