Increases in surgeonfish populations after mass mortality of the sea urchinDiadema antillarum in Panamá indicate food limitation

@article{Robertson1991IncreasesIS,
  title={Increases in surgeonfish populations after mass mortality of the sea urchinDiadema antillarum in Panam{\'a} indicate food limitation},
  author={D. Ross Robertson},
  journal={Marine Biology},
  year={1991},
  volume={111},
  pages={437-444}
}
In 1983/1984,Diadema antillarum suffered mass mortalities throughout its West Atlantic range. Its populations were reduced by 95% and subsequently have failed to recover. These die-offs led to sustained increases in the abundance of soft algae, including types eaten by herbivorous reef fishes. I monitored adult populations of three herbivorous surgeonfishes (Acanthurus coeruleus, A. chirurugus andA. bahianus) between 1978 and 1990, and the recruitment of their pelagic juveniles between 1979 and… 
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  • 1995
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The Great Diadema antillarum Die-Off: 30 Years Later.
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    Annual review of marine science
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TLDR
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TLDR
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  • Environmental Science
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TLDR
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TLDR
Dadema was abundant in the Caribbean long before humans could have affected ecological processes; the genetic data contain no evidence of a recent, anthropogenically caused, population increase.
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TLDR
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Using an isolated population boom to explore barriers to recovery in the keystone Caribbean coral reef herbivore Diadema antillarum
TLDR
A lack of structural complexity on contemporary Caribbean reefs is highlighted as the most likely explanation for the limited recovery through a lack of provision of juvenile predation refugia, representing a further consequence of the recent ubiquitous phase shifts throughout the region.
Predation and the Control of the Sea Urchin Echinometra viridisand Fleshy Algae in the Patch Reefs of Glovers Reef, Belize
TLDR
The ecology of a grazer living sympatrically with D. antillarum, the common and abundant sea urchin Echinometra viridis, was examined and abundance was positively correlated with fleshy algal abundance, but negatively correlated with the frequency of finfish bites.
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TLDR
Density measurements indicate that populations of D. antillarum have not recovered from the die-offs that killed nearly 97% of the individuals in 1983, and the most likely explanation for lack of recruitment is that the reduced numbers of reproducing adults at Panamá and upstream locations resulted in levels of larval supply that were inadequate to sustain recruitment on Panamanian reefs.
Mass mortality ofDiadema antillarum
TLDR
The hypothesis that exploitative competition for algal resources was occurring prior to the sea urchin mass-mortality, although alternative hypotheses cannot be discounted completely is supported, despite the increases in the abundances of, and grazing by, herbivorous fishes.
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TLDR
The mass mortality of the echinoid Diadema antillarum Philippi in 1983/1984 resulted in dramatic changes in the benthic algal community, with a transition from a community dominated by a grazing-based food web to one where the majority of primary production may be exported to adjacent communities.
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Either post-settlement mortality or relocation overrode effects of settlement patterns in determining adult abundances on the six reefs, and relocation is important in organizing reef-fish communities and must be further examined, particularly in large habitat mosaics.
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TLDR
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TLDR
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TLDR
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