Small-scale variability in the size structure of scleractinian corals around Moorea, French Polynesia : patterns across depths and locations

Adjeroud, Mehdi, Pratchett, Morgan, Kospartov, Marie, Lejeusne, Christophe, and Penin, Lucie (2007) Small-scale variability in the size structure of scleractinian corals around Moorea, French Polynesia : patterns across depths and locations. Hydrobiologia, 589 (1). pp. 117-126.

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Abstract

The size structure of coral populations is influenced by biotic and physical factors, as well as species-specific demographic rates (recruitment, colony growth, mortality). Coral reefs surrounding Moorea Island are characterized by strong environmental gradients at small spatial scales, and therefore, we expected that the size structure of coral populations would vary greatly at this scale. This study aimed at determining the degree of spatial heterogeneity in the population size structure of two coral taxa, Pocillopora meandrina and massive Porites spp., among depths (6, 12, and 18 m) and among locations (Vaipahu, Tiahura and Haapiti) representing different exposure to hydrodynamic forces. Our results clearly underlined the strong heterogeneity in the size structure of both P. meandrina and massive Porites spp., with marked variation among depths and among locations. However, the lack of any consistent and regular trends in the size structure along depths or among locations, and the lack of correlation between size structure and mean recruitment rates may suggest that other factors (e.g., stochastic life history processes, biotic interactions, and disturbances) further modify the structure of coral populations. We found that the size structure of P. meandrina was fundamentally different to that of massive Porites spp., reflecting the importance of life history characteristics in population dynamics.

Item ID: 1789
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: coral reefs, scleractinian corals, spatial patterns, population structure, size-frequency distribution, life histories
ISSN: 1573-5117
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2008
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 80%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960508 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Mining Environments @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 8
Downloads: Total: 3
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