The cave-profiler: a simple tool to describe the 3-D structure of inaccessible coral reef cavities
- 117 Downloads
An important part of the bottom of a coral reef consists of dead coral reef framework cavities; this includes the spaces and surfaces under rubble, the undersides of skeletal organisms such as corals, the shaded undersides of overhanging dead or live coral, and deep framework cavities. Cavities are formed below protruding edges of stony corals in the coral reef framework and are often enlarged by bioeroding organisms. These cavities make up a major part of the volume of the skeleton of a reef. Estimates of the volume encompass 30–75% of total reef volume (Ginsburg 1983). Cavities provide a surface area for colonization by organisms that may be greater than the horizontally projected reef surface area (Jackson and Winston 1982; Ginsburg 1983).
The species composition of these cryptic habitats has been extensively studied (Kobluk and van Soest 1989; Meesters et al. 1991). Sessile groups such as sponges, crustose coralline and filamentous algae, ascidians, polychaetes,...
KeywordsReef framework Structure Substratum Dimensions Reef surface area Sessile cryptofauna
The authors wish to thank the CARMABI Foundation for facilities, and WOTRO (Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research), grant number W84–439, for financial support. This is an NIOZ publication.
- Bak RPM (1977) Coral reefs and their zonation in the Netherlands Antilles. Stud Geol 4:3–16Google Scholar
- Brock RE, Smith SV (1983) Response of coral reef cryptofaunal communities to food and space. Coral Reefs 1:179–183Google Scholar
- Gast GJ, Wiegman S, Wieringa E, van Duyl FC, Bak RPM (1998) Bacteria in coral reef water types: removal of cells, stimulation of growth and mineralization. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 167:37–45Google Scholar
- Ginsburg RN (1983) Geological and biological roles of cavities in coral reefs. In: Barnes DJ (ed) Perspectives on coral reefs. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, pp 148–153Google Scholar
- Hutchings P (1983) Cryptofaunal communities of coral reefs. In: Barnes DJ (ed) Perspectives on coral reefs. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, pp 200–208Google Scholar
- 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 64:103–115Google Scholar
- Kobluk DR, van Soest RWM (1989) Cavity-dwelling sponges in a southern Caribbean coral reef and their paleontological implications. Bull Mar Sci 44:1207–1235Google Scholar
- Linley EAS, Koop K (1986) Significance of pelagic bacteria as a trophic resource in a coral reef lagoon, One Tree Island, Great Barrier Reef. Mar Biol 92:457–464Google Scholar
- Meesters E, Knijn R, Willemsen P, Pennartz E, Roebers G, van Soest RWM (1991) Sub-rubble communities of Curacao and Bonaire coral reefs. Coral Reefs 10:189–197Google Scholar
- Richter C, Wunsch M (1999) Cavity-dwelling suspension feeders in coral reefs—a new link in reef trophodynamics. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 188:105–116Google Scholar
- Richter C, Wunsch M, Rasheed M, Koetter I, Badran MI (2001) Endoscopic exploration of Red Sea coral reefs reveals dense populations of cavity-dwelling sponges. Nature 413:726–730Google Scholar
- Scoffin TP, Stearn CW, Buocher D, Frydl P, Hawkins CM, Hunter IG, MacGeachy JK (1980) Calcium carbonate budget of a fringing reef on the west coast of Barbados. II. Erosion, sediments and internal structure. Bull Mar Sci 30:475–508Google Scholar
- van Duyl FC (1985) Atlas of the living reefs of Curacao and Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles). Foundation for Scientific Research in Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles, Utrecht, pp 1–63Google Scholar
- Wunsch M, Richter C (1998) The Cave-Cam: an endoscopic underwater video system for the exploration of cryptic habitats. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 169:277–282Google Scholar