Coral Reefs

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 189–197 | Cite as

Sub-rubble communities of Curaçao and Bonaire coral reefs

  • E. Meesters
  • R. Knijn
  • P. Willemsen
  • R. Pennartz
  • G. Roebers
  • R. W. M. van Soest
Article

Abstract

The distribution and abundance of sessile organisms under coral rubble has been studied at Bonaire and Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles. Species richness under rubble is extremely high with at least 367 species of which sponges, tunicates and bryozoans are the most important. Shallow sub-rubble communities can be considered refuges as the majority of these species are crypt-obligate. Sub-rubble communities may also have a preserve function for sponges, but do not harbour enough corals to ensure a quick coral recolonization of the reef surface after a major disaster. Cryptic community composition is affected by depth and pollution, and differs substantially between the two neighbouring islands, possibly as a result of different bottom characteristics. Biomass of the sub-rubble communities may contribute considerably to total reef biomass. Diversity varies inversely with increased depth and increased rubble size, possibly indicating abiotic control (e.g. physical disturbance by wave action and reef slope substrate collapse).

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bak RPM (1977) Coral reefs and their zonation in Netherlands Antilles. Stud Geol 4:3–16Google Scholar
  2. Buss LW, Jackson JBC (1979) Competitive networks: non-transitive relationships in cryptic coral reef environments. Am Nat 113:223–234Google Scholar
  3. Choi DR (1984) Ecological succession of reef cavity-dwellers (coelobites) in coral rubble. Bull Mar Sci 35:72–79Google Scholar
  4. Choi DR, Ginsburg RN (1983) Distribution of coelobites (cavitydwellers) in coral rubble across the Florida reef tract. Coral Reefs 2:165–172Google Scholar
  5. Connell JH (1976) Competitive intenactions and the species diversity of corals. In: Mackie GO (ed) Coelenterate ecology and behavior. Plenum, New York London, pp 51–59Google Scholar
  6. Connell JH (1978) Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science 199:1302–1310Google Scholar
  7. Duyl FC van (1985) Atlas of the living reefs of Curaçao and Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles). Foundation Scientific Research Surinam and Netherlands Antilles, Utrecht, pp 37Google Scholar
  8. Garrett P, Smith DL, Patriquin D (1971) Physiography, ecology and sediments of two Bermuda patch reefs. J Geol 79:647–668Google Scholar
  9. Gauch HG, Whittaker RH (1981) Hierarchical classification of community data. J Ecol 69:537–557Google Scholar
  10. Hill MO (1979) Twinspan. A fortran program for arranging multivariate data in an ordered two-way table by classification of the individuals and attributes. Ecology and systematics. Cornell University, Ithaca, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Hughes TP, Jackson JBC (1985) Population dynamics and life histories of foliacious corals. Ecol Monogr 55:141–166Google Scholar
  12. Hutchings PA (1986) Biological destruction of coral reefs. A review. Coral Reefs 4:239–252Google Scholar
  13. Jackson JBC (1977a) Competition on marine hard substrata: the adaptive significance of solitary and colonial strategies. Am Nat 111:743–767Google Scholar
  14. Jackson JBC (1977b) Habitat area, colonization, and development of epibenthic community structure. In: Keegan BF, Ceidigh PO, Boaden PJS (eds) Biology of benthic organisms. Pergamon, Oxford, pp 349–358Google Scholar
  15. Jackson JBC (1979a) Morphological strategies of sessile animals. In: Larwood G, Rosen BR (eds) Biology and systematics of colonial organisms. Academic Press, London New York, pp 499–555Google Scholar
  16. Jackson JBC, Buss LW (1975) Allelopathy and spatial competition among coral reef invertebrates. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 72:5160–5163Google Scholar
  17. Jackson JBC, Winston JE (1982) Ecology of cryptic coral reef communities. I. Distribution and abundance of major groups of encrusting organisms. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 57:135–147Google Scholar
  18. Kaandorp JA (1986) Rocky substrate communities of the infralittoral fringe of the Boulonnais coast, NW France. A quantitative survey using cluster analysis. Mar Biol 92:255–265Google Scholar
  19. Kobluk DR (1988) Cryptic faunas in reefs: ecology and geologic importance. Palaios 3:379–390Google Scholar
