In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma: Colonization of a 4-year-old shipwreck by native and non-native corals, including a new cryptogenic species for the Caribbean

Bert W. Hoeksema*, Melanie P. Meijer zu Schlochtern, Kaveh Samimi-Namin, Catherine S. McFadden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Little is known about early coral settlement on shipwrecks with regard to their species and size compositions. Hurricanes in the Caribbean have a long history of sinking ships but a link with new coral settlement is understudied. In 2017, Hurricane Irma caused the sinking of over 300 vessels in the coastal waters of Saint Martin, eastern Caribbean. In 2021, coral settlement was studied on one of them, which included two native, one non-native, and two cryptogenic species. The corals were smaller than 8 cm in diameter. The invasive Tubastraea coccinea was the most abundant scleractinian and was predominantly represented by juveniles. A cryptogenic species, Stragulum bicolor, new for the Caribbean, was the most common octocoral. Because they can be harmful to the environment, shipwrecks should be monitored frequently for the occurrence of non-native species, especially when they are only a few years old.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114649
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume188
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Biofouling
  • Carijoa riisei
  • Invasive species
  • Stragulum bicolor
  • Substrate colonization
  • Tubastraea coccinea

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma: Colonization of a 4-year-old shipwreck by native and non-native corals, including a new cryptogenic species for the Caribbean'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this