Estimating rates of biologically driven coral reef framework production and erosion: a new census-based carbonate budget methodology and applications to the reefs of Bonaire

Perry, C.T., Edinger, E.N., Kench, P.S., Murphy, G.N., Smithers, S.G., Steneck, R.S., and Mumby, P.J. (2012) Estimating rates of biologically driven coral reef framework production and erosion: a new census-based carbonate budget methodology and applications to the reefs of Bonaire. Coral Reefs, 31 (3). pp. 853-868.

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Abstract

Census-based approaches can provide important measures of the ecological processes controlling reef carbonate production states. Here, we describe a rapid, non-destructive approach to carbonate budget assessments, termed ReefBudget that is census-based and which focuses on quantifying the relative contributions made by different biological carbonate producer/eroder groups to net reef framework carbonate production. The methodology is presently designed only for Caribbean sites, but has potential to be adapted for use in other regions. Rates are calculated using data on organism cover and abundance, combined with annual extension or production rate measures. Set against this are estimates of the rates at which bioeroding species of fish, urchins and internal substrate borers erode reef framework. Resultant data provide a measure of net rates of biologically driven carbonate production (kg CaCO3 m(-2) year(-1)). These data have potential to be integrated into ecological assessments of reef state, to aid monitoring of temporal (same-site) changes in rates of biological carbonate production and to provide insights into the key ecological drivers of reef growth or erosion as a function of environmental change. Individual aspects of the budget methodology can also be used alongside other census approaches if deemed appropriate for specific study aims. Furthermore, the methodology spreadsheets are user-changeable, allowing local or new process/rate data to be integrated into calculations. Application of the methodology is considered at sites around Bonaire. Highest net rates of carbonate production, +9.52 to +2.30 kg CaCO3 m(-2) year(-1), were calculated at leeward sites, whilst lower rates, +0.98 to -0.98 kg CaCO3 m(-2) year(-1), were calculated at windward sites. Data are within the ranges calculated in previous budget studies and provide confidence in the production estimates the methodology generates.

Item ID: 23341
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: reefbudget, carbonate production, bioerosion, ecological change, environmental monitoring
ISSN: 1432-0975
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 05:26
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 20%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040699 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience not elsewhere classified @ 40%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040606 Quaternary Environments @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960902 Coastal and Estuarine Land Management @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960502 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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