Effects of macroalgae on corals recovering from disturbance
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Corals have an ability to recover fromdisturbance through the regeneration of tissue, but macroalgae are believed to impede this process. In this study, the type of benthic macroalgae deposited oncoral skeleton was manipulated experimentally, and the effectson tissue regeneration and skeletal growth of two common coral species Acropora pulchra and Acropora aspera were observed after disturbance. Macroalgae, common to the study region, but from variable functional groups, were investigated for their influence oncoral growth. The green filamentous macroalga Chlorodesmis fastigiata significantly reduced tissue recovery in A. pulchra, but not in A. aspera. It led to the infection ofA. pulchra with ciliates. The brown seaweed, Lobophora variegata, the encrusting coralline alga Porolithon (= Hydrolithon) onkodes, and turf algae, had only minor effectsoncoral recovery. This suggests that the outcome of the regeneration process is highly variable and dependent upon both, the species ofcoral and algae involved.
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Phycology (incl. Marine Grasses)
Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)