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Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control

Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control

They Herbiborous widespread in the Indo-Pacific and inhabit Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control estuaries and river entrances, Fof brackish-water areas. Hrebivorous reduces effectiveness of healthy algae, which needs sunlight, as part of its photosynthesis process for growth. Results Fish consumption of algae Proportions of organic and inorganic matter in the gut, derived from Randall for the Scaridae and determined in the present study for Acanthuridae, are given in Table 2.

Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control -

For the Scaridae, the rates previously established by Randall were retained. For the Acanthuridae, the proportions of algae and sediment contained in the digestive tract were evaluated with a visual estimation derived from that of Jones Gut contents spread in Petri dishes were photographed with a stereomicroscope.

A grid was superposed to the digitized photographs and the proportions of algae and sediment were estimated by point-intercept methods. After that, the algal and sediment rates were converted into volume by multiplying the obtained proportions by the densities of the sediment and the algae separately established.

The first method Method 1 consisted of building a curvilinear regression between the mass of dry organic matter found in the digestive tracts and the fish biomass.

Scarus taeniopterus and S. vetula were assimilated to S. iserti and Sparisoma rubripinne , respectively as they have similar morphologies. The equation of the regression curve allowed calculating the quantity of algae ingested by the fishes according to their biomass determined with WLR.

The daily algal consumption was evaluated taking into account the data of Bardach and Ferreira et al. This method allowed obtaining a global algal consumption estimation using simultaneously fish density on the reefs and algal consumption per species. In order to confirm the values obtained by the previous technique, a second method Method 2 was used.

This method used the regression provided by van Rooij et al. with an algae carbon content fit to To test whether Method 1 and Method 2 provide similar results, a regression was carried out with Method 1 as a function of Method 2.

Because assumptions of normality were not met, non-parametric ANOVAs based on ranks were used to analyse algal consumption. These tests were implemented with R software. The null hypothesis was the absence of effects of i used method to compute the algal consumption ii fish species iii MPA iv sites.

After that, the Kruskal—Wallis one-way analysis of variance was used to compare the algal consumption between reef flats and reef slopes. Whenever a difference was found, multiple pairwise comparison tests were used to detect which sites were driving the observed differences.

The measurements of net algal turf production were carried out in each site. For that purpose, floating plastic ribbons were settled at the bottom. A first experiment verified that the algal growth was approximately linear on a 1-month period.

Then, every month, plastic ribbons were collected from the reef. Back to the laboratory, the algal turf was scrapped from the known surface of each ribbon and dried at 80°C until constant weight.

Net algal turf production was so estimated by dry weight per surface and per month. This technique minimized sediment deposition and herbivory from urchins and gastropods but not fishes or crustaceans. The rates of fish grazing were estimated on three reef flats S2, S3, S6 , according to the dominant algal community which was determined using a line intercept method Lucas and Seber In S2, fish bites were studied on the two dominant algal facies: turf either growing on coral rubbles or on the reef flat limestone In S3, fish bites were recorded on algal turf In S6, fish bites were only evaluated on algal turf Grazing rates were estimated from observations made on areas of 1 m 2 delimited on the bottom by four small stones at each corner.

Upon arrival at the study site, fish were given a few minutes to acclimatize to the settling of the stones and to the diver before timed observation began. During period of five minutes, the identity of herbivorous fishes, their size and the number of bites taken by each fish feeding in the area were recorded.

During episodes of intensive feeding by schools, the number of fishes was recorded and the total number of bites estimated from the observation of a reduced number of individuals. On each site and in each algal facies, the feeding behaviour of fish was recorded during six replicated periods of five minutes on five different quadrats, which is a total of min of observations for each type of algal facies.

The Kruskal—Wallis one-way analysis of variance was used to compare the grazing pressure between sites. The affinity of the herbivorous fishes with the different algal facies was searched by factorial correspondence analysis FCA. Proportions of organic and inorganic matter in the gut, derived from Randall for the Scaridae and determined in the present study for Acanthuridae, are given in Table 2.

For A. bahianus and A. chirurgus , the proportions were found to be respectively of For the Scaridae, the proportions varied between Total algal consumption values obtained using the two methods are presented in Table 4 , as well as the algal consumption per species derived from METHOD 1.

