|Data Set General Information:|
||knb-lter-mcr.2001.5 (in the knb Catalog System)
Branching corals, like many in the genus Acropora, provide structurally complex habitats for reef fishes and other organisms. Fluctuations in the abundance, distribution and characteristics of staghorn Acroporid corals may contribute to changes in the abundance and species composition of reef fishes due to changes in the availability of shelter habitat and food. Farming damselfishes of the genus Stegastes occur in high abundances in staghorn thickets and actively defend food and nest space against organisms that threaten these resources. Here I examine the value of staghorn thickets as habitat for fishes, and how the presence of territorial farming damselfishes may influence the assemblage of fishes that associate with staghorn corals. Surveys of 185 Acropora pulchra thickets located in the lagoons surrounding the island of Moorea, French Polynesia revealed 85 species of fish from 25 families. Total fish abundance and species richness values ranged from no fish on a thicket to a high of 275 individuals and 26 species. Thicket area was the most important characteristic in explaining variation in attributes of the fish assemblage among staghorn thickets, with other characteristics explaining little of the species composition or trophic structure. Behavioral observations revealed that farming damselfishes were most aggressive toward corallivores, herbivores, and egg predators, while they ignored most carnivores and omnivores. Despite this pattern, I observed positive covariance between Stegastes and the group of fishes that elicited the strongest aggressive response when the effect of thicket area was removed, suggesting these fishes remain drawn to the resources produced or enhanced by Stegastes on A. pulchra thickets.
||Acropora Fish Community Thesis
Data Set Citation
|How to cite this dataset:
Moorea Coral Reef LTER.
MCR LTER: Coral Reef: Community Dynamics: Physical Characteristics of Branching Acropora Patches and Species Richness and Abundances of Associated Fishes.
To request a DOI, send an email request for more information about this package's identifiers to use in a citation.
Key Words and Terms
||LTER, MCR, Moorea Coral Reef, Staghorn coral
|Institute, Organization, or Funding Agency
||California State University Northridge, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, NSF, Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station, University of California Santa Barbara
|MCR LTER Site
||East Shore, French Polynesia, LTER 1 Fringing Reef, Moorea, North Shore, Pink Roof, Rudys, Temae
|NBII Biocomplexity Thesaurus
||Abundance (organisms), Aggressive behavior, Algae, Biodiversity, Coral Reef, Corals, Depth, Dimensions, Fishes, Morphometry, Physical properties, Species Richness, Territorial behavior, Tropical Fishes
|LTER Core Research Area
Data Set Usage Rights
Data collected under the auspices of the MCR LTER are available to the public
after primary publication, or at most two years after the completion of the study
unless proprietary restrictions are warranted. Use of MCR LTER data is subject to
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"Data sets were provided by the Moorea Coral Reef Ecosystem LTER,
funded by the US National Science Foundation (OCE-0417412)."
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