Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 6, pp 1313–1323 | Cite as

Bioerosion of coral reefs by two Hawaiian parrotfishes: species, size differences and fishery implications

  • Ling OngEmail author
  • Kim N. Holland
Original Paper


Parrotfishes can be significant bioeroders and sediment producers on coral reefs. We quantified the bioerosion rates of two similarly sized Hawaiian parrotfishes with two different feeding modes (Scarus rubroviolaceus—a scraper and Chlorurus perspicillatus—an excavator). The results showed that feeding modes did not affect bioerosion rates but that bioerosion rates were size dependent, with largest individuals (S. rubroviolaceus 45–54 cm FL) bioeroding up to 380 ± 67 kg ind−1 year−1. The size for onset of bioerosion capabilities for both species was 15 cm. Grazing by the two species consumed 60% of the carbonate production of the fore reef area, suggesting that large parrotfishes in Hawaii are ecologically important bioeroders. As individual large S. rubroviolaceus contributed disproportionately more to bioerosion and sediment production than the equivalent biomass of smaller conspecifics, management strategies designed to retain normal reef bioerosion rates should seek to preserve the historical size structure of S. rubroviolaceus populations and to especially protect the larger size classes.


Fork Length Fore Reef Bite Volume Live Coral Turf Alga 
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.



This research was in part supported by NSF grant DGE02-32016 to K.Y. Kaneshiro. I would particularly like to thank volunteers S. Rii, J. Norris, D. Graham, members of the Holland lab and staff of the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve for logistical support and field assistance. A. Taylor provided invaluable help with the statistical analyses. The comments of three anonymous reviewers, which substantially improved the draft, is gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

227_2010_1411_MOESM1_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 36.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SWCA Environmental ConsultantsHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Hawaii Institute of Marine BiologyKaneoheUSA

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