Competition
 

Explanations for which is the "no-holds-barred-superior-invertebrate-overgrowth-competitor" in the entire Caribbean region. The 2 best choices are highlighted. Suchanek & Green 1981 Proc 4th Int Coral Reef Symp.

   
 
photograph of fire coral
photograph of chicken-liver sponge photograph of encrusting zoanthid photograph of gorgonian photograph of cathedral coral photograph of mat tunicate
Fire coral Millepora sp.: good guess, but no. Even though fire coral is an aggressive overgrower of both living and dead objects, it is not the dominant one of those shown here Chicken-liver sponge Chon- drilla nucula: no. Chicken-liver sponges are aggressive, as witnessed by the specimen shown here, but certain other invertebrate species can easily out-compete it Encrusting zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum: yes. This species overgrows most other sessile invertebrates and predominates in the Caribbean region. The mat tunicate, also shown, can actually out-compete zoanthids, but is not so prevalent Gorgonian: e.g., Pseudopterogorgia sp.: no, gorgonians in general are not competitively dominant Coral: e.g., cathedral coral Dendrogyra cylindricus: no, corals are not a good choice. They're much too slow-growing, for a start... Mat tunicate Trididemnum sp.: yes, this one may be the best choice. Still, while it can out-compete even the most aggressive invertebrates, including the zoanthid Palythoa, for whatever reason it is not as dominant Caribbean-wide as is Palythoa caribaeorum
 
   
       
 
  RETURN TO TUNICATE OVERGROWTH
   
hot button for preemptive competition part of Biology of Caribbean Coral Reefs hot button for overgrowth competition part of Biology of Caribbean Coral Reefs hot button for chemical competition part of Biology of Caribbean Coral Reefs hot button for fire-coral overgrowth competition hot button for sponges-overgrowth competition hot button for coral/zoanthid overgrowth competition hot button for tunicate-overgrowth competition hot button for algae/cyanophyte-overgrowth competition