Degradation of Coral Reefs at Moorea Island (French Polynesia) by Acanthaster planci

Gerard Faure

Abstract


Present and past Acanthaster planci grazing are considered the main causative agent of coral destruction at Moorea. Acanthaster planci showed a feeding preference for all growth-forms of Acropora, The genus Montipora (chiefly encrusting species) and Pocillopora were both commonly grazed. Foliate Pavona were grazed to a lesser extent, and Montastrea, Favia, Synarea and Porites were rarely grazed. The knowledge of the selective grazing and the coral composition can provide a reasonable picture of past and future Acanthaster predation.


Keywords


Acanthaster planci damage; selective grazing; past and present infestation; effects on coral communities; Moorea Island; French Polynesia; Pacific Ocean

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