A threat to coral reefs multiplied? Four species of crown-of-thorns starfish

2008 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​A threat to coral reefs multiplied? Four species of crown-of-thorns starfish​
Vogler, C.; Benzie, J.; Lessios, H.; Barber, P. H. & Woerheide, G.​ (2008) 
Biology Letters4(6) pp. 696​-699​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0454 

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Authors
Vogler, Catherine; Benzie, John; Lessios, Harilaos; Barber, Paul H.; Woerheide, Gert
Abstract
In the face of ever-increasing threats to coral reef ecosystems, it is essential to understand the impact of natural predators in order to devise appropriate management strategies. Destructive population explosions of the crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci have devastated coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific for decades. But despite extensive research, the causes of outbreaks are still unclear. An important consideration in this research is that A. planci has been regarded as a single taxonomic entity. Using molecular data from its entire distribution, we find that A. planci is in fact a species complex. This discovery has important consequences for future coral reef research, and might prove critical for successful reef conservation management.
Issue Date
2008
Status
published
Publisher
Royal Soc
Journal
Biology Letters 
ISSN
1744-9561

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