Undergraduate Thesis Or Project

 

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/70795900x

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  • The Indo-Pacific Red Lionfish (P.volitans) has invaded coral reefs in the Western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean. This abundant invader has the potential to negatively affect native species through both competition and predation. A native species that may be particularly vulnerable to this invasion is the Nassau grouper (E. striatus) because it prefers similar habitat as lionfish. Since Nassau grouper are of ecological and economic significance, it is important to understand how lionfish will affect them. Experiments were conducted in large outdoor tanks to investigate competition for shelter space and predation between lionfish and Nassau grouper. Lionfish and Nassau grouper were paired in three combinations (lionfish:grouper): (1) 1:1 size ratio (2) 1:4 size ratio and (3) 3:1 size ratio. Small lionfish often displaced large Nassau grouper from shelter holes indicating that the invader may be a superior interference competitor for habitat. In addition, throughout all replicates, large Nassau grouper did not consume small lionfish and large lionfish did not consume small Nassau grouper. These results suggest that grouper in the size range studied are unlikely to control the invasion and that invasive lionfish may outcompete native grouper for access to shelter.
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