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Stacey M. Williams

Stacey M. Williams
Institute for Socio-Ecological Research (ISER), Coastal Survey Solutions LLC (CSS)

PhD, Biological Oceanography

About

49
Publications
18,077
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561
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - May 2013
University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
Position
  • Consultant, zooplankton research
July 2010 - July 2013
University of Costa Rica
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2004 - present
Position
  • Benthic ecologist
Description
  • Monitor shallow-water and mesophotic benthic communities at reefs around Puerto Rico.

Publications

Publications (49)
Article
Full-text available
The massive die-off of the herbivorous sea urchin Diadema antillarum in 1983 and 1984 resulted in phase shifts on Caribbean coral reefs, where macroalgae replaced coral as the most dominant benthic group. Since then, D. antillarum recovery has been slow to non-existent on most reefs. Studying settlement rates can provide insight into the mechanisms...
Article
Diadema antillarum is a keystone herbivore that controls algal cover on coral reefs, as reductions in this species has been associated with significant increases in algal cover. However, most of the evidence that supports this model comes from observational studies where processes have been inferred from descriptions of temporal and spatial relatio...
Article
Full-text available
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) are ecologically and functionally vital, as they are Essential Fish Habitats that function as refugia for corals and sponges of shallow-water reefs. Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) is a relatively new lethal coral disease, first affecting coral reefs in Florida and has now spread through most of the Caribb...
Article
Full-text available
Herbivores play an essential role in the health and recovery of a coral reef ecosystem. The lack of recovery of the keystone herbivore, Diadema antillarum, has had long-lasting effects, evidenced with many reefs persisting in algal dominance. This study restocked 756 lab-reared D. antillarum to four coral reefs on the east and south coast of Puerto...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: An unfamiliar looking azooxanthellate dendrophylliid coral, observed during shallow water (3-19 m) visual censuses since 2015 in Hispaniola and since 2019 in Puerto Rico, has been identified as Cladopsammia manuelensis sensu Cairns, 2000 (hereafter C. manuelensis). Genus assignment is based on morphological (e.g. large, widely separated a...
Article
Full-text available
Absorption of colored dissolved organic matter or detrital gelbstoff (aCDOM/ADG) and light attenuation coefficient (K d 490) parameters were studied at La Parguera Natural Reserve in southwestern Puerto Rico, before and following Hurricanes Irma (6-7 September) and María (20-21 September) in 2017. Water quality assessments involving Sentinel 3A oce...
Article
Full-text available
Absorption of colored dissolved organic matter or detrital gelbstoff (aCDOM/ADG) and light attenuation coefficient (Kd490) parameters were studied at La Parguera Natural Reserve in southwestern Puerto Rico, before and following Hurricanes Irma (6–7 September) and María (20–21 September) in 2017. Water quality assessments involving Sentinel 3A ocean...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid appearance of Ramicrusta spp. is described and analyzed from 40 permanent monitoring coral reef stations in Puerto Rico. Before 2016, Ramicrusta had not been observed from any of the reef monitoring stations. By 2018, it was present at 76% of all the monitoring stations. Ramicrusta was the dominant substrata type at all of the shallow ree...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This work represents the fourth monitoring survey of coral reef communities from Isla de Mona 20 years after the original baseline survey in 2000 and one decade after the previous survey in 2010. Monitoring surveys were performed on existing sets of permanent transects at Playa Mujeres (MUJE20) and Las Carmelitas (CARM10) applying the standard PRCR...
Article
Full-text available
The article presents a summary of the current situation and spread of the new coral disease Scleractinian Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) in the Caribbean and in Puerto. Rico.
Technical Report
Full-text available
