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Goniopora lobata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CNIDARIA ANTHOZOA SCLERACTINIA PORITIDAE

Scientific Name: Goniopora lobata
Species Authority: Milne Edwards and Haime 1860

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2008-01-03
Assessor(s): Sheppard, A., Fenner, D., Edwards, A., Abrar, M. & Ochavillo, D.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Polidoro, B. & Smith, J.
Justification:
The most important known threat for this species is extensive reduction of coral reef habitat due to a combination of threats. However, this species is also highly collected for the aquarium trade. Specific population trends are unknown but population reduction can be inferred from estimated habitat loss (Wilkinson 2004). This species is very widespread and common within its range, with low susceptibility to bleaching and disease, 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. However, since this population reduction estimate is close to a threatened threshold, and because this species is highly susceptible to harvesting, it is likely to be one of the species lost on some reefs currently at the critical stage of degradation and therefore is Near Threatened. Predicted threats from climate change and ocean acidification make it important to reassess this species in 10 years or sooner, particularly if the species is actually observed to disappear from reefs currently at the critical stage of reef degradation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, southwest Indian Ocean, central Indian Ocean, northwest Indian Ocean and Arabian/Iranian Gulf, northern Indian Ocean, central Indo-Pacific, north and west Australia, South-east Asia, Japan and East China Sea, eastern Australia, and oceanic West Pacific.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; Bahrain; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; Comoros; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; Guam; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati; Kuwait; Madagascar; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Norfolk Island; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Qatar; Réunion; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tuvalu; United Arab Emirates; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common.

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.
For further information about this species, see Corals_SupportingDoc.pdf.
A PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader is required.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species forms large single species stands, especially in turbid water, generally to depths of 30 m.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Goniopora is in the top five genera in the aquarium trade (Wabnitz et al. 2003). In Indonesia, the catch quota for this species is 47,000 per year. In one area, 360 Goniopora were collected over 7 months (Terangi Indonesian Coral Reef Foundation, unpublished data). Although disease risk is likely to be low for species of this genus (Aeby pers comm.), Goniopora species are moderately susceptible to bleaching in the western Indian Ocean (McClanahan et al. 2007), and exhibit low susceptibility in the Great Barrier Reef (Marshall and Baird 2000).

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 threatened by a number of localized threats. 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.

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.

Bibliography [top]

Aeby, G.S., Work, T., Coles, S., and Lewis, T. 2006. Coral Disease Across the Hawaiian Archipelago. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 87(36): suppl.

Aronson, R.B. and Precht, W.F. 2001 b. White-band disease and the changing face of Caribbean coral reefs. Hydrobiologia 460: 25-38.

Bruno, J.F., Selig, E.R., Casey, K.S., Page, C.A., Willis, B.L., Harvell, C.D., 2007. Thermal Stress and Coral Cover as Drivers of Coral Disease Outbreaks Sweatman, H., and Melendy, A.M. PLoS Biol 5(6): e124.

Colgan, M.W. 1987. Coral Reef Recovery on Guam (Micronesia) After Catastrophic Predation by Acanthaster Planci. Ecology 68(6): 1592-1605.

Green, E.P. and Bruckner, A.W. 2000. The significance of coral disease epizootiology for coral reef conservation. Biological Conservation 96: 347-361.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2014).

Jacobson, D.M. 2006. Fine Scale Temporal and Spatial Dynamics of a Marshall Islands Coral Disease Outbreak: Evidence for Temperature Forcing. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 87(36): suppl.

MaClanahan, T.R., Atteweberhan, M., Graham, N.A.J., Wilson, S.K., Ruiz Sebastian, C., Guillaume, M.M.M., Bruggeman, J.H. 2007. Western Indian Ocean coral communities: bleaching responses and susceptibility to extinction. Marine Ecology Progress Series 337: 1-13.

Marshall, P.A. and Baird, A.H. 2000. Bleaching of corals on the Great Barrier ReefL differential susceptibilities among taxa. Coral Reefs 19(2): 155-163.

Patterson, K.L., Porter, J.W., Ritchie, K.B., Polson, S.W., Mueller E., Peters, E.C., Santavy, D.L., Smith, G.W. 2002. The etiology of white pox, a lethal disease of the Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata. Proc Natl Acad Sci 99: 8725-8730.

Porter, J.W., Dustan, P., Jaap, W.C., Patterson, K.L., Kosmynin, V., Meier, O.W., Patterson, M.E., and Parsons, M. 2001. Patterns of spread of coral disease in the Florida Keys. Hydrobiologia 460(1-3): 1-24.

Pratchett, Morgan S. 2007. Feeding Preferences of Acanthaster planci (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) under Controlled Conditions of Food Availability. Pacific Science 61(1): 113-120.

Richmond, R.H. and Hunter, C.L. 1990. Reproduction and recruitment of corals: comparisons among the Caribbean, the tropical Pacific, and the Red Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 60: 185-203.

Sutherland, K.P., Porter, J.W., and Torres, C. 2004. Disease and immunity in Caribbean and Indo-Pacific zooxanthellate corals. Marine ecology progress series 266: 273-302.

Veron, J.E.N. 2000. Corals of the World. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.

Wabnitz, C., Taylor, M., Green, E. and Razak, T. 2003. From ocean to aquarium: the global trade in marine ornamental species. UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, U.K.

Wallace, C. C. 1999. Staghorn Corals of the World: a revison of the coral genus Acropora. CSIRO, Collingwood.

Weil, E. 2004. Coral reef diseases in the wider Caribbean. In: E. Rosenberg and Y. Loya (eds), Coral Health and Diseases, pp. 35-68. Springer Verlag, NY.

Weil, E. 2006. Coral, Ocotocoral and sponge diversity in the reefs of the Jaragua National Park, Dominican Republic. Rev. Bio. Trop. 54(2): 423-443.

Wilkinson, C. 2004. Status of coral reefs of the world: 2004. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

Willis, B., Page, C and E. Dinsdale. 2004. Coral disease on the Great Barrier Reef. In: E. Rosenber and Y. Loya (eds), Coral Health and Disease, pp. 69-104. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Citation: Sheppard, A., Fenner, D., Edwards, A., Abrar, M. & Ochavillo, D. 2014. Goniopora lobata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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