Reproduction, Growth, and Some Tolerances of Zoanthus Pacificus and Palythoa Vestitus in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
Kaneohe Bay, on the island of Oahu, has for some time been recognized as a tropical reef ecosystem under considerable stress from such insults as sewage pollution from outfalls in the southern sector, and increased freshwater and terrigenous sediment input from urbanization of the surrounding watershed (Smith et al., 1973). In the southern sector, one of the most striking faunal changes has been the replacement of scleractinian corals on shallow patch and fringing reefs by extensive beds of Zoanthus pacificus Walsh and Bowers, 1971. This replacement has apparently taken place rather rapidly, within the last decade and a half, as has been noted before, (Banner. 1968). No less striking are the dense (up to 12,000 polyps/m2) beds of Palythoa vestitus Verrill, 1928, on the sand flats of these reefs. P. vestitus is reasonably common on other shallow reef flats in Hawaii, but at much lower densities. It was believed that some clues to the success of these species may be found by comparison of their reproductive patterns with those of the species they replaced.
KeywordsSouthern Sector Reproductive Pattern Fringe Reef Sand Flat Winter Rain
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