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Biology of marine herbivorous fishes
Horn, M.H. (1989). Biology of marine herbivorous fishes. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 27: 167-272
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Community composition; Feeding behaviour; Food webs; Geographical distribution; Literature reviews; Marine fish; Species diversity; Trophic relationships; Marine

Author  Top 
  • Horn, M.H.

Abstract
    Herbivorous fishes can assimilate algal material, but few growth studies have been done. Most herbivores have longer guts than carnivores and relatively high ingestion rates and fast gut transit times. Several species, however, feed more intermittently and retain food longer. Herbivorous fishes apparently do not produce cellulases to break down plant cell walls but gain access to the contents by lysing the cells in a highly acidic stomach, grinding the food in a muscular stomach or pharyngeal mill or harbouring microbes that ferment the food in a hindgut caecum. Herbivorous and detritivorous fishes maintain large populations on their low protein diets and have evolved several specialisations similar to those of terrestrial herbivores to cope with the low nitrogen content of their diets.

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