9, 268–277. A total of 30–35 images were collected per transect and uploaded to CoralNet for analysis (Beijbom et al., 2015). Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, IUCN, Gland. Elkhorn Coral Populations and Associated Herbivores in Akumal, Mexico. Table 1. Shelf Res. Values are centered by subtracting variable means and scaled by standard deviations, using the center and scale functions, respectively, from base R. This results in standardized coefficients that can be compared directly. 2:e148. We hypothesized that the “re-sheeting” phenomenon of elkhorn coral observed in Mexico was related to this top-down control of algal growth, since coral tissue is growing over bare surfaces of relic corals, not up into newly formed 3D structures. Captive breeding techniques may also one day be critical to the species’ survival, should staghorn coral populations continue trending downward. doi: 10.1007/s00227-015-2728-3, Sammarco, P. W. (1980). doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01861.x, Edmunds, P. J., and Carpenter, R. C. (2001). Mar. Acropora palmata has a great importance in maintaining the integrity of coral reefs in the Caribbean, both functionally and structurally, such as the provision of calcium carbonate deposits in large amounts (Rosenberg and Loya, 2004). Prepr. 75, 2193–2201. Elkhorn is a city located in Wisconsin.With a 2020 population of 10,208, it is the 92nd largest city in Wisconsin and the 3059th largest city in the United States. Local and regional scale recovery of Diadema promotes recruitment of scleractinian corals. This finding is of a population of elkhorn coral in the Pacific is of particular scientific interest because it represents one morphological extreme in Acropora, the dominant genus of reef-building corals, the researchers say. Figure 1. doi: 10.1023/A:1013103928980, Bak, R. P. M. (1994). Die verzweigte Struktur schafft Lebensraum und Schutz für viele andere Riffarten. Received: 15 February 2019; Accepted: 22 October 2019; Published: 12 November 2019. Oct 30, 2013 - Elkhorn Coral | This species is listed as Critically Endangered as there has been a population reduction exceeding 80% over the past 30 years due, in particular to the effects of disease, as well as other climate change and human-related factors. As a result of disease, pollution, coral bleaching, and storm damage, populations of elkhorn corals have crashed. doi: 10.2307/1942551, Carpenter, R. C., and Edmunds, P. J. Elkhorn coral are considered key to the structural integrity and ecology of the coral reefs surrounding many landmasses within the Caribbean. Spread of diadema mass mortality through the Caribbean. 77, 3–18. Elkhorn coral is much less abundant than staghorn coral and NSU scientists estimate that the remaining Keys’ population is . Like its name suggests, staghorn coral is a species of coral that looks a bit like the antlers of a male deer. Browsers typically feed on fleshy macroalgae, grazers on turf algae, and excavators on endolithic algae but take large bites that usually excavate the reef framework (Adam et al., 2015b, 2018). Two outlier observations were removed prior to analysis. Keywords: Acropora palmata, Caribbean, Diadema antillarum, parrotfishes, herbivory, Citation: Mudge L, Alves C, Figueroa-Zavala B and Bruno J (2019) Assessment of Elkhorn Coral Populations and Associated Herbivores in Akumal, Mexico. doi: 10.3354/meps321123, Hernández-Terrones, L. M., Null, K. A., Ortega-Camacho, D., and Paytan, A. Apparent stability of a low-density Diadema antillarum regime for Puerto Rican coral reefs. doi: 10.4319/lo.2000.45.1.0251, Aronson, R. B., and Precht, W. F. (2001). Commun. 597, 207–220. Genotypic inventory of Acropora palmata (elkhorn coral) populations in south Florida https://ift.tt/2UQmKWJ Genotypic inventory of Acropora palmata (elkhorn coral) populations in south FloridaThe elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, is the iconic Caribbean reef- building species, and the key constructor of protective reef crest and spur structure. Ecol. doi: 10.1017/S1755267209990662, Carpenter, R. C. (1984). with 82% of the population dying off four years after being discovered (National Park Service, n.d.). Herbivory facilitates growth of a key reef-building Caribbean coral. ABSTRACT: Caribbean elkhorn coral Acropora palmata (Lamarck, 1816) was once so widespread ... Population depletion is predicted given a return time for severe hurricanes of 20 yr or less. The calculation used for live area index (LAI) is: (W * L * % Live tissue)/100 in units cm2 (Larson et al., 2014). Potential sources of coral mortality include invasive microbes that become trapped in the surface mucus and thrive under conditions of increased coral stress. Definition of size classes from Larson et al. