Bleached Coral Turns Big Fish into Bullies
Source: ABC News Australia
November 3, 2009
Small fish sheltering in bleached coral are being pushed out into the open water by bigger fish and into the mouths of predators, a new study has found.
The findings could see a change in the way scientists predict the impact of climate change on fish stocks.
Reef fish ecologist Associate Professor Mark McCormick of James Cook University in Townsville reports his findings in PLoS ONE.
"On healthy coral, size doesn't make a difference to whether you live or die," says McCormick, also of the Coral Reef Studies ARC Centre of Excellence. "On bleached coral, and to some extent on dead coral, you've got a different situation. If you're larger, you're more likely to survive than if you're smaller."
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