Contrasting patterns of changes in abundance following a bleaching event between juvenile and adult scleractinian corals

Alvarez Noriega, Mariana, Baird, Andrew H., Bridge, Tom C.L., Dornelas, Maria, Fontoura, Luisa, Pizarro, Oscar, Precoda, Kristin, Torres-Pulliza, Damaris, Woods, Rachael M., Zawada, Kyle, and Madin, Joshua S. (2018) Contrasting patterns of changes in abundance following a bleaching event between juvenile and adult scleractinian corals. Coral Reefs, 37 (2). pp. 527-532.

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Abstract

Coral bleaching events have caused extensive mortality on reefs around the world. Juvenile corals are generally less affected by bleaching than their conspecific adults and therefore have the potential to buffer population declines and seed recovery. Here, we use juvenile and adult abundance data at 20 sites encircling Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, before and after the 2016 bleaching event to quantify: (1) correlates of changes in juvenile abundance following a bleaching event; (2) differences in susceptibility to extreme thermal stress between juveniles and adults. Declines in juvenile abundance were lower at sites closer to the 20-m-depth contour and higher for Acropora and Pocillopora juveniles than for other taxa. Juveniles of Acropora and Goniastrea were less susceptible to bleaching than adults, but the opposite was true for Pocillopora spp. and taxa in the family Merulinidae. Our results indicate that the potential of the juvenile life stage to act as a buffer during bleaching events is taxon-dependent.

Item ID: 53878
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: Coral reefs, Climate change, Ecology, Thermal stress, Juvenile corals
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Templeton Foundation (TF), Scottish Funding Council (SFC), European Research Council (ERC)
Projects and Grants: ARC CE140100020, TF Grant #60501, SFC HR09011, ERC grant BioTIME, ARC DP1093448, ARC FT110100609
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2018 07:39
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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