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dc.contributor.authorHoey, J.*
dc.contributor.authorChin, A.*
dc.description.abstractThe 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.en
dc.publisherGreat Barrier Reef Marine Park Authorityen
dc.relation.ispartofseriesState of the Reef Reporten
dc.titleState of the Reef Report 2004: Crown-of-thornsen
dc.subject.asfaEcosystem disturbanceen
dc.subject.asfaPredator controlen
dc.contributor.corpauthorGreat Barrier Reef Marine Park Authorityen
dc.subject.apaisEnvironmental impacten
dc.relation.connectiontogbrmpaGBRMPA published this itemen
dc.subject.categoryWeeds, pests and diseaseen
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