versão impressa ISSN 0185-3880
SEGAL, B; BERENGUER, V e CASTRO, CB. Experimental recruitment of the Brazilian endemic coral Mussismilia braziliensis and conditioning of settlement plates. Cienc. mar [online]. 2012, vol.38, n.1a, pp. 1-10. ISSN 0185-3880.
Reef restoration initiatives have been proposed all over the world during the last decades, a few based on sexual coral reproduction. The present study aimed at defining the minimal time required to condition artificial substrates to enhance larval settlement of the coral Mussismilia braziliensis. Ceramic tiles were conditioned at the reef for different periods (0 [control], 6, 10, 20, and 30 weeks), and the fouling community was analyzed. The tiles were dominated by turf algae and crustose coralline algae (CCA) in all age treatments; plates 20 and 30 weeks old were statistically different than newer ones, having less turf algae and more CCA. When exposed to the different treatments, larvae of M. braziliensis recruited poorly on 6-week plates, and no spat were found on control plates. Our results highlight the importance of an adequate period of conditioning to optimize coral settlement. Although we are far from understanding the complex processes driving larval settlement, establishing baseline conditions for experiments is of foremost importance, even for conservation and management activities of coral reefs.
Palavras-chave : coral; plate conditioning; larval settlement; Mussidae; South Atlantic.