Effects of benthic algae on the replenishment of corals and the implications for the resilience of coral reefs

Birrell, Chico L., McCook, Laurence J., Willis, Bette L. and Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo A. (2008). Effects of benthic algae on the replenishment of corals and the implications for the resilience of coral reefs. In Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, Vol 46 (pp. 25-63) London, U. K: Taylor & Francis.


Author Birrell, Chico L.
McCook, Laurence J.
Willis, Bette L.
Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo A.
Title of chapter Effects of benthic algae on the replenishment of corals and the implications for the resilience of coral reefs
Title of book Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, Vol 46
Place of Publication London, U. K
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Publication Year 2008
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Series Oceanography and Marine Biology - An Annual Review
ISBN 9781420065749; 1420065742; 0078-3218
ISSN 0078-3218
Volume number 46
Chapter number 2
Start page 25
End page 63
Total pages 41
Total chapters 8
Language eng
Subjects B1
960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
060701 Phycology (incl. Marine Grasses)
0405 Oceanography
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The ecological resilience of coral reefs depends critically on the capacity of coral populations to re-establish in habitats dominated by macroalgae. Coral reefs globally are under rapidly increasing pressure from human activities, especially from climate change, with serious environmental, social and economic consequences. Coral mortality is usually followed by colonisation by benthic algae of various forms, so that algae dominate most degraded and disturbed reefs. The capacity of coral populations to re-establish in this algal-dominated environment will depend on direct and indirect impacts of the algae on the supply of coral larvae from remnant adults, on settlement of coral larvae and on the post-settlement survival and growth of juvenile corals. The effects of benthic algae on coral replenishment vary considerably but the thick mats or large seaweeds typical of degraded reefs have predominantly negative impacts. Some algae, mostly calcareous red algae, may enhance coral settlement on healthy reefs. Algal effects on coral replenishment include reduced fecundity and larval survival, pre-emption of space for settlement, abrasion or overgrowth of recruits, sloughing or dislodgement of recruits settled on crustose algae, and changes to habitat conditions. There is a serious lack of information about these effects, which are likely to cause bottlenecks in coral recovery and significantly reduce the resilience of coral reefs.
© R. N. Gibson, R. J. A. Atkinson, and J. D. M. Gordon, Editors
Taylor & Francis

Keyword Invertebrata
Coelenterata
Cnidaria
Algae
Oceanography
Marine environment
Hydrobiology
Coral reef
Resilience
Coral
Benthic zone
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Apr 2009, 02:29:16 EST by Peter Fogarty on behalf of Centre for Marine Studies