Marine Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 6, pp 1145–1152 | Cite as

Influence of dead coral substrate morphology on patterns of juvenile coral distribution

  • A. V. NorströmEmail author
  • J. Lokrantz
  • M. Nyström
  • H. T. Yap
Research Article


This study examines the abundances of three morphological categories of juvenile corals (massive, branching and encrusting) on two different types of natural substratum, dead massive and dead branching corals. The overall results show that the morphological characteristics of dead coral substratum have a significant influence on the coral recruitment patterns with respect to the morphology of the recruits: juvenile corals of massive and branching types were more abundant on substrates of corresponding morphology. The results obtained from this study suggest that dead coral might attract coral larvae that are morphologically similar. On the other hand, it may be the result of post-settlement mortality. Whatever the mechanism shaping the patterns is, it seems that the physical morphology of the dead coral substrate has a significant influence on the coral recruit assemblage. Hence, we suggest that substrate morphology can be an important qualitative factor for coral settlement and a possible determinant of community structure.


Reef Slope Crustose Coralline Alga Recruitment Pattern Dead Coral Habitat Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This project was made possible through financial support by Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The work of MN is financed by a Sida/SAREC research grant. We would especially like to thank R.M. Dizon, R. Montebon, M. Dimzon, C. Muhando and H. Peeks (CHICOP) for their kind assistance. Thanks are also due to C. Rolff, P. Plantman and M. Löf for assistance with the statistical analysis, and numerous others who provided critical input. The map was provided by ReefBase, and coral reef distribution data by UNEP-WCMC. This is contribution number 352 of the Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines. All experiments complied with the current laws of the Philippines and Tanzania.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Norström
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Lokrantz
    • 1
  • M. Nyström
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. T. Yap
    • 3
  1. 1.Natural Resource Management, Department of Systems EcologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Centre for Transdisciplinary Environmental ResearchStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.The Marine Science InstituteUniversity of the PhilippinesQuezon CityPhilippines

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