Marine organisms occasionally settle at exceptional densities, whereby thousands of individuals arrive concurrently. High levels of mortality, which has historically been attributed to predation or competition, often follow this episodic settlement of reef fishes. Here, however, we observed large numbers of newly settled surgeonfish (Ctenochaetus striatus) with white lesions lying dead on the sand amongst patch reefs following separate episodic settlement events in 2006 and 2009 in Moorea, French Polynesia. Pathogens have been identified as an important driver of population dynamics in other marine organisms but less so for reef fishes. Our observations suggest that disease outbreaks may play an underappreciated role as a mechanism of mortality following episodic settlement events in reef fishes.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.