Tkachenko K.S.1, Soong K.2, Deart Y.V.3, Britayev T.A.3 2022. Coral symbiotic communities from different environments of an isolated atoll: reef lagoon versus forereef // Invertebrate Zoology. Vol.19. No.1: 78–90 [in English].

1 Samara State University of Social Sciences and Education, Samara, 443099, Russia. E-mail:

2 National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, R.O.C.

3 A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS, Moscow, 119071, Russia.

doi: 10.15298/invertzool.19.1.08

ABSTRACT: The variability of the species composition and community structure of coral ectosymbiotic invertebrates was studied using the reef-building coral Pocillopora verrucosa sampled from Dongsha Atoll (the northernmost atoll of the South China Sea). Overall, we discovered 61 symbiotic species, comprising 17 specialized obligate species and 44 generalists (facultative species and species with uncertain status). The total species richness, mean species number and mean abundance per colony were significantly higher in the lagoon than in the forereef, likely due to their respective temperature regimes. The lagoon is characterized by more frequent thermal anomalies than the forereef is, causing greater coral bleaching. This higher frequency of thermal stress apparently results in frequent renovations of coral-symbiotic communities following post-bleaching coral recovery, which seem to be associated with the increased diversity of commensal fauna and, particularly, with the abundance of facultative symbionts.

KEY WORDS: coral-associated fauna, Pocillopora, Dongsha Atoll, South China Sea.

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