Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 11, pp 2419–2428 | Cite as

Hydrolithon spp. (Rhodophyta, Corallinales) overgrow live corals (Cnidaria, Scleractinia) in Yemen

  • Francesca Benzoni
  • Daniela BassoEmail author
  • Annalisa Caragnano
  • Graziella Rodondi
Original Paper


In Yemen, off the northwestern coast in the Gulf of Aden, the coralline algae Hydrolithon rupestre (Foslie) Penrose 1996 and H.murakoshii Iryu and Matsuda 1996 have been observed to overgrow and kill living Porites lutea Milne-Edwards and Haime, 1860. Similarly, Hydrolithononkodes (Heydrich) Penrose and Woelkerling 1992 and H. rupestre were observed overgrowing Stylophora pistillata (Esper, 1797). Competitive interactions between P. lutea and H.murakoshii were monitored from 2006 to 2009 at two sites and showed an average linear growth of 8.3 (±1.9 SD) mm year−1 over the coral. The small polyps of S. pistillata and P. lutea combined with putative chemical compounds produced by Hydrolithon spp. are likely to allow the coralline overgrowth. Although corallines can locally kill coral tissues, the CCA/coral interactions do not seem to affect the overall live coral cover at the study sites.


Coral Tissue Scleractinian Coral Coral Community Crustose Coralline Alga Pore Canal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are grateful to Robert Hirst and Yemen LNG, Claude Chaineu and Total E&P, for allowing fieldwork and sampling, and to Eric Dutrieux and Creocean for logistic and organization support. We thank S. Basheen (Professional Divers Yemen) help in different parts of the field work. We are very grateful to the Editor and to three anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticism and their help to improve the manuscript and to Jane Hayward Cantarelli for English editing. We wish to thank M. Pichon for fruitful discussion and Paolo Gentile for his help with specimen preparation and SEM imaging.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Benzoni
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniela Basso
    • 3
  • Annalisa Caragnano
    • 3
  • Graziella Rodondi
    • 4
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e BioscienzeUniversità degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly
  2. 2.Institut de Recherche pour le DéveloppementUMR227 Coreus2Nouméa Cedex, New CaledoniaFrance
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze Geologiche e GeotecnologieUniversità degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Biologia, Sezione di Botanica SistematicaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly

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