alexa An analysis of the loss of acroporid corals at Looe Key, Florida, USA: 1983–2000
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

Author(s): M Miller, A Bourque, J Bohnsack

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The Caribbean reef-building corals Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis have undergone widespread declines in the past two decades, leading to their designation as candidates for listing under the United States Endangered Species Act. Whole-reef censuses in 1983 and 2000 at Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary in the Florida Keys provide estimates of areal loss of live Acropora spp. cover. Area (square meters) of live coral cover was quantified from depiction on scaled base maps of extent of coral cover observed by a snorkeler on each reef spur at each census. Certain thickets appear to have been persistent (though none expanded), but the total area of live A. palmata at Looe Key is estimated to have declined by 93% and A. cervicornis by 98% during this 17-year interval. It is likely that acroporid populations may have already undergone substantial decline prior to our initial census in 1983.

This article was published in Coral Reefs and referenced in Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

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