Butterflyfishes as Indicators of change
kochzius at uni-bremen.de
kochzius at uni-bremen.de
Mon May 21 03:58:42 EDT 2001
The indicator hypothesis of Chaetodontidae to asses the "health" of a coral
reef is still under debate. There are many studies that faild to find a
relationship, whereas other found a strong one. From my experience in fish
community analysis on coral reefs and the literature of that field, I would
state that simply counting Chaetodontidae will not give an indication about
the reef "health". There are several points that should be considered:
1. What will be the definition of reef "health"?
2. There are several chaetodontid species that do not feed on corals at all
or feed on corals and other benthic invertebrates > as Anthony Mazeroll
already mentioned, you need to know about the diet of the species you
count. The focus should be on obligate corallivores.
3. It might be better to consider corallivorous fishes rather than
Chaetodontidae (there are several species of other families that feed on
4. In my data analysis I found a stronger correlation of corallivorous
fishes to live hard coral cover than of Chaetodontidae to live hard coral
5. Impact of fishing might be a problem as well. I heared from a colleague
that Chaetodontidae tend to enter bamboo traps that are used to catch
fusiliers (Caesionidae). However, as far as I know there is no publication
on this topic.
As other authors already mentioned, ther are to many uncertainties in the
use of butterflyfishes as indicators. The intention of indicator species is
to have a rapid method for the assesment of the environment of this
species. From my point of view a proper assesment of the abundance and
behaviour (you need to study this as well) of Chaetodontidae is as time
consuming as a detailed survey of the benthic habitat (corals).
At 19:17 19.05.01 +0930, you wrote:
>I would like to find if anyone is using Butterflyfishes as Indicators of
>coral reefs conditions?:
>Re: Crosby, M.P. and E.S.Reese. 1996 A Manual for Monitoring Coral Reefs
>With Indicator Species: Butterflyfishes as Indicators of Change on Indo
>Pacific Reefs. Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, NOAA, Silver
>Spring, MD. 45 pp.
>Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
>Dr Victor E. Gomelyuk
>Cobourg Marine Park
>PO Box 496 PALMERSTON NT 0831 AUSTRALIA
>phone 61 (08) 8979 0244
>FAX 61 (08) 8979 0246
>For directions on subscribing and unsubscribing to coral-list or the
>digests, please visit www.coral.noaa.gov, click on Popular on the
>menu bar, then click on Coral-List Listserver.
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