Feeding preferences of two seagrass grazing monacanthid fishes

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Two seagrass grazing fishes, Meuschenia freycineti and Meuschenia trachylepis (Monacanthidae), were offered three choices of Posidonia australis seagrass blades of different epiphyte coverage and leaf age to determine whether these fishes exhibit a preference for epiphyte-covered seagrass blades. Both species removed significantly more biomass of the epiphyte-covered blades than of the two other blade types in multiple-choice tests. This clear preference for epiphyte-covered seagrass blades results in a preferred removal of older blades within the seagrass shoot of P. australis.

Keywords: epiphytes; feeding-preference; multiple-choice; seagrass

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2007.01472.x

Affiliations: Institute for Water and Environmental Resource Management, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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