non-indigenous species in reef systems

Fabrice POIRAUD-LAMBERT fpl10 at
Tue Mar 9 15:58:23 EST 1999


And what about Corals ?


A (At) 15:38 8/03/99, Les Kaufman ecrivait (wrote):
>Phil, there are some invasive species problems in coral reef systems that
>are potentially very serious.
>1.  The introduction of exotic Euchema and other algae for the carageenan
>and agar industries.  These have significantly altered the ecology of
>Kaneohoe Bay, for example.  HIMB folks have data.  They are also working on
>Dictyosphaeria cavernosa but I presume that this was native, and just took
>off with eutrophication.
>2.  Shrimp aquaculture is resulting in the worldwide spread of both decapod
>pathogens and non-indigenous penaeids.  Whether this is a coral reef issue
>or not is still an open question.  I have a student doing a senior thesis
>on the potential impacts of shrimp aquaculture in Oman, and she is in touch
>with various people looking at these issues.  Dana Meadows at Dartmouth is
>one of them, and a good contact.
>3.  Fish introductions in coral reef systems are not unknown, but their
>effects are not well known.  The classic example is the introduction of
>Cephalophalis argus (and three other species) to Hawaiian waters.  Jack
>Randall is the expert on that.  C. argus is now an abundant fish in some
>places, and you have to suspect that the introduction of a small grouper to
>a reef system that formerly lacked any such creature has to have some
>interesting effects.
>4.  The escape of a domesticated form of Caulerpa taxifolia in the
>Mediterannean has serious implications for coral reef habitats as well.
>Jim Carlton knows who to get in touch with about this, I think.
>5.  Aquarists or aquarium fish collectors have tried to introduce valuable
>Indo-Pacific species to Kaneohoe Bay.  For example, several lemonpeel
>angelfish were known in the bay for a while, though I don't think they
>established and I have not seen them around.  Talk to Chris Brown at HIMB
>about the aquarium trade.
>6.  Aquaculture of marine aquarium fishes is on the edge of becoming a
>profitable, transportable business.  Clownfishes are being reared in large
>numbers in the Caribbean, for example.  It is unlikely that they in
>particular would naturalize in the Caribbean, but not impossible.  As
>mariculture spreads, there are serious issues we need to consider...all of
>the usual ones.
>Phil, these are off the top of my head.  For what it's worth, I ended my
>paper at the recent international meeting on marine bioinvasions (my paper
>was about Lake Victoria), with slides of Euchema and C. argus in Hawaii.  I
>draw analogies between Euchema and water hyacinth, and C. argus and Lates.
>Those in the audience who noticed said that they really enjoyed the Lake
>Vic data but thought the coda was a reach.  I disaggree.  I think that what
>we learned from Lake Vic should be kept in mind in nearshore marine
>tropical waters, and that this will become a real issue as mariculture
>becomes more prevalent.
>Hope that is of use.
>Les Kaufman
>Boston University Marine Program
>Department of Biology
>Boston University
>5 Cummington Street
>Boston, MA 02215
>e-mail: lesk at
>phone: 617-353-5560
>fax:   617-353-6340
> Ex Africa semper aliquid novi.
>"There is always something new out of Africa."
> - Pliny the Elder

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