ICRS Symposium: Ecology of Pest Organisms"

T_AYUKAI at aims.gov.au T_AYUKAI at aims.gov.au
Mon Sep 18 02:01:57 EDT 1995

Dear Colleague, 

Dr. Brian Lassig and myself are organizing a session on "Ecology of Pest 
Organisms on Coral Reefs" for the ICRS meeting in Panama.  Those who have 
expressed an interest in presenting a paper in our session (see the list 
below).  Could you please send me your abstract by; 

          OCTOBER 16 (MONDAY). 

We may have a few more slots during our session.  Should you think that your 
talk is relevant to the objectives of our session, please contact me as soon 
as possible. 

Potential Participants: 

Drupella - Dr. Loya (Israel), Dr. McClanahan (Kenya), Dr. Black (Aust.) 

Crown-of-thorns starfish - Dr. Zann (Aust.), Dr. Oliver (Aust.), Mr. Okaji 

Sea urchins - Dr. Hutchings (Aust.) 


Crown-of-thorns starfish has caused extensive damages to a number of coral 
reefs in the Indo-Pacific.  Feeding by some gastropods has been a significant 
cause of coral mortality.  Coral reefs in some locations are also suffering 
from massive bioerosion due to grazing by sea urchins.  Outbreaks of these 
pest organisms and their effects on the condition of coral reefs should not 
be dealt with in isolation from the rapid deterioration of coral reefs on a 
global scale.  A number of now heavily deteriorated coral reefs were initially 
affected by outbreaks of pest organisms, in particular of crown-of-thorns 
starfish.  Such coral reefs failed to recover afterwards, because of the 
presence of stresses caused by human activities. 

Crown-of-thorns starfish, coral eating gastropods and sea urchins.  They are 
all natural inhabitants of coral reefs and in this context should not be 
regarded as pest organisms.  The important point is, however, whether outbreaks 
of these organisms are a natural phenomenon or are somehow linked to human 
activities.  Outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, for example, seem to occur 
naturally, but a possibility remains that their intensity is exacerbated by 
the consequence(s) of human activities, such as eutrophication and over-fishing.It may be the human that makes 
crown-of-thorns starfish pest organisms. 

The objectives of the proposed session are to gather the latest information 
on the population status of pest organisms on coral reefs of different 
locations and to develop further understanding of factors affecting their 
population dynamics.  It will also address through discussions a question of 
how human activities might affect populations of pest organisms on coral reefs. 

(You may have seen a few unfinished messages from me.  I apologize) 

Tenshi Ayukai 
Australian Institute of Marine Science 
Fax 61-77-725852 
e-mail t.ayukai at aims.gov.au. 

Brian Lassig 
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 
Fax 61-77-726093 
e-mail brian_lassig at gbrmpa.gov.au. 

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