Independent Research: Sami Chase (Colorado State University)

The effect of social status on the habitat preference of grunt fish, Haemulidae, on the fringing coral reef surrounding BonaireĀ 

Sami ChaseAbstract: Grunt fish are a species of fish that are very prevalent on Bonaire. There are many different types of grunt fish and several of them are found in different habitats along the reef. Many fish prefer to live in certain habits based on number of crevices, foraging return, protection, and much more. This study analyzed the correlation between the habitat preference of grunt fish and how that habitat relates to the social status of the grunt. This study was conducted by collecting data at Yellow Submarine dive site in Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean). Observational methods were used to collect the grunt size, habitat, social status, and shade cover along different spots of the reef slope between 9 and 18 meters. The results of this study showed that solitary grunts had, on average, more sides of protection provided by the habitat than colonial grunts did. Also, French grunts were found under shade cover more often than blue stripped grunts and small mouth grunts. This information is vital in order to keep the grunt population thriving in Bonaire as the overall health of the reef decreases and habitats begin to degrade.

Would you like to know more about Grunt habitats? Hear Sami’s presentation tonight, during our public lecture session (18:30, CIEE RSB)

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