|Scientific Name:||Fungia distorta|
|Species Authority:||Michelin 1842|
Cycloseris distorta (Michelin 1842)
Cycloseris mexicana Durham 1947
Diaseris distorta (Michelin 1843)
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Assessor/s:||Cortés, J., Edgar, G. & Chiriboga, A.|
|Reviewer/s:||Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J. (Global Marine Species Assessment)|
The most important known threat for this species is extensive reduction of coral reef habitat due to a combination of threats. Specific population trends are unknown but population reduction can be inferred from estimated habitat loss (Wilkinson 2004). It is widespread and uncommon throughout its range and therefore is likely to be more resilient to habitat loss and reef degradation because of an assumed large effective population size that is highly connected and/or stable with enhanced genetic variability. Therefore, the estimated habitat loss of 21% from reefs already destroyed within its range is the best inference of population reduction since it may survive in coral reefs already at the critical stage of degradation (Wilkinson 2004). This inference of population reduction over three generation lengths (30 years) does not meet the threshold of a threat category and is therefore listed as Least Concern. However, because of predicted threats from climate change and ocean acidification it will be important to reassess this species in 10 years or sooner, particularly if the species is also observed to disappear from reefs currently at the critical stage of reef degradation.
|Range Description:||In the Eastern Tropical Pacific region Fungia distorta has been reported from: México: Baja California Sur, Nayarit, Colima (including the Revillagigedo Islands), Oaxaca (Reyes-Bonilla et al 2005); Costa Rica*: Cocos Island, Bahía Culebra (Cortés and Guzmán 1998, Cortés and Jiménez 2003); Panamá*: Gulf of Chiriquí and Gulf of Panamá (Maté 2003); Colombia (Glynn and Ault 2000, Reyes 2000); Ecuador: Mainland Ecuador and the Galápagos Archipelago (Glynn 1997, Glynn and Ault 2000, Glynn 2003).
(*Currently only dead fragments are known).
In the Indo-West Pacific, this species is found in southwestern Indian Ocean, northwestern and central Indian Ocean, Central Indo-Pacific, east Australia, south Japan, West Pacific, Central Pacific and the Hawaii Islands (Cairns 1999, Reyes-Bonilla 2002, Hickman 2005).
Native:Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; Mexico; Panama
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:||
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southeast
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
Fungia distorta is uncommon but may be locally common.
The relative abundance of F. distorta within the Eastern Tropical Pacific has been classified as:
México: Abundant, with apparently stable populations (Reyes-Bonila, pers. comm.). Additionally, Reyes-Bonilla et al. (2005), reported this species at twelve different locations in the Gulf of California Sur. Glynn and Ault (2000) considered this as a common species in the Gulf of California. According to Reyes-Bonilla (pers. comm.), F. distorta can be locally very abundant (e.g., at San Jose Island densities across an area of 1 hectare are between 100 and 200 individuals m-2). By contrast, Reyes-Bonilla (2003) considered the species to be generally rare throughout its Mexican distribution.
Costa Rica: Only dead fragments are known, from Bahía Culebra (Cortés and Guzmán 1998).
Panamá: Only known from dead fragments (Maté 2003).
Colombia: Considered rare by Glynn and Ault (2000).
Ecuador: Abundant (tens of thousands over 1 to 2 ha) at Devils Crown, Floreana, Galápagos Island, which is the only known site with living individuals in Ecuador (Glynn 2003).
There is no species specific population information available for this species. However, there is evidence that overall coral reef habitat has declined, and this is used as a proxy for population decline for this species. This species is more resilient to some of the threats faced by corals and therefore population decline is estimated using the percentage of destroyed reefs only (Wilkinson 2004). We assume that most, if not all, mature individuals will be removed from a destroyed reef and that on average, the number of individuals on reefs are equal across its range and proportional to the percentage of destroyed reefs. Reef losses throughout the species' range have been estimated over three generations, two in the past and one projected into the future.
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.
|Habitat and Ecology:||
Fungia distorta is a free-living coral that occurs on soft substrata, sediments and coral rubble, especially where exposed to currents; and sometimes found in seagrass beds (Feingold 1996). It is found to 85 m, but the most common depth range is from 1-25 m (Hoeksema 1990) Maximum size is 7.5cm in diameter. It also reproduce asexually by fragmentation.
According to Colley et al. (2000), F. distorta individuals are gonochoric and probably broadcast spawners. Reproduction activity occurs during the warm, wet season from at least February to June, peaking in April (Colley et al. 2000). Fecundity is high for F. distorta, with up to 13,000 mature eggs per cm² of live coral tissue (Colley et al. 2000). Individuals can have from four to eight reproductive cycles per year; additionally, the minimum size for sexual activity is 1.75 cm diameter (Colley et al. 2000). Asexual reproduction is locally important. In addition, parental fragments as well as secondary fragments can produce gonads (Colley et al. 2000). At Davil's Crown, Galapagos Islands, the sex ratio is skewed towards males (5:1), which can be a result of fragmentation (Colley et al. 2000).
Robinson (1985) found that Fungia species bleached but did not die during the 1982-83 El Niño event at Devils Crown, Floreana, Galápagos. According to Feingold (1996), survival of Fungia species. was due to cool water that periodically flushed over the habitat, which mitigated the effects of elevated temperatures caused by the ENSO event.
According to Feingold (1996) species of Fungia are capable of surviving extended periods (>180d) in the bleached state.
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.
Coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide and 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). In the Indo-Pacific, disease is also on the rise with disease outbreaks recently reported from the Great Barrier Reef (Willis et al. 2004), Marshall Islands (Jacobson 2006) and the northwestern Hawaiian Islands (Aeby 2006). Increased coral disease levels on the GBR were correlated with increased ocean temperatures (Willis et al. 2007) supporting the prediction that disease levels will be increasing with higher sea surface temperatures. 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 in the Indo-Pacific 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.
The severity of these combined threats to the global population of each individual species is not known.
Present in multiple protected areas in the Eastern Tropical Pacific region:
Mexico: Islas del Golfo de California, Flora and Fauna Protection Area (IUCN category VI); Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California, World Heritage Site (UNESCO N (ii)(iii)); Cabo San Lucas, Flora and Fauna Protection Area (IUCN category VI); Cabo Pulmo National Park (IUCN category II); Islas Marias Biosphere Reserve (IUCN category VI); Islas Marias (Core Zone) Biosphere Reserve Core Zone (IUCN category Ia), and Archipielago de Revillagigedo Biosphere Reserve (IUCN category Ia, VI).
Ecuador: Galápagos Marine Reserve (IUCN category VI); Galapagos Archipelago Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA); Galapagos Island World Heritage Site (UNESCO N (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)), and Galapagos Island Man and Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO).
All corals are listed on CITES Appendix II.
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.
|Citation:||Cortés, J., Edgar, G. & Chiriboga, A. 2008. Fungia distorta. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 June 2013.|
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