Temporal and spatial variability in coral recruitment on two Indonesian coral reefs: consistently lower recruitment to a degraded reef
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- Salinas-de-León, P., Dryden, C., Smith, D.J. et al. Mar Biol (2013) 160: 97. doi:10.1007/s00227-012-2066-7
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Corals are the primary reef-building organisms, therefore it is key to understand their recruitment patterns for effective reef management. Coral recruitment rates and juvenile coral abundance were recorded in the Wakatobi National Marine Park, Indonesia, on two reefs (Sampela and Hoga) with different levels of environmental degradation (12.5 vs. 44 % coral cover with high and low sedimentation rates, respectively) to examine consistencies in recruitment patterns between years and seasons. Recruitment was measured on multiple panels at two sites on each reef (6–7 m depth) and cleared areas of natural reef. Although coral recruitment was twofold higher in 2008–2009 than in 2007–2008, and seasonal differences were identified, consistent significant differences in recruitment rates were found between the two reefs even though they are separated by only ~1.5 km. Recruitment rates and juvenile abundance were lower on the more degraded reef. These patterns are likely a consequence of differential pre- and post-settlement mortality as a result of the high sedimentation rates and degraded conditions and possibly reduced larval supply.