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Title: Chemistry of the consumption and excretion of the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), a coral reef mega-consumer

Abstract

Bolbometopon muricatum are ecologically unique mega-consumers in coral reef ecosystems. They primarily divide their dietary intake between living scleractinian corals and coral rock, a substrate richly colonized by non-coral biota. Here we examine how the chemical, structural, and energetic content of these two main classes of forage material may influence B. muricatum feeding behavior and selectivity. We then also examine nutrient content, pH, and alkalinity of the carbonate-rich feces of B. muricatum as a step toward understanding how B. muricatum defecation could affect reef nutrient dynamics and localized seawater chemistry. Our results suggest that by most measures, coral rock constitutes a richer food source than living corals, exhibiting higher levels of eight biologically relevant elements, and containing approximately three times greater caloric value than living corals. Additionally, the two forage types also presented distinct mineralogy, with the coral rock resembling a Mg-enriched carbonate phase in contrast to the primarily aragonitic live corals. Despite the fact that individual B. muricatum excrete tons of macerated coral annually, the low measured concentrations of N and P in feces suggest that this excretion may have relatively minor effects of reef macronutrient budgets. We also observed negligible local-scale impacts of B. muricatum feces on seawatermore » pH and alkalinity. The approaches applied here integrate perspectives from marine biogeochemistry, materials science, and ecology. Altogether, these results provide preliminary insight into how reef chemistry could shape foraging of this dominant and vulnerable coral reef consumer and how it, in turn, might affect the chemistry of these reefs.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [4];  [1];  [5];  [5];  [3];  [6];  [3]
  1. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
  2. Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)
  5. Univ. of Miami, Miami, FL (United States)
  6. Stanford Univ., Pacific Grove, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1528923
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Coral Reefs
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 38; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0722-4028
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Goldberg, E. Grace, Raab, Ted K., Desalles, Paul, Briggs, Amy A., Dunbar, Robert B., Millero, Frank J., Woosley, Ryan J., Young, Hillary S., Micheli, Fiorenza, and Mccauley, Douglas J. Chemistry of the consumption and excretion of the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), a coral reef mega-consumer. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1007/s00338-019-01781-0.
Goldberg, E. Grace, Raab, Ted K., Desalles, Paul, Briggs, Amy A., Dunbar, Robert B., Millero, Frank J., Woosley, Ryan J., Young, Hillary S., Micheli, Fiorenza, & Mccauley, Douglas J. Chemistry of the consumption and excretion of the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), a coral reef mega-consumer. United States. doi:10.1007/s00338-019-01781-0.
Goldberg, E. Grace, Raab, Ted K., Desalles, Paul, Briggs, Amy A., Dunbar, Robert B., Millero, Frank J., Woosley, Ryan J., Young, Hillary S., Micheli, Fiorenza, and Mccauley, Douglas J. Mon . "Chemistry of the consumption and excretion of the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), a coral reef mega-consumer". United States. doi:10.1007/s00338-019-01781-0. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1528923.
@article{osti_1528923,
title = {Chemistry of the consumption and excretion of the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), a coral reef mega-consumer},
author = {Goldberg, E. Grace and Raab, Ted K. and Desalles, Paul and Briggs, Amy A. and Dunbar, Robert B. and Millero, Frank J. and Woosley, Ryan J. and Young, Hillary S. and Micheli, Fiorenza and Mccauley, Douglas J.},
abstractNote = {Bolbometopon muricatum are ecologically unique mega-consumers in coral reef ecosystems. They primarily divide their dietary intake between living scleractinian corals and coral rock, a substrate richly colonized by non-coral biota. Here we examine how the chemical, structural, and energetic content of these two main classes of forage material may influence B. muricatum feeding behavior and selectivity. We then also examine nutrient content, pH, and alkalinity of the carbonate-rich feces of B. muricatum as a step toward understanding how B. muricatum defecation could affect reef nutrient dynamics and localized seawater chemistry. Our results suggest that by most measures, coral rock constitutes a richer food source than living corals, exhibiting higher levels of eight biologically relevant elements, and containing approximately three times greater caloric value than living corals. Additionally, the two forage types also presented distinct mineralogy, with the coral rock resembling a Mg-enriched carbonate phase in contrast to the primarily aragonitic live corals. Despite the fact that individual B. muricatum excrete tons of macerated coral annually, the low measured concentrations of N and P in feces suggest that this excretion may have relatively minor effects of reef macronutrient budgets. We also observed negligible local-scale impacts of B. muricatum feces on seawater pH and alkalinity. The approaches applied here integrate perspectives from marine biogeochemistry, materials science, and ecology. Altogether, these results provide preliminary insight into how reef chemistry could shape foraging of this dominant and vulnerable coral reef consumer and how it, in turn, might affect the chemistry of these reefs.},
doi = {10.1007/s00338-019-01781-0},
journal = {Coral Reefs},
number = 2,
volume = 38,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {3}
}

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