Role of polychaetes in bioerosion of coral substrate
Polychaetes are important in the early stages of bioerosion of newly available coral substrate often as a result of coral death by disease, bleaching, Crownof- Thorns starfish attack etc., and physical destruction during storms. A succession of polychaetes are recruited to the substrate, which it is hypothesised, facilitates subsequent recruitment by sponges, sipunculans and molluscs that are dominant in ‘mature’ boring communities. Recruitment of boring polychaetes varies according to the type of substrate available, season and geographical location of substrate, and environmental factors such as light, water quality, depth and wave exposure. The mechanisms by which polychaetes bore still require further investigations.