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Within-colony feeding selectivity by a corallivorous reef fish: foraging to maximize reward?

Brooker, Rohan M., Jones, Geoffrey P. and Munday, Philip L. 2013, Within-colony feeding selectivity by a corallivorous reef fish: foraging to maximize reward?, Ecology and evolution, vol. 3, no. 12, pp. 4109-4118, doi: 10.1002/ece3.778.

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Title Within-colony feeding selectivity by a corallivorous reef fish: foraging to maximize reward?
Author(s) Brooker, Rohan M.ORCID iD for Brooker, Rohan M. orcid.org/0000-0001-8739-6914
Jones, Geoffrey P.
Munday, Philip L.
Journal name Ecology and evolution
Volume number 3
Issue number 12
Start page 4109
End page 4118
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2013-10
ISSN 2045-7758
Keyword(s) Acropora
Oxymonacanthus longirostris
corallivory
optimal foraging theory
predator–prey interactions
prey morphology
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
predator-prey interactions
BUTTERFLYFISHES CHAETODONTIDAE
TRADE-OFFS
CORAL
PREDATION
PREY
SIZE
SPECIALIZATION
DIET
Summary Foraging theory predicts that individuals should choose a prey that maximizes energy rewards relative to the energy expended to access, capture, and consume the prey. However, the relative roles of differences in the nutritive value of foods and costs associated with differences in prey accessibility are not always clear. Coral-feeding fishes are known to be highly selective feeders on particular coral genera or species and even different parts of individual coral colonies. The absence of strong correlations between the nutritional value of corals and prey preferences suggests other factors such as polyp accessibility may be important. Here, we investigated within-colony feeding selectivity by the corallivorous filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris, and if prey accessibility determines foraging patterns. After confirming that this fish primarily feeds on coral polyps, we examined whether fish show a preference for different parts of a common branching coral, Acropora nobilis, both in the field and in the laboratory experiments with simulated corals. We then experimentally tested whether nonuniform patterns of feeding on preferred coral species reflect structural differences between polyps. We found that O. longirostris exhibits nonuniform patterns of foraging in the field, selectively feeding midway along branches. On simulated corals, fish replicated this pattern when food accessibility was equal along the branch. However, when food access varied, fish consistently modified their foraging behavior, preferring to feed where food was most accessible. When foraging patterns were compared with coral morphology, fish preferred larger polyps and less skeletal protection. Our results highlight that patterns of interspecific and intraspecific selectivity can reflect coral morphology, with fish preferring corals or parts of coral colonies with structural characteristics that increase prey accessibility.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/ece3.778
Copyright notice ©2013, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30112810

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.