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2000-2002 Rapid Ecological Assessment of Corals (Anthozoa) on Shallow Reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Part 1: Species and Distribution

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Title:2000-2002 Rapid Ecological Assessment of Corals (Anthozoa) on Shallow Reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Part 1: Species and Distribution
Authors:Maragos, James E.
Potts, Donald C.
Aeby, Greta
Gulko, Dave
Kenyon, Jean
show 2 moreSiciliano, Daria
VanRavenswaay, Dan
show less
Date Issued:Apr 2004
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Maragos JE, Potts DC, Aeby G, Gulko D, Kenyon J, Siciliano D, VanRavenswaay D. 2004. 2000-2002 rapid ecological assessment of corals (Anthozoa) on shallow reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Part 1: species and distribution. Pac Sci 58(2): 211-230.
Abstract:Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) surveys at 465 sites on 11 reefs in
the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) inventoried coral species, their
relative abundances, and their distributions during 2000-2002. Surveys (462)
around the 10 islands were in depths of ~20 m, and three surveys on the submerged
Raita Bank were in depths of 30-35 m. Data from 401 REA sites met
criteria for quantitative analysis. Results include 11 first records for stony coral
species in the Hawaiian Archipelago and 29 range extensions to the NWHI.
Several species may be new to science. There are now 57 stony coral species
known in the shallow subtropical waters of the NWHI, similar to the 59 shallow
and deep-water species known in the better-studied and more tropical main
Hawaiian Islands. Coral endemism is high in the NWHI: 17 endemic species
(30%) account for 37-53% of the abundance of stony corals on each reef of the
NWHI. Three genera (Montipora, Porites, Pocillopora) contain 15 of the 17 endemic
species and most of the endemic abundance. Seven Acropora species are
now known from the central NWHI despite their near absence from the main
Hawaiian Islands. Coral abundance and diversity are highest at the large, open
atolls of the central NWHI (French Frigate, Maro, Lisianski) and decline
gradually through the remaining atolls to the northwest (Pearl and Hermes,
Midway, and Kure). Stony corals are also less abundant and less diverse off the
exposed basalt islands to the southeast (Nihoa, Necker, La Perouse, Gardner),
where soft corals (Sinularia, Palythoa) are more abundant. Exposure to severe
wave action appears to limit coral development off these small islands and surrounding
deep platforms. Temperature extremes and natural accumulation of
lagoon sediments may contribute to decline of coral species and abundance at
the northwestern end of the chain.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 58, Number 2, 2004

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