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Environmental controls of patch-reef growth and development

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Abstract

The effects of predominant currents on the morphology of coral reefs has been studied in the leeward patch reefs of Anegada, British Virgin Islands. Measurements of current velocity and direction and sediment characteristics together with mapping of approximately 31 patch reefs within a 2 km2 area suggest that even under relatively low but constant current velocities (surface current ≏20 cm sec-1) the major reef-building corals show definite distribution patterns on the reef. The currents also appear to be responsible, in part, for marked orientation and elongation of patch reefs in a north-west/ south-east direction and for a gradation of patch-reef type across the study area.

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Communicated by J. Mauchline, Oban

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Brown, B.E., Dunne, R.P. Environmental controls of patch-reef growth and development. Mar. Biol. 56, 85–96 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00390598

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Keywords

  • Distribution Pattern
  • Coral Reef
  • Environmental Control
  • Current Velocity
  • Patch Reef