Growth and carbonate production of crustose coralline algae on a degraded turbid reef system
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Crustose coralline algae, Encrusting carbonate production, Settlement tiles, Turbid reefs, Anthropocene
Crustose coralline algae (CCA) and other encrusting calcifiers drive carbonate production on coral reefs. However, little is known about the rates of growth and calcification of these organisms within degraded turbid reef systems. Here we deployed settlement cards (N = 764) across seven reefs in Singapore for two years to examine spatio-temporal variation in encrusting community composition and CCA carbonate production. Our results showed that CCA was the dominant encrusting taxa (63.7% ± 18.3SD) across reefs. CCA carbonate production rates (0.009–0.052 g cm−2 yr−1) were less than half of those reported for most Indo-Pacific reefs, but similar to other turbid reef systems. Highest CCA carbonate production rates were observed furthest from Singapore's main shipping port, due to a relative increase in CCA cover on the offshore reefs. Our results suggest that proximity to areas of high industrialisation and ship traffic may reduce the cover of encrusting calcifying organisms and CCA production rates which may have negative, long-term implications for the stabilisation of nearshore reefs in urbanised settings.
Tiffany Z. Y. Goh, Andrew G. Bauman, Fraser A. Januchowski-Hartley, Kyle M. Morgan, Jovena C. L. Seah, and Peter A. Todd. 2021. Growth and carbonate production of crustose coralline algae on a degraded turbid reef system .Marine Pollution Bulletin , (Part B) : 113135 . https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/1259.