Spatial distribution of juvenile and adult corals around Moorea (French Polynesia): implications for population regulation
Spatial patterns of juvenile and adult scleractinian corals were analyzed and compared at Moorea, French Polynesia, in order to better understand the processes that influence coral population dynamics and maintenance. variation in the abundance and composition of juvenile (< 5 cm in diameter) vs adult corals were examined at three depths (6, 12, 18 m) at each of three locations (vaipahu, Tiahura, haapiti) on the outer reef slope. A marked spatial heterogeneity for both juvenile and adult assemblages was found with significant variation across depths and locations. Trends in spatial variation were highly similar between juvenile and adult assemblages, and the overall abundance (all genera pooled) of juvenile corals was positively and highly correlated with the abundance of adults. however, within the six dominant genera, which are all broadcast spawners, we found positive and significant correlations between adult and juvenile abundance for only Acropora, Fungia, Montipora, and Pavona, and not for Pocillopora and Porites. These findings suggest that underlying mechanisms for the establishment of the adult patterns may vary among coral taxa, even among broadcast spawners.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2007
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