Interest in the thermal regime experienced by corals in their natural environment has intensified with an increase in the regularity and intensity of mass coral bleaching. Quantifying the temperature in these reef areas is important if we are to understand how the thermal history experienced by corals subtidally affects the benthic composition of reef communities and the physiological response of corals in these habitats. The main purpose of this dissertation is to examine if corals from the inner lagoon reef and outer barrier reef of southern Belize experience different thermal histories, and if exposure to these inferred differences in thermal regime is reflected in their benthic composition and photophysiological response. Since satellite derived sea surface temperature (SST) is the only available source of thermal data for many reef environments, in situ temperature measurements were also compared to satellite derived SST for these two reef locations. Chapter one outlines changes in dominant benthos cover over time and addresses whether these changes are influenced by variations in seawater temperature in the inner lagoon and outer barrier reef. Results suggest that there is significant difference in dominant benthos cover over time but not between the two locations. In chapter two I compared thermal exposure, specifically near colonies of Montastrea faveolata at both locations to investigate whether their thermal history is related to dark adapted maximum quantum yield in photosystem II (Fv/Fm). This work demonstrated that corals in the inner lagoon reef have lower in situ Fv/F m indicative of a lower photosynthetic capacity compared to those in the outer barrier reef. In chapter three, I compared sea surface temperature derived from MODIS Terra/Aqua and subtidal measurements from the inner lagoon and outer barrier reef of southern Belize. The results of this study suggest consistency in the differences between remotely sensed and in situ measurements for both satellites and locations. However, daytime and nighttime satellite overpasses yielded contrasting results.A GPS was then use to mark the precise location of the beginning of each transect. Video Transect ... In summer of 2002 transects were recorded using a Sony DCR-TRV350 Digital Handycam with Hi 8/8 mm playback capability. In both anbsp;...
|Title||:||Thermal History, Benthic Composition, and Coral Physiological Response: A Comparison Between Inner Lagoon Reef and Outer Barrier Reef Conspecifics|
|Author||:||Karl David Castillo|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2008|