Community-level destruction of hard corals by the sea urchin Diadema setosum

Jianwen QIU*, Dickey C.C. Lau, Chi chiu Cheang, Wing kuen Chow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


We determined the spatial pattern of hard coral damage due to corallivory and bioerosion by the sea urchin Diadema setosum Leske in Hong Kong waters. Coral damage was common at the northeastern sites, with 23.7 - 90.3% colonies being either collapsed or severely damaged with >25% tissue loss. Many genera of corals were impacted by the sea urchin but the damage was most obvious for the structure forming genus Platygyra. The percentage of severely damaged and collapsed coral had significant positive correlation with the abundance of D. setosum, which ranged from 0.01 to 5.2 individuals per coral head or 0.1 - 21.1 individuals m-2 across the study sites. Remedial management actions such as sea urchin removal are urgently needed to save these fringing coral communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-788
Number of pages6
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bioerosion
  • Coral
  • Diadema
  • Platygyra
  • Predation
  • Sea urchin


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