Title

Scleractinian Coral Reattachment Success and Recruitment on a Shallow-Water Ship-Grounding Site in Southeast Florida, USA

Event Name/Location

9th International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali, Indonesia, Oct 23-27

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

2000

Keywords

Coral Reefs, Conservation of Natural Resources, Florida, Ship Grounding

Abstract

The 348' vessel C/V Hind ran aground off southeast Florida, USA, during a storm in March 1998. As a result, 781 m2 of reef habitat and 4,258 m2 of live hardbottom were reported injured from hull scarring and anchor drag. Impacts to scleractinian corals included fragmentation and dislodgment. Consequently, 385 of these corals were reattached into twelve zones in 3-12 meters of water near the impacted areas. During summer 2000, two years after reattachment, 334 corals (87%) were identified as reattached fragments or colonies and mapped; 290 of these corals (75%) have remained attached and have living tissue. We randomly chose and permanently tagged 157 reattached, living corals for monitoring. The condition of these corals will be compared to 30 corals of similar species composition, size, and living tissue cover that were tagged in nearby non-impacted areas. Additionally, coral recruitment measured along permanent transects in scarified areas in non-damaged reef habitat near the impacted areas was compared. Long-term monitoring of thsi site will document the effectiveness of reattaching fragmented and dislodged corals. This study will also provide comparisons of coral recruitment and success on both impacted and non-impacted reef habitats off southeast Florida.

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