Check out our recent publication on the 'Impacts of parrotfish predation on a major reef-building coral: quantifying healing rates and thresholds of coral recovery' in Coral Reefs! A read-only open access version is available here: https://rdcu.be/b5Vgl
Summary: We monitored coral tissue regeneration from parrotfish predation scars on endangered Orbicella annularis coral colonies on St. Croix and Bonaire in the Caribbean. We evaluated differences in coral healing between islands in response to a number of variables including the initial scar surface area, scar abundance per coral colony, colony surface area, and water depth. We found that initial scar surface area was the single most important predictor of scar healing and used a predictive model we developed to estimate coral tissue loss from the standing stock of bite scars. Overall, our results suggest that the majority of scars may fully heal and the immediate negative impacts of parrotfish predation on coral tissue loss appear to be driven primarily by a few exceptionally large bite scars.
We are excited to share this video talk by master's student Hannah Rempel as part of the Global Coral Reef Week conference. Learn about the patterns of coral healing from parrotfish bite scars in one of the most intensively grazed Caribbean coral species: