Algal community composition within territories of the damselfish Stegastes nigricans (Pomacentridae, Labroidei) in Fiji and the Cook Islands
L W Zemke-White and E L Beatson
The South Pacific Journal of Natural Science
23(1) 43 - 47
AbstractThe species composition of algal assemblages inside territories of the damselfish Stegastes nigricans was examined from Nananu-i-ra Island, Fiji and Rarotonga, Cook Islands. A total of 32 algal species were identified, the majority of them Rhodophytes (24 species). Seven species were unique to Rarotonga, six were unique to Fiji, with the remaining 19 species recorded at both locations. The biodiversity of territories was similar at both locations. The red alga, Herposiphonia secunda, was the most abundant species found, comprising 40.33% ± 3.51SE and 33.94% ± 3.58SE from Rarotonga and Fiji respectively. Gelidiopsis intricata, Polysiphonia sp., Aglaothamnion cordatum, and various Cyanophytes were also abundant at both locations. As a group, filamentous algae accounted for 70.35% of the algae found within the territories at all sites. We suggest that if S. nigricans are actively weeding their territories, they are selecting filamentous algae, and particularly Herposiphonia sp. and Polysiphonia sp.
© The University of the South Pacific 2005