Chaetodontidae along with herbivores execute a controlling factor onto scleractinian biodiversity. Abundance of omnivorous species such as C.auriga, C.guttatissimus, C.xanthocephalus, C.falcula, C.kleinii, and Forcipiger flavissimus suffered a severe blow after the 1998 bleaching event and did not recover even though scleractinian coverage has improved significantly. Assumptions for failure of fish recovery include:
1. increased reef-erosion due to large-scale collapse of three-dimensional complexity.
2. decrease in food quantities due to reduced coral coverage.
3. qualitative changes due to altered scleractinian species composition.
4. filling of nieces and crevices with bioeroded substrate that would otherwise have been used as hiding and retreating sites for all kind of species, including omnivorous fish.
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Loch K., Loch W.; 2005; Über die Entwicklung der Falterfischpopulation und der herbivoren Fische (Grazer) in einem Maledivenriff nach dem 1998-er Coral-Bleaching; 7tes Internationale Meerwasser Symposium, Lünen – FRG;