Ecological Archives E096-137-A1

Hunter S. Lenihan, James L. Hench, Sally J. Holbrook, Russell J. Schmitt, and Matthew Potoski. 2015. Hydrodynamics influence coral performance through simultaneous direct and indirect effects. Ecology 96:1540–1549.

Appendix A. Description of Moorea’s lagoon, details of the biotic and abiotic attributes of the reefscape, details of sampling sites, and position of sampling sites.

The lagoon bottom in Mo’orea, French Polynesia is a patchy mosaic of substrates (coral rubble, sand, and basalt bottom) interspersed with coral colonies ranging in diameter from several mm to several m. Detailed descriptions of the physical structure, geomorphology, hydrology, and hydrodynamics of the biozones within Mo’orea’s lagoons are published elsewhere (Galzin and Pointier 1985, Hench et al. 2008, Lenihan et al. 2011). Juvenile and adult branching corals, predominantly Pocillopora spp. and Acropora spp., are found in greatest abundance in the back reef biozone that experiences the highest amount of wave energy and current velocity. These coral genera also are the most common branching corals on the fore reef (i.e., outside of the lagoon). Mounding and massive poritid corals (Porites lobata, P. australiensis, P. lutea, and P. rus) are distributed evenly across the three major lagoon habitats, back reef, mid-lagoon, and fringing reef but are also found on the fore reef. Large colonies (≤ 2 m tall and 4 m in diameter) of dead or partially dead poritid corals (“bommies”) provide substrate used by other species of corals, as well as invertebrates, algae, and fishes (Munday et al. 1997) for recruitment (Norström et al. 2007) and refuge from predators (Holbrook et al. 2011). Moorea’s back reef and mid-lagoon habitats support relatively large populations of many corallivorous fishes, especially butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae), porcupinefish (Diodon hystrix; Diodontidae), white-spotted puffers (Arothron hispidus;Tetradontidae), and several species of triggerfish (Balistidae) (Brooks 2014).

Study sites L1–L5 were situated from 45 to 670 m from the reef crest at depths of 1.7 to 3 m. They encompassed a large hydrodynamic gradient, from the energetic reef crest (i.e., site L1) to the relatively quiescent mid-lagoon (site L5). Cross-reef hydrodynamic gradients are generated by offshore waves that break over the reef crest and drive persistent flow across the reef flat and through lagoons (Hench et al. 2008; Monismith et al. 2013). All of the sites had nearby bommies of different sizes, but specific locations for coral transplants and hydrodynamic measurements were separated from bommies >20 cm in height by at least 5 m. Sediment deposition over time scales less than several months varied little among the five locations (Lenihan et al. 2011).

Literature cited

Brooks, A. 2014. MCR LTER: Coral Reef: Long-term Population and Community Dynamics: Fishes. Moorea Coral Reef LTER. DOI: 0.6073/pasta/f4b8c39f5c71493d32ede71b6d5b503d

Galzin, R., and J. P. Pointier. 1985. Moorea Island, Society Archipelago. Proceedings of the 5th Coral Reef Symposium 1:73–102.

Hench, J. L., J. J. Leichter, and S. G. Monismith. 2008. Episodic circulation and exchange in a wave-driven coral reef and lagoon system. Limnology and Oceanography 53:2681–2694.

Holbrook, S. J., R. J. Schmitt, and A. J. Brooks. 2011. Indirect effects of species interactions on habitat provisioning. Oecologia 166:739–749.

Lenihan, H. S., S. J. Holbrook, R. J. Schmitt, and A. J. Brooks. 2011. Influence of corallivory, competition, and habitat structure on coral community shifts. Ecology 92:1959–1971.

Monismith, S. G., L. M. M. Herdman, S. H. Ahmerkamp, and J. L. Hench. 2013. Wave transformation and wave-driven flow across a steep coral reef. Journal of Physical Oceanography 43:1356–1379.

Munday, P. L., G. P. Jones, and M. J. Caley. 1997. Habitat specialization and the distribution and abundance of coral-dwelling gobies. Marine Ecology Progress Series 152:227–239.

Norström, A. V., J. Lokrantz, M. Nyström, M., H. T. Yap. 2007. Influence of dead coral substrate morphology on patterns of juvenile coral distribution. Marine Biology 150:1145–1152.

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