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Expansion of an invasive coral species over Abrolhos Bank, Southwestern Atlantic

Costa, Thiago J.F., Pinheiro, Hudson T., Teixeira, João Batista, Mazzei, Eric F., Bueno, Leonardo, Hora, Mike S.C., Joyeux, Jean-Christophe, Carvalho-Filho, Alfredo, Amado-Filho, Gilberto, Sampaio, Claudio L.S., Rocha, Luiz A.
Marine pollution bulletin 2014 v.85 no.1 pp. 252-253
coral reefs, corals, industry, introduced species, oils, water pollution, Atlantic Ocean
Invasive coral species of the genus Tubastraea have been increasingly recorded in Southwestern Atlantic waters since the 1980s. Their invasion and infestation are mainly related to port and oil exploration activities. For the first time the presence of Tubastraea tagusensis colonies is reported in Espírito Santo State, colonizing a port shore area, and incrusting oil/gas platform structures situated in the southern Abrolhos Bank, which is part of the most important coral reef system of the South Atlantic Ocean. Tubastraea colonies exhibit fast growth and high recruitment rates, and colonized 40% of the analyzed structures in just four years. The projection of port and oil/gas industry growth for the Espírito Santo State (more than 300%) highlights an alert to the dispersal of this alien species to natural areas.