Tripneustes appears to be a generalist in habitat and food in tropical and subtropical, shallow-water habitats subject to disturbance. It can have major effects on seagrass and algal beds and cause barren grounds. Tripneustes has rapid growth, early maturation, high fecundity, sporadic and potentially high recruitment, and short longevity. All are characteristics of a ruderal species. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.