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MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES Mar Ecol Prog Ser
 

Summary: MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES
Mar Ecol Prog Ser
Vol. 329: 205210, 2007 Published January 11
INTRODUCTION
Coral reefs are the most taxonomically diverse and
structurally complex marine ecosystems, providing
habitat for numerous organisms. Over the last 2
decades, reef ecosystems have shifted from being
coral-dominated to macroalgae-dominated (Carpenter
1990, Gardner et al. 2003). The compounding events
that led to this change in the Caribbean Sea included
the die-off of the long-spined sea urchin Diadema
antillarum (Hughes 1994), mechanical damage from
hurricanes (Lugo et al. 2000), eutrophication (Lapointe
1997) and overfishing (Jackson et al. 2001). The mass
mortality of D. antillarum in the Caribbean reef ecosys-
tem is the most spatially extensive die-off of a marine
organism ever reported (Knowlton 2004). The mortal-
ity, first documented in Panama in 1983, was caused by
an unknown pathogen transported by surface currents

  

Source: Acevedo, Alejandro - Department of Biology, Western Washington University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology