INCIDENCE OF FISH PREDATION ON STONY CORALS AT FOUR ATOLLS OF THE ARCHIPELAGO OF SAN ANDRÉS AND PROVIDENCIA (COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN)
Based on data recorded in 1994 and 1995 dunng a basoimo study carnod out at four wostom CanbOean atolls (Albuquorquo. Courtown, Roncador and Serrana) of the San Andrós and Providencia archipelago, the incidence of hard coral predation by fishes and its relation with the abundance of the parrotfishes Spansoma virido and Scarvs votula was anaJyzod. Among affectod corals. Montaslraoa annutans and M. tavootata showed the highest incidence of fish txtes (29.5% and 18.7% respectively). There were no significant differences between the atolls on the Incidence of coral predation by fishes (Kruskall-Wallis, p = 0.07). When comparing botwoon goomorphologic units tho lagoon showed tho highost lovol of prodation (14.3%), and also the largest populations of S. vinde and S. vetula, but both parameters were not significantly related. Highest predatory incidence and parrotfish abundance in tho lagoon could bo rotated to tho dominance of the Montastraea spp. complex in this environment, because these coral species have been recognized as the preforrcd grazing substrates for the two parrotfishes. The predatory activity by the parrotfishes probably has contributed to the general degradation procoss ot tho coral reefs in the atolls, when combined with the other agents of stress.
Stony corals; fish predation; San Andres; southwostom Caribbean
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