Are infestations of Cymo melanodactylus killing Acropora cytherea in the Chagos archipelago?

Pratchett, M.S., Graham, N.A.J., Sheppard, C.R.C., and Mayes, B. (2010) Are infestations of Cymo melanodactylus killing Acropora cytherea in the Chagos archipelago? Coral Reefs, 29 (4). p. 941.

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Abstract

[Extract] Acropora cytherea is commonly dominant between 5 and 15 m depth at moderately exposed locations throughout Chagos. At several locations visited in February 2010, approximately 5% of these colonies had conspicuous evidence of recent tissue loss (Fig. 2).

Given the high densities of C. melanodactylus and their proximity to the dead tissue front, it seems that these crabs may be causing or contributing to observed coral mortality. Alternatively, these corals may be dying due to other causes (e.g., coral disease) and like many other corallivores (e.g., McIlwain and Jones 1997), C. melanodactylus may feed selectively on injured corals.

Item ID: 15547
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2011 03:46
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 4
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