Coral Reefs

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 91–106 | Cite as

Changes in the reef-coral community of Carysfort reef, Key Largo, Florida: 1974 to 1982

  • Phillip Dustan
  • John C. Halas
Article

Abstract

Data from 21 permanently marked line transects showed that significant changes occurred in the composition of the reef coral community on Carysfort Reef between 1975 and 1982–1983. Coral populations between 0 and 9 m show signs of change due primarily to physical disturbance while corals living between 10 and 21 m have decreased in abundance as a result of sedimentation and disease. Some species show no signs of change while others appear to be undergoing shifts in their vertical distribution and/or significantly decreasing in mean colony size. Observed decreases in species diversity and eveness of the reef-building corals suggest that the vitality of Carysfort Reef declined between 1975 and 1982–1983.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Antonius A (1973) New observations on coral destruction in reefs. Meet Assoc Mar Lab Carib University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez 10:3 (abstr)Google Scholar
  2. Antonius A (1977) Coral mortality in reefs, a problem for science and management. Proc 3rd Int Coral Reef Symp 2:617–623Google Scholar
  3. Antonius A (1985) Coral diseases in the Indo-Pacific: a first record. PZNI Mar Ecol 6:197–218Google Scholar
  4. Bak RPM, Engel MS (1979) Distribution, abundance and survival of juvenile hermatypic corals (Scleractinia) and the importance of life history strategies in the parent coral community. Mar Biol 54:341–352Google Scholar
  5. Bak RPM, Carpay MJE, Ruyter von Steveninck ED (1984) Densities of the sea urchin Diadema antillarum before and after mass mortalities on the coral reefs of Curacao. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 17:105–108Google Scholar
  6. Brown BE, Howard LS (1985) Assessing the effects of “stress” on reef corals. In: Blaxter JHS, Russel F, Yonge M (eds) Advances in marine biology. Academic Press, London, pp 1–63Google Scholar
  7. Connell JH (1978) Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science 199:1302–1310Google Scholar
  8. Dahl AL (1981) Monitoring coral reefs for urban impact. Bull Mar Sci 31:544–551Google Scholar
  9. Davis GE (1977) Anchor damage to a coral reef on the coast of Florida. Biol Conserv 11:29–34Google Scholar
  10. Done TJ (1981) Photogrammetry in coral ecology: a technique for the study of change in coral communities. Proc 4th Int Coral Reef Symp 2:315–320Google Scholar
  11. Dustan P (1977) Vitality of reef coral populations off Key Largo, Florida: recruitment and mortality. Environ Geol 2:51–58Google Scholar
  12. Dustan P (1985) Community structure of reef-building corals in the Florida Keys: Carysfort Reef, Key Largo and Long Key Reef, Dry Tortugas. Atoll Res Bull 288Google Scholar
  13. Dustan P (1985a) Studies on the bio-optics of coral reefs. In: Reaka ML (ed) The ecology of coral reefs. NOAA Symp Ser Undersea Res 3:189–198 (NOAAA Undersea Research Progream, Rockville, Md)Google Scholar
  14. Endean R (1976) The destruction and recovery of coral reef communities. In: Jones OA, Endean R (eds) The biology and geology of coral reefs, vol 3. Academic Press, New York, pp 215–254Google Scholar
  15. Fee R (1986) Saving Florida's spiny lobster fishery from itself. Nat Fisherman 66:20–22Google Scholar
  16. Garrett P, Ducklow P (1975) Coral disease in Bermuda. Nature 253:349–350Google Scholar
  17. Goreau TF (1959) The ecology of Jamaican coral reefs. I. Species composition and Tonation. Ecology 40:67–90Google Scholar
  18. Hughes TP (1984) Population dynamics based on individual size rather than age: a general model with a reef coral example. Am Nat 123:778–795Google Scholar
  19. Hunt W, Cote J, Tomascik T (1986) On the dynamics of the mass mortality of Diadema antillarum in Barbados. Coral Reefs 4:135–139Google Scholar
  20. Jaap W (1984) The ecology of south Florida coral reefs: a community profile US Fish Wildl Serv FWS/OBS 82/08:1–138Google Scholar
