Title

Recruitment as a Tool for Coral Reef Conservation

Presenter

John Debuysser

Abstract

Coral reefs are refugia of biodiversity of the ocean, but these critical habitats are in decline worldwide due to changing environment parameters and human impact. Coral recruitment, the settlement of coral larvae on substrate, is an excellent indicator of coral reproductive success and a key process for recovery and resiliency of reef-building corals. However, recruitment is a sensitive process that is influenced by a number of factors including coral stock health, ocean currents, algal competition, pollution and site connectivity. These factors produce large variations in recruitment across time and location. Pinpointing the factors critical to recruitment success in the Caribbean by establishing patterns of recruit density and examining correlations with environmental parameters are essential to protecting the health and productivity of valuable coral reef ecosystems. This work furthers the understanding of this phenomenon by describing coral recruitment patterns in coral reefs of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Faculty Sponsor

Amy Molitor

Sponsor Department/Programs

Environmental Studies

Tracks

Secrets of the Deep

Terms of Use

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Location

Science 100

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

School for Field Studies Center for Marine Resource Studies in the Turks and Caicos Islands

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Apr 19th, 2:30 PM Apr 19th, 2:45 PM

Recruitment as a Tool for Coral Reef Conservation

Science 100

Coral reefs are refugia of biodiversity of the ocean, but these critical habitats are in decline worldwide due to changing environment parameters and human impact. Coral recruitment, the settlement of coral larvae on substrate, is an excellent indicator of coral reproductive success and a key process for recovery and resiliency of reef-building corals. However, recruitment is a sensitive process that is influenced by a number of factors including coral stock health, ocean currents, algal competition, pollution and site connectivity. These factors produce large variations in recruitment across time and location. Pinpointing the factors critical to recruitment success in the Caribbean by establishing patterns of recruit density and examining correlations with environmental parameters are essential to protecting the health and productivity of valuable coral reef ecosystems. This work furthers the understanding of this phenomenon by describing coral recruitment patterns in coral reefs of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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