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Article
New Perspectives on Ecological Mechanisms Affecting Coral Recruitment on Reefs
Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences
  • Raphael Ritson-Williams, Smithsonian Marine Station - Fort Pierce
  • Suzanne N. Arnold, University of Maine
  • Nicole D. Fogarty, Florida State University
  • Robert S. Steneck, University of Maine
  • Mark J. A. Vermeij, CARMABI - The Netherlands
  • Valerie J. Paul, Smithsonian Marine Station - Fort Pierce
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2009
Abstract
Coral mortality has increased in recent decades, making coral recruitment more important than ever in sustaining coral reef ecosystems and contributing to their resilience. This review summarizes existing information on ecological factors affecting scleractinian coral recruitment. Successful recruitment requires the survival of coral offspring through sequential life history stages. Larval availability, successful settlement, and post-settlement survival and growth are all necessary for the addition of new coral individuals to a reef and ultimately maintenance or recovery of coral reef ecosystems. As environmental conditions continue to become more hostile to corals on a global scale, further research on fertilization ecology, connectivity, larval condition, positive and negative cues influencing substrate selection, and post-settlement ecology will be critical to our ability to manage these diverse ecosystems for recovery. A better understanding of the ecological factors infl uencing coral recruitment is fundamental to coral reef ecology and management.
Comments

Coral mortality has increased in recent decades, making coral recruitment more important than ever in sustaining coral reef ecosystems and contributing to their resilience. This review summarizes existing information on ecological factors affecting scleractinian coral recruitment. Successful recruitment requires the survival of coral offspring through sequential life history stages. Larval availability, successful settlement, and post-settlement survival and growth are all necessary for the addition of new coral individuals to a reef and ultimately maintenance or recovery of coral reef ecosystems. As environmental conditions continue to become more hostile to corals on a global scale, further research on fertilization ecology, connectivity, larval condition, positive and negative cues infl uencing substrate selection, and post-settlement ecology will be critical to our ability to manage these diverse ecosystems for recovery. A better understanding of the ecological factors infl uencing coral recruitment is fundamental to coral reef ecology and management.

ORCID ID
0000-0003-3811-3791
ResearcherID
A-9647-2015
DOI
10.5479/si.01960768.38.437
Citation Information
Raphael Ritson-Williams, Suzanne N. Arnold, Nicole D. Fogarty, Robert S. Steneck, et al.. "New Perspectives on Ecological Mechanisms Affecting Coral Recruitment on Reefs" Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences Vol. 38 (2009) p. 437 - 457 ISSN: 0196-0768
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nicole-fogarty/7/