Values obtained from the two methods are linearly correlated Fig. A Kruskall—Wallis test was used to detail this result between reef flats and reef slopes. A multiple pairwise comparison test revealed that this difference was mainly due to sites S5 and S6 MPA , which presented a high level of algal consumption 2.

These differences were due to fish densities Table 5 which varied between sites. Algal consumption was more important in S5 and S6 as herbivorous fishes were well represented in biomass Table 5.

Results for S1, S2 and S3 were closer because of their equivalent herbivore assemblages in terms of abundance. Examination of Table 4 shows that Acanthurus bahianus , A. coeruleus and Sparisoma viride exerted a high consumer pressure 2.

Net algal turf production was relatively stable between the different reef flats and varied between 0. On the reef slopes S7—S10 , values were lower 0. To determine the daily algal gross production on the studied coral reefs, net algal turf production was added to herbivorous fish consumption Table 6.

Algal gross production varied between 1. On the reef slopes, algal gross production varied between 1. The grazing pressure of herbivorous fishes was measured on four facies of algae in three sites, S2, S3, and S6.

At S3, three facies of algae were compared. Multiple pairwise comparison tests show that the differences were due to the Phaeophyta facies which is the less grazed. The herbivory pressure was not statistically significant between the other algal facies algal turf growing on coral rubble and on limestone.

At site S2, four algal facies were present: turf on limestone, turf on rubble, Dictyota and Halimeda. Pairwise comparison tests showed that this difference could be attributed again to Dictyota , less grazed by the fishes.

Figure 3 represents the number of bites counted in the three sites. In S2 and S3, the grazing rate was the greatest on the turf zones and was lower on the macroalgae. In S6 MPA , only algal turf was present and grazing rate was lower that in the other sites. In order to highlight peculiar affinities between the herbivorous species and the different facies of algae, a factorial correspondence analysis FCA was carried out crossing the number of bites per species and the different algal facies Fig.

The first axis opposes the algal turf growing on limestone to the three other facies. The species contributing most to this axis are Acanthurus coeruleus and Sparisoma aurofrenatum which graze preferentially on algal turf.

On the other side of the axis, Sparisoma rubripinne is more linked to the Halimeda facies and to the turf growing on coral rubble. Axis 2 opposes Dictyota to Halimeda , underlining a preferential distribution of Acanthurus bahianus on Phaeophyta and of Sparisoma viride on the Halimeda facies.

The feeding preferences of the other species are more eclectic. Results of the factorial correspondence analysis crossing the number of bites per species and the different algal facies.

The algal consumption obtained in the present work between 0. Contrarily, the values of production estimated in the present study are relatively low compared to those found by other authors. Indeed, when estimating the algal production in the present work, herbivorous fishes, urchins and gastropods were able to graze on the experimental device.

The net algal turf production might be consequently under-estimated. When considering fish algal consumption and adding it to the net algal turf production in order to obtain a gross algal production, the values estimated in the present study remain low compared to those found in previous studies Table 7.

The comparison between algal consumption and production permitted to highlight the quantitative regulation of algae by herbivorous fishes. Thus, on non-protected and heavily fished coral reefs, although the herbivorous fishes are numerically abundant, the small sizes reached by these fishes did not allow them to regulate the algal production.

Once epilithic algal turf grows, propagules of macroalgae can develop until their adult size when they become resistant to herbivory. In marine protected areas, where fishes reach large sizes Table 5 ; Hawkins and Roberts , herbivorous fishes consume a larger part of the algal production.

On these reefs, the herbivorous populations are almost intact and can better ensure their role of regulation on algae than outside marine reserves. On the protected reefs of Bonaire, van Rooij et al.

The choice of a stomach repletion rate of three times per day food intake may have an influence on the estimated consumption. This value varies among authors. In French Polynesia, Polunin et al. Polunin and Klumpp in Australia determined that herbivorous fishes feed For Hatcher in Australia also, fish daily feeding rate varies between 2.

In the Caribbean, Gygi determined that Sparisoma viride filled up its stomach one time per day, whereas according to Bruggemann et al.

