Marine Biology

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 631–639 | Cite as

Genetic structure of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) in Australia

  • J. A. H. Benzie
  • J. A. Stoddart
Article

Abstract

Significant genetic structuring is reported for crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci (L.) populations within Australia, sampled in 1987 and 1989, with Eastern Australian and Western Australian populations forming different groups. Eastern Australian populations sampled included the three most southerly, on isolated reefs of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, and Lord Howe Island. The Lord Howe Island population formed a discrete outlier from all other Australian populations, with average genetic distances (Nei's unbiased D) from other populations of 0.05 compared with 0.01 among all other populations. This is greater than the levels of genetic differentiation described for A. planci from sites at the extremes of the Pacific. The genetic distinction of Western Australia and Lord Howe Island is considered to reflect restricted dispersal as a result of current patterns. The Western Australian populations also showed less genetic diversity than the Great Barrier Reef populations, and this might reflect a founder effect or recent bottleneck in the Western Australian populations.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Baker, A. J., Dennison, M. D., Lynch, A., LeGrand, G. (1990). Genetic divergence in peripherally isolated populations of chaffinches in the Atlantic Islands. Evolution 44: 981–999Google Scholar
  2. Benzie, J. A. H. (1990a). Genetic relationships of crown-of-thorns starfish. In: Done, T. J., Navin, K. (eds.) Vanuatu marine resources. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, p. 114–118Google Scholar
  3. Benzie, J. A. H. (1990b). Techniques for the electrophoresis of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) enzymes. Australian Institute of Marine Science, TownsvilleGoogle Scholar
  4. Benzie, J. A. H., Stoddart, J. A. (1989). Genetic approaches to ecological problems: crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks. Proc. 6th int. Coral Reef Symp. 2: 119–124 [Choat, J. H. et al. (eds.) Sixth International Coral Reef Symposium Executive Committee, Townsville]Google Scholar
  5. Benzie, J. A. H., Stoddart, J. A. (1992). Genetic structure of outbreaking and non-outbreaking crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) populations on the Great Barrier Reef. Mar. Biol. 112: 119–130Google Scholar
  6. Birkeland, C., Lucas, J. S. (1990). Acanthaster planci:, major management problem of coral reefs. CRC Press, Boca Raton, LouisianaGoogle Scholar
  7. De Vantier, L. M., Andrews, G. J. (1987). Report on surveys of the distribution, abundance and impact of Acanthaster planci on the fringing reefs of Lord Howe Island and the Solitary Islands. Australian Institute of Marine Science, TownsvilleGoogle Scholar
  8. De Vantier, L. M., Deacon, G. (1990). Distribution of Acanthaster planci at Lord Howe Island, the southern-most Indo-Pacific reef. Coral Reefs 9: 145–148Google Scholar
  9. Hill, W. G. (1975). Linkage disequilibrium among multiple neutral alleles produced by mutation in finite populations. Theor. Popul. Biol. 8: 117–126Google Scholar
  10. Johnson, D. B., Stoddart, J. A. (1987). Report on surveys of the distribution, abundance and impact of Acanthaster planci on reefs within the Dampier Archipelago (Western Australia). Australian Institute of Marine Science, TownsvilleGoogle Scholar
  11. Johnson M. S., Black, R. (1984). Pattern, beneath the chaos: the effect of recruitment on genetic patchiness in an intertidal limpet. Evolution 38: 1371–1383Google Scholar
  12. Johnson, M. S., Clarke, B., Murray, J. (1988). Discrepancies in the estimation of gene flow in Partula. Genetics, Austin, Tex. 120: 233–238Google Scholar
  13. Lucas, J. S. (1982). Quantitative studies on the feeding and nutrition during larval development of the coral reef asteroid Acanthaster planci (L.). J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 65: 173–193Google Scholar
  14. Miller, R. G. (1966). Simultaneous statistical inference. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Moran, P. J. (1986). The Acanthaster phenomenon. Oceanogr. mar. Biol. A. Rev. 24: 379–480Google Scholar
  16. Nash, W. J., Goddard, M., Lucas, J. S. (1988). Population genetic studies of the crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci (L.) in the Great Barrier Reef region. Coral Reefs 7: 11–18Google Scholar
  17. Nei, M. (1972). Genetic distance between populations. Am. Nat. 106: 283–292Google Scholar
  18. Nei, M. (1978). Estimation of average heterozygosity and genetic distance from a small number of individuals. Genetics, Austin, Tex. 89: 583–590Google Scholar
  19. Nei, M., Maruyama, T., Chakraborty, R. (1975). The bottleneck effect and genetic variability in populations. Evolution 29: 1–10Google Scholar
  20. Nishida, M., Lucas, J. S. (1988). Genetic differences between geographic populations of the crown-of-thorns starfish throughout the Pacific region. Mar. Biol. 98: 359–368Google Scholar
  21. Pickard G. L., Donguy, J. R., Henin, C., Rougerie, F. (1977). A review of the physical oceanography of the Great Barrier Reef and Western Coral Sea. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville (Monogr. Ser. Vol. 2)Google Scholar
  22. Reynolds, J., Weir, B. S., Cockerham, C. C. (1983). Estimation of the coancestry coefficient: basis for a short-term genetic distance. Genetics, Austin, Tex. 105: 767–779Google Scholar
  23. Slatkin, M. (1985a). Rare alleles as indicators of gene flow. Evolution 39: 53–65Google Scholar
  24. Slatkin, M. (1985b). Gene flow in natural populations. A. Rev. Ecol. Syst.. 16: 393–430Google Scholar
  25. Swofford, D. L., Selander, R. B. (1981). BIOSYS-1: a Fortran program for the comprehensive analysis of electrophoretic data in population genetics and systematics. J. Hered. 72: 281–283Google Scholar
  26. Waples, R. S. (1987). A multispecies approach to the analysis of gene flow in marine shore fishes. Evolution. 41: 385–400Google Scholar
  27. Weir, B. S., Cockerham, C. C. (1984). Estimating F-statistics for the analysis of population structure. Evolution 38: 1358–1370Google Scholar
  28. Williams, G. C., Koehn, R. K., Mitton, J. B. (1973). Genetic differentiation without isolation in the American eel Anguilla rostrata. Evolution 27: 192–204Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. H. Benzie
    • 1
  • J. A. Stoddart
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Institute of Marine ScienceTownsville M.C.Australia
  2. 2.Kinhill EngineersVictoria ParkAustralia

Personalised recommendations