  21. Kaufman L (1977) The threespot damselfish: effects on benthic biota of Carbbean coral reefs. Proc 3rd Int Coral Reef Symp 1:559–564Google Scholar
  22. Lessios HA, Glynn P, Robertson D (1983) Mass mortality of coral reef organisms. Science 32:639–643Google Scholar
  23. Lessios HA, Cubit JD, Robertson DR, Shulnab MJ, Parker MR, Garrity SD, Levings SC (1984) Mass mortality of Diadema antillarum on the Caribbean coast of Panama. Coral Reefs 3:173–182Google Scholar
  24. Liddell WD, Ohlhorst SL (1986) Changes in the benthic community composition following the mass mortality of Diadema at Jamaica. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 95:271–278Google Scholar
  25. Loya Y (1972) Community structure and species diversity of hermatypic corals at Eilat Red Sea. Mar Biol 13:100–123Google Scholar
  26. Loya Y (1978) Plotless and transect methods. In: Stoddart DR, Johannes RE (eds) Coral reef research methods. UNESCO, Page Brothers, Norwich, p 581Google Scholar
  27. Maniere R, Jaubert J (1985) Traitements d'image et cartographic des récifs coralliens en Mer Rouge (Golfe d'Aqaba). Oceanol Acta 8:321–328Google Scholar
  28. Margalef R (1968) Perspectives in ecological theory. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  29. Mayer AG (1914) The effects of temperature on tropical marine animals. Carnegie Institute, Washington, Pub 183(6):1–24Google Scholar
  30. Pastorak RA, Bilyard GR (1985) Effects of sewage pollution on coral-reef communities. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 21:175–189Google Scholar
  31. Peters E (1984) A survey of cellular reactions to environmental stress and disease in Caribbean scleractinian corals. Helgol Wiss Meeresunters 37:113–137Google Scholar
  32. Pielou EC (1975) Ecological diversity. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Porter JW, Woodley JD, Smith GJ, Neigel JE, Battey JF, Dallmeyer DG (1981) Population trends among Jamaican reef corals. Nature 294:249–250Google Scholar
  34. Porter J, Battey J, Smith G (1982) Perturbation and change in coral reef communities Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 79:1678–1681Google Scholar
  35. Postel S (1984) Air pollution, acid rain and the future of forests. Worldwatch Paper 58:1–22, 44–49Google Scholar
  36. Rappaport DJ, Regier HA, Hutchinson TC (1985) Ecosystem behavior under stress. Am Nat 125:617–640Google Scholar
  37. Rylaarsdam K (1983) Life histories and abundance patterns of colonial corals on Jamaican reefs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 13:249–260Google Scholar
  38. Sammarco PW (1980) Diadema and its relationship to coral spat mortality: grazing, competition, and biological disturbance. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 45:245–272Google Scholar
  39. Shinn EA (1976) Coral reef recovery in Florida and the Persian Gulf. Environ Geol 1:241–254Google Scholar
  40. Simmons DC (1980) Review of the Florida spiny lobster resource. Fisheries 5:37–42Google Scholar
  41. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1969) Biometry Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  42. Storr JF (1964) Ecology and oceanography of the coral-reef tract, Abaco Island, Bahamas. GSA Spec Pap 79Google Scholar
  43. Voss GL (1973) Sickness and health in Florida's Coral Reefs. Nat Hist 82:40–47Google Scholar
  44. Wainwright SA, Dillon JR (1969) On the orientation of sea fans (genus Gorgonia). Biol Bull 136:130–140Google Scholar
  45. Woodley JD, Chornesky EA, Clifford PA, Jackson JBC, Kaufman LS, Knowlton N, Lang JC, Pearson MP, Porter JW, Rooney MC, Rylaarsdam KW, Tunnicliffe VJ, Wahle CM, Wulff JL, Curtis ASG, Dallmeyer MD, Jupp BP, Koehl MAR, Neigel J, Sides EM (1981) Hurricane Allen's impact of Jamaican reefs. Science 214:749–755Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phillip Dustan
    • 1
  • John C. Halas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyCollege of CharlestonCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Key Largo National Marine SanctuaryKey LargoUSA

Personalised recommendations