Temporal and spatial variability in coral recruitment on two Indonesian coral reefs: consistently lower recruitment to a degraded reef
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Corals are the primary reef-building organisms, therefore it is key to understand their recruitment patterns for effective reef management. Coral recruitment rates and juvenile coral abundance were recorded in the Wakatobi National Marine Park, Indonesia, on two reefs (Sampela and Hoga) with different levels of environmental degradation (12.5 vs. 44 % coral cover with high and low sedimentation rates, respectively) to examine consistencies in recruitment patterns between years and seasons. Recruitment was measured on multiple panels at two sites on each reef (6–7 m depth) and cleared areas of natural reef. Although coral recruitment was twofold higher in 2008–2009 than in 2007–2008, and seasonal differences were identified, consistent significant differences in recruitment rates were found between the two reefs even though they are separated by only ~1.5 km. Recruitment rates and juvenile abundance were lower on the more degraded reef. These patterns are likely a consequence of differential pre- and post-settlement mortality as a result of the high sedimentation rates and degraded conditions and possibly reduced larval supply.
KeywordsCoral Reef Coral Cover Recruitment Rate Crustose Coralline Alga Coral Rubble
P. Salinas-de-León was supported by a Victoria University PhD Scholarship and wishes to thank the Salinas de León foundation, the Centre for Marine Environmental and Economic Research, the Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration, the New Zealand Postgraduate Study Abroad scheme and Operation Wallacea through collaboration with the Wakatobi Taman National for funding this study. P. Salinas-de-León would also like to thank S. Rowley, A. Costales-Carrera, Jufri, Magliani, Ludi, Ilu, Arif and other volunteers at the Hoga Island research centre. Also, thanks to the Wallacea Foundation and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI research permit granted to DJ Smith). J.J. Bell is also grateful to the PADI Foundation for providing funding for travel.
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