Planktonic and symbiotic organisms in nutrition of coralobiont fish
Nutrition of coral reef fish closely associated with the colonies of scleractinian corals Acropora spp. (South China Sea, Gulf of Nha Trang) was investigated. Parabionts Dascyllus reticulatus and Chromis caeruleus (Pomacentridae) feed mainly on zooplankton in the water column above the hosts’ colony, and inbionts Gobiodon quinquestrgatus (Gobiidae) rarely leave a host colony and feed generally on coral reef invertebrates. A high part of secondary nutrition objects (on average 19–29%) that indicates deficiency in main food were noted in both categories of fish. Food of all three fish species contains parasites (from 19% in C. caeruleus and up to 25% in G. quinquestrigatus) whose significant part is represented by parasites of coral (approximately 7% in D. reticulatus and C. caeruleus and 15% in G. quinquestrigatus). In addition, larvae of parasites of Isopoda and Facetotecta that are fed by fish in the water column were found. Mucus from the surface of host coral which was recognized on the basis of a high number of nematocysts in fish stomachs was found in food of G. quinquestrigatus for the first time. Positive and negative effects of symbiosis of fish and host-coral were discussed. A commensal character of symbiosis was supposed.
Keywordssymbiotic association fish fam. Pomacentridae and Gobiidae corals Acropora spp. zooplankton invertebrates-coralobionts
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