Food preferences of juvenile corallivorous crown-of-thorns (Acanthaster planci) sea stars

Johansson, Charlotte L, Francis, David and Uthicke, Sven 2016, Food preferences of juvenile corallivorous crown-of-thorns (Acanthaster planci) sea stars, Marine Biology: international journal on life in oceans and coastal waters, vol. 163, no. 3, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1007/s00227-016-2823-0.

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Title Food preferences of juvenile corallivorous crown-of-thorns (Acanthaster planci) sea stars
Author(s) Johansson, Charlotte L
Francis, DavidORCID iD for Francis, David
Uthicke, Sven
Journal name Marine Biology: international journal on life in oceans and coastal waters
Volume number 163
Issue number 3
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2016-03-01
ISSN 1432-1793
Summary Population outbreaks of adult Acanthaster planci cause significant reductions in coral cover and reduce the resilience of coral reefs, but little is known about the behaviour and food preference of juvenile A. planci. In 2014, food preferences and feeding rates of recently settled (<1 year) juvenile A. planci were tested and determined at the National Sea Simulator facilities of the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Juveniles were offered eight species of coral (Acropora formosa, A. millepora, A. tenuis, Pavona cactus, Echinopora lamellosa, Pocillopora damicornis, Stylophora pistillata and Porites lutea), known to be either consumed or avoided by adult sea stars, in a multiple-choice and a no-choice experiment. In the multiple-choice experiment, a preference for A. tenuis was detected, while S. pistillata, E. lamellosa and P. lutea were avoided. The no-choice experiment showed that the avoidance of these species was not influenced by the presence of other coral species, the exception being E. lamellosa, which was only consumed when no other choice was offered. Interestingly, all juveniles consuming E. lamellosa died post-predation. The study suggests that as A. planci matures it feeds on a wider range of species, even those which would have been lethal to them if consumed as a juvenile.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00227-016-2823-0
Field of Research 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
050102 Ecosystem Function
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer
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