Preprint Review Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

30 Years of Research on Crown-of-thorns Starfish (1986-2016): Scientific Advances and Emerging Opportunities

Version 1 : Received: 22 August 2017 / Approved: 22 August 2017 / Online: 22 August 2017 (10:20:00 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Pratchett, M.S.; Caballes, C.F.; Wilmes, J.C.; Matthews, S.; Mellin, C.; Sweatman, H.P.A.; Nadler, L.E.; Brodie, J.; Thompson, C.A.; Hoey, J.; Bos, A.R.; Byrne, M.; Messmer, V.; Fortunato, S.A.V.; Chen, C.C.M.; Buck, A.C.E.; Babcock, R.C.; Uthicke, S. Thirty Years of Research on Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (1986–2016): Scientific Advances and Emerging Opportunities. Diversity 2017, 9, 41. Pratchett, M.S.; Caballes, C.F.; Wilmes, J.C.; Matthews, S.; Mellin, C.; Sweatman, H.P.A.; Nadler, L.E.; Brodie, J.; Thompson, C.A.; Hoey, J.; Bos, A.R.; Byrne, M.; Messmer, V.; Fortunato, S.A.V.; Chen, C.C.M.; Buck, A.C.E.; Babcock, R.C.; Uthicke, S. Thirty Years of Research on Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (1986–2016): Scientific Advances and Emerging Opportunities. Diversity 2017, 9, 41.

Journal reference: Diversity 2017, 9, 41
DOI: 10.3390/d9040041

Abstract

Research on the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) has waxed and waned over the last few decades, mostly in accordance with the occurrence of population outbreaks at key locations, such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This review considers advances in our understanding of the biology and ecology of CoTS based on the latest resurgence of research interest, which culminated in this current special issue on the Biology, Ecology and Management of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish. More specifically, this review considers progress against 41 specific research questions posed in the seminal review by P. Moran 30 years ago, as well as exploring new directions for CoTS research. Despite the plethora of research on CoTS (>1,200 research articles), there are persistent knowledge gaps that constrain effective management of outbreaks. Although directly addressing some of these questions will be extremely difficult, there have been considerable advances in understanding the biology of CoTS, if not the proximal and ultimate cause(s) of outbreaks. Moving forward, researchers need to embrace new technologies and opportunities to advance understanding of CoTS biology and behaviour, with focus given to key questions that will improve effectiveness of management to reduce the frequency and likelihood of future outbreaks, if not preventing them altogether.

Subject Areas

Acanthaster; coral reefs, disturbance; management; population outbreaks; research priorities

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