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Abundance and genetic variation of the coral-killing cyanobacteriosponge Terpios hoshinota in the Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2015

Esther van der Ent
Affiliation:
Department of Marine Zoology, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, P.O. Box 9517, 2300RA Leiden, the Netherlands Department of Biomarine Sciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Bert W. Hoeksema
Affiliation:
Department of Marine Zoology, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, P.O. Box 9517, 2300RA Leiden, the Netherlands
Nicole J. de Voogd*
Affiliation:
Department of Marine Zoology, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, P.O. Box 9517, 2300RA Leiden, the Netherlands Institute for Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, 1090 GE Amsterdam, the Netherlands
*
Correspondence should be addressed to:N.J. de Voogd, Department of Marine Zoology, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, P.O. Box 9517, 2300RA Leiden, the Netherlands email: Nicole.deVoogd@naturalis.nl

Abstract

The cyanobacteriosponge Terpios hoshinota is expanding its range across the Indo-Pacific. This species can have massive outbreaks on coral reefs, actively kill corals it overgrows and affect the entire benthic community. Although it has received much attention on the post-outbreak follow-up, little is known about its ecology, habitat preferences, and the possible environmental triggers that cause its outbreaks. We present a baseline study in the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia, where T. hoshinota was first observed in 2012. We surveyed 27 reefs and recorded patches between 14 and 217 cm2, at four reef sites (~15% cover). The sponge was found on both mid-shelf and outer shelf reefs but not close to the coast and the city of Makassar. Differences in benthic community structure, as well as spatial variables relating to the on-to-offshore gradient in the Spermonde archipelago, neither constrained nor promoted its expansion. Patches of the sponge were mostly overgrowing branching corals, belonging to Acroporidae species. Genetic variation within T. hoshinota was studied by sequencing partitions of the mitochondrial CO1 and nuclear ribosomal 28S gene. Two haplotypes were found within the Spermonde archipelago, which differed from the CO1 sequence in GenBank. The present study provides an indication of habitat preferences of T. hoshinota in non-outbreak conditions, although it is still unclear which environmental conditions may lead to the onset of its outbreaks.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2015 

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Abundance and genetic variation of the coral-killing cyanobacteriosponge Terpios hoshinota in the Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia
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