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Siderastrea stellata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CNIDARIA ANTHOZOA SCLERACTINIA SIDERASTREIDAE

Scientific Name: Siderastrea stellata
Species Authority: Verrill 1868

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2008-01-03
Assessor(s): Aronson, R., Bruckner, A., Moore, J., Precht, B. & E. Weil
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J.
Justification:
The taxonomic status of this species is unclear and it is not currently possible to determine the precise limits of distribution and abundance of this species in the Caribbean part if its range. In addition, there has been very little research conducted on this species in Brazil. This species is listed as Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The distribution of this species is reported to include the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, and Brazil (Cairns et al. 1999). However, it is not yet confirmed that S. stellata is the form present in the wider Caribbean (E. Weil pers. comm.).

In Brazil, this species has been reported from Fortaleza to Cabo Frio, and the oceanic Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Atol das Rocas (Pires et al. 1992, Echeverria et al. 1997).

The taxonomic status of forms in the Caribbean requires further investigation.
Countries:
Native:
Brazil; Guam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – southwest
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common in Brazil and unknown in the Caribbean.

There is no species specific population information available for this species. However, there is evidence that overall coral reef habitat has declined globally.

The age of first maturity of most reef building corals is typically three to eight years (Wallace 1999) and therefore we assume that average age of mature individuals is greater than eight years. Furthermore, based on average sizes and growth rates, we assume that average generation length is 10 years, unless otherwise stated. Total longevity is not known, but likely to be more than ten years. Therefore any population decline rates for the Red List assessment are measured over at least 30 years. Follow the link below for further details on population decline and generation length estimates.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in shallow reefs, lagoons and intertidal pools (Goreau and Wells 1967). It is not known to which depth this species occurs.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): A potential future threat is sea-level rise, especially in areas where hard-bottom communities are replaced by soft substrates.

In general, the major threat to corals is global climate change, in particular, temperature extremes leading to bleaching and increased susceptibility to disease, increased severity of ENSO events and storms, and ocean acidification. In addition to global climate change, corals are also threatened by disease and a number of localized threats. The severity of these combined threats to the global population of each individual species is not known.

Coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide and is a major cause of reef deterioration (Weil et al. 2006). The numbers of diseases and coral species affected, as well as the distribution of diseases have all increased dramatically within the last decade (Porter et al. 2001, Green and Bruckner 2000, Sutherland et al. 2004, Weil 2004). Coral disease epizootics have resulted in significant losses of coral cover and were implicated in the dramatic decline of acroporids in the Florida Keys (Aronson and Precht 2001, Porter et al. 2001, Patterson et al. 2002). Escalating anthropogenic stressors combined with the threats associated with global climate change of increases in coral disease, frequency and duration of coral bleaching and ocean acidification place coral reefs at high risk of collapse.

Localized threats to corals include fisheries, human development (industry, settlement, tourism, and transportation), changes in native species dynamics (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), invasive species (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), dynamite fishing, chemical fishing, pollution from agriculture and industry, domestic pollution, sedimentation, and human recreation and tourism activities.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: All corals are listed on CITES Appendix II. Parts of this species distribution fall within several Marine Protected Areas within its range.

Recommended measures for conserving this species include research in taxonomy, population, abundance and trends, ecology and habitat status, threats and resilience to threats, restoration action; identification, establishment and management of new protected areas; expansion of protected areas; recovery management; and disease, pathogen and parasite management. Artificial propagation and techniques such as cryo-preservation of gametes may become important for conserving coral biodiversity.

Having timely access to national-level trade data for CITES analysis reports would be valuable for monitoring trends this species. The species is targeted by collectors for the aquarium trade and fisheries management is required for the species, e.g., Marine Protected Areas, quotas, size limits, etc. Consideration of the suitability of species for aquaria should also be included as part of fisheries management, and population surveys should be carried out to monitor the effects of harvesting.

Citation: Aronson, R., Bruckner, A., Moore, J., Precht, B. & E. Weil 2014. Siderastrea stellata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 November 2014.
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