Fisheries Science

, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 543–550 | Cite as

Comparison of invertebrate abundance in a seagrass bed and adjacent coral and sand areas at Amitori Bay, Iriomote Island, Japan

  • Yohei Nakamura
  • Mitsuhiko Sano


To examine whether or not reef-associated seagrass beds harbor abundant food resources for resident and visiting fishes, the invertebrate density and biomass in a seagrass bed were compared with those in adjacent coral and sand areas at Amitori Bay, Iriomote Island, Japan, in June 2002. The vegetation within the bed was dominated by Enhalus acoroides, the coral area comprising primarily Acropora spp. Epifaunal density was greater on the seagrass than on the corals. whereas biomass was greater on the latter. Tanaids, chironomid larvae, errant polychaetes, and gammaridean amphipods were dominant taxa on the seagrass; larger crustaceans, such as crabs and shrimps, being abundant on the corals. The density of infauna was greatest in the seagrass bed, followed by the coral and sand areas, whereas biomass was greatest in the coral area, followed by the seagrass bed and sand area. Each of the three habitats was dominated by harpacticoid copepods and errant polychaetes, although the density of each taxonomic group differed among the habitats. Important food items of seagrass bed fishes, such as harpacticoid copepods, gammaridean amphipods, errant polychaetes, and tanaids, were abundant in the seagrass bed, the density of each being greater than in the other two habitats.

