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Dispersal of Zooxanthellae on Coral Reefs by Predators on Cnidarians

Gisèle Muller Parker
Biological Bulletin
Vol. 167, No. 1 (Aug., 1984), pp. 159-167
DOI: 10.2307/1541344
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1541344
Page Count: 9
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Dispersal of Zooxanthellae on Coral Reefs by Predators on Cnidarians
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Abstract

Fish and nudibranchs prey on cnidarians that contain high densities of symbiotic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae). Several fish (Arothron meleagris, Chaetodon auriga, and Chaetodon unimaculatus) and one nudibranch (Berghia major) feed on the Hawaiian symbiotic sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella. Fecal material of these predators consisted primarily of zooxanthellae, which were shown to be photosynthetically active and capable of re-establishing symbioses with aposymbiotic A. pulchella.

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