Spatial patterns of parrotfish corallivory in the Caribbean: The importance of coral taxa, density and size

Roff, George, Ledlie, Mary H., Ortiz, Juan C. and Mumby, Peter J. (2011) Spatial patterns of parrotfish corallivory in the Caribbean: The importance of coral taxa, density and size. PLoS One, 6 12: 1-11. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029133

Author Roff, George
Ledlie, Mary H.
Ortiz, Juan C.
Mumby, Peter J.
Title Spatial patterns of parrotfish corallivory in the Caribbean: The importance of coral taxa, density and size
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2011-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0029133
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 12
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication San Francisco, CA , United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The past few decades have seen an increase in the frequency and intensity of disturbance on coral reefs, resulting in shifts in size and composition of coral populations. These changes have lead to a renewed focus on processes that influence demographic rates in corals, such as corallivory. While previous research indicates selective corallivory among coral taxa, the importance of coral size and the density of coral colonies in influencing corallivory are unknown. We surveyed the size, taxonomy and number of bites by parrotfish per colony of corals and the abundance of three main corallivorous parrotfish (Sparisoma viride, Sparisoma aurofrenatum, Scarus vetula) at multiple spatial scales (reefs within islands: 1–100 km, and between islands: .100 km) within the Bahamas Archipelago. We used a linear mixed model to determine the influence of coral taxa, colony size, colony density, and parrotfish abundance on the intensity of corallivory (bites per m2 of coral tissue). While the effect of colony density was significant in determining the intensity of corallivory, we found no significant influence of colony size or parrotfish abundance (density, biomass or community structure). Parrotfish bites were most frequently observed on the dominant species of reef building corals (Montastraea annularis, Montastraea faveolata and Porites astreoides), yet our results indicate that when the confounding effects of colony density and size were removed, selective corallivory existed only for the less dominant Porites porites. As changes in disturbance regimes result in the decline of dominant frame-work building corals such as Montastraea spp., the projected success of P. porites on Caribbean reefs through high reproductive output, resistance to disease and rapid growth rates may be attenuated through selective corallivory by parrotfish.  
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 25 Jan 2012, 20:15:50 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences