Do larval fish leave the reef to avoid parasites? (2004–2006)

Although fundamental to understanding the community structure of reef fishes why fish larvae migrate to the open ocean remains controversial. Traditional explanations are that it results in dispersal avoidance of predators and increased food. Recent work on the Great Barrier Reef however suggests avoiding reef-based micropredatory parasites may be more important. To determine if this so we will investigate the effect of parasites on larval fish condition performance and susceptibility to micropredators; whether larval fish are vulnerable to reef-based micropredators; the effects of micropredators on fish settlement patterns; and whether larval fish that don't migrate have adaptations to avoid micropredators.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
Funded by:
Australian Research Council