COMPARISON OF THE HISTORICAL AND CURRENT DISTRIBUTION OFACROPORA CERVICORNIS IN RELATION TO CLIMATIC PARAMETERS AND HABITAT CHARACTERISTICS
Kaitlyn Lizza(1), David G. Zawada(2), and Albert C. Hine (1) 1 University of South Florida, 830 First Street Southeast, St Petersburg, FL 33701 2 U.S. Geological Survey, 600 Fourth Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 A significant repopulation of the endangered staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis, was recently discovered in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida. Benthic habitat mapping with the USGS Along Track Reef Imaging System (ATRIS) revealed 100’s of previously undocumented colonies. The locations of A. cervicornis were overlaid onto benthic habitat maps from 1883, 1976, and 2009 in order to compare historical and contemporary distributions using parameters such as depth, location, and benthic habitat type. These colonies are returning in close proximity to the historical locations. Additionally, A. cervicornis rubble locations were overlaid to analyze physical movement resulting from hurricanes. The frequency of hurricanes from 1880 to 1976 did not impact the abundance of A. cervicornis; however in the winter of 1976-1977 a severe cold event resulted in the mortality of 96% of the surveyed population. From 1977 until recently, A. cervicornis was largely absent from the ecosystem. Hurricane frequency has remained the same, but intensity has increased since 1977, possibly aiding in the spread of A. cervicornis and increasing the available space for colonization.
Lizza, K. E., University of South Florida, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Zawada, D. G., U.S. Geological Survey , USA, email@example.com
Hine, A. C., University of South Florida, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Time: 16:00 - 18:00
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall
Presentation is given by student: Yes