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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
Boshoff, 1981 YES MINERAL ARAGONITE
Cairns, Hoeksema, and van der Land, 1999 YES MINERAL ARAGONITE
Barrios-Su?z et al., 2002 YES MINERAL ARAGONITE
Veron, 2000 YES MINERAL ARAGONITE
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Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida (including the Florida Middle Grounds), the Bahamas, and Bermuda. It has been recorded as far north as the coast of northern North Carolina (Macintyre and Pilkey 1967, Macintyre 2003).
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Widespread distribution in the tropical western Atlantic, including the Gulf of Mexico, southern Florida, Bahamas, NW Caribbean, Puerto Rico, lesser Antilles, Curacao, Bonaire and Bermuda.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in all types of reef environments from the shallow subtidal to 70 m depth (Goreau and Wells, 1967), and is most common at 5-15 m depth. This species does well in areas with high sedimentation and high turbidity.

Systems
  • Marine
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Habitat Type: Marine

Comments: Depth range from 0.5-70 m, but typically occurs between 3-20 m on complex reef communities.

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rocks (Kalk, 1959).
  • Sheppard, C.R.C. (1987). Coral species of the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas: a synonymised compilation and some regional distribution patterns. Atoll Research Bulletin Nr 307
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Depth range based on 5954 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4295 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 127
  Temperature range (°C): 21.133 - 28.067
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.024 - 4.310
  Salinity (PPS): 35.075 - 37.096
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.285 - 4.895
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.020 - 0.239
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 5.080

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 127

Temperature range (°C): 21.133 - 28.067

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.024 - 4.310

Salinity (PPS): 35.075 - 37.096

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.285 - 4.895

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.020 - 0.239

Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 5.080
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

SEDENTARY

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: Information is needed on the number of occurrences in the tropical western Atlantic.

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Global Abundance

1000 - 2500 individuals

Comments: Generally restricted to structurally complex reef communities but can occur in low abundance on low-relief hardbottom areas.

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General Ecology

A84PET01FCUS, A81ANT02FCUS: black band disease, protozoan parasites, other conditions of unknown etiologies. A84LAS02FCUS, A89GOE01FCUS, A90GHI01FCUS, A90WIL01FCUS: susceptible to bleaching (loss of zooxanthellae) due to adverse environmental conditions. A77JON01FCUS: effective desilting mechanism. A76LOY01FCUS, A79ROG01FCUS: able to survive in areas of high sedimentation. A92COL01FCUS, A87MUT01FCUS: salinity tolerance from 18-55 ppt. A85PAS01FCUS: low sensitivity to pollution. A69MAC01FCUS: lower temperature limit to 10.6 degrees. A79FOS01FCUS: massive growth form, growth rate at 5-10 mm/yr. A72OTT01FCUS: preyed upon by Coralliophilla abbreviata.

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

A86SZM00FCUS: gonochoric broadcast spawner. Gametogenesis for female colonies from February to June and for males from April to May. Spawning occurs between July to september wit low recruitment rates (A79BAK01FCUS).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Siderastrea siderea

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


There are 3 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.

ACAGCCTTC---AGTATGTTAATACGATTAGAGCTCTCGGCTCCGGGGGCTATGTTAGGAGAC---GATCATCTTTATAATGTAATTGTTACGGCACACGCTTTTGTTATGATTTTTTTTTTGGTTATGCCAGTGATGATAGGGGGGTTTGGAAATTGGTTGGTTCCATTA---TACATTGGTGCACCTGATATGGCTTTTCCGCGGCTTAATAATATTAGTTTTTGGTTGTTGCCTCCTGCTTTAGTATTATTATTAGGTTCCGCTTTTGTTGAACAAGGAGCTGGTACCGGATGAACGGTTTATCCTCCTCTATCGAGCATCCAAGTTCACTCTGGGGGGGCGGTGGACATG---GCTATTTTTAGCCTCCATTTAGCTGGGGCGTCTTCGATTTTGGGCGCAATGAATTTTATAACAACTATATTAAATATGCGGGCTCCCGGGATGACATTGAACAAAATGCCATTATTTGTGTGGTCTATCTTGATTACTGCTTTTTTATTATTATTATCTTTGCCAGTATTAGCGGGG---GCTATAACCATGCTTTTAACGGATAGAAATTTTAATACGACTTTTTTTGATCCCGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCGATTTTATTTCAG------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CTT
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Siderastrea siderea

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Genomic DNA is available from 2 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at Australian Museum, Sydney
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Aronson, R., Bruckner, A., Moore, J., Precht, B. & E. Weil

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. Specific population trends are unknown but population reduction can be inferred from estimated habitat loss (Wilkinson 2004). This species is widespread and is immoderately common throughout its range, occurs in deeper waters, is tolerant of high levels of siltation, and has a high recruitment rate, 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 10% 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 and this species is Least Concern. However, because of predicted threats from climate change and ocean acidification it will be important to reassess this species in 10 years or sooner, particularly if the species is also observed to disappear from reefs currently at the critical stage of reef degradation.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Widespread distribution in the tropical western Atlantic but generally limited to structurally complex marine hardbottom communities. Characterized by slow growth and low recruitment rates, but characterized by high resistance to sedimentation.

