Can organic pollution affect the growth rate of octocorals in the Caribbean?

  • Néstor Rey-Villiers Estudiante de Doctorado en CICIMAR-IPN
  • Alberto Sánchez
Keywords: growth rate, organic matter, octocorals, heterotrophy, Caribbean coral reefs


Organic pollution in the Havana coastline is affecting octocorals assemblages, and little is known about its effect on the growth rate (GR). A fixed belt transect (250 x 2 m) was used to locate the colonies. The GR of Eunicea flexuosa and Plexaura kuekenthali was significantly higher in the reef with more organic pollution (3,6 cm/año y 4,1 cm/año, respectively) vs. reference sites, which seems to be related to their heterotrophy.

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