By Marine Biology Assciation of Hong Kong

ISBN-10: 9622094082

ISBN-13: 9789622094086

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1. A, Location of Baitylong Archipelago in the Gulf of Tonkin (A). B, Map showing the study area and location (black circles) of the transects. Heet margin Sloping platform 11-15m Fig. 2. '1 2 13 14 % 15 Q 4 7 16 ffi 5 ^ *6 & 7 P Y 17 18 ^8 T 9 6© A 19 20 21 10 ^ " ^ 1 1 **12 22 Reef profile and distribution of abundant macrobenthos on an unstructured reefs. ; 19, Verrucella umbraculum; 20, Pavona cactus; 2 1 , Trochus niloticus; 22, Echinophyllia aspera. 28 Community structure of Vietnamese reefs morphology of such reefs is affected strongly by the underlying topography and only a reef slope is distinct Reefs with a distinct morphological zonation occur in closed bays of the larger islands on an organic substratum A shallow-water boat channel with the rare occurrence of individual coral colonies and a small lagoon has a reef flat The inner reef flat is externally cut with numerous channels and cavities (Fig 3) The reef front is not defined morphologically Only at the junction between the reef flat and the reef slope, are coral deposits more cemented Transverse channels are better pronounced and the numbers of massive colonies increase along this part of the reef The reef slope is short and sheer, with a distinctive spur-and-groove system Numerous colonies of scleractinians, alcyonanans and gorgonians are grouped into bioherms or longitudinal polyspecific settlements Coral community characteristics Unstructured reefs Along the coast, for a distance of 20-40 m and at a depth to 1 m, occurs an algalcoral zone dominated by macrophytes I e , Sargassum, Padina, Asparagopsis and Turbinaria, crusts of the zoanthid Palythoa and individual small massive and encrusting colonies of the scleractinians Pontes, Leptoria, Goniastrea, Pavona and Hydnophora The substratum is covered with algae for no more than 10% ( rarely 40% in some areas) with Sargassum polycystum or Asparagopsis taxiformis dominant Corals cover between 7-15% of the substratum with Galaxea fascicularis, Leptastrea transversa and Pontes lobata dominant, the latter forming flat microatolls up to 1 5 m across At 40-60 m off the coast and with increasing depth to 2 m, the numbers and abundance of scleractinians increase (Table 1) Colonies of G fascicularis and P lobata grow to 1 5 m across and to 0 5 m high The algae A taxiformis, and S polycistum also occur here The degree of substratum covered with corals reaches 40% with P lobata, G fascicularis and Pavona decussata dominant Between 70-80 m offshore, the bottom drops from 3 to 9-11 m The depth change occurs either gradually or by two to three sharp steps An associated change takes place in species composition and pattern of coral settlement on the reef slope Large (up to 2 m across) colonies of Galaxea, Lobophylha, plate-like Acropora, Montipora, and plate-like encrusting Echinopora, Echinophyllia, Mycedium, Pachysens and the lamellar-funnel form of Turbinaria are dominant Massive colonies of Pontes occur on the upper and middle parts of the reef slope (1 5-2 m in height) Species richness increases two fold Many genera are represented by 2 to 3 species and the genera Acropora, Montipora and Pontes by between 5 to 20 species A reef slope community is formed by scleractinians and the alcyonanans Cladiella, Lobophytum, Sarcophyton, Gorgonia and Elhsella, which occur either as individual colonies or as groups The degree of coral cover Flat front I Reef Outer Sloping platform 7-9 m Fig.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. - E. & H. - E. & H. valenciennesi (M. - E. ) + Coscinaraea columna (Dana) + Fungia repanda Dana + 2 3 4 5 6 7 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + (to be continued) 30 Community structure of Vietnamese reefs 50.

The numbers of dead and living individuals of Tetraclita squamosa in each experimental plot were recorded every month. The study area (~ 8 m2) was visually surveyed for the presence of both Thais clavigera and Morula musiva every month during the experimental period. Numbers of each species were recorded in the field. Temperature data for the period between September 1993 and August Table 1. Experimental treatments. Treatment Closed cages Open plots 12 Numbers of Tetraclita squamosa 14 21 26 59 10 7 Predation by Thais clavigera and Morula musiva on Tetraclita squamosa 1994 were obtained from the Royal Observatory, Hong Kong.

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Asian Marine Biology Series (v. 12) by Marine Biology Assciation of Hong Kong


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