|Scientific Name:||Acropora horrida (Dana, 1846)|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Vulnerable A4cde ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Richards, Z., Delbeek, J.C., Lovell, E., Bass, D., Aeby, G. & Reboton, C.|
|Reviewer(s):||Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J. (Global Marine Species Assessment)|
This species is widespread and uncommon throughout its range. However, it is particularly susceptible to bleaching, disease, crown-of-thorns starfish predation, trade and extensive reduction of coral reef habitat due to a combination of threats. Specific population trends are unknown but population reduction can be inferred from declines in habitat quality based on the combined estimates of both destroyed reefs and reefs at the critical stage of degradation within its range (Wilkinson 2004). Its threat susceptibility increases the likelihood of being lost within one generation in the future from reefs at a critical stage. Therefore, the estimated habitat degradation and loss of 36% over three generation lengths (30 years) is the best inference of population reduction and meets the threshold for Vulnerable under Criterion A4ced. It will be important to reassess this species in 10 years time because of predicted threats from climate change and ocean acidification. This species is observed to be in general decline with sustained local extirpations (Richards, pers. comm..).
|Range Description:||This species is found in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the south-west and north-west Indian Ocean, the Arabian/Iranian Gulf, the northern Indian Ocean, the central Indo-Pacific, Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan and the East China Sea, the oceanic west Pacific, and the central Pacific. It is found in Palau (Randall 1995) and the Line Islands (Wallace 1999).|
Native:American Samoa; Australia; Bahrain; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; Comoros; Cook Islands; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati; Kuwait; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Qatar; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United Arab Emirates; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
|FAO Marine Fishing Areas:|
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||This species is usually uncommon. This species is observed to have undergone dramatic population declines at Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef, and Kimbe Bay, Papau New Guinea (Richards pers. comm.). It was found at five of six regions in Indonesia (Wallace et al. 2001). Found at nine sites of 87 sites surveyed in the Marshall Islands (Richards pers. comm.).|
Observed to have undergone dramatic population declines at Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef and Kimbe Bay, Papau New Guinea (Richards pers. comm.). This species loses reproductive capacity after disturbance (Wallace 1985). There are large sterile zones (Richards pers. comm.). Low density clade a zooxanthellae (Richards pers. comm.).
There is evidence that overall coral reef habitat has declined, and is used as a proxy for population decline for this species. This species is particularly susceptible to bleaching, disease, and other threats and therefore population decline is based on both the percentage of destroyed reefs and critical reefs that are likely to be destroyed within 20 years (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 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. See the Supplementary Material for further details on population decline and generation length estimates.
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:||This species occurs in shallow, tropical reef environments. It is found in turbid water around fringing reefs, and subtidally on protected deepwater flats, lagoons, and sandy slopes (Wallace 1999). This species is found from 5-20 m.|
Members of this genus have a low resistance and low tolerance to bleaching and disease, and are slow to recover.
Acanthaster planci, the crown-of-thorns starfish, has been observed preferentially preying upon corals of the genus Acropora (Colgan 1987).
Acropora species are in the top three genera collected for the aquarium trade. The extent of this threat is unknown. The total number of corals (live and raw) exported for this species in 2005 was 5013.
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.
All corals are listed on CITES Appendix II. Parts of the species’ range fall within Marine Protected Areas.
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., MPAs, 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. Recommended conservation measures include population surveys to monitor the effects of collecting for the aquarium trade, especially in Indonesia.
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|Citation:||Richards, Z., Delbeek, J.C., Lovell, E., Bass, D., Aeby, G. & Reboton, C. 2008. Acropora horrida. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T133319A3687166.Downloaded on 17 January 2018.|