Fluorescence census techniques for the early detection of coral recruits
- 443 Downloads
Many coral recruits are very small and often cryptic at settlement making them difficult to detect with normal census techniques. Here we show that fluorescence census techniques can increase the accuracy of juvenile coral counts in highly fluorescent taxa. Using fluorescent filters at night, counts of coral recruits were 20–50% higher than during the day. Acropora abundances were up to 300% higher, the difference being made up of cryptic individuals, and individuals that were too small to see during the day. Fluorescence techniques will be particularly useful in regions where fluorescent taxa are dominant, such as most Indo-Pacific reefs. The technique offers particular promise to determine the influence of early post-settlement mortality on the ecology of fluorescent taxa, because corals can be detected at the size at which they settle.
KeywordsCoral reefs Acropora Fluorescence Recruitment Settlement Mortality
This work was supported by ARC Fellowships to A. Baird and A. Salih and Undersea Explorer (UE). We thank UE crew and sponsors (Carl Zeiss Pty Ltd. & Varian) of the Coral Light and Life Workshop, and C. Mazel for comments on the manuscript.
- Babcock RC (1985) Growth and mortality in juvenile corals Goniastrea, Platygyra and Acropora in the first year. Proc fifth Int Coral Reef Congr 4:355–360Google Scholar
- Babcock RC, Baird AH, Piromvaragorn S, Thomson DP, Willis BL (2003) Identification of scleractinian coral recruits from Indo-Pacific reefs. Zool Stud 42:211–226Google Scholar
- Chiappone M, Sullivan K (1996) Distribution, abundance and species composition of juvenile scleractinian corals in the Florida Reef Tract. Bull Mar Sci 58:555–569Google Scholar
- Edmunds PJ, Aronson RB, Swanson DW, Levitan DR, Precht WF (1998) Photographic versus visual census techniques for the quantification of juvenile corals. Bull Mar Sci 62:937–946Google Scholar
- Piniak GA, Fogarty ND, Addison CM, Kenworthy WJ (2005) Fluorescence census techniques for coral recruits. Coral Reefs DOI:10.1007/s00338-00005-00495-00331Google Scholar
- Salih A, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Cox G (1998) Photoprotection of symbiotic dinoflagellates by fluorescent pigments in reef corals. In: Greenwood JG, Hall NJ (eds) Australian coral reef society 75th anniversary conference. The University of Queensland, Brisbane, pp 217–230Google Scholar
- Sammarco PW (1985) The great barrier reef vs. the Caribbean: comparisons of grazers, coral recruitment patterns and reef recovery. Proc fifth Int Coral Reef Congr 4:391–398Google Scholar
- Wallace CC, Bull GD (1981) Patterns of juvenile coral recruitment on a reef front during a spring-summer spawning period. Proc fourth Int Coral Reef Symp 2:345–350Google Scholar