Coral Growth and Bioerosion of Porites lutea in Response to Large Amplitude Internal Waves


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Claudio.Richter [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The Similan Islands (Thailand) in the Andaman Sea are exposed to large amplitude internal waves (LAIW), as evidenced by i.a. abrupt fluctuations in temperature of up to 10uC at supertidal frequencies. Although LAIW have been shown to affect coral composition and framework development in shallow waters, the role of LAIW on coral growth is so far unknown. We carried out a long-term transplant experiment with live nubbins and skeleton slabs of the dominating coral Porites lutea to assess the net growth and bioerosion in LAIW-exposed and LAIW-protected waters. Depth-related, seasonal and interannual differences in LAIW-intensities on the exposed western sides of the islands allowed us to separate the effect of LAIW from other possible factors (e.g. monsoon) affecting the corals. Coral growth and bioerosion were inversely related to LAIW intensity, and positively related to coral framework development. Accretion rates of calcareous fouling organisms on the slabs were negligible compared to bioerosion, reflecting the lack of a true carbonate framework on the exposed W faces of the Similan Islands. Our findings show that LAIW may play an important, yet so far overlooked, role in controlling coral growth in tropical waters.



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Scopus/ISI peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
35079
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0073236

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Schmidt, G. M. and Richter, C. (2013): Coral Growth and Bioerosion of Porites lutea in Response to Large Amplitude Internal Waves , PLoS ONE, 8 (12), e73236 . doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073236


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