Reef sites Record of Tubastraea coccinea on Xestospongia barrel sponge: a new threat to Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico reefs? Over the last 30 years, Tubas- traea spp. has acquired the status of one of the most effective invasive species in the western Atlantic Ocean causing impacts in community structure, mortality of native corals, and the predation of both ﬁsh and invertebrate lar- va, with presumed effects on ﬁshing yields (Creed et al. 2017; Miranda et al. 2018). During sampling for the Mar- ine Biodiversity of Yucatan Fig. 1 a Barrel sponge Xestopongia muta (Schmidt, 1870) showing its vertical walls and crests, a suitable habitat for (BDMY) project, seventy-nine Tubastraea coccinea Lesson, 1829 colonization; b Tubastraea coccinea polyps on Xestospongia muta wall. Note at right sites on six reef areas at Cayos and superior side of coral the presence of one Pyuridae Ascidiacea Oeste were surveyed during more than 320 team dives. One 10 polyp colony of Tubastraea coccinea Lesson, 1829 was recorded at Banco Obispo Sur; (20.42535 N/92.22692 W) at a depth of approximately 15 m. It was recorded deeply encrusted on the vertical outer wall of the barrel sponge Xestopongia muta (Schmidt, 1870) without any visible indication of necrosis on the sponge surface due to Tubastraea cnidocytes (Fig. 1). As T. coccinea could become very invasive in just few years after initial establishment (Creed et al. 2017), the colony was completely removed. To our knowledge, it is the ﬁrst record of T. coccinea growing on living animals. The possibility of T. coccinea to colonize X. muta in the absence of other suitable substrates could favor its spread along reefs both on Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, representing a threat to these areas. Acknowledgements Thanks to Nuno Simo˜es (UNAM) coordinator of the BDMY Project and its team and ‘‘Isla Mujeres’’ ship crew during ﬁeld sampling. Funding by Comisio´n Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO; proyecto NE018) and Harte Research Institute Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi (HRI-TAMUCC). Compliance with ethical standards Conﬂict of interest The author states that there is no conﬂict of interest. References Creed JC, Fenner D, Sammarco P, Cairns S, Capel K, Junqueira AOR, Cruz I, Miranda RJ, Carlos-Junior L, Mantelatto MC, Oigman-Pszczol S (2017) The invasion of the azooxanthellate coral Tubastraea (Scleractinia: Dendrophylliidae) throughout the world: history, pathways and vectors. Biol Invasions 19:283–305 Miranda RJ, Nunes J de ACC, Mariano-Neto E, Sippo JZ, Barros F (2018) Do invasive corals alter coral reef processes? an empirical approach evaluating reef ﬁsh trophic interactions. Mar Environ Res 138:19–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2018.03.013 L. F. Skinner (&) UERJ/DCIEN, Rua Francisco Portela 1470, Sa˜o Gonc¸alo, RJ 24435-005, Brazil e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Coral Reefs (2018) 37:809 Received: 20 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published online: 2 June 2018 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-018-1706-x
Coral Reefs – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 2, 2018
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