Butterflyfishes as a model group for reef fish ecology: Important and emerging research topics

Morgan S. Pratchett, Karen M. Chong-Seng, David A. Feary, Andrew S. Hoey, Christopher J. Fulton, Jessica P. Nowicki, Adam K. Dewan, Stefan P.W. Walker, Michael L. Berumen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In his preface to a special issue (and dedicated workshop) on the biology of butterflyfishes, Motta (1989) suggested that butterflyfishes have received disproportionate scientific attention compared to other common and conspicuous families of coral reef fishes. In support of this assertion, the number of scientific publications that consider butterflyfishes (ISI Web of Knowledge; 382 publications since 1927) is far greater than for many other families of nominal reef fishes (e.g., angelfishes, surgeonfishes, and rabbitfishes); the only families that have been more intensively studied are the Pomacentridae (damselfishes), Serranidae (groupers) and Labridae (parrotfishes and wrasses), which probably reflects their high diversity, commercial and functional importance, respectively. In this respect, research on butterflyfishes has contributed greatly to general understanding of the biology and ecology of coral reef fishes (e.g., Almany et al., 2007; Lawton et al., 2011). The fields of research in which butterflyfishes have played essential roles also extends well beyond the notion that butterflyfishes are “indicators” of overall reef health, which is the usual justification for studying this relatively unique group of reef fishes (e.g., Öhman et al., 1998; Bozec et al., 2005; Shokri et al., 2005).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiology of Butterflyfishes
PublisherCRC Press
Pages310-334
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781466582903
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 25 2013

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