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Territoriality and condition of chevron butterflyfish (Chaetodon trifascialis) with varying coral cover on the great barrier reef, Australia

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dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Coll Sci & Engn
dc.contributor ARC Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies
dc.contributor James Cook Univ
dc.contributor Australian Institute of Marine Science
dc.contributor James Cook University
dc.contributor.author Messmer, Vanessa
dc.contributor.author Thompson, Cassandra A.
dc.contributor.author Montanari, Stefano R.
dc.contributor.author Doll, Peter C.
dc.contributor.author Hoey, Andrew S.
dc.contributor.author Pratchett, Morgan S.
dc.date.accessioned 2021-01-31T18:27:36Z
dc.date.accessioned 2021-02-02T22:21:25Z
dc.date.available 2021-01-31T18:27:36Z
dc.date.available 2021-02-02T22:21:25Z
dc.date.issued 2021-01-15
dc.identifier.citation Thompson CA, Hoey AS, Montanari SR, Messmer V, Doll PC, Pratchett MS (2021) Territoriality and condition of chevron butterflyfish (Chaetodon trifascialis) with varying coral cover on the great barrier reef, Australia. Environmental Biology of Fishes 104:53–69
dc.identifier.issn 0378-1909
dc.identifier.uri http://epubs.aims.gov.au/11068/16680
dc.description.abstract The chevron butterflyfish, Chaetodon trifascialis, is among the most specialised coral-feeding fish, and while it is known to be very susceptible to extensive depletion of its preferred coral prey (tabular Acropora spp.), their specific responses to changing coral cover are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to test for variation in territorial behaviour and condition of C. trifascialis relative to spatial variation in coral cover across four mid-shelf reefs on the Great Barrier Reef. Explicit consideration was also given to the territorial arrangement and interactions among sympatric individuals, with a view to better understanding the sociality of this species. Variation in overall coral cover (which ranged from 26.5-73.4% among sites) as well as cover of tabular Acropora (13.3-44.8%) had limited effect on the territoriality or body condition of C. trifascialis. Rather, individual variation in territoriality was attributable to differences in gender and size of fish. Male C. trifascialis were generally larger and also had larger territories than female counterparts. They also interacted with conspecifics (and congenerics) much more than females. Taken together, these results support previous assertions that C. trifascialis is haremic. There was, however, limited evidence of male territories encompassing the territories of >1 female. While the sociality of C. trifascialis is clearly atypical of Chaetodon butterflyfishes, more work is needed to understand their reproductive biology as well as their behavioural responses to changing coral cover.
dc.description.sponsorship This study was funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.
dc.language English
dc.subject Competition
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Sociality
dc.subject Behaviour
dc.subject Chaetodontidae
dc.subject Coral reefs
dc.subject Marine & Freshwater Biology
dc.subject Ecology
dc.title Territoriality and condition of chevron butterflyfish (Chaetodon trifascialis) with varying coral cover on the great barrier reef, Australia
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s10641-021-01055-1
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000607986400001


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