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Population

Population
This species is common in most reef environments, at low to moderate abundances. In certain localized areas, this species can be the most abundant coral. Localized declines have been reported, but no major range-wide declines observed. (Aronson, R., Precht, W., Moore, J., Weil, E., and Bruckner, A. pers. comm.)

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
Stable
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: Indication of stable population structure in southern Florida but information needed from the tropical western Atlantic.

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Threats

Major Threats
Colonies of this species are susceptible to bleaching, but generally show higher rates of recovery than other species, and only minor partial mortality has been observed as a result of extreme bleaching events. This species generally exhibits high rates of recruitment, but new recruits may sustain high mortality due to algal overgrowth. Localized mortality may take place due to bio-erosion from endolithic sponges, and ship groundings (Aronson, R., Precht, W., Moore, J., Weil, E., and Bruckner, A. pers. comm.)

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. In addition to global climate change, corals are also threatened by disease and a number of localized threats. The severity of these combined threats to the global population of each individual species is not known.

Coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide and is 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 Great Barrier Reef 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.
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Degree of Threat: C : Not very threatened throughout its range, communities often provide natural resources that when exploited alter the composition and structure over the short-term, or communities are self-protecting because they are unsuitable for other uses

Comments: Not considered threatened due to high resistance to sedimentation but moderate sensitivity to eutrophication.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
All corals are listed on CITES Appendix II. In US waters, it is illegal to harvest corals for commercial purposes (Aronson, R., Precht, W., Moore, J., Weil, E., and Bruckner, A. pers. comm.).

Parts of this species distribution fall within several Marine Protected Areas within its range. In the US, it is present in many MPAs, including Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Biscayne N.P., Dry Tortugas National Park, Buck Island Reef National Monument and Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Also present in Hol Chan Marine Reserve (Belize), Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park (Bahamas).

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.

Having timely access to national-level trade data for CITES analysis reports would be valuable for monitoring trends this species. The species is targeted by collectors for the aquarium trade and fisheries management is required for the species, e.g., Marine Protected Areas, quotas, size limits, etc. Consideration of the suitability of species for aquaria should also be included as part of fisheries management, and population surveys should be carried out to monitor the effects of harvesting.
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Biological Research Needs: Data needed on recruitment patterns and susceptibility to eutrophication.

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Global Protection: Few to several (1-12) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

Comments: Numerous populations in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Biscayne National Park and Dry Tortugas, Florida.

Needs: Mooring buoys need to be installed in marine protected areas with populations.

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Wikipedia

Siderastrea siderea

The massive starlet coral or round starlet coral (Siderastrea siderea) is a stony coral in the family Siderastreidae. It is found in shallow parts of the western Atlantic Ocean as solid boulder-shaped or domed structures.

Description[edit]

Massive starlet coral is a colonial coral that forms low domes or boulder-shaped structures with a smooth dimpled surface as much as 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) wide on the seabed.[3] It can be encrusting when young.[3] The corallites, the calcareous cup-shaped depressions in which the polyps sit, are about 5 millimetres (0.20 in) wide with about 50 or 60 little ridges called septa.[4] The general colour is reddish-brown. This species can be confused with the closely related lesser starlet coral (Siderastrea radians) but that is usually smaller and has deeper, more angular corallites, each with 30 to 40 septa.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Massive starlet coral is found in the Caribbean Sea and the northern Gulf of Mexico and round the coasts of southern Florida, the Bahamas and Bermuda. It can occur at depths of up to 40 metres (130 ft) but is most common in less than 10 metres (33 ft) of water. It is found on rocks in various reef environments but not in tidal pools or muddy areas.[3]

In the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the massive starlet coral is listed as being of "Least Concern". This is because it is common throughout its wide range and its main threat is the destruction of its coral reef habitat. It is moderately susceptible to coral bleaching but is capable of recovering when conditions improve.[5]

Research[edit]

Massive starlet coral is a very slow growing species that lives to a great age. In a study, cores were drilled and samples taken from the coral in different zones in order to determine whether rates of growth had changed over the last hundred years. It was found that for backreef and nearshore specimens, the rates of extension of the skeleton had not changed significantly in this time period. However, the rate of growth for forereef corals had declined dramatically, this zone changing from being the one in which the fastest growth took place to the one with the slowest rates of extension. The reasons for this were not studied but possible causes include increased sedimentation and turbidity of the water, eutrophication or thermal stress.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ van der Land, Jacob (2012). "Siderastrea siderea Ellis & Solander". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  2. ^ "Siderastrea siderea (Ellis and Solander, 1786)". ITIS Report. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  3. ^ a b c d Colin, Patrick L. (1978). Marine Invertebrates and Plants of the Living Reef. T.F.H. Publications. p. 235. ISBN 0-86622-875-6. 
  4. ^ "Round starlet coral (Siderastrea siderea)". Interactive Guide to Caribbean Diving. Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  5. ^ Aronson, R.; Bruckner, A.; Moore, J.; Precht, B.; Weil, E. (2012). "Siderastrea siderea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  6. ^ Castillo, K. D.; Ries, J. B.; Weiss J. M. (2011). "Declining coral skeletal extension for forereef colonies of Siderastrea siderea on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system, Southern Belize". PLoS ONE 6 (2). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014615. 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Zlatarski and Estalella (1982) spelled the genus as Siderastraea and synonymized this species with S. radians, recognizing 2 forma: radians and siderea.

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