Ferreira et al. Comparison between the results of the present study and those obtained with the estimation of van Rooij et al. Finally, this study shows that the three species of Acanthuridae Acanthurus bahianus , A. chirurgus and A. coeruleus and Sparisoma viride are the herbivores ingesting the most important quantity of algae.

Two hypotheses can be formulated to explain this fact. First, these four species could have a food digestion lower than the other species and consequently they would have to ingest more food than the other species.

A second hypothesis would be that the growth of these species is faster than those of other species and so they have to consume more food to sustain their higher metabolism. Randall showed that the monthly growth of Acanthurus bahianus is 2. chirurgus is 2. coeruleus 1. Other scarid species have more important growth rates for example between 11 and 18 mm per month for Scarus vetula and nevertheless they ingest a lower quantity of organic matter.

These results tend to confirm that the first hypothesis would be the most likely. Carpenter found in St. Croix U. The results of the present work also revealed that herbivorous fishes feed preferentially on certain type of algae.

Algal turf is the favourite food source for herbivorous fishes. Such preferences have already been noted for Caribbean herbivorous fishes Bruggemann et al.

Van Alstyne et al. This phenomenon may influence the food choice of herbivorous fishes seeking protidic complements Mattson Moreover, algal turf is easily digested and has a higher energetic and proteinic value than macroalgae Bruggemann et al.

Conversely, herbivorous fishes avoid brown macroalgae, mainly composed of Dictyota spp. in the studied reefs. This phenomenon can be explained in two ways. First, the presence of repulsive or toxic molecules renders macroalgae less palatable and digestive to herbivorous fishes particularly for the Dictyota algae that would be the less consumed by herbivorous fishes because they contain diterpenoids that protect them from fish and sea urchins herbivory Hay et al.

The predominance of this type of algae on the studied non-protected reefs may explain why the herbivory rate is very low.

However, some bites have been observed on these macroalgae. Fishes may graze the epiphytic microalgae that grow on the macroalgae thallus. Secondly, the thallus calcification of some algae would prevent fishes from feeding on them Ochavillo et al. This hypothesis does not seem to correspond to the results of the present study as the number of bites observed on Halimeda spp.

is comprised between those observed on algal turf and those on Phaeophyta. According to Schupp and Paul , surgeonfishes avoid grazing on algae containing calcium carbonate like Halimeda spp.

Steneck argued that Acanthuridae are not able to crunch on calcified or incrusting algae because of their dentition, whereas scarids can ingest all algal types. So, the Scaridae would be the only fishes that sometimes consume Halimeda spp.

Finally, the grazing rate has been found to be highly correlated with herbivorous fish abundance like in the studies of Lewis and Wainwright and Carpenter The reefs presenting the higher grazing pressure harbour the highest abundance of herbivorous fishes but the lowest biomass.

Carpenter , , explained this phenomenon as the majority of herbivores was juvenile scarids that have a small mouth. They produce a high number of bites which only remove small quantities of algae. This can explain why even when herbivorous fishes present high number of individuals, macroalgae can cover large parts of the reef.

Algal turf develops into more enduring macroalgae, preventing the recovery of the reef into its previous coral dominated state Szmant In marine protected areas, although the rate of fish bites is the lowest, macroalgae are absent.

In fact, fishes are of large size in protected areas. They do few bites but efficient ones preventing phase shift by keeping algae cropped down. This study demonstrated that the role of herbivorous fishes in promoting reef recovery and resilience is likely to depend not only on their feeding preferences but also on their numerical abundance and on their biomass.

Fish abundance and mostly fish biomass might be expected to increase when algal production increased in order to control macroalgal proliferation. However, overfishing prevents the establishment of such a feed back control except in MPA where the protection status renders algal regulation possible by maintaining healthy herbivorous fish assemblages.

Bakus GJ The feeding habits of fishes and primary production at Eniwetok, Marshall Islands. Micronesica — Google Scholar. Barbosa JP, Teixeira VL, Pereira RC A dolabellane diterpene from the brown alga Dictyota pfaffi as chemical defense against herbivores.

Bot Mar — Article CAS Google Scholar. Bardach JE Transport of calcareous fragments by reef fishes. Science — Article CAS PubMed Google Scholar. Bellwood DR, Choat JH A functional analysis of grazing in parrotfishes family Scaridae : the ecological implications.

