[Coral-List] Palythoa mats

Gene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Tue Mar 11 11:12:17 EDT 2008

Jan, The photographs of Palythoa at your website 
<http://www.flickr.com/photos/23314528@N03/> are excellent.  I have 
taken many similar photos of this species overgrowing Montastrea in 
the past but not as good as those at this website. I can say  that I 
remember seeing such over growths in Florida in the 1950s and 60s 
but it never seemed extensive. I pealed it off on several occasions 
to see if was actually killing underlying live Montastrea. It was but 
it was always small patches. It appears to start on dead spots and 
then expand over adjacent live tissue. It certainly forms huge mats 
on dead reef tops such as at Looe Key reef.  I suspect storms, 
especially hurricanes keep it in check. Gene

No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
Marine Science Center (room 204)
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 

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