Small Fish Can Help Coral Reefs Around The World, New Research Concluded

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A new study made by scientists from Simon Fraser University addressing coral reefs depicts how the reefs sustain such a variety and plethora of life. Dr. Simon Brandl and an international team of scientists discovered that small fish around the globe feed on coral reefs.

The study has been issued in the journal Science and assays how typically neglected cryptobenthic fishes, which are small creatures that live at the bottom of the water body are a generous food supply for bigger fishes.

Brandl explains that these tiny fish are like candy for the larger creatures. They are extremely small, colorful groups of dynamism that are eaten almost right away ‘by any coral reef organism that can bite, grab, or slurp them up.’ As a matter of fact, the more significant part of these tiny fish on reefs are eaten in the first couple of weeks after their birth.

Small Fish Can Help Coral Reefs Around The World

The team of researchers analyzed the larvae of reef fish, which are usually going on long expeditions across the water to find a home, and found out that only a few of them live through. However, small fish larvae seem to refrain from this migration and live near their parents’ reefs.

Dr. Brandl explained that the small fish larvae prevail the larval communities close to the reefs. This methodology enables adult small fish populations to make a stable spate of babies that quickly take the place of each adult tiny fish serving as food on the reef. This conveyor belt provides approximately 60 percent of all devoured fish on reefs, but it can never be observed because the fish gets eaten at a much faster rate than it can be counted, says Brandl. The study has significant connotations for the preservation of coral reefs.

Isabelle Côté, SFU biological sciences professor and co-author of the paper​ says that the coral reefs all over the world are under an alarming declining. This research can help concentrate preservation efforts on protecting the food supply for the migrating fish communities that construct the reefs.

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