Environ Biol Fish — Article Google Scholar. Bellwood DR, Hughes TP, Folke C et al Confronting the coral crisis. Nature — Bellwood DR, Hoey AS, Ackerman JL et al Coral bleaching, reef fish community phase shifts and the resilience of coral reefs. Glob Chang Biol —8. Bohnsack JE, Harper DE Length-weight relationships of selected marine reef fishes from Southern United States and the Caribbean.

NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-SEFC Bouchon C, Laborel J Coral reefs of Martinique Island. Ann Inst Oceanogr — Bouchon C, Laborel J Les peuplements coralliens du Grand Cul-de-Sac marin de Guadeloupe Antilles françaises.

Bouchon C, Portillo P, Bouchon-Navaro Y et al a Status of the coral reefs of the Lesser Antilles in the French West Indies, the Netherlands Antilles, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago. In: Wilkinson C et al eds Status of coral reefs of the world Vol.

Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, Australia, pp — Bouchon C, Portillo P, Bouchon-Navaro Y et al b Status of coral reefs in the Lesser Antilles after the coral bleaching event. In: Wilkinson C, Souter D et al eds Status of Caribbean coral reefs after bleaching and hurricanes in Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Reef and Rainforest Research Center, Townsville, pp 85— Bouchon-Navaro Y Les peuplements ichtyologiques récifaux des Antilles.

Distribution spatiale et dynamique temporelle. PhD Thesis, Université Antilles Guyane. Bruggemann JH, Begeman J, Bosma E et al Foraging by the stoplight parrotfish Sparisoma viride.

Intake and assimilation of food, protein, and energy. Mar Ecol Prog Ser — Bruggemann JH, van Kessel AM, van Rooij JM et al Bioerosion and sediment ingestion by the Caribbean parrotfish Scarus vetula and Sparisoma viride : implications of fish size, feeding mode and habitat use.

Carpenter RC Relationships between primary production and irradiance in coral reef algal communities. Limnol Oceanogr — Carpenter RC Partitioning herbivory and its effects on coral reef algal communities. Ecol Monogr — Carpenter RC Mass mortality of a Caribbean sea urchin: immediate effects on community metabolism and other herbivores.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A — Carpenter RC Mass mortality of Diadema antillarum II. Effects on population densities and grazing intensity of parrotfishes and surgeonfishes.

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Oceanol Acta S3—S Claro R, García-Arteaga JP Crecimiento. In: Claro R ed Ecología de los peces marinos de Cuba. Centro de Investigaciones de Quintana Roo, Mexico, pp — Ferreira CEL, Peret AC, Coutinho R Seasonal grazing rates and food processing by tropical herbivorous fishes.

J Fish Biol — Gardner TA, Côté IM, Gill JA et al Long-term region-wide declines on Caribbean corals. it is great information and I will be getting one or more of these little guys soon. Thanks again! Definitely a few things to consider when considering my next tank mate.

Thanks for the info, super helpful! Good to know. Hi have a bicolor blenney, and did not know that they ate algae. I nice read and some great fish for me to think about.

I got few Goby in my gl DT and they are very well behave and fun to watch they are a plus in every tank. Really great read!

This was informative, thank you. I do have a lawnmower blenny but he is in a gallon tank with more aggressive fish. I have kept the hector and rainford gobies as well. Also, did not know the lemon peel was a particularly good algae eater, so that is great. Thank you for the informative article.

That court jester goby and the bicolor blenny are so cool, I love the blenny on the rock especially. I wish I had a reef tank, the fish are so cool. I have always wanted a court jester goby, but felt it might not make it in my tank with the current tank inhabitants.

Always good to have an algae eater or two. As long as both animals are compatible with each other. Great information!! I have an issue with algae at the moment and I will definitely be getting one of these fish.

I have a fresh water tank right now and I found AlgaeBarn through a contest and I gotta say this company is so well informed. I struggle a lot with finding good information and reliable products. Oh Lord, there are so many comments. I do agree that these are quite interesting critters.

