Composition and temporal stability of turf sediments on inner-shelf coral reefs

Gordon, Sophie, Goatley, Christopher H.R., and Bellwood, David R. (2016) Composition and temporal stability of turf sediments on inner-shelf coral reefs. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 111 (1-2). pp. 178-183.

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Elevated sediment loads within the epilithic algal matrix (EAM) of coral reefs can increase coral mortality and inhibit herbivory. Yet the composition, distribution and temporal variability of EAM sediment loads are poorly known, especially on inshore reefs. This study quantified EAM sediment loads (including organic particulates) and algal length across the reef profile of two bays at Orpheus Island (inner-shelf Great Barrier Reef) over a six month period. We examined the total sediment mass, organic load, carbonate and silicate content, and the particle sizes of EAM sediments. Throughout the study period, all EAM sediment variables exhibited marked variation among reef zones. However, EAM sediment loads and algal length were consistent between bays and over time, despite major seasonal variation in climate including a severe tropical cyclone. This study provides a comprehensive description of EAM sediments on inshore reefs and highlights the exceptional temporal stability of EAM sediments on coral reefs.

Item ID: 49205
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: inner-shelf reef, sediment, benthic, variability, cyclone, epilithic algal matrix
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP140100122 & CE140100020
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 23:16
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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