Key Words

coral area epifauna infauna invertebrate sand area seagrass bed 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bell JD, Pollard DA. Ecology of fish assemblages and fisheries associated with seagrasses. In: Larkum AWD, McComb AJ, Shepherd SA (eds). Biology of Seagrasses. Elesevier, Amsterdam. 1989; 565–609.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Howard RK, Edgar GJ, Hutchings PA. Faunal assemblages of seagrass beds. In: Larkum AWD, McComb AJ, Shepherd SA (eds). Biology of Seagrasses. Elesevier, Amsterdam, 1989; 536–564.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Edgar GJ, Shaw C. The production and trophic ecology of shallow-water fish assemblages in southern Australia III. General relationships between sediments, seagrasses, invertebrates and fishes. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 1995; 194: 107–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hemminga MA, Duarte CM. Seagrass Ecology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Robblee MB, Zieman JC. Diel variation in the fish fauna of a tropical seagrass feeding ground. Bull. Mar. Sci. 1984; 34: 335–345.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nagelkerken I, Dorenbosch M, Verberk WCEP, Cocheret de la Morinière E, van der Velde G. Day-night shifts of fishes between shallow-water biotopes of a Caribbean bay, with emphasis on the nocturnal feeding of Haemulidae and Lutjanidae. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 2000; 194: 55–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nakamura Y, Sano M. Comparison between community structures of fishes in Enhalus acoroides- and Thalassia hemprichii-dominated seagrass beds on fringing coral reefs in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Ichthyol. Res. 2004; 51: 38–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Nakamura Y, Sano M. Overlaps in habitat use of fishes between a seagrass bed and adjacent coral and sand areas at Amitori Bay, Iriomote Island, Japan: Importance of the seagrass bed as juvenile habitat. Fish. Sci. 2004; 70: 788–803.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Brook IM. Trophic relationships in a seagrass community (Thalassia testudinum), in Card Sound, Florida. Fish diets in relation to macrobenthic and criptic faunal abundance. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 1977; 106: 219–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Heck KL Jr. Comparative species richness, composition, and abundance of invertebrates in Caribbean seagrass (Thalassia testudinum) meadows (Panama). Mar. Biol. 1977; 41: 335–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Stoner AW, Lewis FG III. The influence of quantitative and qualitative aspects of habitat complexity in tropical seagrass meadows. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 1985; 94: 19–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ansari ZA, Rivonker CU, Ramani P, Parulekar AH. Seagrass habitat complexity and macroinvertebrate abundance in Lakshadweep coral reef lagoons, Arabian Sea. Coral Reefs 1991; 10: 127–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Greenway M. Trophic relationships of macrofauna within a Jamaican seagrass meadow and the role of the echinoid Lytechnius variegatus (Lamarck). Bull. Mar. Sci. 1995; 56: 719–736.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Nakamura Y, Horinouchi M, Nakai T, Sano M. Food habits of fishes in a seagrass bed on a fringing coral reef at Iriomte Island, southern Japan. Ichthyol. Res. 2003; 50: 15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Frouin P, Hutchings P. Macrobenthic communities in a tropical lagoon (Tahiti, French Polynesia, central Pacific). Coral Reefs 2001; 19: 277–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Zar JH. Biostatistical Analysis, 4th edn. Prentice Hall New Jersey. 1999.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Folk RL. Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks. Hemphills. Austin, Texas. 1974.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kikuchi T. An ecological study on animal communities of the Zosteramarina belt in Tomioka Bay, Amakusa, Kyushyu. Publ. Amakusa Mar. Biol. Lab. 1966; 1: 1–106.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stoner AW. The role of seagrass biomass in the organization of benthic macrofaunal assemblages. Bull. Mar. Sci. 1980; 30: 537–551.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Edgar GJ. The influence of plant structure on the species richness, biomass and secondary production of macrofaunal assemblages associated with Western Australian seagrass beds. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 1990; 137: 215–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gambi MC, Lorenti M, Russo GF, Scipione MB, Zupo V. Depth and seasonal distribution of some groups of the vagile fauna of the Posidonia oceanica leaf stratum: structural and trophic analyses. PSZNI: Mar. Ecol. 1992; 13: 17–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Glynn PW. Increased survivorship in corals harboring crustacean symbionts. Mar. Biol. Lett. 1983; 4: 105–111.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Gilchrist SL. Hermit crab corallivore activity. Proc. Fifth Int. Coral Reef Congr. 1985; 5: 211–214.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Coen LD. Herbivory by Caribbean majid crabs: feeding ecology and plant susceptibility. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 1988; 122: 257–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Stimson J. Stimulation of fat-body production in the polyps of the coral Pocillopora damicornis by the presence of mutualistic crabs of the genus Trapezia. Mar. Biol. 1990; 106: 211–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kyomo J. Feeding patterns, habits and food storage in Pilumnus vespertilio (Brachyura: Xanthidae). Bull. Mar. Sci. 1999; 65: 381–389.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Heck KL Jr, Orth RJ. Seagrass habitats: the roles of habitat structural complesity, competition and predation in structuring associated fish and motile macroinvetebrate assemblages. In: Kennedy VS (ed). Estuarine Perspectives. Academic Press, New York 1980; 449–464.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Orth RJ, Heck KL Jr, van Montfrans J. Faunal communities in seagrass beds: a review of the influence of plant structure and prey characteristics on predator-prey relationships. Estuaries 1984; 7: 339–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lever KM. The influence of predatory decapods, refuge, and microhabitat selection on seagrass communities. Ecology 1985; 66: 1951–1964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sorokin YI. coral Reef Ecology: Springer-Verlag. New York. 1993.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Heck KL Jr, Hays G, Orth RJ. Critical evaluation of the nursery role hypothesis for seagrass meadows. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 2003; 253: 123–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Riddle MJ. Patterns in the distribution of macrofaunal communities in coral reef sediments on the central Great Barrier Reef. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 1988; 47: 281–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Orth RJ. The importance of sediment stability in seagrass communities. In: Coull BC (ed). Ecology of Marine Benthos. University of South Carolina Press. Columbia. 1977; 281–300.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Klumpp DW, Howard RK, Pollard DA. Trophodynamics and Nutritional Ecology of Seagrass Communities. In: Larkum AWD, McComb AJ, Shepherd SA (eds). Biology of Seagrasses. Elesevier, Amsterdam. 1989; 394–457.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Heck KL Jr, Crowder LB. Habitat structure and predatorprey interaction in vegetated aquatic systems. In: Bell SS, McCoy ED, Mushinsky HR (eds). Habitat Complexity: the Physical Arrangement of Objects in Space. Chapman & Hall, New York. 1991; 281–299.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sheridan P. Benthos of adjacent mangrove, seagrass and non-vegetated habitats in Rookery Bay, Florida, USA. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 1997; 44: 455–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Nakaoka M, Toyohara T, Matsumasa M. Seasonal and between-substrate variation in mobile epifaunal community in a multispecific seagrass bed of Otsuchi Bay, Japan. PSZN: Mar. Ecol. 2001; 22: 379–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Global Agricultural Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesUniversity of TokyoBunkyo, TokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations