Continuing Abstracts

Coral Health and Monitoring Program coral at coral.AOML.ERL.GOV
Tue Jul 4 16:24:35 EDT 1995

As part of our continuing effort to distribute information regarding 
coral health and monitoring, we are circulating the following two  

Abdel-Salam,-H.; Porter,-J.W.; Hatcher,-B.G.  Physiological 
        effects of sediment rejection on photosynthesis and 
        respiration in three Caribbean reef corals. 
        J.C.;Davies,-P.J.;Floor,-P.;et-al.-eds.. 1988. pp. 285- 

Three species of corals, Acropora palmata, Diploria strigosa, 
and Montastrea annularis , were exposed to the same weight of 
sediment. Corals were exposed to sediment during day light 
and darkness. Oxygen production and consumption were measured 
by respirometry; sediment removed by corals was collected 
simultaneously. All corals exposed to sediments showed an 
increase in respiration rate at night and a decrease in net 
photosynthesis during the day. Lowered net photosynthesis was 
due to both light shading and respiratory increase. 
Integrated 24 hour P/R ratios for control and sediment- 
exposed corals were calculated. All control corals had 
naturally occurring P/R ratios in excess of 1.0, but the 
sediment treated corals, without exception, had ratios 
significantly below 1.0, mostly due to high respiration 
during sediment rejection. M. annularis  and D. strigosa 
have very high clearing rates relative to A. palmata . 


Acevedo,-R.; Morelock,-J.  Effects of terrigenous sediment 
        influx on coral reef zonation in southwestern Puerto 
        10-14. Choat,-J.H.;Barnes,-D.;Borowitzka,-M.A.;Coll,- 
        1988. pp. 189-194. 

The distribution of hermatypic coral species and species 
dominance patterns is discussed from the study of 8 reef 
sites of southwestern Puerto Rico. Photo-transects were 
surveyed on 4 sites at La Parguera where terrigenous sediment 
influx was absent and used to develop a standard coral 
zonation pattern. Four sites were studied at Ponce where the 
presence of terrigenous sediments was observed and results 
compared between sites for each depth level. Coral cover and 
species diversity was greatly reduced near the source of 
terrigenous sediment. Both coral cover and coral species 
diversity increased with distance from the sediment source. 
Loss of light is critical to the deeper coral assemblages, 
and a chronic increase in turbidity will move the lower limit 
of coral growth to much shallower depths. Other possible 
effects from sediment influx commonly observed were: partial 
or total burial of coral colonies, bleaching and colonization 
of the coral surface by filamentous blue-green algae. 

|                                                       | 
| Coral Health and Monitoring Program                   | 
| Ocean Chemistry Division                              |  
| Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorlogical Laboratories | 
| National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration       | 
| Miami, Florida                                        | 
| USA                                                   | 
|                                                       | 
| Email:          coral at              |  
| World-Wide Web:             |  
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