Variable palatability of coral eggs to a planktivorous fish

Baird, Andrew H., Pratchett, Morgan S., Gibson, Deborah J., Koziumi, Noriko, and Marquis, Christopher P. (2001) Variable palatability of coral eggs to a planktivorous fish. Marine and Freshwater Research, 52 (6). pp. 865-868.

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Predation by fish is generally assumed to be an important source of mortality of coral propagules. Field observations have confirmed that fish feed within the slicks of gametes that form following the annual mass spawning of corals on the Great Barrier Reef. However, these studies cannot determine which species are being consumed. To test whether the eggs of coral species were equally palatable, the eggs of eight common broadcast spawning scleractinian corals were fed to a planktivorous fish.Pomacentrus moluccensis readily consumed the eggs of five acroporid species and two faviid species, but often rejected the eggs of the agariciid Pachyseris speciosa; only 60% of the P. speciosa eggs were ingested compared with 90% of eggs of the other species. Assay testing for chemical defence showed that P. speciosa eggs were chemically distasteful to P. moluccensis.

Item ID: 4869
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: chemical defence; coral reef; feeding preference; predation
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Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2009 05:52
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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