Abstract

Abstract:

Sexual recruitment allows corals to maintain their populations through time, reach new habitats, and repopulate areas after an environmental or anthropogenic disturbance. This study aimed to estimate spatiotemporal variation of sexual recruitment along two areas of the southwestern coast of the Gulf of California (Bahía de La Paz and Bahía de Loreto) considered to be suboptimal for coral development (strong seasonality and variability of sea-surface temperature, incidence of hurricanes, turbidity and nutrient concentration, and low Ωar). Recruitment data were compared to sea-surface temperatures and with recruitment data from other sites in the eastern Pacific that have less-stressful environments. Terracotta tiles were used as collectors of larval coral propagules; tiles were immersed for 3-month periods between August 2004 and September 2005. Higher recruitment was found during the warm season, and coral recruits were found at almost all sites, including a vessel grounding area. Recruitment was higher in Bahía de La Paz [12.80 ± 29.57 individuals (ind) m−2 yr−1] than in Bahía de Loreto (0.99 ± 1.49 ind m−2 yr−1). Coral recruits belonged to five coral genera in Bahía de La Paz, with Porites as the dominant genus (102 recruits), followed by Pocillopora (six), Psammocora (three), Pavona, and Tubastraea (one each). At Bahía de Loreto, recruits of two coral genera were recorded: Porites (four) and Psammocora (one). Despite being conducted in a highly stressful environment, this study reports the second-highest rate of Porites recruits in the eastern Pacific and the first instance of Psammocora recruits (four ind) in the area.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-6188
Print ISSN
0030-8870
Pages
pp. 435-447
Launched on MUSE
2018-09-18
Open Access
No
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