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Title: Molluscan Distribution Patterns in Fanning Island Lagoon and a Comparison of the Mollusks of the Lagoon and the Seaward Reefs 
Author: Kay, E. Alison; Switzer, Marilyn F.
Date: 1974-07
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Kay EA, Switzer MF. 1974. Molluscan distribution patterns in Fanning Island Lagoon and a comparison of the mollusks of the lagoon and the seaward reefs. Pac Sci 28(3): 275-295.
Abstract: Lagoon molluscan assemblages at Fanning Island are described in
terms of three topographical areas: the lagoon reef flat, the patch reefs, and the
lagoon floor. Among the large mollusks, Clypeomorus brevis, Rhinoclavis asper, Pupa
sulcata, Pyramidella sp., and two bivalves, Fragum fragum and Tellina robusta, are the
principal components of the fauna of the reef flat; Cypraea moneta and Trochus histrio
are the dominant epifaunal mollusks of rubble on patch reefs; and sessile bivalves,
Cardita variegata, Electroma sp., Ostrea sandvichensis, and Tridacna maxima, are associated
with coral. The micromolluscan assemblages of the lagoon reef flat are dominated
by Tricolia variabilis, and patch reef and lagoon floor assemblages by Diala flammea.
Obtortio sulcifera is the second most abundant mollusk on the patch reefs and
O. pupoides the second most abundant mollusk on the lagoon floor. The patch reef
and lagoon floor assemblages are distinguishable into assemblages associated with
turbid water and clear water areas of the lagoon. Standing crops of micromollusks
are greatest on the windward or southeastern periphery of the lagoon reef flat.
The lagoon mollusks are distinguished from the seaward reef mollusks in terms
of species composition, modes of life, and feeding habits. The lagoon assemblages
are predominantly herbivores and suspension feeders among the macrofauna, and
are epifaunal herbivores among the microfauna. The seaward reef macrofauna is
dominated by carnivores and herbivores, and the microfauna by faunal grazers.
Standing crops of seaward reef micromollusks are less than those in the lagoon
and the species diversity index is higher.
ISSN: 0030-8870

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