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Free Content Biogeography of three Caribbean corals (Scleractinia) and the invasion of Tubastraea coccinea into the Gulf of Mexico

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Tubastraea coccinea and Mycetophyllia reesi were found to have ranges that extend throughout the Caribbean, as do most zooxanthellate scleractinian corals found there. Leptoseris cailleti has not yet been found in some areas, but is a rarely reported coral. T. coccinea has not previously been reported from the Gulf of Mexico, but is now known from seven oil platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast, first being sighted in 1991. It has also been seen on four oil platforms in Louisiana, and it is known from oil platforms in the Southern Gulf of Mexico off Campeche and the western Gulf of Mexico off of Tuxpan, Mexico where it was first seen about 1977. Since it is not known from the Gulf of Mexico other than on oil platforms, this represents a rapid range expansion following oil platform placements. The range expansion into the Gulf of Mexico is likely due to a preference of this species for artificial substrates, which may be rapidly colonized.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-11-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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