People and ecosystems

Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution


Responding to a changing world

Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

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Coral Reef Studies

From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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Linking ecological roles to trophic resources on coral reefs: parrotfishes revisited


Thursday 29th of October 2015 – 16:00 to 17:00 hrs

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room #106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
Emeritus Professor J. Howard Choat
Emeritus Professor J. Howard Choat

Abstract: Parrotfishes, a dominant group of grazing fishes have colonized tropical reef systems in all of the world’s ocean basins. As with other clades of the family Labridae they are largely protogynous with a characteristically complex reproductive ontogeny. In life-history terms they are dynamic, displaying a demographic signature characterised by rapid and highly opportunistic episodes of somatic growth and exceptionally high reproductive outputs. As relatively short-lived but abundant reef fishes their populations contain a high proportion of small, newly recruited individuals that occupy shallow high temperature habitats. This plus their demographic features implies a demanding metabolism and the requirement of substantial resources to support their abundant populations. In this context dietary selectivity and food processing becomes a matter of considerable interest. This seminar examines the alternatives with respect to food resources with a focus on the capacity of algal resources to support parrotfish populations. Examination of this issue also provides clues as to the rapid evolutionary diversification of this group associated with the colonization of the world’s tropical reefs over a relatively short time period.

Bio: JH Choat late of University of Queensland, University of Auckland, James Cook University Department of Marine Biology. Is now retired and from an adjunct appointment is continuing studies of the demography and nutritional ecology of parrot fishes at several sites including the east Pacific, southern Brazil, the Red Sea and Oman, Cocos-Keeling the Solomon Islands, Micronesia and the GBR.


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