Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Acanthaster planci impact on coral communities at permanent transect sites on Bruneian reefs, with a regional overview and a critique on outbreak causes

  • David J.W. Lane (a1)
Abstract

The submerged coral reefs of Brunei, little-impacted by human activity and characterized by high live coral cover, have no recorded history in recent decades of the presence of the crown-of-thorns (COT), Acanthaster planci. This sea star, first recorded on Brunei reefs in 2008, attained outbreak densities in 2010. At Littledale Shoal its impact on corals at permanent transect sites has been quantified; mean live coral cover reduced by half from 2006 to 2010 due predominantly to predation. Line intersect transect data confirm a predisposition for tabular Acropora species, a prominent feature at this site, although other scleractinian taxa were also predated. Other regional outbreaks are reviewed, including episodes, and their timing, within the neighbouring Coral Triangle (CT). Mounting evidence implicates nutrient-enhanced increases in primary production as a primary cause of COT outbreaks. However, this stands in contrast with a report of global oceanic phytoplankton decline in the past century, and there is little evidence of such a link in the CT, even though this region is characterized by high precipitation, erosional plumes and seasonal upwelling-associated phytoplankton blooms. Furthermore, until survivorship and competency for a wider spectrum of mass-spawned invertebrate planktotrophs in relation to elevated phytoplankton densities is better understood, such evidence, suggesting release from food limitation as the principal cause of enhanced COT recruitment, should be interpreted with caution.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: D.J.W. Lane, Department of Biology, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, BE 1410 Brunei Darussalam email: david.lane@ubd.edu.bn
References
Hide All
Anon, (1982) UNDP/FAO survey of coastal waters in Irian Jaya. FP/INS/78/061, Special Report, Bogor.
Babcock, R.C. and Mundy, C.N. (1992) Reproductive biology, spawning and field fertilization rates of Acanthaster planci. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43, 525534.
Baine, M.S.P. (2006) A major outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish in Bootless Bay, Central Province, Papua New Guinea. Coral Reefs 25, 607.
Birkeland, C. (1982) Terrestrial runoff as a cause of outbreaks of Acanthaster planci (Echinodermata: Asteroidea). Marine Biology 69, 175185.
Boyce, D.G., Lewis, M.R. and Worm, B. (2010) Global phytoplankton decline over the past century. Nature 466, 591–596.
Brodie, J.E., Fabricius, K., De'ath, G. and Okaji, K. (2005) Are increased nutrient inputs responsible for more outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish? An appraisal of the evidence. Marine Pollution Bulletin 51, 266278.
Bruno, J.F. and Selig, E.R. (2007) Regional decline of coral cover in the Indo-Pacific: timing, extent, and subregional comparisons. PLoS One 8 e711, 18.
Chua, T.-E., Chou, L.M. and Sadorro, M.S.M. (1987) The coastal environmental profile of Brunei Darussalam: resource assessment and management issues. ICLARM Technical Report No. 18, 193 pp.
Darsono, P. and Soekarno, (1994) The occurrence of Acanthaster planci (L.) at Pulau Seribu, Java Sea, Indonesia. In Sudara, S., Wilkinson, C.R. and Chou, L.M. (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd ASEAN–Australian Symposium on Living Coastal Resources, Bangkok. Volume 2, pp. 8796.
De'ath, G. and Moran, P.J. (1998) Factors affecting the behaviour of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci L.) on the Great Barrier Reef: 2 Feeding preferences. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 220, 107–126.
DeVantier, L. and Turak, E. (2004) Managing marine tourism in Bunaken National Park and adjacent waters, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Jakarta, Indonesia: National Resources Management Program, 113 pp.
De Vantier, L. and Turak, E. (2009) Coral reefs of Brunei Darussalam. Fisheries Department, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Government of Brunei Darussalam, 100 pp.
Dulvy, N.K., Freckleton, R.P. and Polunin, N.V.C. (2004) Coral reef cascades and the indirect effects of predator removal by exploitation. Ecology Letters 7, 410416.
Dumont, C.P. and Alfian, K. (2010) Corals at risk: effectiveness of the removal of a keystone coral-predator, Acanthaster planci, in a marine park of Malaysia. Abstract. In Program and Abstracts, The Second Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium: Collaboration for Coral Reef Conservation in a Changing Climate, June 20–24 2010, Phuket, Thailand, p. 123.
