Szmant, A. M. University of Miami, RSMAS-MBF, aszmant@rsmas.miami.edu
Cohen, K. M. University of Miami, RSMAS-MBF, kcohen@rsmas.miami.edu
Yeung, C. University of Miami, RSMAS-MBF, cyeung@rsmas.miami.edu

 
FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY (FKNMS): RESEARCH ON SEDIMENTATION AND EUTROPHICATION AS POTENTIAL STRESSORS TO CORAL REEF HABITATS
 
A novel approach was used to evaluate two well known coral stressors in the FKNMS. Sediment traps were deployed bimonthly along nine transects spanning the upper Florida Keys, from October 1996 through March 1998. Trap sediments were fractionated into fine and coarse particle sizes. Subsamples were analyzed for N and P concentrations and compared with similar analyses of sediments from surrounding sediment beds. Sedimentation rates of fine particles were higher inshore and near coastal passes, while those of coarser particles were higher offshore where there is more wave energy. Average sedimentation rates were greater than the 100 g/m2/day considered stressful to reef corals. N concentrations of resuspended sediments were highest at inshore sites, were greater than the N content of surrounding sediments, and were primarily associated with finer fractions. Their P contents were higher offshore, and also higher than those of surrounding sediments. These results suggest that inshore areas of the FKNMS could be accumulating finer, nutrient rich particles, and be susceptible to eutrophication, while offshore reef areas are being rid of such particles by storm resuspension, and thus less prone to eutrophication. Sediment resuspension rates, however, were high everywhere and likely a major stressor to FKNMS reef corals.
 
Day: Wednesday, Feb. 3
Time: 04:15 - 04:30pm
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS09WE0415S