Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

zooxanthellate
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Comprehensive Description

Biology: Skeleton

More info
AuthorSkeleton?Mineral or Organic?MineralPercent Magnesium
Veron, 2000 YES MINERAL ARAGONITE
Yabe and Sugiyama, 1935 YES MINERAL ARAGONITE
Cairns, Hoeksema, and van der Land, 1999 YES MINERAL ARAGONITE
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Distribution

Range Description

In the Indo-West Pacific, this species is found in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, southwest Indian Ocean, Northern Indian Ocean, Central Indo-Pacific, Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan and East China Sea, and the oceanic West Pacific.
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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

This is a submeandroid coral. In the Red Sea, its colonies are always small, rarely over 20 cm diameter, but are commonly up to 1 m in the rest of the Indian Ocean. Valleys are 10 to 15 mm wide and up to 1 cm deep. They have steep, sharply tapered walls, and centres are clearly marked within each series. This is fairly common on reef slopes below about 10 m deep, and is widespread. It is found where there is neither severe wave action nor heavy sedimentation. The coral is always an inconspicuous brown colour. (Sheppard, 1998 <308>) Colonies are usually massive and frequently exceed 1 m in diameter. Valleys are broad (up to 20 mm) and V-shaped. Septa are usually thin and slope uniformly to the columellae which usually form well-defined centres. Paliform lobes may be present. Valley walls have acute upper margins. Polyps are extended only at night and are large and fleshy with conspicuous white tips to the tentacles. When retracted, polyps have a coarse reptilian texture. Mouths are conspicuous. Colour: brown walls with pale-cream or pink valley floors. Abundance: occurs in most reef environments, especially in reef lagoons, but is seldom a major component of any coral community. (Veron, 1986 <57>) Similar to Platygyra daedalea, but never as common. The height of the walls and width of the valleys are more pronounced but the coloration is usually not as striking. Colour: walls may be brown and the valleys a pale grey or pink, but the colonies are often an almost uniform pale green. Habitat: diverse. (Richmond, 1997)
  • Veron, J.E.N. (1986). Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Angus & Robertson Publishers, London.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in shallow, tropical reef environments. It is found in most reef environments, but especially in lagoons. This is a fairly uncommon coral that appears to prefer reef slopes. Colonies may reach several metres in diameter (Wood 1983). This species is found on subtidal rock and rocky reefs. This species is found to 30 m.

Systems
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 153 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 68 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 47.5
  Temperature range (°C): 25.480 - 28.291
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.047 - 0.923
  Salinity (PPS): 34.077 - 35.198
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.436 - 4.696
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.081 - 0.195
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.523 - 3.928

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 47.5

Temperature range (°C): 25.480 - 28.291

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.047 - 0.923

Salinity (PPS): 34.077 - 35.198

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.436 - 4.696

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.081 - 0.195

Silicate (umol/l): 0.523 - 3.928
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Oulophyllia crispa

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 5 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CAGAAGTTGCAAGAAAGT------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ATTCCCCTTAACTGATTGCAACAAATGTCATACATTTTTTGC---AAGAAAGTATTC---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CCTTTAACTGATTGCAGCAAATGTCAT---------------------------ACATTTGGGCTTACTGGATCCTCAGAGACTGTACGCAAAAATTCTTCATTGTCAGTGCAT------------------------------------------TGTCCTCAACATTCTAAACCGACCACAGATAAGGAG------TTTGGGTATTATTTGGCAGGGTTG------------------------------------ATCGAAGGAGATGGAAGTATAGTAGTTACTAAAGATAAGGCTTATATTTTT------------------------------------------------------------------ATTTGTTTTCATCTAAAGGAC------GTATCAACTGCTTATTAT---------------------------ATTAAAAAACGTTTA---------------------------------------------GGTTTTGGC---------TCTATGGTAAAACAAAAAAATAAAAAAGCA---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ATAAACTTAACC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Oulophyllia crispa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
DeVantier, L., Hodgson, G., Huang, D., Johan, O., Licuanan, A., Obura, D., Sheppard, C., Syahrir, M. & Turak, E.

