Abundance of coral recruits on settlement plate experiments from Mu Ko Angthong, the Western Gulf of Thailand
Keywords:coral recruitment, coral reef, recovery, Gulf of Thailand
Coral recruitment is a major process in maintaining coral reef ecosystems and in facilitating coral recovery after natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Settlement plate experiments were used to study coral settlement and recruitment patterns Studies on coral larval supply and recruitment patterns in Mu Ko Angthong are very limited. Coral recruitment is a critical process on tropical reefs to maimtain coral populations following major disturbances. This study aimed to examine coral recruitment on the reefs at Mu Ko Angthong using the settlement plate experiments. The settlement plates were made of gypsum and submerged at the study sites during April, 2016 to March, 2018. The density of coral recruits on settlement plate experiments at Ko Sam Sao (West) (20 colonies/m2) was significantly higher than that at Ko Sam Sao (East) (5.29 colonies/m2) and Ko Wua Kan Tang (0.93 colonies/m2). The highest diversity of coral recruits on settlement plate experiments was also recorded at Ko Sam Sao (East), followed by Ko Sam Sao (West) and KoWua Kan Tang. Pocilloporiids were the most dominant taxa of coral recruits on the settlement plate experiments at Ko Sam Sao (West). This study provides important baseline scientific data to the understanding of coral recruitment patterns in Mu Ko Angthong. Filamentous algae were also the most dominant group on the settlement plates. A long-term monitoring program for coral recruitment in other island groups in the Western Gulf of Thailand is needed.
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