Juvenile age and available coral species modulate transition probability from herbivory to corallivory in Acanthaster cf. solaris (Crown-of-Thorns Seastar)

Neil, Rachel C., Cabrera, Maria Gomez, and Uthicke, Sven (2022) Juvenile age and available coral species modulate transition probability from herbivory to corallivory in Acanthaster cf. solaris (Crown-of-Thorns Seastar). Coral Reefs, 41. pp. 843-848.

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Abstract

Prior to transitioning to a coral diet, juvenile Acanthaster cf. solaris, the Crown-of-Thorns Seastar (COTS), feed on crustose coralline algae. Although a detailed understanding of juvenile ecology is crucial to predict and prevent outbreaks, the exact timing of the transition is unresolved. Two experiments were conducted to measure time and size of COTS at the transition, and investigate potential modulating effects of different coral species. COTS began early transitions at similar sizes (7.5–8.5 mm), and these first transitions were observed around 136–145 d. Between 175 and 191 d, a 50% transition in the presence of Acropora tenuis was measured. After 175d, the percentage of COTS cohorts that had transitioned was significantly lower in A. millepora (38%) and Stylophora pistillata (7%) compared to A. tenuis (51%). These data fill important knowledge gaps in juvenile ecology, and the influence of coral species on transition suggests an undescribed feedback mechanism between prey and predator.

Item ID: 73797
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: Crown-of-Thorns Seastar, Coral, Herbivory, Crustose coralline algae, Juvenile
Copyright Information: © 2023 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date Deposited: 11 May 2022 08:53
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180503 Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in marine environments @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180502 Assessment and management of pelagic marine ecosystems @ 50%
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