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