Transport of Calcareous Fragments by Reef Fishes

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Science  13 Jan 1961:
Vol. 133, Issue 3446, pp. 98-99
DOI: 10.1126/science.133.3446.98


The weight of sand, coral scrapings, algal fragments, and other calcareous materials which pass through the intestines of reef fishes was calculated on a hectare-per-year basis. It was found that browsing omnivorous reef fishes which rely, in part, on a plant diet ingested and redeposited at least 2300 kg of such material on a 1-hectare study reef near Bermuda. Reasons are presented why this estimate, certainly in order of magnitude, should be applicable to coral reefs in general.

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