Coral Recruitment on a Local Scale in Amitori Bay, Iriomote Island, Estimated by Filed Surveys and Numerical Analyses

  • Masako NakamuraEmail author
  • Tomokazu Murakami
  • Hiroyoshi Kohno
  • Akira Mizutani
Part of the Springer Oceanography book series (SPRINGEROCEAN)


Recruitment of new individuals is essential for community sustainability and resilience. Spatial variation in coral recruitment was quantified for nine sites in Amitori Bay of Iriomote Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, and compared with adult abundance. In addition, potential source sites for recruits, larval trajectories from source to sink sites, and travel distances of larvae were estimated by numerical modeling using real biological and physical data at the main spawning periods. As a result, acroporid recruitment was dominant in Amitori Bay and was positively correlated with adult abundance. Numerical modeling demonstrated a potential that recruits in Amitori Bay could be originated from nearby areas, and that most of recruits traveled less than 400 m with the maximum travel distance of less than 5.5 km. Therefore, estimated dispersal distance of larvae could be relatively short as the mouth of Amitori Bay is about 2 km across and the length of the bay is 4 km. These suggested that the acroporid community in Amitori Bay could be maintained by recruits from within the bay and from immediately surrounding areas.


Coral Acropora Recruitment Dispersal Numerical model 



We are very grateful to Wataru Noda and Yusuke Matsushita for helping to conduct this research. This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 16K07527. We also thank OIST’s technical editor, Dr. Steven D. Aird, for helping to polish this manuscript.


  1. Biodiversity Center of Japan (2016) Report on monitoring 1000 coral reef survey in fiscal year 2016. The Ministry of the Environment, JapanGoogle Scholar
  2. Connell JH, Hughes TP, Wallace CC (1997) A 30-year study of coral abundance, recruitment, and disturbance at several scales in space and time. Ecol Monogr 67:461–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cowen RK, Sponaugle S (2009) Larval dispersal and marine population connectivity. Ann Rev Mar Sci 1:443–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. De’ath G, Fabricius KE, Sweatman H, Puotinen M (2012) The 27-year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes. Proc Natl Acad Sci 109(44):17995–17999CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gardner TA, Côté IM, Gill JA, Grant A, Watkinson AR (2003) Long-term region-wide declines in caribbean corals. Science 301:958–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. GBRMPA (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) (2016) Interim report: coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef. GBRMPA, Townsville, pp 1–27Google Scholar
  7. Graham NAJ, Jennings S, MacNeil MA, Mouillot D, Wilson SK (2015) Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs. Nature 518:94–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hughes TP, Baird AH, Dinsdale EA, Moltschanlwskyj NA, Pratchett MS, Tanner JE, Wills BL (1999) Patterns of recruitment and abundance of corals along the Great Barrier Reef. Nature 396:59–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hughes TP, Baird AH, Dinsdale EA, Moltschaniwskyj NA, Pratchett MS, Tanner JE, Willis BL (2000) Supply-side ecology works both ways: the link between benthic adults, fecundity, and larval recruits. Ecology 81:2241–2249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jones GP, McCormick MI, Srinivasan M, Eagle V (2004) Coral decline threatens fish biodiversity in marine reserves. Proc Natl Acad Sci 101(21):8251–8253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Murakami T, Ukai A, Khono H, Mizutani A, Shimokawa S, Nakase K, Noguchi K, Yasuda T (2012) Relationships between distributions of corals and physical environments in Amitori Bay, Iriomote Island, Japan. J Japan Soc Civil Eng B3, 68:I_1133–I_1138Google Scholar
  12. Murakami T, Khono H, Yamamoto Y, Mizutani A, Shimokawa S (2015) Numerical simulation for initial dynamic state of bundle based on field observations of Acroporidae spawning in Amitori Bay, Iriomote Island, Japan. J Japan Soc Civil Eng B2 71(2):I_1225–I_1230 (In Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  13. Nakamura M, Sakai K (2010) Spatiotemporal variability in recruitment around Iriomote Island, Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan: implications for dispersal of spawning corals. Mar Biol 157:801–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nakamura M, Kumagai NH, Sakai K, Okaji K, Mitarai S (2015) Spatial variability in recruitment of acroporid corals and predatory starfish along the Onna coast, Okinawa, Japan. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 540:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nakamura M, Murakami T, Khono H, Noda W, Matsushita Y, Mizutani A (2017) Coral recruitment on a local scale in Amitori Bay, Iriomote Island, estimated by settlement plates and numerical analysis. J Japan Soc Civil Eng B2 72(2):I_1279–I_1284 (In Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  16. Suzuki G, Arakaki S, Hayashibara T (2011) Rapid in situ settlement following spawning by Acropora corals at Ishigaki, southern Japan. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 421:131–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Treml EA, Halpin PN, Urban DL, Pratson LF (2008) Modeling popualtion connectivity by ocean currents, a graph-theoreric apporach for marine conservation. Landscape Ecol 23:19–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masako Nakamura
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tomokazu Murakami
    • 2
  • Hiroyoshi Kohno
    • 3
  • Akira Mizutani
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Marine Science and TechnologyTokai UniversityShizuokaJapan
  2. 2.Storm, Flood and Landslide Research DivisionNational Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster ResilienceTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Okinawa Regional Research Center, Tokai UniversityYaeyamaJapan

Personalised recommendations