Resource use by five sympatric parrotfishes in the San Blas Archipelago, Panama

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McAfee, S. T., & Morgan, S. G. (1996). Resource use by five sympatric parrotfishes in the San Blas Archipelago, Panama. Marine Biology, 125(3), 427-437.
TitleResource use by five sympatric parrotfishes in the San Blas Archipelago, Panama
AuthorsT. McAfee, G. Morgan
AbstractResource use by five sympatric species of parrotfish was quantified in the San Blas Archipelago of the Republic of Panama from March to August 1987. Detailed observations of parrotfishes on patch reefs and surrounding seagrass beds showed that they partition resources with respect to habitat, food and size, but not time. Although parrotfishes shared resources, the proportions of each resource used differed significantly among species. Scarus iserti (Bloch) scraped filamentous microalgae that grew from eroded coral pavement on lower slopes of patch reefs and in 'halos,' the area of sparse vegetation surrounding reefs. Sparisoma viride (Bonnaterre) foraged on upper slopes of patch reefs where they mostly took bites from dead coral and associated algae. S. aurofrenatum (Cuvier and Valenciennes) had the broadest diet, which consisted mostly of seagrasses and macro- and microalgae that were attached to dead coral on lower reef slopes and in halos. Although S. chrysopterum (Bloch and Schneider) commonly occurred on patch reefs, it primarily foraged in seagrass beds that surround them. S. rubripinne (Cuvier and Valenciennes) was distributed most widely, ranging from seagrass beds to reef crests, where it took bites from seagrasses, dead coral and macroalgae. Juveniles of all species occurred on lower slopes or in halos where they scraped filamentous microalgae from coral pavement. As they matured, parrotfishes moved into other habitats changing access to different types of food. All of these parrotfishes fed throughout the daytime, and resource use did not differ between morning and afternoon.
JournalMarine Biology
Start page427
End page437
Subjectsparrotfish, reef fish, resource use, sympatric populations, sympatry, Panama, San Blas Archipelago, Scarus iserti, Sparisoma aurofrenatum, Sparisoma chrysopterum, Sparisoma rubripinne, Sparisoma viride
NoteCited By (since 1996):45, CODEN: MBIOA