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Scleractinian coral population size structures and growth rates indicate coral resilience on the fringing reefs of North Jamaica

M. James C. Crabbe *
* Corresponding author
Abstract : Coral reefs throughout the world are under severe challenges from many environmental factors. This paper quantifies the size-structure of populations and the growth rates of corals from 2000-2008 to test whether the Discovery Bay coral colonies showed resilience in the face of multiple acute stressors of hurricanes and bleaching. There was a reduction in numbers of colonies in the smallest size class for all the species at all the sites in 2006, after the mass bleaching of 2005, with subsequent increases for all species at all sites in 2007 and 2008. Radial growth rates (mm/yr) of non-branching corals and linear extension rates (mm/yr) of branching corals calculated on an annual basis from 2000-2008 showed few significant differences either spatially or temporally. At Dairy Bull reef, live coral cover increased from 13 ±5% in 2006 to 20 ±9% in 2007 and 31 ±7% in 2008, while live species increased from 2 ±2% in 2006 to 10 ±4% in 2007 and 22 ±7% in 2008. These studies indicate good levels of coral resilience on the fringing reefs around Discovery Bay in Jamaica.
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M. James C. Crabbe. Scleractinian coral population size structures and growth rates indicate coral resilience on the fringing reefs of North Jamaica. Marine Environmental Research, Elsevier, 2009, 67 (4-5), pp.189. ⟨10.1016/j.marenvres.2009.01.003⟩. ⟨hal-00482199⟩

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