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Corals chemically cue mutualistic fishes to remove competing seaweeds
Dixson, D.L.; Hay, M.E. (2012). Corals chemically cue mutualistic fishes to remove competing seaweeds. Science (Wash.) 338(6108): 804-807 + Supplementary materials. hdl.handle.net/10.1126/science.1225748
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Chemical effects; Corals; Damage; Predators; Seaweed; Toxicity; Acropora Oken, 1815 [WoRMS]; Acropora nasuta (Dana, 1846) [WoRMS]; Chlorodesmis fastigiata (C.Agardh) S.C.Ducker, 1969 [WoRMS]; Gobiodon histrio (Valenciennes, 1837) [WoRMS]; Paragobiodon echinocephalus (Rüppell, 1830) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Dixson, D.L.
  • Hay, M.E.

Abstract
    Corals in the genus Acropora generate much of the structural complexity upon which coral reefs depend, but they are susceptible to damage from toxic seaweeds. Acropora nasuta minimizes this damage by chemically cuing symbiotic goby fishes (Gobiodon histrio or Paragobiodon echinocephalus) to remove the toxic seaweed Chlorodesmis fastigiata. Within minutes of seaweed contact, or contact from only seaweed chemical extract, the coral releases an odor that recruits gobies to trim the seaweed and dramatically reduce coral damage that would otherwise occur. In turn, chemically defended gobies become more toxic after consumption of this noxious alga. Mutualistic gobies and corals appear to represent a marine parallel to terrestrial ant-plants, in that the host provides shelter and food in return for protection from natural enemies.

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