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Coral Reefs

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 1227–1239 | Cite as

In situ growth rates of deep-water octocorals determined from 3D photogrammetric reconstructions

  • Swaantje BenneckeEmail author
  • Tom Kwasnitschka
  • Anna Metaxas
  • Wolf-Christian Dullo
Report

Abstract

Growth rates of deep-water corals provide important information on the recovery potential of these ecosystems, for example from fisheries-induced impacts. Here, we present in situ growth dynamics that are currently largely unknown for deep-water octocorals, calculated by applying a non-destructive method. Videos of a boulder harbouring multiple colonies of Paragorgia arborea and Primnoa resedaeformis in the Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area at the entrance to the Gulf of Maine at 863 m depth were collected in 2006, 2010 and 2014. Photogrammetric reconstructions of the boulder and the fauna yielded georeferenced 3D models for all sampling years. Repeated measurements of total length and cross-sectional area of the same colonies allowed the observation of growth dynamics. Growth rates of total length of Paragorgia arborea decreased over time with higher rates between 2006 and 2010 than between 2010 and 2014, while growth rates of cross-sectional area remained comparatively constant. A general trend of decreasing growth rates of total length with size of the coral colony was documented. While no growth was observed for the largest colony (165 cm in length) between 2010 and 2014, a colony 50–65 cm in length grew 3.7 cm yr−1 between 2006 and 2010. Minimum growth rates of 1.6–2.7 cm yr−1 were estimated for two recruits (<23 cm in 2014) of Primnoa resedaeformis. We successfully extracted biologically meaningful data from photogrammetric models and present the first in situ growth rates for these coral species in the Northwest Atlantic.

Keywords

Deep-water corals Paragorgia arborea Primnoa resedaeformis Growth dynamics Photogrammetry Conservation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the crews of NOAA vessel Henry B. Bigelow and ROV ROPOS for their support on board and Vincent Auger for his technical assistance. Funding was provided by the Helmholtz Graduate School HOSST and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel to S.B., NSERC Discovery and Shiptime Allocation Grants to A.M. and by the NOAA/NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology program to Martha Nizinski. Funding for T.K. was provided by the Helmholtz Alliance ROBEX. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.

Supplementary material

338_2016_1471_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1010 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1010 kb)
338_2016_1471_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 1220 kb)
338_2016_1471_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 1328 kb)
338_2016_1471_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 4 (PDF 1266 kb)
338_2016_1471_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (3.3 mb)
Supplementary material 5 (PDF 3401 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of OceanographyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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