Growth of seven species of scleractinian corals in an upwelling environment of the eastern Pacific (Golfo de Papagayo, Costa Rica)
Abstract:Annual growth rates of seven coral species at the Islas Murciélagos and Bahía Culebra in the upwelling area of Golfo de Papagayo (Costa Rica) were measured during 1991–92 and 1995–97. Two methods were utilized: staining with alizarin red (Pocillopora spp., Pavona clavus, Psammocora stellata), and X-rays of cores and slabs of P. clavus. Growth increment rates during 1991–92 were significantly higher for P. elegans, P. damicornis and P. stellata. During 1995–97 P. meandrina and P. clavus had the highest growth rates and there were significant variations between the two study sites. Growth rates for P. elegans, P. damicornis, P. clavus and P. stellata in Golfo de Papagayo were the highest reported for these species in the eastern Pacific, and may be related to high nutrient input during upwellings. No core or slab of P. clavus was older than 1987 and we attribute this interruption to the 1987–88 El Niño event. A decrease in the growth rates during the 1990s can also be related to warming events and sedimentation from a road construction. Results suggest that upwelling environments are not completely restrictive to coral growth and therefore to reef construction in these seasonally fluctuating environments.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2003-01-01
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