Coral Reefs

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 129–145 | Cite as

Calcium carbonate budgets for two coral reefs affected by different terrestrial runoff regimes, Rio Bueno, Jamaica



A process-based carbonate budget was used to compare carbonate framework production at two reef sites subject to varying degrees of fluvial influence in Rio Bueno, Jamaica. The turbid, central embayment was subjected to high rates of fluvial sediment input, framework accretion was restricted to ≤30 m, and net carbonate production was 1,887 g CaCO3 m−2 year−1. Gross carbonate production (GCP) was dominated by scleractinians (97%), particularly by sediment-resistant species, e.g. Diploria strigosa on the reef flat (<2 m). Calcareous encrusters contributed very little carbonate. Total bioerosion removed 265 g CaCO3 m−2 year−1 and was dominated by microborers. At the clear-water site, net carbonate production was 1,236 g CaCO3 m−2 year−1; the most productive zone was on the fore-reef (10 m). Corals accounted for 82% of GCP, and encrusting organisms 16%. Bioerosion removed 126 g CaCO3 m−2 year−1 and was dominated by macroborers. Total fish and urchin grazing was limited throughout (≤20 g CaCO3 m−2 year−1). The study demonstrates that: (1) carbonate production and net reef accretion can occur where environmental conditions approach or exceed perceived threshold levels for coral survival; and (2) although live coral cover (and carbonate production rates) were reduced on reef-front sites along the North Jamaican coast, low population densities of grazing fish and echinoids to some extent offset this, thus maintaining positive carbonate budgets.


Coral reef Carbonate production Carbonate budget Riverine impacts Sediment Bioerosion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Geographical SciencesManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of Life SciencesUniversity of the West IndiesSt AugustineTrinidad and Tobago

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