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Coral Reefs

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 11–19 | Cite as

The Eocene fishes of Monte Bolca: the earliest coral reef fish assemblage

  • D. R. Bellwood
Reports

Abstract

The fish assemblage from the Eocene deposits of Monte Bolca, Northern Italy, are compared with those of Recent coral reefs. A family-level taxonomic definition of a Recent coral reef fish assemblage is formulated to permit direct comparisons. On this basis, the Monte Bolca fishes represent the earliest clearly defined coral reef fish assemblage. Quantitative analyses of the relative abundance of fish families revealed significant differences between the two assemblages. The Bolca assemblage has Mesozoic links (Pycnodontiformes) and non-perciform taxa are relatively abundant, particularly the Beryciformes (Holocentridae). However, Bolca represents the earliest record of a perciform-dominated benthic fish assemblage (68.4% of all non-clupeid taxa). Within the Perciformes, the abundance of the major reef fish lineages (higher squamipinnes and Labroidei) differs markedly between the two assemblages. The numerical dominance of labroid fishes on coral reefs appears to have been a relatively recent occurrence.

Keywords

Relative Abundance Coral Reef Eocene Sedimentology Fish Assemblage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. R. Bellwood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine BiologyJames Cook University of North QueenslandTownsvilleAustralia

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