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the status of elkhorn populations in Akumal, Mexico and determine if Diadema urchins or parrotfish populations are associated with higher elkhorn abundance and lower algal cover. Ecol. 563, 65–79. 3, 1–43. elkhorn coral, Acroporapalmata Meghann K. Devlin-Durante *and Iliana B. Baums Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States of America * These authors contributed equally to this work. Diadema can be hard to detect on structurally complex reefs due to their nocturnal feeding behavior, as they are known to seek refuge from predators during the day (Ogden, 1976; Levitan and Genovese, 1989). Population declines of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) and elkhorn coral (A. palmata) are often-cited examples of Caribbean reef change since the 1970s, due, in part, to disease and localized effects from storms and predation. doi: 10.1007/s00227-006-0538-3, Yucatan Times (2019). doi: 10.5479/si.01960768.38.437, Rodríguez-Barreras, R., Montañez-Acuña, A., Otaño-Cruz, A., and Ling, S. D. (2018). Elkhorn and staghorn corals were once the most abundant and important species on Atlantic/Caribbean coral reefs in terms of building reef structure. 102, 62–72. We also found that higher Diadema density and parrotfish browser species biomass was correlated with lower macroalgal cover, even at low abundances. Biol. 62, 75–84. Copyright © 2019 Mudge, Alves, Figueroa-Zavala and Bruno. Figure 7. Genetic analysis of the new coral found that … Elkhorn coral can span a diameter of 4 m (12 feet) wide and 2 m(6 feet) tall. 520, 1–20. Ecol. Science 226, 335–337. LM and JB conceived of the study. Population declines of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) and elkhorn coral (A. palmata) are often-cited examples of Caribbean reef change since the 1970s, due, in part, to disease and localized effects from storms and predation. 45, 245–272. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Additionally, heavy coastal development and remarkable increases in tourism-based activities over the past decade are associated with deteriorating reef conditions in Akumal Bay, particularly in the backreef lagoon that is frequently visited by tourists (Gil et al., 2015; Figueroa-Zavala and Munoz Arroyo, 2018). 161, 359–365. doi: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2006.14247.x, Lessios, H. A., Robertson, D. R., and Cubit, J. D. (1984). Sci. (2007). (C) An elkhorn thicket, and in this case contains both growth forms, with re-sheeting regrowth on the left side of the thicket and more typical branching colonies on the right and upper side of the thicket. Both corals were listed as threatened on the U.S. doi: 10.3354/meps12600, Adam, T. C., Kelley, M., Ruttenberg, B. I., and Burkepile, D. E. (2015b). Despite deteriorating conditions from coastal development, ecological monitoring along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef indicated recent increases to elkhorn coral (Rodríguez-Martínez et al., 2014; McField et al., 2018) and herbivore populations (Kramer et al., 2015; McField et al., 2018). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). Mar. (2002). Elkhorn coral recovery has been isolated and patchy, but recently a “re-sheeting” phenomenon, in which elkhorn tissue grows over standing dead coral skeletons, was observed along the reefs in the Mexican Yucatán peninsula. doi: 10.1016/0022-0981(89)90198-6, Lirman, D. (2001). doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsy093, Rodríguez-Martínez, R. E., Banaszak, A. T., McField, M. D., Beltrán-Torres, A. U., and Álvarez-Filip, L. (2014). The researchers used more than 150,000 live eggs collected from endangered elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) in Curaçao and fertilized them with frozen elkhorn coral sperm collected from three places in the Caribbean—Florida, Puerto Rico and Curaçao. Increasing herbivore populations (Kramer et al., 2015; McField et al., 2018), and thus increased grazing activity, may be contributing significantly to the regrowth of elkhorn coral observed in Mexico, where it appears recovery is restricted to locations with numerous herbivores and little seaweed. Linear mixed-effects models revealed that Diadema urchins have a statistically significant positive correlation on the amount of live elkhorn tissue (estimate = 1.66, p = 0.032) and total parrotfish biomass has a small, nearly statistically significant correlation (estimate = 0.04, p = 0.094; Table 3, Figures 6C,D). Acad. Mar. Possible recovery of Acropora palmata (Scleractinia: Acroporidae) within the veracruz reef system, Gulf of Mexico : a survey of 24 reefs to assess the benthic communities. Elkhorn coral, along with staghorn coral and star corals built Caribbean coral reefs over the last 5,000 years. doi: 