eCite Digital Repository

Body size and substrate type modulate movement by the western Pacific crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster solaris

Citation

Pratchett, MS and Cowan, Z-L and Nadler, LE and Caballes, CF and Hoey, AS and Messmer, V and Fletcher, CS and Westcott, DA and Ling, SD, Body size and substrate type modulate movement by the western Pacific crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster solaris, PLoS One, 12, (9) Article e0180805. ISSN 1932-6203 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Preview
PDF (Research Paper Plos One)
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy
11Mb
  

DOI: doi:10.4225/28/5976dd643fff8

Abstract

The movement capacity of the crown-of-thorns starfishes (Acanthaster spp.) is a primary determinant of both their distribution and impact on coral assemblages. We quantified individual movement rates for the Pacific crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster solaris) ranging in size from 75–480 mm total diameter, across three different substrates (sand, flat consolidated pavement, and coral rubble) on the northern Great Barrier Reef. The mean (±SE) rate of movement for smaller (<150 mm total diameter) A. solaris was 23.99 ± 1.02 cm/ min and 33.41 ± 1.49 cm/ min for individuals >350 mm total diameter. Mean (±SE) rates of movement varied with substrate type, being much higher on sand (36.53 ± 1.31 cm/ min) compared to consolidated pavement (28.04 ± 1.15 cm/ min) and slowest across coral rubble (17.25 ± 0.63 cm/ min). If average rates of movement measured here can be sustained, in combination with strong directionality, displacement distances of adult A. solaris could range from 250–520 m/ day, depending on the prevailing substrate. Sustained movement of A. solaris is, however, likely to be highly constrained by habitat heterogeneity, energetic constraints, resource availability, and diurnal patterns of activity, thereby limiting their capacity to move between reefs or habitats.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:crown-of-thorns starfish, predation, pest control, coral reefs, outbreak
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species
Objective Field:Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Marine Environments
Author:Ling, SD (Dr Scott Ling)
ID Code:121169
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Centre for Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-09-13
Last Modified:2017-09-13
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page