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Pulse sediment event does not impact the metabolism of a mixed coral reef community

November 1, 2019

Sedimentation can bury corals, cause physical abrasion, and alter both spectral intensity and quality; however, few studies have quantified the effects of sedimentation on coral reef metabolism in the context of episodic sedimentation events. Here, we present the first study to measure coral community metabolism - calcification and photosynthesis - in a manipulative mesocosm experiment simulating a pulse sediment event. We exposed a mixed benthic community composed of 75% live carbonate rubble cover and 25% Montipora capitata coral cover to an approximately 275 mg cm−1 (sediment accumulation) acute pulse sediment loading event. No differences were found in net calcification or net photosynthesis between the control and treated mesocosms 48 h and 25 d following exposure to pulse sediment input. Results from this community experiment indicate the ability of Montipora capitata, a common reef coral, to persist under these acute sediment levels, demonstrating resistance to episodic sediment events.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Pulse sediment event does not impact the metabolism of a mixed coral reef community
DOI 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.105007
Authors Keisha Bahr, Ku'ulei Rodgers, Paul Jokiel, Nancy G. Prouty, Curt D. Storlazzi
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ocean and Coastal Management
Series Number
Index ID 70206709
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center