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Comparison of Water Quality and Reef Coral Mortality and Growth in Southeastern Kane'ohe Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i, 1990 to 1992, with Conditions before Sewage Diversion

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Title:Comparison of Water Quality and Reef Coral Mortality and Growth in Southeastern Kane'ohe Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i, 1990 to 1992, with Conditions before Sewage Diversion
Authors:Coles, Stephen L.
Ruddy, Lara
Date Issued:Jul 1995
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Coles SL, Ruddy L. 1995. Comparison of water quality and reef coral mortality and growth in southeastern Kane'ohe Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i, 1990 to 1992, with conditions before sewage diversion. Pac Sci 49(3): 247-265.
Abstract:Growth and mortality of the three dominant coral species occurring
in Kane'ohe Bay were determined for four periods from November
1991 to January 1993 at four stations in the bay's southeast basin. Twelve water
quality parameters were monitored biweekly to monthly at these stations
from November 1991 to August 1992. Both water quality measurements and
coral survival and growth indicated considerable improvement to conditions
that prevailed when treated sewage was discharged into this area of Kane'ohe
Bay. Mean concentrations for orthophosphate, nitrite + nitrate, ammonia, and
chlorophyll a, and mean values for light extinction and sedimentation were
significantly less than those measured during time of sewage discharge in 19761977.
Means of all of these except orthophosphate were not significantly different
from means measured in 1978-1979 during the first year after sewage
diversion. Mean orthophosphate concentration was approximately double the
mean of the first year after diversion, and this increase may relate to increased
abundances of the green macroalgae Dictyosphaeria cavernosa (Forskal) Boergesen
that have been observed in this section of the bay in recent years. Montipora
verrucosa (Lamarck) survived and grew well throughout the study period
at all four stations, including stations in areas where rapid mortality and minimal
growth occurred for this species in 1969-1971. The other two species,
Porites compressa Dana and Pocillopora damicornis (Linnaeus), showed different
survival and growth patterns according to station location. Most rapid
mortality and lowest growth generally occurred for P. compressa at the station
most affected by land runoff in the southernmost section of the bay. However,
the major cause of early mortality and poor growth of Porites compressa at that
location was the nudibranch Phestilla sibogae (Bergh), which rapidly consumed
tissues of corals transplanted to that station, suggesting that predators that
control P. sibogae parasitism elsewhere in the bay are absent from that area.
Pocillopora damicornis survival and growth declined at all stations throughout
the study, and this species may have been affected by fish predation. Growth of
M. verrucosa and P. damicornis showed significant positive relationships with
water turbidity values within a range of up to ca. 1.0 NTU.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 49, Number 3, 1995

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