Coral larvae are poor swimmers and require fine-scale reef structure to settle

Hata, Tom, Madin, Joshua S., Cumbo, Vivian R., Denny, Mark, Figueiredo, Joana, Harii, Saki, Thomas, Christopher J., and Baird, Andrew H. (2017) Coral larvae are poor swimmers and require fine-scale reef structure to settle. Scientific Reports, 7 (1). 2249.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-02402...
 
15
42


Abstract

Reef coral assemblages are highly dynamic and subject to repeated disturbances, which are predicted to increase in response to climate change. Consequently there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying different recovery scenarios. Recent work has demonstrated that reef structural complexity can facilitate coral recovery, but the mechanism remains unclear. Similarly, experiments suggest that coral larvae can distinguish between the water from healthy and degraded reefs, however, whether or not they can use these cues to navigate to healthy reefs is an open question. Here, we use a meta-analytic approach to document that coral larval swimming speeds are orders of magnitude lower than measurements of water flow both on and off reefs. Therefore, the ability of coral larvae to navigate to reefs while in the open-ocean, or to settlement sites while on reefs is extremely limited. We then show experimentally that turbulence generated by fine scale structure is required to deliver larvae to the substratum even in conditions mimicking calm back-reef flow environments. We conclude that structural complexity at a number of scales assists coral recovery by facilitating both the delivery of coral larvae to the substratum and settlement.

Item ID: 53966
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information:

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2018 04:50
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl Bioremediation) @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 42
Last 12 Months: 19
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page