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Contrasting responses of coral reef fauna and foraminiferal assemblages to human influence in La Parguera, Puerto Rico
Oliver, L., W. Fisher, J. Dittmar, P. Hallock, J. campbell, P. Harris, AND C. Lobue. Contrasting responses of coral reef fauna and foraminiferal assemblages to human influence in La Parguera, Puerto Rico. MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 99:95-105, (2014).
Examine possible coral reef responses to sediment contamination gradient, in context of developing coral reef bioindicators
Coral reef biota including stony corals, sponges, gorgonians, fish, benthic macroinvertebrates and foraminifera were surveyed in coastal waters near La Parguera, in southwestern Puerto Rico. The goal was to evaluate sensitivity of coral reef biological indicators to human disturbance. Proxies for human disturbance were measured as distance to town (DTT) and rankings of a low-level sediment contamination gradient analyzed from a previous study. Contaminant rank and DTT showed that percent mud, stony coral taxa richness, reef rugosity, and numbers of invertebrates and sponges were higher at sites closer to human disturbance, but a foraminiferal assemblage index was significantly lower at sites with higher proxies for human disturbance. Fish indicators showed no significant relationships with human activity, but associations between fish community measures and certain measures of stony corals, gorgonians and sponges were found. Contrasting responses between foraminifera and reef organisms may due to greater exposure and sensitivity of foraminifera to sediment contaminants.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION