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Geologische Rundschau

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 483–519 | Cite as

Pacific coral reefs of panamá: Structure, distribution and predators

  • Peter W. Glynn
  • Robert H. Stewart
  • John E. McCosker
Aufsätze

Abstract

Structural coral reefs of Recent age are undergoing vigorous growth on the eastern Pacific continental shores of Panamá. Coelenterate hermatypes include 20 species; 3 are hydrocorals in the genusMillepora, a notable new record for the eastern Pacific region; the abundant scleractinians arePocillopora (4 spp.),Pavona (6 spp.) andPorites (5 spp.).Pocillopora is the chief constructor of mound and fringing reefs with massivePavona andPorites sometimes important at the reef base. UninterruptedPocillopora growth characterizes some fringing reefs, forming a vertical framework with observed maximum thickness of 6 m. Binding of coral by encrusting coralline algae imparts a more rigid and coherent structure to the reef crest and peripheral faces. Intra-reef and flanking sediments contain over 90% calcareous matter; the predominant grain constituents arePocillopora, cirriped and mollusk fragments. Reefs attain their greatest development in the Gulf of Chiriquí; the reason for this is sought in the high and stable thermal conditions of this area. Radiometric dating indicates that net vertical reef growth may approach 1 m/250 years or 4000 B.

Important coral predators include fishes, a gastropod, paguran decapods andAcanthaster (in certain areas). Quantitative measurements of the feeding rates and population densities of corallivores indicate that predators may destroy approximately one-third of the annual growth of aPocillopora coral community.

Keywords

Coral Reef Coralline Alga Reef Crest Fringe Reef Calcareous Matter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Zusammenfassung

Die rezenten Korallenriffstrukturen an der östlichen Pazifikküste von Panamá zeigen starkes Wachstum. Von den 20 vorhandenen Arten hermatypischer Coelenteraten gehören 3 zu der GattungMillepora, die erstmals im ostpazifischen Raum beobachtet wurde. Die häufigeren Scleractinia sindPocillopora (4 Arten),Pavona (6 Arten) undPorites (5 Arten).Pocillopora ist der wichtigste Gerüstbildner in Kuppen- und Saumriffen, während die massigen Kolonien vonPavona undPorites an der Basis der Riffe wichtig werden können. Für einige Saumriffe ist ununterbrochenesPocillopora-Wachstum charakteristisch, das zum Bau eines vertikalen Gerüstes von maximal 6 m Höhe führt. Der Verbund von Korallen durch inkrustierende koralline Algen gibt der Struktur an Ober- und Außenseiten Festigkeit und Zusammenhalt. Die Sedimente innerhalb und außerhalb der Riffstrukturen bestehen zu 90% aus Karbonaten; die häufigsten Komponenten sind Bruchstücke vonPocillopora, Cirrepediern und Mollusken. Die Riffentwicklung erreicht ihren Höhepunkt im Golf von Chiriquí, vermutlich weil in diesem Gebiet die Temperaturen hoch und gleichmäßig sind. Radiometrische Altersbestimmungen haben ein Vertikalwachstum von 1 m/250 Jahre oder 4000 Bubnoff-Einheiten ergeben.

Fische, ein Gastropode und Dekapoden (Paguren) sowie — in bestimmten Gegenden-Acanthaster sind wichtige Gegner der Korallen. Quantitative Erfassung von Nahrungsmengen und Bevölkerungsdichten der „Corallivoren“ ergab, daß diese etwa ein Drittel des jährlichen Zuwachses vonPocillopora zerstören.

Résumé

Les récifs structuraux récents de coraux de la côte Panamienne du Pacifique orientale présentent une croissance importante. Pour la première fois it fut possible d'observer dans le Pacifique orientale, parmi les 20 espèces de Coelentérés hermatypiques, 3 espèces appartenant au gènreMillepora. Les Scleractinia les plus fréquents sont lesPocillopora (4 espèces), lesPavona (6 espèces) et lesPorites (5 espèces). LesPocillopora sont l'élément le plus important de charpente des pitons sous-marins et des récifs frangeants, tandis que des colonies massives dePavona et dePorites sont parfois importantes à la base des récifs. La caractéristique des récifs frangeants est en partie représentée par la croissance ininterrompue dePocillopora conduisant à la construction d'une charpente verticale d'une hauteur maximale de 6 m. Une liaison des coraux par des algues corallines crouteuses forme une structure plus forte et cohérente du sommet et du peripherie des récifs. Les sédiments structuraux interieurs et exterieurs des récifs sont constitués à 90% par des carbonates. Les composants les plus fréquents sont des fragments dePocillopora, de cirripèdes et de mollusques. Le dévelopement du récif atteint sont maximum dans le golfe du Chiriquí. La cause est cherchée dans les températures élevées et stables de cette région. Des précisions radiométriques sur l'âge donnent, pour la croissance verticale, une hauteur d'un mètre pour 250 années ou 4000 unités Bubnoff.

Des poissons, un gastéropode, des décapodes (pagures) ainsi que — dans quelques endroits - desAcanthaster sont des ennemis importants des coraux. Des récensements quantitatifs du nourriture et de la densite des populations des corallivores démontrent qu'ils détruisent a peu près un tiers de l'accroissement annuel desPocillopora.

Краткое содержание

На восточном побереж ье Тихого океана (Пана ма) наблюдают интенсивн ый рост современных кор алловых рифов. Из 20 име ющихся видов рифообразующи х организмов, 3 принадле жащие к роду Мillерога, о бнаружены в восточной части Тихого океана в первые. Чаще всего вст речаются Scleractinia, именно: Pocillopora 4 вида, Pavona 6 видов и Porites 5 видо в. Pocillopora является ведущим видом ири обр азовании ствола и вер хней части рифов различной формы, в то время, как о снование его предст авлено умеренно растущими к олониями Pavona и Porites. Для барьерных риф ов характерен непрер ывный рост Pocillopora, при котором со здается вертикальна я постройка до 6 м высоты. - Отложения вну три и во вне рифовых об разований состоят на 90%. из карбонатов. Наибол ее частыми компонент ами здесь являются обломки Pocillopora, Cirrepedier, и мягкотелых. Само е интенсивное рифообразование наблюдают в заливе Chiriqui. С помощью радиометрич еских измерений установил и, что рост коралла прои сходит со скоростью 1 м в 250 лет. Обычно на кораллах и в них посел яется большое количе ство животных (рыбы, гастро поды, декаподы, а в некоторы х областях и Acanthaster). По количественному соо тношению имеющихся запасов пи тательных веществ и п о плотности населения „кораллоядов“ утсан овили, что последние р азрушают 1/3 годового прироста Pocillopora.

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Copyright information

© Ferdinand Enke Verlag Stuttgart 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter W. Glynn
    • 1
  • Robert H. Stewart
    • 2
  • John E. McCosker
    • 3
  1. 1.Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteBalboa
  2. 2.Civil Engineering Branch, Engineering DivisionBalboa Heights
  3. 3.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California at San DiegoLa Jolla

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