Long-term juvenile coral density data from St. John USVI starting in 1994.

Website: https://www.bco-dmo.org/dataset/736783
Data Type: Other Field Results
Version: 1
Version Date: 2018-05-17

Project
» LTREB Long-term coral reef community dynamics in St. John, USVI: 1987-2019 (St. John LTREB)
ContributorsAffiliationRole
Edmunds, Peter J.California State University Northridge (CSU-Northridge)Principal Investigator
Kelley, ThomasNational Park Service (NPS)Contact
Ake, HannahWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)BCO-DMO Data Manager


Coverage

Spatial Extent: N:18.317 E:-64.72 S:18.307 W:-64.73
Temporal Extent: 1994-01 - 2016-09

Dataset Description

Coral larvae are selective with regards to the surfaces upon which they settle, but little is known about the outcome of these choices. In this study, we explored the implications for juvenile scleractinians (less than 40-mm diameter) of growing on igneous versus carbonate rock on the shallow reefs (5-m depth) of St. John, US Virgin Islands. Surveys revealed that juvenile corals occurred at densities of 16 colonies m− 2 and were distributed on igneous and carbonate rocks in proportion to the abundance of these surfaces, suggesting that larvae do not discriminate between rock types at settlement. Repeated surveys demonstrated that all juvenile corals (i.e., pooled among taxa) grew 41% slower on igneous versus carbonate rock between January and August, but not between August and January when the growth was statistically indistinguishable between rock types. Although the growth of the most common juvenile coral, Porites astreoides, was similar on both substrata, the photophysiology of this species was affected by the type of rock. The maximum relative electron transfer rate (rETR, a proxy for photosynthesis) of P. astreoides was down-regulated 30% on igneous compared to carbonate rock. Phylogenetic analyses of the Symbiodinium community sequence profiles within P. astreoides revealed significant differences between substrata, with a greater diversity of co-occurring ITS-2 sequences in corals growing on carbonate compared to igneous rock. While substratum-dependent patterns in the characteristics of juvenile corals suggested there is selective value to the settlement choices made by larvae, these trends did not translate into differences in survival, at least over the time scale investigated. It remains uncertain what features of the rocks affected coral performance, but differences in the temperature of the rock may be an important feature during the warmest period of the year.


Acquisition Description

These data are from 5-9 m depth and describe the density of small corals ≤ 40 mm diameter.


Processing Description

BCO-DMO Processing Notes:

-Reformatted column names to comply with BCO-DMO standards.
-Added latitude and longitude to data


[ table of contents | back to top ]

Related Publications

Green, D. H., Edmunds, P. J., Pochon, X., & Gates, R. D. (2010). The effects of substratum type on the growth, mortality, and photophysiology of juvenile corals in St. John, US Virgin Islands. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 384(1-2), 18–29. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2009.12.008
Methods

[ table of contents | back to top ]

Parameters

ParameterDescriptionUnits
SiteSite where juvenile corals were sampled. unitless
latLatitude of site decimal degrees
lonLongitude of site decimal degrees
QuadratUnique quadrat where corals were censused. unitless
YearYear of survey; YYYY unitless
AcroporaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
AgariciaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
ColpohylliaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
DichocoeniaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
DiploraDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
EusmiliaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
FaviaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
HelioserisDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
IsophyllastreaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
MadracisDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
ManicinaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
MeandrinaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
MontastraeaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. Only M. cavernosa. millimeters per meters squared
MycetophylliaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
PoritesDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
ScolymiaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
SiderastreaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
StephanocoeniaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
OrbicellaDensity of colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
TotalDensity of all small colonies per 0.25m^2. millimeters per meters squared
Total_less_Sr_and_FfAll small colonies less Favia fragum and Sidersastrea radians that are sexually mature at < 4 cm diameter and therefore are not juveniles. millimeters per meters squared


[ table of contents | back to top ]

Instruments

Dataset-specific Instrument Name
Camera
Generic Instrument Name
Camera
Dataset-specific Description
Used to take photographs of coral
Generic Instrument Description
All types of photographic equipment including stills, video, film and digital systems.


[ table of contents | back to top ]

Deployments

Edmunds_VINP

Website
Platform
Virgin Islands National Park
Start Date
1987-01-01
End Date
2016-09-01
Description
Studies of corals and hermit crabs


[ table of contents | back to top ]

Project Information

LTREB Long-term coral reef community dynamics in St. John, USVI: 1987-2019 (St. John LTREB)


Coverage: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; California State University Northridge


Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) in US Virgin Islands:

From the NSF award abstract:
In an era of growing human pressures on natural resources, there is a critical need to understand how major ecosystems will respond, the extent to which resource management can lessen the implications of these responses, and the likely state of these ecosystems in the future. Time-series analyses of community structure provide a vital tool in meeting these needs and promise a profound understanding of community change. This study focuses on coral reef ecosystems; an existing time-series analysis of the coral community structure on the reefs of St. John, US Virgin Islands, will be expanded to 27 years of continuous data in annual increments. Expansion of the core time-series data will be used to address five questions: (1) To what extent is the ecology at a small spatial scale (1-2 km) representative of regional scale events (10's of km)? (2) What are the effects of declining coral cover in modifying the genetic population structure of the coral host and its algal symbionts? (3) What are the roles of pre- versus post-settlement events in determining the population dynamics of small corals? (4) What role do physical forcing agents (other than temperature) play in driving the population dynamics of juvenile corals? and (5) How are populations of other, non-coral invertebrates responding to decadal-scale declines in coral cover? Ecological methods identical to those used over the last two decades will be supplemented by molecular genetic tools to understand the extent to which declining coral cover is affecting the genetic diversity of the corals remaining. An information management program will be implemented to create broad access by the scientific community to the entire data set.

