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Cryptic effects of habitat declines: coral-associated fishes avoid coral-seaweed interactions due to visual and chemical cues

Brooker, Rohan M, Brandl, Simon J and Dixson, Danielle L 2016, Cryptic effects of habitat declines: coral-associated fishes avoid coral-seaweed interactions due to visual and chemical cues, Scientific reports, vol. 6, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1038/srep18842.

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Title Cryptic effects of habitat declines: coral-associated fishes avoid coral-seaweed interactions due to visual and chemical cues
Author(s) Brooker, Rohan MORCID iD for Brooker, Rohan M orcid.org/0000-0001-8739-6914
Brandl, Simon J
Dixson, Danielle L
Journal name Scientific reports
Volume number 6
Article ID 18842
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-01-04
ISSN 2045-2322
Keyword(s) animals
Chaetodontidae
coral reefs
cues
Fiji
fishes
global warming
photic stimulation
seaweed
sensation
science & technology
Summary Seaweed-dominated coral reefs are becoming increasingly common as environmental conditions shift away from those required by corals and toward those ideal for rampant seaweed growth. How coral-associated organisms respond to seaweed will not only impact their fate following environmental change but potentially also the trajectories of the coral communities on which they rely. However, behavioral responses by coral-associated organisms to seaweeds are poorly understood. This study examined interactions between a guild of obligate and opportunistic coral-feeding butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) and scleractinian corals to determine whether fishes continue to interact with corals in contact with seaweed or if they are avoided. Under natural conditions, all species interacted almost exclusively with seaweed-free corals. In a controlled patch reef experiment, fishes avoided corals in physical contact with seaweed, irrespective of dietary preferences. When visual seaweed cues were removed, butterflyfish continued to avoid corals that had been in contact with the allelopathic Galaxaura filamentosa, suggesting that chemical cues produced by coral-seaweed interactions are repellent. These findings suggest that, due to deleterious visual and chemical cues produced by coral-seaweed interactions, coral-associated organisms may struggle to locate resources as seaweed-free corals decline in abundance.
Language eng
DOI 10.1038/srep18842
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Brooker, R. M. et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30113410

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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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.