Biology and Ecology of Corals and Fishes on the Bermuda Platform

  • Struan R. SmithEmail author
  • Samantha de Putron
  • Thad J. T. Murdoch
  • Joanna M. Pitt
  • Ivan Nagelkerken
Part of the Coral Reefs of the World book series (CORW, volume 4)


Bermuda’s reefs support populations of corals and fishes, derived from the Caribbean fauna, which show distinctive characteristics in regards to reproduction and growth. Bermuda’s corals and fishes have an attenuated summer and early fall reproductive season, that appears to be controlled by cool water temperatures in the winter and spring months. Reef fishes show a clear shift in reproductive output to the summer months compared to the winter spawning of many Caribbean conspecifics. Coral recruitment is dominated by brooding species (e.g. Porites astreoides) across all reef zones although framework species (Diploria spp; Montastraea spp) are common. Settlement and recruitment rates are comparable to Caribbean reefs. The recruitment of reef fishes has been studied intensively and both near-shore and lagoonal reefs appear to be nursery habitats for many reef fish families, perhaps substituting for the paucity of coastal mangroves in Bermuda. The strong seasonality of water temperature appears to reduce growth rates in both corals and reef fishes but may facilitate longevity. Many reef fishes attain greater sizes than conspecifics in the Caribbean. The patterns of distribution of corals, fishes and other reef taxa have been quantitatively assessed over the complex reef lagoon, rim reef and fore reef terrace and data incorporated into GIS databases.


Reef Fish Ocean Acidification Patch Reef Proxy Signal Reef 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 is Contribution #198 of the Bermuda Bio­diversity Project (BBP), Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, in the Department of Conservation Services.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Struan R. Smith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samantha de Putron
    • 2
  • Thad J. T. Murdoch
    • 3
  • Joanna M. Pitt
    • 4
  • Ivan Nagelkerken
    • 5
  1. 1.Natural History Museum, Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and ZooHamilton ParishBermuda
  2. 2.Bermuda Institute of Ocean SciencesSt GeorgesBermuda
  3. 3.Bermuda Zoological SocietyHamilton ParishBermuda
  4. 4.Department of Environmental ProtectionMarine Resources SectionSt. GeorgesBermuda
  5. 5.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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