Rates of skeletal degradation following death in three species of Acropora

Musso, B.M. (1993) Rates of skeletal degradation following death in three species of Acropora. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Coral Reef Symposium (1) pp. 414-419. From: 7th International Coral Reef Symposium, 22-27 June 1992, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam.

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Short term rates of skeletal degradation following death and their spatial variability were investigated for three species of acroporid corals. Colonies were killed in situ at six sites on the reef crest at Lizard Island, Northern Great Barrier Reef. Dead and living colonies were monitored using photographic techniques and later by image analysis. Estimates of the extent of internal bioerosion in the colonies prior to death were obtained from living colonies of the same species. This paper reports the results of the first 9 months of monitoring. The three Acropora species, which have different colony morphology, differ greatly in the rates at which their skeletons are destroyed. The table coral A. hyacinthus showed high rates of disappearance, with estimates of up to 327g of calcium carbonate lost from each colony after 9 months since death. The rate of external degradation decreased with time and was greater at more exposed sites. The extent of internal bioerosion in living specimens of the three species was found to be generally low, but significantly greater in colonies of A. cuneata. Internal excavation by boring organisms is likely to be of greater relative importance in the bioerosion of dead colonies of A. cuneata and A. gemmifera, as A. hyacinthus colonies are rapidly eroded by external agents following death.

Item ID: 33860
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-881629-03-0
Keywords: ICRS7, Stress, Bioerosion, Borer, Acropora
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Australian Museum, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2015 04:46
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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