Effects of predators and grazers exclusion on early post-settlement coral mortality

Penin, Lucie, Michonneau, François, Carroll, Andrew, and Adjeroud, Mehdi (2011) Effects of predators and grazers exclusion on early post-settlement coral mortality. Hydrobiologia, 663 (1). pp. 259-264.

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Abstract

Mortality of newly settled individuals is a key factor in shaping adult population size and distribution of many marine invertebrates. Despite this recognized importance, few studies have addressed early post-settlement mortality rates and causes in reef-building corals. To investigate the effects of exclusion of macro-predators and grazers on mortality of Acropora striata (Verrill) recruits, a caging experiment was completed at Moorea, French Polynesia. More than half of the recruits died within 7 days in the field, and although the exclusion of macro-predators and grazers did not significantly reduce nor enhance mortality, it certainly altered their cause. In the presence of macro-predators and grazers, coral recruits faced significant predation-induced mortality (50.0% of dead recruits presented a heavily damaged or missing skeleton). Conversely, in the absence of macro-predators and grazers, dead recruits were mainly intact (91.7%), and most likely suffered from competition with turf algae and associated sediment trapping. These results underline complex interacting effects of predation, competition with turf algae, and sedimentation on coral early post-settlement mortality.

Item ID: 21191
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: post-settlement, Acropora striata, recruits, predation, Moorea, French Polynesia
ISSN: 1573-5117
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2012 04:22
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 34%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
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