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Shifts in coral community structures following cyclone and red tide disturbances within the Gulf of Oman (United Arab Emirates)
Foster, K.A.; Foster, G.; Tourenq, C.; Shuriqi, M.K. (2011). Shifts in coral community structures following cyclone and red tide disturbances within the Gulf of Oman (United Arab Emirates). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(4): 955-968. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-010-1622-2
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Foster, K.A.
  • Foster, G.
  • Tourenq, C.
  • Shuriqi, M.K.

Abstract
    This study documents the effects of two consecutive disturbances on coral community structures in the Gulf of Oman (United Arab Emirates); Cyclone Gonu in June 2007 and the Cochlodinium polykrikoides harmful algal bloom (HAB) that persisted from August 2008 until May 2009. Coral cover, colony densities, size class frequency distributions, and geometric growth rates derived from size class transition probability matrices were used to assess the post-Gonu and post-HAB recovery trajectories at four sites. The net effects of these disturbances were fourfold: (i) storm damage caused >50% losses of live branching and tabular coral cover by fragmentation and dislodgment of pocilloporid and acroporid colonies; (ii) Pocillopora damicornis colonies that survived the cyclone experienced mass mortality during the first 3 months of the HAB, resulting in localized extirpation of this species; (iii) variable Acropora mortality during the HAB indicated individual colony, rather than taxa-wide, susceptibility; and (iv) massive colony coral taxa were resistant to both disturbances.

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