Corals and Sediment: Mechanisms of Interference
8th International Coral Reef Symposium, Panama City, Panama, June 24-29, 1996
Effects of sedimentation were experimentally tested and quantified in 4 scleractinian and 5 alcyonacean corals on three levels: behavior, physiology and histology. Alcyonacea are passive sediment shedders inflating the colony and forming mucous sheets which have to be washed off by currents. Scleractinia are active and move sediment by inflating polyps and, depending on shape, do not need external factors to aid clearance. Tentacles are retracted and prey capture impossible. Physiological reactions include increased mucus output, decreased productivity due to shading by sediment and increased respiration, which led to P/R ratios <1. This energetic starvation led to histological damage, namely thinning of tissues, partial necroses and local bleaching. These effects were more pronounced in the alcyonacea than in the Scleractinia.
Riegl, Bernhard, "Corals and Sediment: Mechanisms of Interference" (1996). Oceanography Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures. 98.