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Astrangia poculata 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Cnidaria Anthozoa Scleractinia Rhizangiidae

Scientific Name: Astrangia poculata
Species Authority: Ellis & Solander, 1786

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Aronson, R., Bruckner, A., Moore, J., Precht, B. & E. Weil
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J. (Global Marine Species Assessment)
Justification:
This species is widespread and common. It can live in a range of temperatures in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions. It can live as a zooxanthellate and azooxanthellate form and is not restricted to coral reef habitat. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the northern Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, and in the east Atlantic on the coast of west Africa.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Bahamas; Benin; Bermuda; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mauritania; Mexico; Nigeria; Sao Tomé and Principe; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Togo; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – eastern central
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a common species.

There is no specific population information for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found on rocky shores and jetty pilings, and it is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. A. poculata is distinct from its Caribbean relatives by exhibiting facultative symbiosis with zooxanthellae (Jacques and Pilson 1980), and can be both zooxanthellate and azooxanthellate.

Corals in this family are small, non-reef-building corals that may be found in shallow waters. They tend to grow under ledges and rocks in both shallow and deep waters. This cryptic habit, together with their small size, means that they are readily overlooked (Wood 1983).
Systems:Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): 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. 2008. Astrangia poculata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T133446A3749524. . Downloaded on 29 May 2017.
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