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Feeding Preferences of the Abalone Haliotis Iris in relation to macroalgal species, attachment, accessibility and water movement


Cornwall, CE and Phillips, NE and McNaught, DC, Feeding Preferences of the Abalone Haliotis Iris in relation to macroalgal species, attachment, accessibility and water movement, Journal of Shellfish Research, 28 pp. 589-597. ISSN 0730-8000 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2009 National Shellfisheries Assoc

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DOI: doi:10.2983/035.028.0323


Haliotis iris is a species of abalone common on rocky reefs in southern and central New Zealand. This study examined the poorly understood feeding habits and preferences of H. iris in a series of laboratory experiments. Generally, H. iris consumed the blades of brown algae over red and green algae. However, when upright whole plants were given to H. iris, the highly preferred kelp Lessonia variegata was consumed in lower proportions than the less preferred but more accessible red alga Gigartina circumcincta. H. iris were less capable of reaching the blades or consuming the stipe of L. variegata, which has a stipe of ;100–350mmhigh. H. iris consumed greater amounts of drift over benthic L. vareigata. Water movement appeared to inhibit the active grazing of H. iris, but not the drift-trapping behavior, resulting in lower overall feeding rates for abalone under conditions of higher water movement. Abalone consumed fresh and aged algae equally.We conclude that H. iris feeds primarily on drift algae because preferred food sources are more accessible as drift than as attached macroalgae, and because this may be a more successful foraging strategy in the high flow environment this species commonly inhabits.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:feeding preferences, grazing, Haliotis iris, drift algae, algal accessibility, plant-herbivore interactions, water motion
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Cornwall, CE (Dr Chris Cornwall)
ID Code:91161
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-05-09
Last Modified:2014-07-31

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