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An assemblage of mollusks associated with the high latitude scleractinian coral Alveopora japonica (Eguchi 1968) in Jeju Island, off the south coast of Korea

Abstract

Corals reefs and communities support a wide range of flora and fauna. The complete richness and abundance of faunal communities in either coral reefs or communities is not fully understood. This is especially true for high-latitude coral communities. In this work, we carried out an analysis of an Alveopora japonica associated mollusk assemblage, in Jeju Island, Korea. A. japonica is one of the major coral species present in high abundance (88–155 colonies m-2), with a high recruitment rate (7.8 juvenile corals m-2 yr-1) in Jeju Island, and may serve as a habitat for other benthic organisms. In 2012, a total number of 579 A. japonica colonies with sizes ranging between 15.1-346.7 cm2 in the surface area were collected from a 1m× 10m quadrat installed at a depth of 10 m at Keumneung, on the northwest coast of Jeju Island. Numerous benthic invertebrates were found to be associated with A. japonica colonies. Twenty-seven bivalves and gastropods were identified, including a boring mytilid, Lithophaga curta, and an arcid, Barbatia stearnsi. A zonalgeographical examination of the distribution ranges of these mollusks revealed a majority of warmer water species. Our observations also showed that A. japonica may be providing a habitat to grazing gastropod, Turbo cornutus, and encrusting Spondylidae and Chamidae bivalves. A. japonica forms a coral carpet with a distinct assemblage of bivalves. It is thought that the presence of these mollusks species in the coral indicates its use as a nursery for juvenile species, a ready food supply of organic detritus, and a refuge from predators.

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Correspondence to Kwang-Sik Choi.

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Noseworthy, R.G., Hong, HK., Keshavmurthy, S. et al. An assemblage of mollusks associated with the high latitude scleractinian coral Alveopora japonica (Eguchi 1968) in Jeju Island, off the south coast of Korea. Ocean Sci. J. 51, 21–31 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12601-016-0003-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12601-016-0003-2

Keywords

  • high-latitude
  • benthic assemblages
  • bivalves
  • gastropods
  • Jeju Island