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Free Content The dynamics of coral reef community structure and recruitment patterns around Rota, Saipan, and Tinian, Western Pacific

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Twenty-seven years after a major Acanthaster planci outbreak on Rota, Saipan and Tinian, coral cover has increased and reef community structure has changed. Many of the reefs are now dominated by species of the family Poritidae, particularly, Porites rus and P. cf. lutea. Acanthaster planci and Culcita novaeguineae remain present in low densities on most of the reefs surveyed and continue to keep the populations of Acroporidae and Pocilloporidae low. The mean planula settlement rate observed was lower than that observed at other coral reefs in the Pacific, e.g., Fiji, the Great Barrier Reef, and Guam. Juvenile coral recruits were dominated by species of the family Poritidae while planulae recruitment was dominated by recruits from the family Pocilloporidae (80%). In contrast to other reef systems in the Pacific, where acroporids dominate summer recruits, only 8% of the recruits were acroporans.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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