Fluorescence census techniques for coral recruits
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Recruitment processes influence coral population dynamics as well as reef community structure. Coral recruitment is generally determined by one of three methods: artificial settlement plates (e.g. Rogers et al. 1984; Harriott and Fisk 1987; Mundy 2000), small-scale macro photography (Smith 1997; Edmunds et al. 1998), or painstaking visual searches in the field (Edmunds et al. 1998; Miller et al. 2000). These methods can be labor-intensive or time-consuming, as they require microscopic examination of the settlement surface or enough time for the coral to grow large enough to be visible to the naked eye. For example, coral recruits on settlement plates may be 0.7–15 mm in diameter (Jaap et al. 1994). Field survey techniques generally consider corals smaller than 5 cm diameter (2 cm for small species) to be juveniles (Chiappone and Sullivan 1996; Miller et al. 2000), while recruits have size classes of ~0.1–2 cm diameter (Mumby 1999; Miller et al. 2000).
Corals and their...
KeywordsFluorescence Coral Recruitment
This work was supported by a NOAA Coral Conservation Program grant to Mark Fonseca. The authors thank Charles Mazel of Physical Sciences, Inc. and NightSea, Inc. for manuscript comments and advice on fluorescence techniques, Ruth Kelty, Patrick Biber, and two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved the manuscript, and Don Field, Christopher Slade and Amy Uhrin for field assistance. Joanne Delaney of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Shay Viehman of Biscayne National Park arranged for field permits. The National Undersea Research Center provided logistic support. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Peter Gladding, who with his Alexis M provided invaluable field support.
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