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Title: The Effects of Algal Turf Sediments and Organic Loads on Feeding by Coral Reef Surgeonfishes
Contributor(s): Tebbett, Sterling B (author); Goatley, Christopher  (author)orcid ; Bellwood, David R (author)
Publication Date: 2017
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169479Open Access Link
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Abstract: Herbivorous and detritivorous fishes interact closely with the epilithic algal matrix (EAM) on coral reefs. While sediment and organic detrital loads within the EAM might influence this interaction, the responses of functionally distinct fishes to changing sediment and organic loads have not been investigated. Aquarium based feeding trials were performed to assess how different sediment and organic loads affected feeding by the highly abundant surgeonfishes, 'Ctenochaetus striatus', a detritivore, and 'Acanthurus nigrofuscus', a herbivore. 'C. striatus' were highly sensitive to even small increases in sediment loads (of just 75 g m-2), displaying a significant decline in feeding rates as sediment loads increased. Although 'C. striatus' is a specialised detritivore, changing organic loads had no effect and suggests that selection of feeding surfaces is primarily mediated by total sediment loads rather than organic loads. By contrast, 'A. nigrofuscus' displayed no changes to its feeding behaviour regardless of sediment or organic load. These findings highlight the complex, species-specific way that sediments may mediate key ecological processes on coral reefs.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Grant Details: ARC/CE140100020
Source of Publication: PLoS One, 12(1), p. 1-14
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1932-6203
Field of Research (FOR): 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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