The Acanthaster Survey of Saipan, Marianas Islands, 1969. Structure and Ecology of the Saipan Reefs in Relation to Predation by Acanthaster planci (Linnaeus).
Rept. for 22 Jul-9 Aug 69,
STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK ALBANY RESEARCH FOUNDATION
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While the principal factor controlling the depth of reef coral growth in the Caribbean appears to be the ambient light intensity, in the Indo-Pacific it may well be the level of Acanthaster predation below the wave base. Such a biological control of reef growth would require only a modest starfish population in trophic equilibrium with the corals upon which it feeds, the standing crop of corals being maintained at a fairly low level while the coral turnover rate stays high, since most of the few remaining colonies are small and therefore in a fast-growing stage of their life histories. While such reduced coral populations would still operate at relatively high trophic efficiencies, they are prevented by Acanthaster from every achieving the size and density required for formation of a true reef framework. Author
- Biological Oceanography