Grazer biomass correlates more strongly with production than with biomass of algal turfs on a coral reef

Russ, G.R. (2003) Grazer biomass correlates more strongly with production than with biomass of algal turfs on a coral reef. Coral Reefs, 22 (1). pp. 63-67.

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Abstract

The biomass of large herbivorous grazing fish on the shallow reef crest of Myrmidon Reef, Great Barrier Reef, is 7.0 times that on the reef slope (15 m depth), and 2.3 times that on the reef flat. Biomass of algal turfs on the crest was only 1.4 and 1.0 times that on the slope and flat, respectively. In contrast, rate of production of algal turfs on the crest was 5.3 and 2.8 times that on the slope and flat, respectively. A multiple correlation between large grazer biomass, algal turf biomass, and algal turf production across the three zones showed that only rate of algal production correlated significantly with large grazer biomass (algal production p=0.007, algal biomass p=0.418). This result suggests that large grazers may aggregate in zones of highest algal turf production. The mechanisms by which fish respond to habitat-specific differences in food production remain unclear.

Item ID: 6154
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: algal turfs; biomass; coral reefs; grazers; production
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Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2010 02:23
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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