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Family Chaetodontidae THE INDICATOR HYPOTHESIS Coral feeding Butterflyfishes respond to declines in coral quality or abundance by behavioral and spatial adjustments that can be easily and rapidly observed Crosby Reese 1996A fundamental question that one asks when using Chaetodontidae or for thatreason any species as biomonitors is why use an organism whensophisticated machines are available to detect very small quantities ofpollution in short space and time One might think that biomonitoring hasbecome redundant because of these machines but the opposite is truechemical monitoring tells us what is there but not its effects -especially long term effects on ecosystems therefore biomonitoring hasbecome a preferred method of assessing ecosystems Spellerberg 1993 The conditions required for healthy coral reef growth as well as factorscausing damage to reefs are well understood Reese 1981 Usually acuteenvironmental impacts on coral reefs can be easily assessed Brown 1988However it is not as simple when it comes to chronic sublethal factorsUsing conventional methodologies the overall health of a coral reef canbe determined against a baseline study Brown 1988 But it is of no-usebecause the damage has already been done that is why indicators ofsublethal are urgently required so stress can be detected early andcounter-measures put forth Brown 1988 Reese 1981 Hourigan et al 1988In this essay the use of Butterflyfishes as indicators of reef health willButterflyfishes are consipicious largly dirunal fishes ranging typicallyfrom 10 - 20 cm in length Sale 1991 There are 114 species ofButterflyfishes world-wide Crosby Reese 1996 thirty five found in FijiSeeto 1999 The name Chaetodontidae is derived from Greek khaitemeaning hair and odont- meaning tooth Allaby 1991 They are perhapswith some disagreement the most
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