Distributional patterns of mobile fauna associated with Halimeda on the Tiahura coral-reef complex (Moorea, French Polynesia)
This study deals with the mobile fauna living associated with the turfs of three Halimeda species [H. incrassata, H. opuntia (three forms) and H. macroloba] from the Tiahura Reef complex. Ten 0.05 m2 test areas of each Halimeda form have been randomly sampled from each geomorphological reef unit in order to obtain the specific abundance and biomass of different faunistic groups and species living within Halimeda populations. Then the raw data have been classified using the correspondence factor analysis to highlight the relationships between faunistic groups, or species, and the different Halimeda forms studied. The distributional patterns of the faunal communities seems to be controlled by the morphological features of the host-alga. The complex arborescent structure of the rhyzophytic H. incrassata species shelters fauna three times higher in abundance than other Halimeda heads. This fauna is mostly composed of a highly rich community of microcrustaceans and a very diversified community of Syllidae polychaetes. H. macroloba living on the outer reef flat retains a lot of small Nereidae polychaetes and a rich microgastropod assemblage. Dense H. opuntia tussocks (type A) on the fringing-reef and isolated H. opuntia fronds of pendulous chains (type B) on the barrier reef as well as beds of scattered H. opuntia (type C) on the outer reef flat provide environment for larger animals, and according to their zone of life, they retain very different faunal associations. Some ophiuroids, and some fish, collected in H. opuntia A and C, are newly reported from the Society Islands, French Polynesia, and the Pacific province. One Brachyurid species is presumably undescribed.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.