Increased survivorship on corals harbouring crustacean symbionts.

P. W. Glynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pocilloporid corals in possession of obligate crustacean symbionts (xanthid crabs and alpheid shrimp) demonstrated a higher rate of survival than corals divested of their crustacean symbionts. The course of coral death in colonies without crustaceans involved polyp restriction, formation of a septic diaphanous film over the affected branches, disintegration of the polypal layer and massive tissue exfoliation within 4 days. Crude mucus production by corals was significantly greater (19%) in colonies with crustaceans than without. Coral skeletal growth (branch elongation) was also greater (21%) in colonies with crustaceans than without, but at a marginally insignificant level. The sheltering and feeding activities of crustacean symbionts produced local damage to host corals (destruction of polyps and coenosarc, and skeletal abrasion), but these sites were usually repaired and caused no apparent lasting effects. Crustacean symbionts apparently increase coral vitality by assisting their host in shedding contaminants, microorganisms, larval stages and other setting organisms. -Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Biology Letters
Volume4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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