, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 352-356
Date: 20 Aug 2004

“Sublethal effects of coral bleaching on an obligate coral feeding butterflyfish”

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Coral bleaching is a significant and increasingly prevalent source of coral mortality, representing one of the most severe and widespread disturbances affecting coral reef ecosystems (Hoegh-Guldberg 1999; Pockley 2000). In the last few years (mostly since 1998), major episodes of coral bleaching have occurred on many coral reefs throughout the world, killing 20–80% of zooxanthellate corals (including both scleractinians and alcyonaceans) across expansive reef areas (e.g., Great Barrier Reef, Baird and Marshall 1998; Japan, Shibuno et al. 1999; eastern Pacific, Glynn et al. 2001; Caribbean, Ostrander et al. 2000). In addition to killing zooxanthellate corals, severe large-scale bleaching events may cause significant declines in the abundance of coral reef fishes, particularly among reef fish species that depend on live coral for food or shelter (Shibuno et al. 1999; Kokita and Nakazono 2001; Adjeroud et al. 2002).

Among those fishes with the greatest reliance on live corals ...

Communicated by: P.F. Sale