Destruction of Pacific Corals by the Sea Star Acanthaster planci

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Science  18 Jul 1969:
Vol. 165, Issue 3890, pp. 280-283
DOI: 10.1126/science.165.3890.280


Acanthaster planci, a coral predator, is undergoing a population explosion in many areas of the Pacific Ocean. Data on feeding rates, population movements, and stages of infestation were collected along coral reefs of Guam and Palau. Direct observations on destruction of Guam's coral reefs indicate that narrow, fringing reefs may be killed as rapidly as 1 kilometer per month. In a 2½-year period, 90 percent of the coral was killed along 38 kilometers of Guam's shoreline.

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