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Growth and mortality rates of the reef coral Pavona gigantea in Cabo Pulmo reef, Gulf of California

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The reef coral Pavona gigantea Verril, 1896 is an important reef builder in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the present study sought to estimate its growth and mortality rates in Cabo Pulmo National Park, Mexico. The growth rate of 25 colonies was estimated with alizarin staining (mean growth rate was 10.1 mm yr–1, 95% CI 1.4) and the height of 87 colonies was measured to estimate the age structure of the population. The mean age was 14.85 (SE 1.91) yrs, with a minimum of 3 yrs and a maximum of 53 yrs. The mortality rate was fit by an exponential decay model and was estimated to be 0.0533 (SE 0.0171) yr–1. Based on these results, the presumed maximum longevity of a cohort is around 101 yrs. This is the first study to present the mortality rate and generation time for any species of the family Agariciidae, and might be useful for comparative studies or as a valuable baseline with which to compare current and future changes expected under climate change scenarios. Also, the estimation of natural mortality, potential growth, and the life span of this species may be useful to account for the potential success of restauration efforts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur. Departamento Académico de Ciencias Marinas y Costeras. Carretera al sur km 5.5., Col. El Mezquitito. CP 23080. La Paz, B.C.S. ORCID: 0000-0003- 2593-9631 2: Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Laboratorio de Esclerocronología, Ecología y Pesquerías de la Zona Costera. Carretera Ensenada - Tijuana 3918, Ensenada, Baja California 22860. ORCID: 0000-0001-5427- 6043, Present address: Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 January 2019

This article was made available online on 24 July 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Growth and mortality rates of the reef coral Pavona gigantea in Cabo Pulmo reef, Gulf of California".

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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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