But my favorite is the foxface. You did not include it and that is A.. but the foxface is just so darn cute. I love the orange tail fish, but it is not as good with algae as the other algae eaters listed here. Very informative.

I have a Foxfacea that deals with algae, but will keep a look out for other inhabitants when the time comes Y. Of course a pair of clowns that host a anemone.

A rock percher like a Clown goby or hawk fish. Open swimmer. Maybe a school of anthias or chromis. A algae eater. Definitely a pistol shrimp and goby pair.

Lastly to complete my fish stock any reef safe wrasse. Your email address will not be published. We at AlgaeBarn love clean-up crew critters and microorganisms, so welcome to the ultimate housekeeping celebration! At AlgaeBarn, we are highlighting our. Are you in the research and comparison stage of choosing a new system?

Has your reef outgrown it's current home? Reef fish, whether they are predators or grazers, play a huge part in maintaining the balance of the coral reef ecosystem. Coral reefs that are healthy.

Most Popular Products See All. Contests Win Free Aquarium Supplies! AlgaeBarn Heroes Discount for Military, First Responders and more! Court Jester Goby Also known as the Rainford Goby and Orange Lined Goby, these little guys are a great nano fish all around.

Tailspot Blenny Everyone knows that the Algae Blenny is great at controlling algae in aquariums. Two Spot Bimaculatus Blenny Two Spots are very similar to Tailspot Blennies.

Bicolor Blenny Bicolor Blennies are relatively popular fish, due to their low cost, pretty markings, and outgoing nature. Lemon Peel Angel Another large but not huge option is a Lemon Peel Angel. Final Thoughts on Algae Eaters I always like to have a strong clean up crew and an algae eating fish or two as a first line of defense against algae blooms in my tank.

Comments Awesome critters. This article gave me some options I hadnt considered. Thank you. Awesome article. The blenny is my favorite little creature.

This is an excellent read. I book marked this for future reference. Great read, will be looking for some of these guys for my display in the near future. What a good read! I might have to change my stock wishlist to include a couple of these!

Never heard of the Bicolor Blenny. Absolutely beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this info. A court Jester may be in my future.

Great write up will help for decision in the cleaners needed for these stages. Love the mention of the Rainford Goby. Small but voracious eaters! I got a 90gal and currently trying to grow lots of pods for my mandarine couple.

What great suggestions for our tanks.. They are amazing little critters. Do Court jester goby School together?

I would like to put a couple in the when I get it. Been searching for Tailspot for months. Sold out everywhere locally and online. Definately bookmarking for future reference, great info, thank you! I think the dwarf angels are really a overlooked algae eater. Great information for beginners and experienced hobbyists.

This is great information, especially since I am a newbie! how interesting,,i did not know any of this,,great information to know. These articles are always a great read and full of information. Need to know what I can put in a 5 gallon aquarium with a beta.

Thanks for the suggestions and info regarding these fish. I have a lemon peel angel and it is always busy. Great article! Thanks for the info! My kiddos will love these little guys! Good article I have had a few if these over the years. Gobies are my absolute favorite fish.

Currently have 3 different types in my 30 gal.

Spring Non-GMO sunflower seeds FAQ page Class flexibility for students Novel coronavirus updates. When people think tor coral reefs, images of beautiful Herbivoroux and structures come Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control Herbovorous. But beyond aesthetic pleasure, Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control reefs Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control numerous benefits, ranging from food security and coastline protection to their role in coastal traditions and cultures. A major challenge to reefs today is whether corals can persist under changing climate. One way that climate affects corals is by stimulating the overgrowth of algae that can smother the reef, making life tough for new corals to survive. Read more on ASU News. The abstract follows. The organisms that far outstrip all the fir in terms Contrpl total weight biomass are the green plants, which form Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control Fissh of the pyramid. Carbohydrate craving triggers Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control Fiish, there would be Herivorous life on earth. Although animals must obtain carbohydrates, they cannot produce it as plants and some bacteria do. Lacking the ability to photosynthesize, animals must hence become consumers. Herbivores obtain carbohydrates by consuming plants directly. Carnivores and piscivores consume other animals, including some that consume plants. And so it goes on up the pyramid, with each level generally being represented by a progressively lower number of consumers. Herbivorous Fish for Algae Control

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