Engelhardt, U., Miller, I., Lassig, B.R., Sweatman, H.P.A. and Bass, D. (1997) Crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) populations in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: status report 1995–96. In Wachenfeld, D., Oliver, J. and Davis, K. (eds) State of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area Workshop. Townsville, QL: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, pp. 158184.
English, S., Wilkinson, C. and Baker, V. (1997) Survey manual for tropical marine resources. 2nd edition. Townsville, QL: Australian Institute of Marine Science, 390 pp.
Fabricus, K.E., Okaji, K. and De'ath, G. (2010) Three lines of evidence to link outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns seastar Acanthaster planci to the release of larval food limitation. Coral Reefs 29, 593605.
Gupta, A. (1996) Erosion and sediment yield in Southeast Asia: a regional perspective. In Walling, D.E. and Webb, B.W. (eds) Erosion and sediment yield: global and regional perspectives. Proceedings of the Exeter symposium, July 1996. Wallingford, UK: International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication No. 236, pp. 215222.
Hodgson, G. and Liebeler, J. (2002) The global coral reef crisis: trends and solutions (1997–2001). Pacific Palisades, CA: Reef Check Foundation, 77 pp.
Houk, P., Bograd, S. and van Woesik, R. (2007) The transition zone chlorophyll front can trigger Acanthaster planci outbreaks in the Pacific Ocean: historical confirmation. Journal of Oceanography 63, 149154.
Houk, P. and Raubani, J. (2010) Acanthaster planci outbreaks in Vanuatu coincide with ocean productivity, furthering trends throughout the Pacific Ocean. Journal of Oceanography 66, 435438.
Hu, J., Kawamura, H., Hong, H. and Qi, Y. (2000) A review on the currents in the South China Sea: seasonal circulation, South China Sea Warm Current and Kuroshio Intrusion. Journal of Oceanography 56, 607624.
Johnson, C. (1992) Reproduction, recruitment and hydrodynamics in the crown-of-thorns phenomenon on the Great Barrier Reef: introduction and synthesis. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43, 517523.
Keesing, J.K. and Halford, A.R. (1992) Field measurement of survival rates of juvenile Acanthaster planci: techniques and preliminary results. Marine Ecology Progress Series 85, 107114.
Kinkade, C., Marra, J., Langdon, C., Knudson, C. and Ilahudet, A.G. (1997) Monsoonal differences in phytoplankton biomass and production in the Indonesian Seas: tracing vertical mixing using temperature. Deep-Sea Research Part I 44, 581592.
Lane, D.J.W. (1996) A crown-of-thorns outbreak in the eastern Indonesian Archipelago, February 1996. Coral Reefs 15, 209210.
Lane, D.J.W. (2004) Sea cucumber diversity and resources in Brunei, Borneo. In Heinzeller, T. and Nebelsick, J.H. (eds) Echinoderms: München. Proceedings of the 11th International Echinoderm Conference, 6–10 October 2003, Munich, Germany, pp. 231237.
Lane, D.J.W. and Vandenspiegel, D. (2003) A guide to sea stars and other echinoderms of Singapore. Singapore: Singapore Science Centre, 187 pp.
Lassig, B. (1995) Controlling crown-of-thorns starfish. Townsville, QL: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, April 1995.
McLeod, E., Moffitt, R., Timmermann, A., Salm, R., Menviel, L., Palmer, M.J., Selig, E.R., Casey, K.S. and Bruno, J.F. (2010) Warming seas in the Coral Triangle: coral reef vulnerability and management implications. Coastal Management 38, 518539.
Moore, A. and Ndobe, S. (2008) Reefs at risk in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia—status and outlook. In Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, 7–11 July 2008. Session No. 18, pp. 840844.
Moore II, T.S., Marra, J. and Alkatiri, A. (2003) Response of the Banda Sea to the southeast monsoon. Marine Ecology Progress Series 26, 4149.
Moran, P.J. (1986) The Acanthaster phenomenon. Oceanography and Marine Biology: an Annual Review 24, 379480.
Moran, P.J. and De'ath, G. (1992) Estimates of the abundance of the crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci in outbreaking and non-outbreaking populations on reefs within the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biology 113, 509515.
Morris, P.G. (1977) A note on the occurrence of the crown of thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci (Linn) on some Sabah coral reefs. Malayan Nature Journal 30, 7985.
Myers, R.A., Baum, J.K., Shepherd, T.D., Powers, S.P. and Peterson, C.H. (2007) Cascading effects of the loss of apex predatory sharks from a coastal ocean. Science 315, 18461850.
