Succession and stability in fish communities of dome-shaped patch reefs in the West Indies. American Museum novitates ; no. 2572

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New York, N.Y. : American Museum of Natural History
"The scleractinian coral Montastrea annularis often forms dome-shaped heads that may reach a diameter of 5m. Eventually these heads become too large to support their own weight and they collapse, leaving a base on which other corals can grow and ultimately form complex patch reefs. We have studied the fishes associated with reefs in the solid colony stage, small, middle-sized, and large domes, and partially collapsed domes. One reef was censused in 1970 and again in 1973. Between visits part of the reef had collapsed, reducing the amount the amount of large shelters available for cardinalfishes (Apogonidae), squirrelfishes (Holocentridae), and grunts (Pomadasyidae). Concomitantly there was a dramatic increase in the population of gobies (Gobiidae) and blennies (Clinidae). Nevertheless, there was little change in the total number of species and individuals inhabiting the reef. An analysis of the sizes of the infaunal residents can provide a measure of the niche utilization and equilibrium. A model is presented to show how size of the individual fish functions in the regulation of species composition and population structure within reef fish communities"--P. [1].
18 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 18).