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Impact of invasive lionfish on macroalgae in coral reef system with intratrophic predation

Anal Chatterjee, Ikbal Hossein Sarkar, Samares Pal


The excessive population of macroalgae along with invasion of lionfish (Pterois volitans) in the coral reefs posses a major challenge to their ecosystem. The community shape of coral reef approaches to macroalgae-dominated ecosystem due to aggressive nature of macroalgae. The herbivores fish like parrotfish act as a favourable character in controlling the abundance of macroalgae. The abundance of lionfish play negative impact on parrotfish and decline it’s population growth and disrupt the impact on control of macro-algae growth. In this present article, a macro-algae- parrotfish-lionfish prey-predator in reef system is developed and analyzed. A harvesting term is introduced to control the invasion of lionfish on parrotfish. The model go through a supercritical Hopf-bifurcation when intrinsic growth rate of macroalgae crosses a particular value. Increase in carrying capacity of macroalgae renders the system unstable while intensity of intratrophic predation play a vital role in it’s stabilization. Also, the system switches from stable coexistence to oscillation around coexistence and lionfish free equilibrium for lower and higher harvesting rate of lionfish. The optimal harvest policy is calculated by using Pontryagin’s maximum principle. Numerical simulations are presented to confirm our analytical results.


Macroalgae; Parrotfish, Pterois volitans, Intratrophic predation, Optimal Harvesting policy.

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