The Fish Connection: A Trophic Link Between Planktonic and Rocky Reef Communities?

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Science  09 Oct 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4517, pp. 204-205
DOI: 10.1126/science.214.4517.204


The blacksmith (Chromis punctipinnis), an abundant pomacentrid fish off southern California, regularly forages on zooplankton during the day and shelters in rocky reefs at night. This behavioral pattern results in the importation of 8 grams of carbon per square meter per year, deposited as feces in the nocturnal shelter. Since blacksmiths regularly return to the same shelters, this represents a transport of extrinsic organic carbon to the reef which is predictable in time and space.