The importance of this study lies in the extreme longevity of the data describing coral reefs in a unique ecological context, and the immense potential that these data possess for understanding both the patterns of comprehensive community change (i.e., involving corals, other invertebrates, and genetic diversity), and the processes driving them. Importantly, as this project is closely integrated with resource management within the VI National Park, as well as larger efforts to study coral reefs in the US through the NSF Moorea Coral Reef LTER, it has a strong potential to have scientific and management implications that extend further than the location of the study.

The following publications and data resulted from this project:

2015    Edmunds PJ, Tsounis G, Lasker HR (2015) Differential distribution of octocorals and scleractinians around St. John and St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Hydrobiologia. doi: 10.1007/s10750-015-2555-z
octocoral - sp. abundance and distribution
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2015    Lenz EA, Bramanti L, Lasker HR, Edmunds PJ. Long-term variation of octocoral populations in St. John, US Virgin Islands. Coral Reefs DOI 10.1007/s00338-015-1315-x
octocoral survey - densities
octocoral counts - photoquadrats vs. insitu survey
octocoral literature review
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2015   Privitera-Johnson, K., et al., Density-associated recruitment in octocoral communities in St. John, US Virgin Islands, J.Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. DOI 10.1016/j.jembe.2015.08.006
octocoral recruitment
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2014    Edmunds PJ. Landscape-scale variation in coral reef community structure in the United States Virgin Islands. Marine Ecology Progress Series 509: 137–152. DOI 10.3354/meps10891.
Data at MCR-VINP.
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2014    Edmunds PJ, Nozawa Y, Villanueva RD.  Refuges modulate coral recruitment in the Caribbean and Pacific.  Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 454: 78-84. DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2014.02.00
Data at MCR-VINP.
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2014    Edmunds PJ, Gray SC.  The effects of storms, heavy rain, and sedimentation on the shallow coral reefs of St. John, US Virgin Islands.  Hydrobiologia 734(1):143-148.
Data at MCR-VINP.
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2014    Levitan, D, Edmunds PJ, Levitan K. What makes a species common? No evidence of density-dependent recruitment or mortality of the sea urchin Diadema antillarum after the 1983-1984 mass mortality.  Oecologia. DOI 10.1007/s00442-013-2871-9.
Data at MCR-VINP.
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2014    Lenz EA, Brown D, Didden C, Arnold A, Edmunds PJ.  The distribution of hermit crabs and their gastropod shells on shallow reefs in St. John, US Virgin Islands.  Bulletin of Marine Science 90(2):681-692. http://dx.doi.org/10.5343/bms.2013.1049
Data at MCR-VINP.
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2013    Edmunds PJ.  Decadal-scale changes in the community structure of coral reefs in St. John, US Virgin Islands.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 489: 107-123.
Data at MCR-VINP.
Download complete data for this publication (zipped Excel files)

2013    Brown D, Edmunds PJ.  Long-term changes in the population dynamics of the Caribbean hydrocoral Millepora spp.  J. Exp Mar Biol Ecol 441: 62-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2013.01.013
Millepora colony size
Millepora cover - temps - storms 1992-2008
Millepora cover 1992-2008
seawater temperature USVI 1992-2008
storms USVI 1992-2008
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2012    Brown D, Edmunds PJ. The hermit crab Calcinus tibicen lives commensally on Millepora spp. in St. John, United States Virgin Islands.  Coral Reefs 32: 127-135. doi: 10.1007/s00338-012-0948-2
crab abundance and coral size
crab displacement behavior
crab nocturnal surveys
crab predator avoidance
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2011    Green DH, Edmunds PJ.  Spatio-temporal variability of coral recruitment on shallow reefs in St. John, US Virgin Islands.  Journal of Experimenal Marine Biology and Ecology 397: 220-229.
Data at MCR-VINP.
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)

2011    Colvard NB, Edmunds PJ. (2011) Decadal-scale changes in invertebrate abundances on a Caribbean coral reef.  Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 397(2): 153-160. doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2010.11.015
benthic invert codes
inverts - Tektite and Yawzi Pt
inverts - pooled
Download complete data for this publication (Excel file)



[ table of contents | back to top ]

Funding

Funding SourceAward
NSF Division of Environmental Biology (NSF DEB)

[ table of contents | back to top ]