Coral Reefs

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 287–291 | Cite as

Mass mortality of macrobenthic communities in the lagoon of Hikueru atoll (French Polynesia)

  • M. Adjeroud
  • S. Andréfouët
  • C. Payri


Epibenthic macrofauna communities (corals, molluscs, echinoderms, and macroalgae) were investigated at Hikueru Atoll, Tuamotu Archipelago. The very low diversity and abundance that we observed (1 coral genus, and 2 mollusc, 1 echinoderm, and 17 macroalgal species) is likely to be the result of a mass mortality event that occurred 18 months earlier. Hydrological surveys suggest that this high mortality was the result of a major dystrophic crisis. Other atoll lagoons in the Tuamotu Archipelago have also been affected by high mortalities in the past, but Hikueru appears to have been the most frequently and intensely affected. The present study confirms that mass mortalities associated with phytoplankton blooms may be one of the major disturbances affecting coral reef ecosystems.

Key words Coral reefs Tuamotu Archipelago Dystrophic crisis Disturbance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Adjeroud
    • 1
  • S. Andréfouët
    • 2
  • C. Payri
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre de Biologie et d'Ecologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, URA CNRS 1453, Université de Perpignan, 66860 Perpignan Cedex, France e-mail: Tel.: +33-4-68662055; Fax: +33-4-68503686FR
  2. 2.Dept. of Marine Science, Remote Sensing & Biological Oceanography, University of South Florida, 140 7th Av. South, St Petersburg, FL 33701, USAUS
  3. 3.Laboratoire d'Ecologie Marine, Université Française du Pacifique, B.P. 6570 Faaa-Aéroport, Tahiti, Polynésie françaisePF

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