Coral Reefs

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 403–407 | Cite as

Recruitment and mortality of the temperate coral Cladocora caespitosa: implications for the recovery of endangered populations

  • Diego K. Kersting
  • Núria Teixidó
  • Cristina Linares
Note

Abstract

Long-lived species are characterized by low recruitment and mortality. In these species, longevity buffers low recruitment, but when catastrophic disturbances alter mortality, recruitment becomes critical for population recovery. In this study, we assessed basic biological traits—recruitment, post-settlement growth, and the mortality of juvenile corals—and related these factors to the adult mortality of one of the most important populations of the Mediterranean reef-building coral Cladocora caespitosa over a period of 6 yr. Adult mortality and recruitment rates were low (~1 % and 0.30 recruits m−2 yr−1, respectively), whereas the juvenile colony mortality was comparatively high (29 % in the smallest size-class, <5 polyps). The low recruitment rates will hardly balance the recurrent climate-related mortality that has affected this population. Conservation plans and inclusion in the protection lists are urgently needed, given the escalating threats and slow dynamics of this species.

Keywords

Recruitment Mortality Cladocora caespitosa Long-lived species Mediterranean Sea 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego K. Kersting
    • 1
  • Núria Teixidó
    • 2
  • Cristina Linares
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament d’EcologiaUniversitat de Barcelona (UB)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain

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