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Are infestations of Cymomelanodactylus killing Acropora cytherea in the Chagos archipelago?

By M. S. Pratchett, N. A. J. Graham, Charles (Charles R. C.) Sheppard and B. Mayes

Abstract

Associations between branching corals and infaunal crabs are well\ud known, mostly due to the beneficial effects of Trapezia and Tetralia\ud crabs in protecting host corals from crown-of-thorns starfish (e.g.,\ud Pratchett et al. 2000) and/or sedimentation (Stewart et al. 2006).\ud These crabs are obligate associates of live corals and highly prevalent\ud across suitable coral hosts, with 1–2 individuals per colony\ud (Patton 1994). Cymo melanodactylus (Fig. 1) are also prevalent in\ud branching corals, mostly Acropora, and are known to feed on live\ud coral tissue, but are generally found in low abundance (<3 per\ud colony) and do not significantly affect their host corals (e.g., Patton\ud 1994). In the Chagos archipelago, however, infestations of Cymo\ud melanodactylus were found on recently dead and dying colonies of\ud Acropora cytherea

Topics: QL
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3990

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Citations

  1. (1994). Distribution and ecology of animals associated with branching corals (Acropora spp.) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Bull Mar Sci 55:193–211 Pratchett MS, Vytopil E, Parks P
  2. (1997). Prey selection by an obligate coral-feeding wrasse and its response to small-scale disturbance. doi

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