  20. Kobluk DR, Lysenko MA (1987) Impact of two sequential Pacific hurricanes on sub-rubble cryptic corals: the possible role of cryptic organisms in maintenance of coral reef communities. J Paleont 61:663–675Google Scholar
  21. Kobluk DR, Soest RWM van (1989) Cavity-dwelling sponges in a southern Caribbean coral reef and their paleontological implications. Bull Mar Sci 44:1207–1235Google Scholar
  22. Kobluk DR, Cuffey RJ, Fonda SS, Lysenko MA (1988) Cryptic Bryozoa, leeward fringing reef of Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, and their paleoecological application. J Paleontol 62:427–439Google Scholar
  23. Kooistra WHCF, Joosten AMT, Van den Hoek C (1989) Zonation pattern in intertidal pools and their possible causes: multivariate approach. Bot Mar 32:9–26Google Scholar
  24. Logan A, Mathers SM, Thomas MLH (1984) Sessile invertebrate coelobite communities from reefs of Bermuda: species composition and distribution. Coral Reefs 2:205–213Google Scholar
  25. Loya Y (1976) Recolonization of Red Sea corals affected by natural catastrophes and man-made perturbations. Ecology 57:278–289Google Scholar
  26. Paine RT (1966) Food web complexity and species diversity. Am Nat 100:65–75Google Scholar
  27. Paine RT (1971) A short-term experimental investigation of resource partitioning in a New Zealand rocky intertidal habitat. Ecology 52:1096–1106Google Scholar
  28. Paine RT (1974) Intertidal community structure. Experimental studies on the relationship between a dominant competitor and its principal predator. Oecologia 15:93–120Google Scholar
  29. Palumbi RP, Jackson JBC (1982) Ecology of cryptic coral reef communities. II. Recovery of small disturbance events by encrusting Bryozoa: the influence of “host” species and lesion size. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 64:103–115Google Scholar
  30. Pielou EC (1966) The measurement of diversity in different type of biological collection. J Theor Biol 13:131–144Google Scholar
  31. Polovina JJ (1984) Model of a coral reef ecosystem. I. The ECO-PATH model and its application to French Frigate Shoals. 1. Coral Reefs 3:1–11Google Scholar
  32. Siegel S, Castellan NJ (1988) Nonparametric statistics for the behavioral sciences, 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, p399Google Scholar
  33. Soest RWM van (1978) Marine sponges from Curaçao and other Caribbean localities. Part I. Keratosa. Stud Fauna Curaçao Caribb Isl 56:1–94Google Scholar
  34. Soest RWM van (1980) Marine sponges from Curaçao and other Caribbean localities. Part II. Haplosclerida. Stud Fauna Curaçao Caribb Isl 62:1–174Google Scholar
  35. Soest RWM van (1981) A checklist of Curaçao sponges (Porifera Demospongia). Versl Techn Gegevens Inst Tax Zool Amsterdam 32:1–33Google Scholar
  36. Soest RWM van (1984) Marine sponges from Curaçao and other Caribbean localities. Part III. Poecilosclerida. Stud Fauna Curaçao Caribb Isl 66:11–167Google Scholar
  37. Sokal RR, Michener CD (1958) A statistical method for evaluating systematic relationships. Univ Kansas Sci Bull 38:1409–1438Google Scholar
  38. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1981) Biometry, 2nd edn. Freeman, New York, p859Google Scholar
  39. Vasseur P (1974) The overhangs, tunnels and dark reef galleries of Tuléar (Madagascar) and their sessile invertebrate communities. Proc 2nd Int Coral Reef Symp 2:143–159Google Scholar
  40. Vasseur P (1977) Cryptic sessile communities in various coral formations on reef flats in the vicinity of Tuléar (Madagascar). Proc 3rd Int Coral Reef Symp 1:95–100Google Scholar
  41. Weinberg S (1978) The minimal area problem in invertebrate communities of Mediterranean rocky substrata. Mar Biol 49:33–40Google Scholar
  42. Winston JE (1986) An annotated checklist of coral-associated bryozoans. Am Mus Novitat 2859:1–39Google Scholar
  43. Wishart D (1978) Clustan user manual, 3 edn. Program Library Unit, Edinburgh University, p175Google Scholar
  44. Wulff JL (1988) Fish predation on cryptic sponges of Caribbean coral reefs. Am Zool 28:166 (abstr)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Meesters
    • 1
  • R. Knijn
    • 2
  • P. Willemsen
    • 2
  • R. Pennartz
    • 2
  • G. Roebers
    • 2
  • R. W. M. van Soest
    • 2
  1. 1.Caribbean Marine Biological Institute (Carmabi)Curaçao
  2. 2.Institute of Taxonomic ZoologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations