tubastraea

Non-native coral species dominate the fouling community on a semi-submersible platform in the southern Caribbean

ABSTRACT  

A coral community was examined on a semi-submersible platform that was moored at the leeward side of Curaçao, in the southern Caribbean, from August 2016 until August 2017. This community included several non- native or cryptogenic species. Among them were two scleractinian corals (Tubastraea coccinea and T. tagusensis) and two octocorals (Chromonephthea sp. and an unidentified Nephtheidae sp.). This is the first reported presence of T. tagusensis in the southern Caribbean, and the genus Chromonephthea in the Caribbean region. An ascidian, Perophora cf. regina, is also reported from the southern Caribbean for the first time, as well as a coral-associated vermetid gastropod, Petaloconchus sp., first recorded in the Caribbean in 2014. Lack of biofouling management could potentially harm indigenous marine fauna through the introduction of non-native species. Therefore monitoring communities associated with semi-submersible platforms is essential to track the presence and dispersal of non-native, potentially invasive species.   

Date
2023
Data type
Scientific article
Theme
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Curacao