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TEMPORAL TRENDS IN THE HEALTH OF SOUTH FLORIDA CORAL REEFS
Barron, M., D L. Santavy, L. G. MacLaughlin, E. Mueller, E. C. Peters, R L. Quarles, AND J G. Campbell. TEMPORAL TRENDS IN THE HEALTH OF SOUTH FLORIDA CORAL REEFS. Presented at SETAC Word Congress, Portland, OR, November 14 - 18, 2004.
Barron, M.G., D.L. Santavy, L. MacLaughlin, E. Mueller, E. Peters, B. Quarles and J. Campbell. In press. Temporal Trends in the Health of South Florida Coral Reefs (Abstract). To be presented at the SETAC Fourth World Congress, 14-18 November 2004, Portland, OR. 1 p. (ERL,GB R1005).
Coral abundance and the health of reefs in the Caribbean, and the Florida Keys in particular, have declined substantially over the last 30 years. We assessed 5 year trends in coral health in an area of high population density (Key West, FL) and an offshore remote area (Dry Tortugas, FL). Quantitative SCUBA-based surveys of the abundance and diversity of 15 scleractinian and gorgonian species, bleaching status, and prevalence of 11 coral diseases were assessed at 12 sites in each location. The prevalence of coral bleaching and disease was greatest following the 1997-1998 El Nino event, with over 40% prevalence of bleaching on Key West reefs. In the Dry Tortugas, reefs have shown a general trend of recovery since 1999, whereas Key West reefs have shown a continuing decline in coral abundance in all species. Acroporids have shown precipitous declines, from an average of 45 colonies per site in 1998 to less than 4 in 2002. The prevalence of disease in Key West corals remained below 5% between 1999 and 2001, but exhibited a significant increase in 2002. These results may suggest differential sensitivity to bleaching and disease, and decreased potential for recovery of reefs in proximity to areas exposed to anthropogenic stressors compared to more remote locations.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION
BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS AND POPULATION RESPONSE BRANCH