Reviewer/s
Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J. (Global Marine Species Assessment)

Contributor/s

Justification
The most important known threat for this species is extensive reduction of coral reef habitat due to a combination of threats, however, this species is also moderately susceptible to bleaching and disease. Specific population trends are unknown but population reduction can be inferred from estimated habitat loss (Wilkinson 2004). It is widespread and uncommon throughout its range and therefore is likely to be more resilient to habitat loss and reef degradation because of an assumed large effective population size that is highly connected and/or stable with enhanced genetic variability. Therefore, the estimated habitat loss of 20% from reefs already destroyed within its range is the best inference of population reduction since it may survive in coral reefs already at the critical stage of degradation (Wilkinson 2004). This inference of population reduction over three generation lengths (30 years) does not meet the threshold of a threat category. However, since this population reduction estimate is close to a threatened threshold, and because this species is moderately susceptible to a number of threats, it is likely to be one of the species lost on some reefs currently at the critical stage of degradation and therefore is Near Threatened. Predicted threats from climate change and ocean acidification make it important to reassess this species in 10 years or sooner, particularly if the species is actually observed to disappear from reefs currently at the critical stage of reef degradation.
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Population

Population
This is an uncommon species.

There is no species specific population information available for this species. However, there is evidence that overall coral reef habitat has declined, and this is used as a proxy for population decline for this species. This species is more resilient to some of the threats faced by corals and therefore population decline is estimated using the percentage of destroyed reefs only (Wilkinson 2004). We assume that most, if not all, mature individuals will be removed from a destroyed reef and that on average, the number of individuals on reefs are equal across its range and proportional to the percentage of destroyed reefs. Reef losses throughout the species' range have been estimated over three generations, two in the past and one projected into the future.

The age of first maturity of most reef building corals is typically three to eight years (Wallace 1999) and therefore we assume that average age of mature individuals is greater than eight years. Furthermore, based on average sizes and growth rates, we assume that average generation length is 10 years, unless otherwise stated. Total longevity is not known, but likely to be more than ten years. Therefore any population decline rates for the Red List assessment are measured over at least 30 years. Follow the link below for further details on population decline and generation length estimates.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
In general, the major threat to corals is global climate change, in particular, temperature extremes leading to bleaching and increased susceptibility to disease, increased severity of ENSO events and storms, and ocean acidification.

Coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide and a major cause of reef deterioration (Weil et al. 2006). The numbers of diseases and coral species affected, as well as the distribution of diseases have all increased dramatically within the last decade (Porter et al. 2001, Green and Bruckner 2000, Sutherland et al. 2004, Weil 2004). Coral disease epizootics have resulted in significant losses of coral cover and were implicated in the dramatic decline of acroporids in the Florida Keys (Aronson and Precht 2001, Porter et al. 2001, Patterson et al. 2002). In the Indo-Pacific, disease is also on the rise with disease outbreaks recently reported from the Great Barrier Reef (Willis et al. 2004), Marshall Islands (Jacobson 2006) and the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (Aeby 2006). Increased coral disease levels on the GBR were correlated with increased ocean temperatures (Willis et al. 2007) supporting the prediction that disease levels will be increasing with higher sea surface temperatures. Escalating anthropogenic stressors combined with the threats associated with global climate change of increases in coral disease, frequency and duration of coral bleaching and ocean acidification place coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific at high risk of collapse.

Localized threats to corals include fisheries, human development (industry, settlement, tourism, and transportation), changes in native species dynamics (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), invasive species (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), dynamite fishing, chemical fishing, pollution from agriculture and industry, domestic pollution, sedimentation, and human recreation and tourism activities.

The severity of these combined threats to the global population of each individual species is not known.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
All corals are listed on CITES Appendix II. Parts of the species’ range fall within Marine Protected Areas.

Recommended measures for conserving this species include research in taxonomy, population, abundance and trends, ecology and habitat status, threats and resilience to threats, restoration action; identification, establishment and management of new protected areas; expansion of protected areas; recovery management; and disease, pathogen and parasite management. Artificial propagation and techniques such as cryo-preservation of gametes may become important for conserving coral biodiversity.
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