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Age and Growth of An Outbreaking Acanthaster cf. solaris Population within the Great Barrier Reef

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dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor James Cook Univ
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Dalhousie University
dc.contributor Arc Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies
dc.contributor Dept Math & Stat
dc.contributor James Cook University
dc.contributor Dalhousie Univ
dc.contributor Pmb Townsville Mc 3 PRATCHETT, DEBORAH J. CHONG-SENG, KAREN M. THOMPSON, CASSSANDRA A. MESSMER, VANESSA PRATCHETT, MORGAN S. MACNEIL, M. AARON 2019-01-06T18:35:27Z 2019-01-06T18:35:27Z 2020-07-20T00:35:30Z 2019-01-06T18:35:27Z 2019-01-06T18:35:27Z 2020-07-20T00:35:30Z 2017-03-01
dc.identifier.citation MacNeil MA, Chong-Seng KM, Pratchett DJ, Thompson CA, Messmer V, Pratchett MS (2017) Age and growth of an outbreaking Acanthaster cf. solaris Population within the Great Barrier Reef. Diversity 9(1): 18
dc.identifier.issn 1424-2818
dc.description.abstract Despite having been studied for more than 40 years, much about the basic life history of crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS; Acanthaster spp.) remains poorly understood. Size at age-a key metric of productivity for any animal population-has yet to be clearly defined, primarily due to difficulties in obtaining validated ages and potentially indeterminate growth due to factors such as starvation; within-population variability is entirely unknown. Here we develop age and growth estimates for an outbreaking CoTS population in Australian waters by integrating prior information with data from CoTS collected from multiple outbreaking reefs. Age estimates were made from un-validated band counts of 2038 individual starfish. Results from our three-parameter von Bertalanffy Bayesian hierarchical model show that, under 2013-2014 outbreak conditions, CoTS on the GBR grew to a 349 ( 326, 380) mm (posterior median (95% uncertainty interval)) total diameter at a 0.54 (0.43, 0.66) intrinsic rate of increase. However, we also found substantial evidence (Delta DIC > 200) for inter-reef variability in both maximum size (SD 38 (19, 76)) and intrinsic rate of increase (SD 0.32 (0.20, 0.49)) within the CoTS outbreak initiation area. These results suggest that CoTS demography can vary widely with reef-scale environmental conditions, supporting location-based mechanisms for CoTS outbreaks generally. These findings should help improve population and metapopulation models of CoTS dynamics and better predict the potential damage they may cause in the future.
dc.description.sponsorship We are grateful for to those who assisted us in the collection of CoTS: Kristen Anderson, Zara-Louise Cowan, Jacob Johansen, Elmar Messmer, Kirsty Nash, Laura Richardson, Robert Streit, StuartWatson, Simon Wever; Lizard Island Research Staff Tim Godfrey; and the crew of Reef Connection and Capricorn Star. This research was supported by the Commonwealth Government of Australia, through the Caring for Country and Reef Rescue Program.
dc.language English
dc.subject Great Barrier Reef
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Age Estimation
dc.subject Science & Technology - Other Topics
dc.subject Multidisciplinary Sciences
dc.subject Bayesian Modeling
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.title Age and Growth of An Outbreaking Acanthaster cf. solaris Population within the Great Barrier Reef
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.3390/d9010018
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000396522000017

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