Predator biomass, prey density, and species composition effects on group size in recruit coral reef fishes

Marine Biology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Group incidence and size are described for recruit parrotfishes, wrasses, and damselfishes on Hawaiian reefs over 3 years (2006–2008) at sites spanning the archipelago (20–28°N, 155–177°W). Coral-poor and coral-rich areas were surveyed at sites with both low (Hawaii Island) and high (Midway Atoll) predator densities, facilitating examination of relations among predator and recruit densities, habitat, and group metrics. Predator and recruit densities varied spatially and temporally, with a sixfold range in total recruit densities among years. Group (≥2 recruits) metrics varied with time and tracked predator and recruit densities and the proportion of schooling species. Groups often included heterospecifics whose proportion increased with group size. A non-saturating relationship between group size and recruit density suggests that the anti-predator benefits of aggregation exceeded competitive costs. Grouping behavior may have overarching importance for recruit survival—even at high recruit densities—and merits further study on Hawaiian reefs and elsewhere.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Predator biomass, prey density, and species composition effects on group size in recruit coral reef fishes
Series title Marine Biology
Volume 158
Issue 11
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Hawaii Cooperative Fishery Research Unit
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Marine Biology
First page 2437
Last page 2447
Time Range Start 2006-01-01
Time Range End 2008-12-31
Country United States
State Hawai'i