Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11017/672
Title: State of the Reef Report 2004: Crown-of-thorns
Authors: Hoey, J.
Chin, A.
Corporate author: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Year of publication: 2004
Year: 2004
Publisher: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Place of publication: Townsville
Type of document: Report
Series/Report no.: State of the Reef Report
Abstract: The crown-of-thorns starfish is one of only a few animals that feed on living coral tissue. The starfish is named for the dense covering of long, sharp spines on its upper surface. At low densities the crown-of-thorns starfish is a ‘normal’ part of the reef’s ecology. However, when the numbers of crown-of-thorns starfish on a reef increase to the point where they consume coral faster than it can grow, the starfish can dramatically reduce coral cover, resulting in a major disturbance to the whole system (see Environmental status - corals). This situation is commonly known as a crown-of-thorns starfish ‘outbreak’. Outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish have been a concern on the Great Barrier Reef for more than 40 years. Research suggests that the outbreak ‘trigger point’ is around 30 mature crown-of-thorns starfish per hectare of coral reef that has average levels of coral cover. Once crown-of-thorns starfish densities exceed this threshold, the population will begin to consume coral faster than it can grow and is considered to be an outbreak population.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11017/672
Connection to GBRMPA: GBRMPA published this item
Subjects: Ecosystem disturbance
Predator control
Environmental impact
Ecology
Animals
Incidents
Weeds, pests and disease
Reef-wide
Appears in Collections:Effects

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
State-of-the-Reef-Report-2004-Crown-of-thorns.pdf684.1 kBAdobe PDFThumbnail
View/Open


Items in ELibrary are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.