Wachstum juveniler Kaltwasserkorallen in Chile, Patagonien

Claudio.Richter [ at ] awi.de


The Comau Fjord is located at the northern part of the Chilean fjord system (Patagonia). Caused by its great amount of geological structures it contains a vast biodiversity that is dominated by a unique benthic community. At the same time, it is one of the least studied regions in the world. Due to the exploding economy, the pressure on the local marine ecosystems increases, especially by salmon farms and the development of the coastline. That is the reason for pushing further researches to focus the public interest on the necessity to protect this sensitive marine live. In the Comau Fjord three species of the cosmopolitan cold-water coral Scleractinia were found (Tethocyathus endesa, Caryophyllia huinayensis and Desmophyllum dianthus) in a high abundance of shallow water in less than 20m. This achievable depth makes it ideal for in situ experiments. In principal, there is little knowledge about juvenile growth and the recruitment time of the Scleractinia. Based on a two and a half year seasonal photodocumentary the behaviour of their growth was observed. The Calyx-Diameter of the found individuals was determined and their respective growth rates were calculated. The results were compared regarding possible seasonal fluctuations and differences between the substrate inclinations they were growing on. To find out more about their recruitment period the shape of the curve of their growth was extrapolated. There are no outcomes about T. endesa and C. huinayensis because of their slight abundances. The individuals of D. dianthus are showing a linear as well as exponential associated growing. Some of them also contained a partial phase growing. In the summer the growth rates appear to be highest and in spring at their lowest point. A pattern of the different growth rates between the substrate inclinations was not detected. For more precise statements about the growing and recruitment of the Scleractinia corals more data must be raised.

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Happel, L. (2017): Wachstum juveniler Kaltwasserkorallen in Chile, Patagonien , Bachelor thesis, Universität Oldenburg.

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