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Biomonitoring of coral reef health using Butterflyfishes Family Chaetodontidae Ryan Gounder 11699 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 1996 Introduction A fundamental question that one asks when using Chaetodontidae or for that reason any species as biomonitors is why use an organism when sophisticated machines are available to detect very small quantities of pollution in short space and time One might think that biomonitoring has become redundant because of these machines but the opposite is true chemical monitoring tells us what is there but not its effects - especially long term effects on ecosystems therefore biomonitoring has become a preferred method of assessing ecosystems Spellerberg 1993 The conditions required for healthy coral reef growth as well as factors causing damage to reefs are well understood Reese 1981 Usually acute environmental impacts on coral reefs can be easily assessed Brown 1988 However it is not as simple when it comes to chronic sublethal factors Using conventional methodologies the overall health of a coral reef can be determined against a baseline study Brown 1988 But it is of no-use because the damage has already been done that is why indicators of sublethal are urgently required so stress can be detected early and counter-measures put forth Brown 1988 Reese 1981 Hourigan et al 1988 In this essay
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