Publications

Goodbody-Gringley et al. 2015


scientific article | PLoS ONE

Population Structure of Montastraea cavernosa on Shallow versus Mesophotic Reefs in Bermuda

Goodbody-Gringley G, Marchini C, Chequer AD, Goffredo S

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Abstract

Mesophotic coral reef ecosystems remain largely unexplored with only limited information available on taxonomic composition, abundance and distribution. Yet, mesophotic reefs may serve as potential refugia for shallow-water species and thus understanding biodiversity, ecology and connectivity of deep reef communities is integral for resource management and conservation. The Caribbean coral, Montastraea cavernosa, is considered a depth generalist and is commonly found at mesophotic depths. We surveyed abundance and size-frequency of M. cavernosa populations at six shallow (10m) and six upper mesophotic (45m) sites in Bermuda and found population structure was depth dependent. The mean surface area of colonies at mesophotic sites was significantly smaller than at shallow sites, suggesting that growth rates and maximum colony surface area are limited on mesophotic reefs. Colony density was significantly higher at mesophotic sites, however, resulting in equal contributions to overall percent cover. Size-frequency distributions between shallow and mesophotic sites were also significantly different with populations at mesophotic reefs skewed towards smaller individuals. Overall, the results of this study provide valuable baseline data on population structure, which indicate that the mesophotic reefs of Bermuda support an established population of M. cavernosa.

Keywords

Research sites

10.1371   journal.pone.0142427
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Meta-data
Depth range
10- 45 m

Mesophotic “relevance”
119x mentions

Word count
4747 words

Fields
Community structure

Research focus
Scleractinia (Hard Corals)

Locations
Bermuda

Research platforms
Diving (unspecified)
Author profiles
Research sites (dec deg)
Bermuda
Rita
Lat: 32.358 Long: -64.641

Bermuda
Coopers
Lat: 32.341 Long: -64.658

Bermuda
Tuckers
Lat: 32.333 Long: -64.671

Bermuda
Spittal
Lat: 32.312 Long: -64.715

Bermuda
Devonshire
Lat: 32.302 Long: -64.738

Bermuda
Hungry Bay
Lat: 32.302 Long: -64.757

Bermuda
XL
Lat: 32.366 Long: -64.601

Bermuda
Coopers
Lat: 32.342 Long: -64.63

Bermuda
Tuckers
Lat: 32.319 Long: -64.661

Bermuda
Spittal
Lat: 32.301 Long: -64.71

Bermuda
Devonshire
Lat: 32.293 Long: -64.73

Bermuda
Hungry Bay
Lat: 32.277 Long: -64.744