Endangered New Caledonian endemic mushroom coral Cantharellus noumeae in turbid, metal-rich, natural and artificial environments

Antoine Gilbert, Tom Heintz, Bert W. Hoeksema, Francesca Benzoni, Jean Michel Fernandez, Cécile Fauvelot, Serge Andréfouët

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since its description in 1984, little attention has been paid to the New Caledonian endemic mushroom coral Cantharellus noumeae (Fungiidae), an IUCN Red-listed, endangered coral species. Our study presents the first ever quantitative assessment conducted on C. noumeae populations for two contrasting sites in the same turbid bay. Sites differed by their substrates of artificial or natural origins. Metal concentrations of superficial sediment were measured. C. noumeae was found in high densities in metal-rich and turbid environments at both locations, reaching up to 288 individuals per 50m2. It was 3.5 times more abundant on natural rock than on artificial substrates. Recruitment was also higher proportionally on rock (47% vs 7-14%). The composition of the associated coral communities included 30-37 species occurring in low densities. Our findings clarify the environmental niche of this species and its colonization potential, in order to eventually better characterize its conservation status.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-369
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume100
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2015
Externally publishedYes

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