This Is AuburnAUrora

Show simple item record

Indirect Impacts of Recreational Scuba Diving: Patterns of Growth and Predation in Branching Stony Corals

Metadata FieldValueLanguage
dc.creatorGuzner, Barak
dc.creatorNovplansky, Ariel
dc.creatorShalit, Or
dc.creatorChadwick, Nanette E.
dc.description.abstractThe highest recorded rates of recreational SCUBA diving occur on coral reefs at Eilat in the northern Red Sea, where many scleractinian corals are damaged by physical contact with divers. We compared coral skeletal growth and damage at sites that were protected vs unprotected from diving tourism, and identified tissue mortality through monthly monitoring of the branching stony coral Acropora hemprichii (Ehrenberg, 1834). We also monitored several genera of branching stony corals at sites that varied in levels of recreational diving. Major causes of tissue mortality in A. hemprichii were unknown (possibly bleaching and disease) and predation by the corallivorous snail Drupella cornus (Röding, 1798), both of which were much more frequent at heavily-dived than at undived sites. High frequencies of coral damage led to significantly slower coral growth at heavily-dived than undived sites. Annual rates of damage to branching corals were approximately twice as high at a site open to divers than at a closed site, and were intermediate at a site with restricted diving. The proportions of colonies infested by D. cornus increased significantly during the study year at sites open to divers but not at closed and restricted sites. We conclude that frequent mechanical injury by divers to coral colonies leads to enhanced susceptibility to predation and possibly to coral disease. Current levels of recreational diving at Eilat severely compromise the growth and survival of major reef-building corals, not only via direct mechanical damage, but also through a positive feedback loop of indirect effects on coral predators.en_US
dc.publisherRosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Scienceen_US
dc.relation.ispartofBulletin of Marine Scienceen_US
dc.rights© 2010. This is the version of record published by Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. Item should be cited as: BULLETIN OF MARINE SCIENCE, 86(3): 727–742, 2010 " Indirect impacts of recreational scuba diving: patterns of growth and predation in branching stony corals" Barak Guzner, Ariel Novplansky, Or Shalit, and Nanette E. Chadwicken_US
dc.titleIndirect Impacts of Recreational Scuba Diving: Patterns of Growth and Predation in Branching Stony Coralsen_US
dc.type.genreJournal Article, Academic Journalen_US

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record