Ormond, R., Bradbury, R.H., Bainbridge, S., Fabricius, K., Keesing, J., De Vantier, L.M., Medlay, P. and Steven, A. (1990) Test of a model of regulation of crown-of-thorns starfish by fish predators. In Bradbury, R.H. (ed.) Acanthaster and the coral reef: a theoretical perspective. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, pp. 189207.
Peñaflor, E.L., Skirving, W.J., Strong, A.E., Heron, S.F. and David, L.T. (2009) Sea-surface temperature and thermal stress in the Coral Triangle over the past two decades. Coral Reefs 28, 841850.
Pratchett, M.S., Schenk, T.J., Baine, M., Syms, C. and Baird, A.H. (2009) Selective coral mortality associated with outbreaks of Acanthaster planci L. in Bootless Bay, Papua New Guinea. Marine Environmental Research 67, 230236.
Pratchett, M.S. (2010) Changes in coral assemblages during an outbreak of Acanthaster planci at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef (1995–1999). Coral Reefs 29, 717725.
Pyne, R.R. (1970) Notes on the crown-of-thorns starfish: its distribution in Papua and New Guinea (Echinodermata: Asteroidea: Acanthasteridae). Papua New Guinea Agricultural Journal 21, 128138.
Rajasuriaya, A., De Silva, M.W.R.N. and Zainan, A.H.Hj. (1992) Survey of coral reefs of Brunei Darussalam in relation to their vulnerability to oil spills. Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam, 55 pp.
Silvestre, G.T. and Matdanan, H.J.H. (1992) Brunei Darussalam capture fisheries: a review of resources, exploitation and management. In Silvestre, G., Matdanan, H.J.H., Sharifuddin, P.Y.H., De Silva, M.W.R.N. and Chua, T.-E. (eds) The coastal resources of Brunei Darussalam: status utilization and management. Proceedings of the ASEAN/US CRMP workshop on coastal resources management in Brunei Darussalam, 30 April–1 May 1991, pp. 138.
Soegiarto, A. (1973) Status of Acanthaster planci in Indonesian waters (Abstr.). Micronesica 3, 181.
Stump, R.J.W. (1994) Age determination and life-history characteristics of Acanthaster planci (L.) (Echinodermata: Asteroidea). PhD thesis. James Cook University of North Queensland, 405 pp.
Sweatman, H.P.A. (1995) A field study of fish predation on juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish. Coral Reefs 14, 4753.
Sweatman, H. (2008) No-take reserves protect coral reefs from predatory starfish. Current Biology 18, 598599.
Timmers, M.A., Andrews, K.R., Bird, C.E., deMaintenton, M.J., Brainard, R.E. and Toonen, R.J. (2011) Widespread dispersal of the crown-of-thorns sea star, Acanthaster planci, across the Hawaiian Archipelago and Johnston Atoll. Journal of Marine Biology 2011(1) (10 pages) doi: 10.1155/2011/934269.
Tuan, V.S., Hoang, X.B., Nguyen, V.L. and Phan, K.H. (2006) Coral reefs of Vietnam: recent status and conservation perspectives. In Suzuki, Y., Nakamori, T., Hidaka, M., Kayanne, H., Casareto, B.E., Nadaoka, K., Yamano, H. and Tsuchiya, M. (eds) Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, Okinawa, Japan, June 28–July 2, 2004. Tokyo: Japanese Coral Reef Society, pp. 10451054.
Uthicke, S., Schaffelke, B. and Byrne, M. (2009) A boom–bust phylum? Ecological and evolutionary consequences of density variations in echinoderms. Ecological Monographs 79, 324.
Valentine, J.P. and Edgar, G.J. (2010) Impacts of a population outbreak of the urchin Tripneustes gratilla amongst Lord Howe Island coral communities. Coral Reefs 29, 399410.
Wildlife Conservation Society (2008) Starfish Outbreak Threatens Corals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 19, 2008, from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114112308.htm
World Wildlife Fund (2007) OUTBREAK! Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Hit Philippine Reefs. Biota Filipina: Newsletter of WWF-Philippines March–April 2007, p. 3.
Yamaguchi, M. (1986) Acanthaster planci infestations of reefs and coral assemblages in Japan: a retrospective analysis of control efforts. Coral Reefs 5, 2330.
Yasuda, N., Nagai, S., Hamaguchi, M., Okaji, K., Gerard, K., and Nadoaka, K. (2009) Gene flow of Acanthaster planci (L.) in relation to ocean currents revealed by microsatellite analysis. Molecular Ecology 18, 15741590.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed