Superstars: assessing nutrient thresholds for enhanced larval success of Acanthaster planci, a review of the evidence

Wolfe, Kennedy, Graba-Landry, Alexia, Dworjanyn, Symon A., and Byrne, Maria (2017) Superstars: assessing nutrient thresholds for enhanced larval success of Acanthaster planci, a review of the evidence. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 116 (1-2). pp. 307-314.

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Abstract

Crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci (COTS), predation is a major cause of coral reef decline, but the factors behind their population outbreaks remain undear. Increased phytoplankton food resulting from eutrophication is suggested to enhance larval survival. We addressed the hypothesis that larval success is associated with particular chl-a levels in tightly controlled larval:algal conditions. We used chl-a conditions found on coral reefs (0.1-5.0 mu g chl-a L-1), including nominal threshold levels for disproportionate larval success (>= 1.0 mu g chl-a L-1). High success to the juvenile occurred across an order of magnitude of chl-a concentrations (0.5-5.0 mu g chl-a L-1), suggesting there may not be a narrow value for optimal success. Oligotrophic conditions (0.1 mu g chl-a L-1) appeared to be a critical limit. With a review of the evidence, we suggest that opportunistic COTS larvae may be more resilient to low food levels than previously appreciated. Initiation of outbreak populations need not require eutrophic conditions.

Item ID: 50682
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: crown-of-thorns starfish, settlement, resilience, feeding, water quality, outbreaks
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 11:02
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960407 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Marine Environments @ 100%
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