[Coral-List] Reef fishes reduce biofouling cleaning time in coral nurseries

Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 29 02:29:54 EDT 2015

Dear all,
Our first peer-reviewed article on the large scale coral reef restoration project I lead in Seychelles was born today.
I would like to draw your attention to our recent article in African Journal of Marine Science: 
Reef fishes recruited at midwater coral nurseries consume biofouling and reduce cleaning time in Seychelles, Indian Ocean
In coral reef restoration, coral gardening involves rearing coral fragments in underwater nurseries prior totransplantation. These nurseries become fish-aggregating devices and attract biofouling. We hypothesisedthat: (1) the presence of corals at a nursery is critical to recruit fish assemblages and (2) the recruited fishassemblages control biofouling, reducing person-hours invested in nursery cleaning. Three midwater coralnurseries were deployed at 8 m depth for 27 months within the marine protected area of Cousin Island SpecialReserve, Seychelles, Indian Ocean. Each nursery consisted of a 6 m × 6 m PVC pipe frame, layered with a recycled5.5-cm-mesh tuna net. Human cleaning effort was calculated based on daily dive logs. Nursery-associated fishassemblages and behaviour were video-recorded prior to harvesting corals after a 20-month growth period andseven months post-coral harvesting. The density (ind. m–2) of blue-yellow damselfish Pomacentrus caeruleus was12–16 times higher when corals were present than when corals were absent at the nurseries. Fish assemblagesrecruited into the nurseries included three trophic levels, from herbivores to omnivores, in six families: Ephippidae,Pomacentridae, Labridae (Scarinae), Gobiidae, Siganidae and Monacanthidae. Higher abundance of large fish (totalnumber of individuals) resulted in 2.75 times less person-hours spent in nursery cleaning. These results haveimportant implications for cost-effective coral reef restoration.
Authors: Sarah Frias-Torres, Henry Goehlich, Claude Reveret, Phanor H Montoya-MayaInstitutions: Nature Seychelles, Republic of Seychelles, Smithsonian Marine Station, USA, University of Rostock, Germany, CREOCEAN, France
Full pdf accesshttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/ref/10.2989/1814232X.2015.1078259
VideosHumphead parrotfish encounterhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=525P_2MY3hk
Fish at midwater coral nurserieshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3XgSqe4d3M

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. Twitter: @GrouperDocBlog: http://grouperluna.wordpress.comhttp://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres

More information about the Coral-List mailing list