Scleractinia

Host Range of the Coral-Associated Worm Snail Petaloconchu ssp. (Gastropoda: Vermetidae), a Newly Discovered Cryptogenic Pest Species in the Southern Caribbean

Abstract:

The presence of associated endofauna can have an impact on the health of corals. Duringfieldwork on the southern Caribbean island of Curaçao in 2021, the presence of an unknown coral-dwelling worm snail was discovered, which appeared to cause damage to its hosts. A study of photoarchives revealed that the species was already present during earlier surveys at Curaçao since 2014and also in the southern Caribbean island of Bonaire in 2019. It was not found in St. Eustatius, anisland in the eastern Caribbean, during an expedition in 2015. The vermetid snail was preliminarilyidentified asPetaloconchussp. Its habitat choice resembles that ofP. keenae, a West Pacific coralsymbiont. The Caribbean species was observed in 21 host coral species, more than reported for anyother vermetid. BecausePetaloconchussp. is a habitat generalist, it is possible that it was introducedfrom an area with another host-coral fauna. The unknown vermetid is considered to be cryptogenicuntil future studies reveal its actual identity and its native range.

 

Supplemental Materials.

Date
2022
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Journal
Geographic location
Curacao

Geographic variation in long-term trajectories of change in coral recruitment: a global-to-local perspective

Compiled abundances of juvenile corals revealed no change over time in the Pacific, but a decline in the Caribbean. Using these analyses as a rationale, we explored recruitment and post-settlement success in determining coral cover using studies in the Caribbean (St John, Bonaire) and Pacific (Moorea, Okinawa). Juvenile corals, coral recruits, and coral cover have been censused in these locations for years, and the ratio of juvenile (J) to recruiting (R) corals was used to measure post-settlement success. In St John and Bonaire, coral cover was stable but different between studies, with the ratio of the density of juveniles to density of recruits (J : R) ~0.10; in Moorea, declines in coral cover were followed by recovery that was related to the density of juvenile corals 3 years before, with J : R ~0.40; and in Okinawa, a decline in coral cover in 1998 was followed by a slow recovery with J/R ~0.01. Coral cover was associated positively with juvenile corals in St John, and in Okinawa, the density of juvenile corals was associated positively with recruits the year before. J : R varied among studies, and standardised densities of juvenile corals declined in the Caribbean, but increased in the Pacific. These results suggest that differences in the post-settlement success may drive variation in coral community structure.

 

Date
2015
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire