Limited evidence of cloning and selfing within wild populations of coral-eating crown-of thorns seastar (Acanthaster cf. solaris)

Sven Uthicke, Morgan Pratchett, Vanessa Messmer & Hugo Harrison
Population outbreaks of crown-of-thorns seastars (CoTS; Acanthaster spp.) are contributing to extensive coral loss and reef degradation throughout the Indo west-Pacific, but the causes and underlying mechanisms of population maintenance and outbreaks are equivocal. Two recent publications suggest that, in addition to outbreeding sexual reproduction, asexual reproduction through larval fission and selfing may contribute to rapid increases in the local abundance of Acanthaster spp. We re-analysed two large microsatellite datasets (collectively representing 3,714 individuals) that...
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