Life histories and population dynamics of early successional corals

Hughes, T.P. (1985) Life histories and population dynamics of early successional corals. In: Gabrie, C., and Salvat, B., (eds.) Proceedings of the Fifth International Coral Reef Congress. Antenne Museum-EPHE, Moorea, French Polynesia, pp. 101-106.

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Abstract

The sequence and prog~ession of early colonization by Jamaican reef corals was followed for up to six years. Replicate m areas at depths of 10m to 20m were initially cleared and monitored pbotographicallyat annual intervals. Both sexual (larval) and asexual (vegetative) recruituent occurred. Rates of larval r~cruitment into adjacent control areas was almost 4 tim~s lower, indicating that coral settleuent and/or early survival is strongly density-dependent. Asexual recruitment was independent of coral cover. Almost 90% of larval recruitment was by LePtoseris cucullata and Agaricia agaricites, which wer~ characterized by rapid growth rates, fragile foliaceous skeletons, small colony size, and high mortality. Asexual propagules of corals were virtually absent at 20m, but ramose fragments of Madracis mirabilis, Porites porites, and Acropora cervicornis accounted for one-third of the total recruitement at 10m. These species had low rates of larval recruituent, fast growth rates, and formed large branching clones. Although asexual recruits were larger than newly settled larvae, their survivorship was generally DlJch lower. Recruitment and mortality rates varied significantly from year to year. Larval input varied four-fold, while asexual recruitment fluctuated over a 12-fold range. furtality, especially of small corals, rose sharply in 1983/84 following an algal bloom caused by the mass mortality of the grazing echinoid Diadema antillarum. The number of colonies of ~ agaricites and ~ cucullata in cleared quadrats reached and then exceeded control levels after only 4 years, although after 6 years few colonies had gro~ to the size of the largest colonies found nearby. Populations of these two species had almost fully recovered in the experiuentally disturbed sites, while other locally abundant species were virtually absent.

Item ID: 25777
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-2-905630-03-2
Funders: J.B.C. Jackson, J.H. Connell
Date Deposited: 15 May 2017 03:56
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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