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Recovery of Acropora Palmata in Curaçao: a Comparison with the Florida Keys

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Demographic monitoring of fixed plots of Acropora palmata (Lamarck, 1816) in Curaçao and the Florida Keys before and after acute tropical storm disturbance allowed for a comparison of recovery processes. The Curaçao population was characterized by greater colony size, live tissue abundance, and genotypic richness than the Florida Keys population, and hence was hypothesized to display a faster rate of recovery. However, after each population lost approximately half of its live tissue as a result of disturbance, magnitude of recovery differed significantly between regions, but was inconsistent with this hypothesis. Despite high post-disturbance asexual recruitment of fragments in Curaçao [12.1 (SE 4.9) recruits/plot compared to 4.6 (SE 1.5) for Florida Keys], consistent with the original hypothesis, Curaçao populations showed negligible recovery in terms of live tissue abundance (–2%) and have declined in number of colonies, whereas the Florida Keys population showed a slight, but significant increase in live tissue (13%) over the surveyed recovery period (from 7 to 31 mo post-disturbance).

Document Type: Short Communication


Publication date: July 1, 2013

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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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