The future of coral reefs in the US Virgin Islands: is Acropora palmata more likely to recover than Montastraea annularis complex?
Coral diseases have played a major role in the degradation of coral reefs in the Caribbean, including those in the US Virgin Islands (USVI). In 2005, bleaching affected reefs throughout the Caribbean, and was especially severe on USVI reefs. Some corals began to regain their color as water temperatures cooled, but an outbreak of disease (primarily white plague) led to losses of over 60% of the total live coral cover. Montastraea annularis, the most abundant coral, was disproportionately affected, and decreased in relative abundance. The threatened species Acropora palmata bleached for the first time on record in the USVI but suffered less bleaching and less mortality from disease than M. annularis. Acropora palmata and M. annularis are the two most significant species in the USVI because of their structural role in the architecture of the reefs, the large size of their colonies, and their complex morphology. The future of the USVI reefs depends largely on their fate. Acropora palmata is more likely to recover than M. annularis for many reasons, including its faster growth rate, and its lower vulnerability to bleaching and disease.
Additional publication details
|Publication type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Title||The future of coral reefs in the US Virgin Islands: is Acropora palmata more likely to recover than Montastraea annularis complex?|
|Publisher||National Coral Reef Institute|
|Contributing office(s)||St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center|
|Larger Work Type||Conference Paper|
|Larger Work Title||11th International Coral Reef Symposium: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, July 7-11, 2008|
|Conference Title||11th International Coral Reef Symposium|
|Conference Location||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Conference Date||July 7-11 2008|
|Other Geospatial||Virgin Islands|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|