Rapid recovery from injuries in the temperate long-lived coral Cladocora caespitosa
- 174 Downloads
Cladocora caespitosa is a colonial and symbiotic scleractinian coral endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, which is threatened by disturbances related to global change. To assess its recovery capacity from physically induced tissue injuries, one to three polyps from 46 colonies were collected at 15 m depth in the Columbretes Islands Marine Reserve (NW Mediterranean Sea) and were subjected to injuries that partially affected both tissue and skeleton. For 3 months, colonies were maintained in aquaria, where polyps were surveyed photographically every 2 days. The first signs of recovery were detected during the 3rd week and 68 % of injured polyps showed total recovery after 2 months. The recovery capacity in aquarium conditions contrasts with the slow growth of this long-lived species. However, rapid recovery is an advantage in competition with other organisms of shallow dynamic Mediterranean communities. Further research on recovery mechanisms is needed to better assess the resilience of this species.
KeywordsCoral Scleractinian Injury Recovery Mediterranean Sea
The authors are grateful to all the staff of the ZAE at the Institut de Ciències del Mar for assistance with aquarium experiments. We further thank the editor (B. Hoeksema) and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. The study has been partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Innovation through the Smart project (CGL2012-32194) and a Ramón y Cajal contract to C.L. (RyC-2011-08134).
- Kersting DK, Ballesteros E, De Caralt S, Linares C (2014) Invasive macrophytes in a marine reserve (Columbretes Islands, NW Mediterranean): spread dynamics and interactions with the endemic scleractinian coral Cladocora caespitosa. Biol Inv. doi: 10.1007/s10530-013-0594-9
- Morri C, Peirano A, Bianchi CN, Sassarini M (1994) Present day bioconstructions of the hard coral, Cladocora caespitosa (L.) (Anthozoa, Scleractinia), in the Eastern Ligurian Sea (NW Mediterranean). Biol Mar Mediterr 1:371–373Google Scholar
- Zibrowius H (1980) Les Scléractiniaires de la Méditerranée et de l’Atlantique nord-oriental. Mem Inst Oceanogr Monaco 11:1–284Google Scholar