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Title: An Attempt to Increase Numbers of Herbivorous Fishes as a Means of Controlling Populations of Fleshy Macroalgae on Coral Reefs in Kane'ohe Bay, Hawai'i
Authors: Conklin, Eric J.
Stimson, John
Issue Date: Apr-2004
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Conklin EJ, Stimson J. 2004. An attempt to increase numbers of herbivorous fishes as a means of controlling populations of fleshy macroalgae on coral reefs in Kane'ohe Bay, Hawai'i. Pac Sci 58(2): 189-200.
Abstract: This study was conducted to determine the feasibility of enhancing
fish populations as a means of controlling macroalgal populations in Kane'ohe
Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i. Fleshy macroalgae have overgrown corals on reef slopes of
Kine'ohe Bay. Such shifts to fleshy macroalgal domination are often thought to
be due to a decrease in abundance of herbivorous fishes. This experiment added
650 herbivorous fishes (acanthurids and scarids) to two reefs, constituting a potential
addition of approximately 70% to the total populations of the two reefs.
Fish censuses and grazing assays were used to assess the effectiveness of these
additions in increasing grazing on these reefs and thereby diminishing the
abundance of macroalgae. Fish censuses showed a smaller than expected increase
in acanthurid abundance across all reefs, including the control reef, and
no increase in scarid abundance. Grazing assays did not show any significant
differences between pre- and postaddition. The fishes did not appear to remain
on the small isolated reefs to which they were added. It is possible that habitat
degradation and lack of shelter on the experimental reefs made them unsuitable
for enhanced herbivore populations, because initial and postaddition biomass/
unit area was smaller than the published values for many sites. Increasing the
abundance of shelter may be necessary to increase the number of fishes on these
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 58, Number 2, 2004

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