||Effects of Drilling Mud on the Reef-Building Coral 'Montastrea annularis'.
Dodge, R. E. ;
||Nova Univ. Oceanographic Center, Dania, FL.;Environmental Research Lab., Gulf Breeze, FL.
Water pollution ;
Drilling fluids ;
Musculoskeletal system ;
Offshore drilling ;
Caribbean Sea ;
Atlantic Ocean ;
Montastrea annularis ;
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The skeletal extension and corallite shape of individuals of the Caribbean and Atlantic reef-building coral Montastrea annularis (Ellis and Solander) were measured after more than six week's continuous flow-through exposure in laboratory aquaria to treatments of 0, 1, 10 and 100-ppm (microliters/liter) drilling mud. Linear increase of the skeleton (extension rate) and fossa length were significantly depressed in the 100-ppm treatment. Chronic exposure to 100-ppm drilling mud impairs coral skeletal growth rate and possibly interferes with sediment rejection capability by lowering calical relief.