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 Integrated Florida Reef Tract

Project Title

1.3. Nutrient Dynamics, Algal Community Structure, and Algal Production

Key Investigator(s) Alina M. Szmant
Project Duration December 15, 1999 – December 14, 2003
OBJECTIVE(S) Coral reef degradation is often evidenced by phase-shifts in community structure in which thick epilithic turfs and fleshy macroalgae overgrow reef substrate. Potential causes for such shifts are multiple, and include factors that regulate rates of algal biomass production (bottom-up) as well as ones that affect biomass consumption (top-down: grazing). This study is to document the seasonal and spatial (inshore patch reefs vs. offshore bank reeks) patterns of algal abundance on Key Largo coral reefs to determine whether there are any indications that anthropogenic nutrient enrichment is contributing to a shift from coral to algal dominance on Florida coral reefs.
SUMMARY (click here to open the PDF report)
PUBLICATION(S) Szmant, A.M. (2002) Nutrient Enrichment on Coral Reefs:  Is it a Wide-spread Cause of Coral Reef Decline? Estuaries 25: 743-766.

Szmant, A.M. (2001) “Over-population, over-development, over-fishing: For Caribbean marine systems =  Over-whelming!!!” Presentation as Invited Plenary speaker for a Special Session on Anthropogenic Effects at the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, La Parguera, Puerto Rico.

Campbell, J.E. and Szmant, A.M. (2002) Top-down vs Bottom-up: The Effects of Nutrients and Herbivory On the Growth and Biomass of Florida Keys Coral Reef Algae.  Poster at the 2002 Benthic Ecology Meeting, Orlando, Florida.


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