Document Type


Publication details

Kamya, PZ 2016, 'The thorny problem in a changing ocean : responses of the coral-eating crown of thorns starfish (COTS) to ocean warming and acidification, and the implications for coral reefs', PhD thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright PZ Kamya 2016


Increases in anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are causing unprecedented warming and acidification of the world’s oceans. These global changes in ocean conditions have profound impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems. One of the most critical ecosystems under threat from global climate change are coral reefs. Throughout the Indo-Pacific region declines in coral reef cover from climate change has been exacerbated population outbreaks of the coral-eating crown of thorns starfish (COTS), Acanthaster planci. While it is understood how corals will respond to ocean warming and acidification, there is no knowledge of how this predator of corals will fare in a changing ocean. This thesis addressed this major knowledge gap by characterising the responses of the planktotrophic and benthic developmental stages of COTS to projected ocean warming and acidification conditions in flow-through, cross-factorial experiments (three temperature: 26, 28, 30 °C × three pH 8.0, 7.8,7.6 levels).