Literature request for Palythoa/scleractinian interaction

Bill Burnett W.J.Burnett at
Fri May 26 06:16:43 EDT 2000


As far as I'm aware there's not much literature on zoanthid / coral 
interactions.  What tends to happen in my experience is corals die 
(for whatever reason) and fast growing zoanthids occupy the space, 
overgrowing the dead skeleton.  For example I've got some sites set 
up in Seychelles where Palythoas are going bananas after the '98 mass 
bleaching killed large swathes of the coral.  I've also seen colonies 
on the GBR that cover 10's of m^2. There are whole 5m diameter 
Porites shaped Palythoa colonies - I can't guess what killed the 
coral but I don't think it was the zoanthid.   But once established 
they're clearly long lived and must make life difficult for incoming 
coral recruits.  

I've not seen many examples of Palythoas overgrowing living corals - 
if it happens a lot I'd be very interested.

Bill Burnett   w.j.burnett at
University of Newcastle upon Tyne

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