Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date

2001

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Department

Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

James D. Thomas

Second Advisor

Mark I. Farber

Third Advisor

Stacy Myers

Abstract

Coastal waters in the Fort Lauderdale area of Florida host a series of relatively small colonial formations of the hermatypic coral Acropora cervicornis. Until recently, the extent and distribution of these colonies in nearshore marine waters was largely unknown. This study identified a number of occurrences of this scleractinian coral located between Hillsboro Inlet and Port Everglades Inlet, no further than 1.5 miles offshore. A diver was towed to locate the corals. A series of surveys were conducted and the results were used to classify the occurrences into different growth forms; thicket formations, isolated occurrences, and remnant colonies. Thicket formations were subsequently sub-divided into three groupings; small, medium, and large. The classification system is species and site specific for this study area. This system allows rapid assessment of colonies and provides a basis for long term monitoring of the progression and regression of A. cervicornis in the study area.

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