Scleractinian coral population size structures and growth rates indicate coral resilience on the fringing reefs of North Jamaica

Scleractinian coral population size structures and growth rates indicate coral resilience on the... Coral reefs throughout the world are under severe challenges from many environmental factors. This paper quantifies the size structure of populations and the growth rates of corals from 2000 to 2008 to test whether the Discovery Bay coral colonies showed resilience in the face of multiple acute stressors of hurricanes and bleaching. There was a reduction in numbers of colonies in the smallest size class for all the species at all the sites in 2006, after the mass bleaching of 2005, with subsequent increases for all species at all sites in 2007 and 2008. Radial growth rates (mm yr −1 ) of non-branching corals and linear extension rates (mm yr −1 ) of branching corals calculated on an annual basis from 2000–2008 showed few significant differences either spatially or temporally. At Dairy Bull reef, live coral cover increased from 13 ± 5% in 2006 to 20 ± 9% in 2007 and 31 ± 7% in 2008, while live Acropora species increased from 2 ± 2% in 2006 to 10 ± 4% in 2007 and 22 ± 7% in 2008. These studies indicate good levels of coral resilience on the fringing reefs around Discovery Bay in Jamaica. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marine Environmental Research Elsevier

Scleractinian coral population size structures and growth rates indicate coral resilience on the fringing reefs of North Jamaica

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0141-1136
eISSN
1879-0291
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.marenvres.2009.01.003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Coral reefs throughout the world are under severe challenges from many environmental factors. This paper quantifies the size structure of populations and the growth rates of corals from 2000 to 2008 to test whether the Discovery Bay coral colonies showed resilience in the face of multiple acute stressors of hurricanes and bleaching. There was a reduction in numbers of colonies in the smallest size class for all the species at all the sites in 2006, after the mass bleaching of 2005, with subsequent increases for all species at all sites in 2007 and 2008. Radial growth rates (mm yr −1 ) of non-branching corals and linear extension rates (mm yr −1 ) of branching corals calculated on an annual basis from 2000–2008 showed few significant differences either spatially or temporally. At Dairy Bull reef, live coral cover increased from 13 ± 5% in 2006 to 20 ± 9% in 2007 and 31 ± 7% in 2008, while live Acropora species increased from 2 ± 2% in 2006 to 10 ± 4% in 2007 and 22 ± 7% in 2008. These studies indicate good levels of coral resilience on the fringing reefs around Discovery Bay in Jamaica.

Journal

Marine Environmental ResearchElsevier

Published: May 1, 2009

References

  • A 30-year study of coral abundance, recruitment, and disturbance at several scales in space and time
    Connell, J.H.; Hughes, T.P.; Wallace, C.C.
  • Growth modelling indicates hurricanes and severe storms are linked to low coral recruitment in the Caribbean
    Crabbe, M.J.C.; Martinez, E.; Garcia, C.; Chub, J.; Castro, L.; Guy, J.
  • Effects of artisanal fishing on Caribbean coral reefs
    Hawkins, J.P.; Roberts, C.M.
  • Recruitment failure, life histories and long-term decline of Caribbean corals
    Hughes, T.P.; Tanner, J.E.
  • Ecosystems in action: lessons from marine ecology about recovery, resistance and reversibility
    Jdalumbi, S.R.; Mcleod, K.L.; Grunbaum, D.
  • A simulation model of the population dynamics of the branching coral Acropora palmata – effects of storm intensity and frequency
    Lirman, D.
  • The impact of ecosystem connectivity on coral reef resilience
    Mumby, P.J.; Hastings, A.
  • A demographic approach to monitoring the health of coral reefs
    Smith, L.D.; Devlin, M.; Haynes, D.; Gilmour, J.P.

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