The hidden army: coralivorous Crown of Thorns seastars can spend years as herbivorous juveniles

Dione Deaker, Antonio Agüera, Huang-An Lin, Corinne Lawson, Claire Budden, Symon Dworjanyn, Benjamin Moss & Maria Byrne
Crown of Thorns seastar (COTS) outbreaks are a major threat to coral reefs. Although the herbivorous juveniles and their switch to corallivory are key to seeding outbreaks, they remain a black box in our understanding of COTS. We investigated the impact of a delay in diet transition due to coral scarcity in cohorts reared on coralline algae for 10 months and 6.5 yrs before being offered coral. Both cohorts achieved an asymptotic size (16–18 mm...
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These counts follow the COUNTER Code of Practice, meaning that Internet robots and repeats within a certain time frame are excluded.
What does this mean?