Abstract


JUVENILE CORALS ARE AFFECTED BY LOW SEDIMENTATION RATES: THE FIRST WEEKS ARE CRUCIAL

Increased sedimentation due to anthropogenic activities is a threat to many near-shore coral reefs. The effects on adult corals have been studied extensively and are rather well-known. Studies about the impact of sedimentation on the early life stages of scleractinian corals, however, are rare although recruitment is essential for conserving and restoring resilient coral reefs. Laboratory and in-situ experiments with recruits of different age classes focused on the broadcast-spawning species Acropora hyacinthus, and the brooding coral Leptastrea purpurea. Recruits were exposed to different sediment loads over a time-span of three to five weeks. Applied sediment loads were more than one order of magnitude lower than those known to affect survival of adult coral colonies. The results show that growth and survival of newly settled recruits were negatively affected by sediment loads which had no effect on the growth and survival of one-month old recruits. All experiments indicate that newly settled coral recruits are most sensitive to sedimentation within the first two to four weeks after settlement. The co-occurrence of moderate sedimentation events during and immediately after periods of coral spawning can therefore reduce recruitment success. These findings provide new information to develop comprehensive sediment management plans for the conservation and recovery of coral reefs affected by chronic or acute sedimentation stress.

http://www.icbm.de/umweltbiochemie/

Authors

Moeller, M., University of Oldenburg, Germany, mareen.moeller@uni-oldenburg.de

Nietzer, S., University of Oldenburg, Germany, samuel.nietzer@uni-oldenburg.de

Schils, T., University of Guam, Guam

Schupp, P. J., University of Oldenburg, Germany, peter.schupp@uni-oldenburg.de

Details

Poster presentation

Session #:37
Date: 06/20/2016
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall

Presentation is given by student: Yes

PosterID: 430