[Coral-List] Crown-of-thorns starfish really a gang of four

Gert Wörheide woerheide at lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Mon Oct 6 08:04:35 EDT 2008

Dear colleagues,
this might slip under the radar of some, but might be of interest:

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

Catherine Vogler, John Benzie, Harilaos Lessios, Paul Barber, Gert  

Biology Letters (online only as yet)

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.


See also the feature at Ove's Climateshifts blog (<http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=561 

best regards


Please note new address:

Prof. Dr. Gert Wörheide
Department of Geo- and Environmental Sciences
& GeoBio-CenterLMU
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen
Richard-Wagner-Straße 10
80333 Muenchen

Phone: +49 (89) 2180-6602 (Secretary)
Fax: +49 (89) 2180-6601
E-Mail: woerheide at lrz.uni-muenchen.de



Lab publications:

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