||Importance of Monitoring Metabolic Recovery in the Coral 'Acropora cervicornis' after Short-Term Exposure to Drilling Muds: Calcification Rate and Protein Concentration.
Kendall, Jr., J. J. ;
Powell, E. N. ;
Connor, S. J. ;
Bright, T. J. ;
Zastrow, C. E. ;
||Texas A and M Univ., College Station. Dept. of Oceanography.;Environmental Research Lab., Gulf Breeze, FL.
Drilling fluids ;
Aquatic animals ;
Acropora cervicornis ;
Water pollution effects(Animals)
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The effect of used drilling muds on coral health was examined by monitoring changes in calcification rate and soluble tissue protein concentration in the coral Acropora cervicornis. Exposure to 25 ppm (v/v) of one mud for 24 h reduced calcification rate in the growing tips by as much as 62%. In recovery experiments, corals were exposed to drilling muds for 24 h; some of them were allowed to recover in clean seawater for 48 h. After the 24-hour exposure, calcification rates were significantly less than those of the controls. After a 48-hour recovery period, calcification rates returned to control levels for one mud but were still significantly below control levels for another. The results indicate that the capacity for recovery after exposure cannot be predicted from the results of experiments on exposure only. Recovery capacity must be independently verified for all studies on the effects of short-term exposure to drilling muds.