[Coral-List] Reclaiming critical habitat space for the endangered coral specie, Acropora palmata

George Roff g.roff at uq.edu.au
Wed Dec 8 21:29:28 EST 2010

Hi James,

> 1. Here in the Pacific, the sister species P. tuberculosa  
> (likely the same as P. caesia in Australia) is quite common on reef  
> crests in high energy areas, and can monopolize space at some sites.  
> But, we do not know if this is a normal occurrence or something new,  
> and are now obtaining such baseline data. 

There is some historical evidence from the Great Barrier Reef of intertidal zoanthid dominance in high energy environments dating back to the early 1950's:

"On the mainland, zoanthids were common only at a few localities. On the continental islands most exposed to wave action, zoanthids (chiefly Palythoa sp.) formed a zone between L.W.N. and M.L.W. At Heron I. they were particularly dense near the reef crest. Apparently they prefer localities with considerable wave action". (Endean et al 1956)

Along with a anecdotal reports from the late 1920's onwards (Calgren 1937, Stephenson & Stephenson 1949) and from the Indian Ocean (e.g. Gardiner 1936)

 - Endean et al (1956) The ecology and distribution of intertidal organisms on certain islands off the Queensland coast. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 7(3) 317-324 (Plate 3, Figure 1 is a photograph of the zoanthid mat on Heron Island reef crest)

- Calgren (1937) Ceriantharia and Zoantharia. Scientific reports (Great Barrier Reef Expedition (1928-1929)) 177-207

- Stephenson & Stephenson (1949) The universal features of zonation between tide-marks on rocky coasts. Journal of Ecology 37(2) 289-305

- Gardiner (1936) The reefs of the Western Indian Ocean. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. 19(4) 393-436




George Roff 

ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Biology
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, QLD 4072
Ph: +61 7 3365 1671
Fax: +61 7 3365 4755
Skype: j.roff

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