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Epizoic acoelomorph flatworms inhibit growth and expansion of the soft coral Cladiella sp.


Acoel flatworms can form dense blooms on coral hosts, both in the wild and in aquaria. Adverse effects of acoels on scleractinian corals have been shown in the form of coral mucus consumption by flatworms, impairment of coral feeding and kleptoparasitism. This study investigated whether flatworms also have detrimental effects on alcyonacean corals.