Post-settlement mortality and growth of newly settled reef corals in a subtropical environment
- 296 Downloads
There are few studies of post-settlement mortality of newly settled corals, particularly on subtropical reefs. This study examined the mortality and growth of spat of three broadcast spawning coral species at the Solitary Islands, eastern Australia (30°S). Mortality of spat was high, with only 0.2–2.8% surviving their first year of life. Growth was slow, with coral spat achieving a maximum diameter of 2 mm after 8 months. High post-settlement mortality and slow growth rates are likely to contribute to low rates of recruitment of broadcast spawning species at the Solitary Islands.
KeywordsPost-settlement mortality Coral recruitment Subtropical reefs Growth
We thank Dive Quest for their excellent assistance with diving operations and the many volunteers who helped with diving and laboratory work (especially G. Hart, S. Harrison, and K. Dallas). This project was supported by an ARC Grant and Southern Cross University Internal Research Grants to P. Harrison, and an ACRS Student Grant and Southern Cross University Postgraduate Grants to J. Wilson.
- Babcock R (1985) Growth and mortality in juvenile corals (Goniastrea, Platygyra and Acropora): the first year. In: Proceedings of the 5th international coral reef congress 4:355–360Google Scholar
- Birkeland C (1977) The importance of rate of biomass accumulation in early successional stages of benthic communities to the survival of coral recruits. In: Proceedings of the 3rd international coral reef symposium 1:15–21Google Scholar
- Fitzhardinge RC (1988) Coral recruitment: the importance of interspecific differences in juvenile growth and mortality. In: Proceedings of the 6th international coral reef symposium 2:673–678Google Scholar
- Harrison PL, Wallace CC (1990) Reproduction, dispersal and recruitment of scleractinian corals, ch. 7. In: Dubinsky Z (ed) Coral reef ecosystems, ecosystems of the world, vol 25. Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, pp 133–207Google Scholar
- Morse ANC (1992) Role of algae in the recruitment of marine invertebrate larvae. In: John DM et al (eds) Plant–animal interaction in the marine benthos, vol 46. Clarendon, Oxford, pp 385–403Google Scholar
- Smith SR (1992) Patterns of coral recruitment and post-settlement mortality on Bermuda’s Reefs: comparisons to Caribbean and Pacific Reefs. Am Zool 32:663–673Google Scholar
- Wilson JR (1998) Reproduction and larval ecology of broadcast spawning corals at the Solitary Islands, eastern Australia. PhD Thesis, Southern Cross UniversityGoogle Scholar
- Wilson JR, Harrison PL (1997) Sexual reproduction in high latitude coral communities at the Solitary Islands, eastern Australia. In: Proceedings of the 8th international coral reef symposium, Panama 1:533–538Google Scholar