MENU

 

Density of Associated Macrofauna of Black Corals
(Anthozoa: Antipatharia) in Jagna, Bohol, Central Philippines

 

Hyacinth N. Suarez1,2, Danilo T. Dy2 and Renante R. Violanda3


1Natural Science and Math Department, College of Arts and Sciences,
Holy Name University, Tagbilaran City, Bohol
2Department of Biology, University of San Carlos, Cebu City
3Department of Physics, University of San Carlos, Cebu City


corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ABSTRACT

Black corals or antipatharians (Anthozoa: Antipatharia) are abundantly found in the waters (depths of 15-40 m) of Jagna, Bohol, Central Philippines. However, inaccessibility due to SCUBA depth limitation has discouraged researchers from documenting the ecological role of antipatharians in hosting associated macrofauna. The study, conducted in August-September 2013 and February 2014 at 15-40 m depth, compared the density of macrofauna between whip and branching black corals among different colony sizes, across six sampling sites and different depth ranges. Each colony size of black corals was determined by writing a script under LabVIEW. Of the forty colonies observed (eight branching and 32 whip types), 68% (or 27 colonies) hosted associated macrofauna. Eighteen macrofauna taxa belonging to six phyla were identified: Porifera, Cnidaria (Anthozoa), Mollusca (Gastropoda and Bivalvia), Echinodermata (Crinoidea), Arthropoda (Cirripedia) and Chordata (Ascidiaceae and Actinopterygii). The average density of macrofauna ranged from 82 to 8,313 individuals/m2, with counts ranging from 1 to 74 individuals. The crinoids were found to be the most abundant with 243 individuals and a density of 166 individuals/m2. By generating data using Monte Carlo simulation and comparison by student t-test at 95%, p=0.05, a significant difference in the density of macrofauna between whip and branching black corals was found. However, there was no significant difference between density of macrofauna and sampling stations, depth, and colony size (Spearman R correlation and Kruskal-Wallis test; 95%, p=0.05). This lack of statistical difference suggests higher within group variance than between group variance. Black corals should be protected in the entire study site to promote biodiversity at depths and in areas not inhabited by scleractinian corals.

 

INTRODUCTION

Antipatharians are colonial anthozoans characterized by small polyps with 6 simple tentacles and a noncalcareous skeletal axis with colonies which can grow to a height of 10 cm to 2 m or more. These organisms are exclusively marine with some species thriving in areas with reduced light intensity and depths ranging from about 20 to 500 m (Opresko 2009). The bathymetric . . . . . read more

 

REFERENCES

BO M, BAVESTRELLO G,CANESE S, GIUSTI M, SALVATI E, ANGIOLILLO M, GRECO S. 2009. Characteristics of a black coral meadow in the twilight zone of the central Mediterranean Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 397: 53–61.
BO  M, LAVORATO A, DI CAMILLO CG, POLISENO  A, BARQUERO A, BAVESTRELLO G, IREI  Y, REIMER  JD. 2012. Black coral assemblages from Machalilla National park (Ecuador). Pacific Science 66: 63-81.
EXCOFFON AC, ACUÑA FH, CORTÄ’S J. 2009. The sea anemone Nemanthus californicus (Cnidaria: Actinaria: Nemanthidae) from Costa Rica: re-description and first record outside the type locality. Marine Biology Records 2 (142): 1-5.
GRANGE KR. 1985. Distribution, standing crop, population structure, and growth rates of black coral in the southern fiords of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 19: 467–475.
GRANGE KR, SINGLETON RJ. 1988. Population structure of black corals, Antipathes aperta, in the southern fiords of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 15: 481–489.
GREEN EP, SHIRLEY F. 1999. The global trade in corals. World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Cambridge UK: World Conservation Press. 70p.
LOVE MS, YOKLAVICH MM, BLACK BA, ANDREWS AH. 2007. Age of black coral (Antipathes dendrochristos) colonies, with notes on associated invertebrate species. Bulletin of Marine Science: 80(2): 391–400.
OPRESKO DM. 2009. Antipatharia (Cnidaria) of the Gulf of Mexico. In: Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota. Vol. 1, Biodiversity (D.L. Felder and D.K. Camp, eds). Corpus Christi, TX: Texas A&M University Press.  
OPRESKO DM, SANCHEZ JA. 2005. Caribbean shallow-water black corals (Cnidaria:Anthozoa: Antipatharia). Caribbean Journal of Science 4: 492–507.
SANCHEZ JA. 1999. Black coral–octocoral distribution patterns on Imelda Bank, a deep-water reef, Colombia, Caribbean Sea. Bulletin of Marine Science 65: 215–225.
SANTO DOMINGO  N, REYES J, FLÓREZ, P, CHACÓN-GÓMEZ  IC,  VAN OFWEGEN   LP, HOEKSEMA  BW. 2013. Diversity and distribution of azooxanthellate corals in the Colombian Caribbean. Mar Biodiv 43: 7-22. DOI: 10.1007/s12526-012-0131-6.
TAZIOLI S, BO M, BOYER M, ROTINSULU H, BAVESTRELLO G. 2007. Ecological observations of some common Antipatharian Corals in the Marine Park of Bunaken (North Sulawesi, Indonesia). Zoological Studies 46: 227–241.
TISSOT BN, YOLLAVICH MM, LOVE MS, AMEND M. 2006. Benthic invertebrates that form habitat on deep banks off southern California, with special reference to deep sea coral. Fishery Bulletin 104: 167–181.
WARNER GF. 1981. Species descriptions and ecological observations of black corals (Antipatharia) from Trinidad. Bulletin of Marine Science 31: 147–163.