Vol. 53, 2014
Coral recruitment of a subtropical coral community at Yenliao Bay, northern Taiwan
Ming-Jay Ho and Chang-Feng Dai*
Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
subtropical coral community at Yenliao Bay (25° 3′ N, 121° 56′ E),
northern Taiwan, is distinguished from tropical reefs by low species
diversity, low coral cover, and limited reef-building activities. Coral
recruitment in this community was hypothesized to be lower due to features of marginal environment.
studied the seasonal variations of coral recruitment at Yenliao Bay
from May 2006 to September 2009. Two groups of ceramic plates were
deployed at three reefs with one group retrieved at 3-month intervals
and the other at 1-year intervals. Coral recruits in Yenliao Bay were
found only in summer and early autumn (from June to October)
corresponding to the reproductive season of corals in this area. The
taxonomic composition of coral recruits was dominated by Pocilloporidae
(52% to 90%) and Acroporidae (10% to 41%). Recruitment rates varied
greatly in four consecutive years, ranging from 8.0 ± 3.1 recruits m−2
(mean ± SE) in 2008 to 116.4 ± 42.4 recruits m−2 in 2006. The survival
rate of coral recruits after 1 year was approximately 12%, and
acroporid recruits had a higher survival rate. Most of the coral
recruits settled on top and vertical surfaces in contrast to the
preference of bottom surface in tropical reefs. Furthermore, there was
a negative correlation between the number of recruits
recruitment at Yenliao Bay occurred in summer and early autumn. The
high recruitment rates in 2006 and 2007 were comparable with those of
tropical reefs, suggesting that recruitment might not be a limiting
factor for the maintenance and development of local coral communities.
The number of coral recruits on top and vertical surfaces was
negatively correlated with depths, suggesting that light intensity is
possibly the primary factorcontrolling settlement and survival of coral recruits in subtropical coral communities.
Key words: Coral recruitment; Subtropical coral community; Yenliao Bay; Northern Taiwan.
*Correspondence: E-mail: email@example.com