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Article

The Effects of Depth-Related Environmental Factors on Traits in Acropora cervicornis Raised in Nurseries

1
Sociedad Ambiente Marino (SAM), San Juan 00931-2158, Puerto Rico
2
Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan 00931-3360, Puerto Rico
3
Department of Statistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 118545, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin B. Strychar
Water 2022, 14(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020212
Received: 9 December 2021 / Revised: 1 January 2022 / Accepted: 7 January 2022 / Published: 12 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Studies of Coral Reefs)
Populations of Acropora cervicornis, one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean, have been declining due to human activities and global climate change. This has prompted the development of strategies such as coral farms, aimed at improving the long-term viability of this coral across its geographical range. This study focuses on comprehending how seawater temperature (ST), and light levels (LL) affect the survival and growth of A. cervicornis fragments collected from three reefs in Culebra, Puerto Rico. These individuals were fragmented into three pieces of the similar sizes and placed in farms at 5, 8, and 12 m depth. The fragments, ST and LL were monitored for 11 months. Results show that fragments from shallow farms exhibit significantly higher mortalities when compared to the other two depths. Yet, growth at shallow farms was nearly 24% higher than at the other two depths. Corals grew fastest during winter, when temperature and LL were lowest, regardless of the water depth. Fragment mortality and growth origin were also influenced by reef origin. We conclude that under the current conditions, shallow farms may offer a slight advantage over deep ones provided the higher growth rate at shallow farms and the high fragment survival at all depths. View Full-Text
Keywords: restauration; coral farm; Acropora cervicornis; sea temperature; light levels restauration; coral farm; Acropora cervicornis; sea temperature; light levels
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruiz-Diaz, C.P.; Toledo-Hernández, C.; Sánchez-González, J.L.; Betancourt, B. The Effects of Depth-Related Environmental Factors on Traits in Acropora cervicornis Raised in Nurseries. Water 2022, 14, 212. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020212

AMA Style

Ruiz-Diaz CP, Toledo-Hernández C, Sánchez-González JL, Betancourt B. The Effects of Depth-Related Environmental Factors on Traits in Acropora cervicornis Raised in Nurseries. Water. 2022; 14(2):212. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020212

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ruiz-Diaz, Claudia Patricia, Carlos Toledo-Hernández, Juan Luis Sánchez-González, and Brenda Betancourt. 2022. "The Effects of Depth-Related Environmental Factors on Traits in Acropora cervicornis Raised in Nurseries" Water 14, no. 2: 212. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020212

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