Age estimation and patterns of growth in Acanthaster planci: a reply to Souter et al. (1997)

Stump, R.J.W., and Lucas, J.S. (1999) Age estimation and patterns of growth in Acanthaster planci: a reply to Souter et al. (1997). Marine and Freshwater Research, 50 (1). pp. 71-72.

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[Extract] The conclusion by Souter et al. (1997) that spine pigment band count (SPBC) is not an appropriate method to estimate age in Acanthaster planci is not justified. They are incorrect to suggest that the ages derived from the SPBC method bear no relationship to the actual age of the specimen, because their study did not test the SPBC method proposed by Stump and Lucas (1990) and further confirmed by Stump (1994, 1996). Instead, Souter et al. (1997) sampled spines from all over the aboral surfaces of five specimens, including regenerated arms. They found that numbers of pigment bands declined progressively in spines away from the longest spines at the midline base of arms and were less than maximal in regenerating arms. By employing an indiscriminant sampling method, they showed a potential for spines from adult A. planci to have variation in banding patterns. However, the SPBC method recognizes spine banding variation within individuals and specifies that the longest spines must be carefully sampled from the proximal area of whole arms; this allows for possible effects from spine autotomy, sublethal predation and regeneration. In addition, the interpretation of their results is not well founded. Ultimately, the testing of the validity of age-determining methods can be achieved only through medium-term to long-term mark recapture studies or by identifying known-age individuals in populations (Beamish and McFarlane 1983).

Item ID: 27286
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2013 04:19
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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