10.1007/s00442-015-3406-3, PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar, Arias-González, J. E., Fung, T., Seymour, R. M., Garza-Pérez, J. R., Acosta-González, G., Bozec, Y. M., et al. PeerJ. Throughout its range, it has become more and more rare, and scientists now consider it to be critically endangered (very highly vulnerable to extinction). doi: 10.1007/s00442-011-2156-0, Sangil, C., and Guzman, H. M. (2016). Colored dots indicate the depth zone of the survey (shallow: ≤11 m, deep: 12–17 m), which also correspond to structural complexity in this case (shallow = high relief; deep = low relief). PLoS ONE 10:e0130312. Elkhorn coral spawn by releasing eggs and sperm into the water for fertilization. doi: 10.1007/s00338-016-1479-z, Morrison, D. (1988). Figure 5. Front. We sampled in the first two spur and groove sets (referred to as “shallow” and “deep” throughout), as the third deepest set is beyond the expected depth range of elkhorn coral. A second critical component of reef change in the Caribbean has been the decline of herbivore populations. Ecological limitations to the resilience of coral reefs. (2007). several hundred thousand colonies. Demographic data for Elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, and in situ water temperature data from seven upper Florida Keys (USA) reefs revealed three warm thermal stress events between 2010 and 2016. Elkhorn coral received its common name due to its resemblance to elk antlers. Elkhorn coral is considered to be one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean and it was the first coral species in the world to receive ... the Critically Endangered Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), a once abundant coral species which has seen a dramatic population reduction exceeding 80% over the past 30 years". Acroporid coral populations have declined 80–90% throughout the Caribbean and western Atlantic since the late 1980s (Bruckner 2002), and both A. cervicornis (staghorn coral) and A. palmata (elkhorn coral) were listed as threatened species under the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office. Elkhorn coral is an important reef building coral that was once abundant throughout the Caribbean and Florida. The emergent role of small-bodied herbivores in pre-empting phase shifts on degraded coral reefs. Of those in the larger size class, we documented 15 colonies of a typical branching form, 25 observations of continuous re-sheeting over relict elkhorn skeleton, 12 observations of patchy re-sheeting colonies, and 8 thickets which contained a series of branching colonies (see Figure 1 for examples of form classification). Coral Reefs 26, 71–78. Local management interventions may be limited in the scope of problems that can be addressed; however, without mitigation of underlying causes of coral mortality such as ocean warming and coastal development, we should not expect herbivore protection or enhancement alone to increase coral resilience (Edmunds and Elahi, 2007; Adam et al., 2015a; Arias-González et al., 2017; Cox et al., 2017; Bruno et al., 2019). Yellow dots indicate sites on the shallower spur-and-groove set (≤11 m), and pink dots indicate sites on the deeper set of spur-and-grooves (12–17 m). Mar. Interspecific differences in foraging behaviour and functional role of Caribbean parrotfish. Ecol. Sci. The main island of Puerto Rico has been identified as within the genetic population of the eastern Caribbean while Mona Island has been proposed as a mixing zone for the eastern and western populations for the species (Baums et al. 329, 205–210. Elkhornkoralle ( Acropora palmata) ist eine wichtige Riffkoralle in der Karibik.Die Art hat eine komplexe Struktur mit vielen Zweigen, die denen von Elchgeweihen ähneln; daher der gebräuchliche Name. Mar. doi: 10.1007/s00227-013-2341-2, Mumby, P. J. Coral Reefs 13, 99–103. The average percent cover of major benthic categories are: 32.56% for macroalgae, 23.5% for turf algae, 13.02% for CTB, and 11.65% for scleractinian corals (including elkhorn coral). Cite . However, we do know that grazing of benthic algae by herbivorous fishes and urchins is one mechanism of coral recovery which generally facilitates the survival and growth of juvenile or remnant corals (Edmunds and Carpenter, 2001; Hughes et al., 2007). Endangered Species Act in May 2006. Climate change, coral loss, and the curious case of the parrotfish paradigm: why don't marine protected areas improve reef resilience ? Proc. Official Gazette of the Federation (2016). doi: 10.2307/1941634, Muller, E. M., Rogers, C. S., and van Woesik, R. (2014). Ser. Our findings support the argument that recovering herbivore populations may be contributing significantly to controlling algal growth and facilitating high elkhorn abundance or resheeting on contemporary Caribbean shallow water forereef habitats (Morrison, 1988; Edmunds and Carpenter, 2001; Precht and Precht, 2015).