Coral reef growth in the Galápagos: Limitation by sea urchins

Peter W. Glynn, Gerard M. Wellington, Charles Birkeland

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126 Scopus citations

Abstract

The regular echinoid Eucidaris thouarsii is a conspicuous omnivore on coral bottoms in the Galápagos. Unlike Eucidaris in Panama and mainland Ecuador, Galápagos Eucidaris are large and abundant and graze heavily in the open on live corals day and night. These differences are probably due in large part to more intense predation by fishes on mainland compared with island urchin populations. An assessment of coral growth versus coral attrition from grazing shows that Eucidaris interferes with the establishment of pocilloporid reefframe and therefore reduces reef growth in the Galapagos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-49
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume203
Issue number4375
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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    Glynn, P. W., Wellington, G. M., & Birkeland, C. (1979). Coral reef growth in the Galápagos: Limitation by sea urchins. Science, 203(4375), 47-49. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.203.4375.47