Growth rates of seven species of scleractinean corals from Cane Bay and Salt River, St. Croix, USVI
Abstract:Growth rates were determined for 95 specimens of Montastrea annularis and 25 samples of 6 other scleractinean species. Samples were collected along five transects at Cane Bay and Salt River submarine canyon on St. Croix, USVI. Montastrea annularis was the fastest-growing species in shallow water (0.4–1.2 cm/yr). Others ranged from 0.15–0.45 cm/yr (maximum), While a general trend of decreasing growth rate with depth (3–40 m) was observed for all corals, rates for Montastrea annularis clustered into two groups: 0.7–0.9 cm/yr in water depths less than 12 m, and 0.20 cm/yr below 18–20 m. The dramatic decrease in growth rate between these depths may reflect a "light compensation depth," below which photosynthetically driven calcification rapidly declines. Analyses suggest water depth, light level, turbidity and sedimentation rate as major controls of coral-growth rate. Slope of the substrate exhibits a secondary but inconsistent control.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 1985
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