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Population Structure of Montastraea cavernosa on Shallow versus Mesophotic Reefs in Bermuda.

Goodbody-Gringley G, Marchini C, Chequer AD, Goffredo S - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The Caribbean coral, Montastraea cavernosa, is considered a depth generalist and is commonly found at mesophotic depths.Colony density was significantly higher at mesophotic sites, however, resulting in equal contributions to overall percent cover.Overall, the results of this study provide valuable baseline data on population structure, which indicate that the mesophotic reefs of Bermuda support an established population of M. cavernosa.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, 17 Biological Lane, St. Georges, Bermuda GE 01.

ABSTRACT
Mesophotic coral reef ecosystems remain largely unexplored with only limited information available on taxonomic composition, abundance and distribution. Yet, mesophotic reefs may serve as potential refugia for shallow-water species and thus understanding biodiversity, ecology and connectivity of deep reef communities is integral for resource management and conservation. The Caribbean coral, Montastraea cavernosa, is considered a depth generalist and is commonly found at mesophotic depths. We surveyed abundance and size-frequency of M. cavernosa populations at six shallow (10m) and six upper mesophotic (45m) sites in Bermuda and found population structure was depth dependent. The mean surface area of colonies at mesophotic sites was significantly smaller than at shallow sites, suggesting that growth rates and maximum colony surface area are limited on mesophotic reefs. Colony density was significantly higher at mesophotic sites, however, resulting in equal contributions to overall percent cover. Size-frequency distributions between shallow and mesophotic sites were also significantly different with populations at mesophotic reefs skewed towards smaller individuals. Overall, the results of this study provide valuable baseline data on population structure, which indicate that the mesophotic reefs of Bermuda support an established population of M. cavernosa.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Distribution Parameters by Depth.Mean standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis (± SE) of M. cavernosa population size-frequency distributions from measured colonies at shallow (10m; gray squares) and mesophotic (45m; black triangles) sites (Rita/XL, Coopers, Tuckers, Spittal, Devonshire, Hungry Bay).
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pone.0142427.g003: Distribution Parameters by Depth.Mean standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis (± SE) of M. cavernosa population size-frequency distributions from measured colonies at shallow (10m; gray squares) and mesophotic (45m; black triangles) sites (Rita/XL, Coopers, Tuckers, Spittal, Devonshire, Hungry Bay).

Mentions: Standard deviations of colony surface area data did not differ significantly between shallow and mesophotic sites (Fig 3; p = 0.262, Student’s t-test). This suggests that variation in colony surface area is similar at shallow and mesophotic sites.


Population Structure of Montastraea cavernosa on Shallow versus Mesophotic Reefs in Bermuda.

Goodbody-Gringley G, Marchini C, Chequer AD, Goffredo S - PLoS ONE (2015)

Distribution Parameters by Depth.Mean standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis (± SE) of M. cavernosa population size-frequency distributions from measured colonies at shallow (10m; gray squares) and mesophotic (45m; black triangles) sites (Rita/XL, Coopers, Tuckers, Spittal, Devonshire, Hungry Bay).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4636301&req=5

pone.0142427.g003: Distribution Parameters by Depth.Mean standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis (± SE) of M. cavernosa population size-frequency distributions from measured colonies at shallow (10m; gray squares) and mesophotic (45m; black triangles) sites (Rita/XL, Coopers, Tuckers, Spittal, Devonshire, Hungry Bay).
Mentions: Standard deviations of colony surface area data did not differ significantly between shallow and mesophotic sites (Fig 3; p = 0.262, Student’s t-test). This suggests that variation in colony surface area is similar at shallow and mesophotic sites.

Bottom Line: The Caribbean coral, Montastraea cavernosa, is considered a depth generalist and is commonly found at mesophotic depths.Colony density was significantly higher at mesophotic sites, however, resulting in equal contributions to overall percent cover.Overall, the results of this study provide valuable baseline data on population structure, which indicate that the mesophotic reefs of Bermuda support an established population of M. cavernosa.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, 17 Biological Lane, St. Georges, Bermuda GE 01.

ABSTRACT
Mesophotic coral reef ecosystems remain largely unexplored with only limited information available on taxonomic composition, abundance and distribution. Yet, mesophotic reefs may serve as potential refugia for shallow-water species and thus understanding biodiversity, ecology and connectivity of deep reef communities is integral for resource management and conservation. The Caribbean coral, Montastraea cavernosa, is considered a depth generalist and is commonly found at mesophotic depths. We surveyed abundance and size-frequency of M. cavernosa populations at six shallow (10m) and six upper mesophotic (45m) sites in Bermuda and found population structure was depth dependent. The mean surface area of colonies at mesophotic sites was significantly smaller than at shallow sites, suggesting that growth rates and maximum colony surface area are limited on mesophotic reefs. Colony density was significantly higher at mesophotic sites, however, resulting in equal contributions to overall percent cover. Size-frequency distributions between shallow and mesophotic sites were also significantly different with populations at mesophotic reefs skewed towards smaller individuals. Overall, the results of this study provide valuable baseline data on population structure, which indicate that the mesophotic reefs of Bermuda support an established population of M. cavernosa.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus