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Aspects of Corallivory by Chaetodon unimaculatus in Kane'ohe Bay, Oahu

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Item Summary

Title:Aspects of Corallivory by Chaetodon unimaculatus in Kane'ohe Bay, Oahu
Authors:Cox, Evelyn F.
Date Issued:1983
Publisher:University of Hawai'i, Honolulu
Citation:Cox, Evelyn F. Aspects of Corallivory by Chaetodon unimaculatus in Kane'ohe Bay, Oahu. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1983.
Abstract:Interactions between a corallivore, Chaetodon
unimaculatus, and the two dominant coral species in
Kane'ohe Bay, Montipora verrucosa and Porites compressa,
were investigated. Feeding selectivity was tested in
laboratory and field observations, with the fish clearly
selecting M. verrucosa: 39:1 bites in laboratory trials and
284:1 bites in field observations. Using an estimated
bite size of 2.54 mg AFDW and two estimated feeding rates,
4.88 bites min-1 during the "dry" season (May to
September) and 7.20 bites min-1 during the "wet" season
(October to April), an average sized fish consumes
approximately 4000 g of coral tissue each year, and the
population of C. unimaculatus on Patch Reef #42 is
removing approximately 10% of the standing crop of
M. verrucosa each year. A series of experiments was
designed to measure the effect of predation by these fish
on growth and competition between the two corals. Caged
colonies of M. verrucosa at Patch Reef #42 had a vertical
growth rate of 9.71 x 10-3cm day-1, and M. verrucosa
killed P. compressa tissue it came in contact with. In
uncaged colonies, M. verrucosa grew at a rate of
3.92 x 10-3cm day-1, about 40% of the caged growth rate,
and several colonies showed a reversal of aggressive
dominance as predicted from previous studies, with
P. compressa killing branches of M. verrucosa. On Patch
Reefs #42 and #43 there is a significant increase in the percent M. verrucosa with increased distance from the edge
of the reef, where the fish are normally found, and grazing
pressure is greatest. Because of its selective feeding
behavior in Kane'ohe Bay, C. unimaculatus appears to have
a significant effect on the growth and distribution of its
preferred coral species, M. verrucosa.
Bibliography: leaves 56-60
Pages/Duration:69 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Zoology

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