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Dynamics of a coral reef community after mass mortality of branching Acropora corals and an outbreak of anemones
Tkachencko, K.S.; Wu, B.-J.; Fang, L.-S.; Fan, T.-Y. (2007). Dynamics of a coral reef community after mass mortality of branching Acropora corals and an outbreak of anemones. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(1): 185-194.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Tkachencko, K.S.
  • Wu, B.-J.
  • Fang, L.-S.
  • Fan, T.-Y.

    Dynamics of a coral reef community at Tiao-Shi Reef, southern Taiwan were studied using permanent transects to examine coral recovery and successive cascades to collapse stage resulting from chronic anthropogenic impacts and typhoons. Three distinct zones were recognized within a relatively small study area (250 m across) formerly dominated by large stands of branching Acropora corals. The first zone still retains the dominance of branching Acropora corals, although they show a significant decreasing tendency. The second zone exhibits recovery with a significant increase in branching Montipora stellata, which is recruited and grows faster than branching Acropora corals. The third zone is occupied by anemone, Condylactis sp., and demonstrates a stable phase of coral deterioration without recovery. Such differences in coral reef community dynamics within a small spatial scale illustrate mosaic dynamics which have resulted from degradation of the water quality, patchy mortality of large branching Acropora thickets caused by typhoons, the rapid asexual fragmentation and growth of M. stellata making it a successful colonizer, and occupation by anemone, Condylactis sp., together with unstable remnants of dead Acropora rubbles have not allowed coral recruits to survive.

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