Skip to main content

Free Content Effects of Grazing by the Yellowtail Surgeonfish, Prionurus Punctatus, on Algal Communities in the Gulf of California, Mexico

Download Article:
(PDF 501.3 kb)
The yellowtail surgeonfish, Prionurus punctatus, regulates structure and composition of algal communities attached to several reefs off Punta Colorada, Baja California Sur, Mexico. The surgeonfish is, in general, a non-selective grazer that takes small, filamentous algae in a multi-species algal mat in the proportions that they occur. They do, however, exclude large brown (Dictyota, Padina, Sargassum) and red algae (Liagora) and a large, foliose bryozoan (Bugula) from the diet. Exclusion of brown algae meets predictions of digestibility based on carbohydrate chemistry; reasons for ignoring the red alga and bryozoan are unclear. Lightly grazed reefs have a high standing crop and heavily grazed reefs a low standing crop of large algae, even though these algae are not eaten by fishes. Non-selective grazing at high intensities precludes growth of disfavored algae to a size where they can be recognized and avoided. On lightly grazed reefs these algae attain a sufficient size for recognition and grow undisturbed. This intensifies grazing on the algal mat between tufts of large algae, produces a reduction in standing crops between tufts, and results in a refuge where delicate, edible algae grow to unusual size under the canopy of the large, tufted species.

12 References.

No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 1980

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more