A total of 21 reef stations were surveyed as part of the 2019 PRCRMP event, to complete the 2018-2019 monitoring cycle of 42 coral reef stations. Recurrent monitoring surveys were performed at TRES20, TRES10 and TRES05 in Rincon; TOUR30, TOUR20 and TOUR10 in Mayaguez; GALL05 and RESU10 in Cabo Rojo; BOYA20, MLUN10 and MLUN05 in La Parguera; BERI20,...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Between October 30 and November 20, 2018, the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER)of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and partners conducted a 22-day telepresence-enabled expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly understood deep-water areas surround...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report describes the herbivory effects of Diadema antillarum that were reintroduced to two coral reefs on the east coast of Puerto Rico. Diadema significantly reduced the algal cover after two months. Diadema also effectively grazed Ramicrusta and reduced its cover.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The 2017-18 coral reef monitoring event of the PRCRMP included 21 reef stations, with two (2) new baseline characterizations, 15 first monitoring surveys and four (4) recurring monitoring surveys. A total of 1,210 hard coral colonies distributed into 33 scleractinians and one hydrocoral species were intercepted by transects. Octocorals were represe...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A total of 21 reef stations were scheduled during the 2016-17 coral monitoring cycle to complete the 42- reef station monitoring plan for Puerto Rico, including a set of five (5) stations from south coast sites (Salinas/Guayama and Guayanilla) that were exposed to severe wave and surge conditions during the pass of hurricane Matthew in October, sho...
Article
Full-text available
This work analyzes the mortality, recovery, and shifts in the composition of scleractinian corals from Puerto Rico one decade after the 2005 regional coral bleaching event.Temporal and spatial patterns of coral community structure were examined using a stratified, non-random sampling approach based on five permanent transects per reef at 16 reef st...
Data
Index 2 Orbicella annularis complex coral cover at the different sites, depths and years.
Data
Index 1 Scleractinian coral cover at the different sites, depths and years.
Data
Coral species cover The cover of the different coral species between the reef sites in Puerto Rico. Coral species listed contributed to at least 10% of the total cover.
Preprint
Full-text available
This work analyzes the mortality, recovery, and shifts in the composition of scleractinian corals in Puerto Rico one decade after the 2005 regional coral bleaching event. Temporal and spatial patterns of coral community structure were examined using a stratified, non-random sampling approach based on five permanent transects per reef at 16 reef sta...
Preprint
Full-text available
This work analyzes the mortality, recovery, and shifts in the composition of scleractinian corals in Puerto Rico one decade after the 2005 regional coral bleaching event. Temporal and spatial patterns of coral community structure were examined using a stratified, non-random sampling approach based on five permanent transects per reef at 16 reef sta...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A total of 21 coral reef stations were surveyed in the 2016 coral reef monitoring event. Baseline characterizations (17 reef stations) were produced for reef systems in Mayaguez Bay (Manchas Exteriores 20, 10, Rodriguez 5), Cabo Rojo (Guanajibo 20, El Negro10, 5), Guayanilla Bay (Maria Langa 20, 10, 5), Salinas (Cayo Coral 10, Cayo Ratones 5), Faja...
Article
Full-text available
Caribbean reefs have been unevenly surveyed, with many areas lacking baseline data. In this study, the current status of Orbicella reefs, a structurally complex forereef habitat, was quantified in an understudied region, the Eastern Caribbean. During 2011 the same observers surveyed benthic assemblages, coral juvenile density, herbivorous fishes, a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A total of 21 reefs from nine (9) Natural Reserves were included in the 2015 Coral Reef Monitoring Program of Puerto Rico. Quantitative measurements of the percent substrate cover by sessile benthic categories and visual surveys of fishes and motile megabenthic invertebrates for determinations of species richness, abundance and size-frequency distr...
Presentation
Full-text available
This work was conducted as part of a preliminary assessment of the condition of seagrassess in sourthern Puerto Rico. Stressors and recommendations were provided.
Article
There has been ongoing flattening of Caribbean coral reefs with the loss of habitat having severe implications for these systems. Complexity and its structural components are important to fish species richness and community composition, but little is known about its role for other taxa or species-specific responses. This study reveals the importanc...
Article
Full-text available
Region-wide assessments of coral cover typically rely on meta-analyses of smallscale ecological studies which have combined different coral reef habitats. This is particularly problematic on forereefs where at least 2 habitats can be found; coral-based bioherms and colonized hardgrounds (hereafter Orbicella reefs and gorgonian plains), each with ve...
Article
Aim: Coral assemblages on Caribbean reefs have largely been considered to be biogeographically homogeneous at a regional scale. We reassess this in three taxa (corals, sponges and octocorals) using three community attributes with increasing levels of information (species richness, composition and relative abundance) across hierarchical spatial scal...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This work presents the results of a unique study conducted in Southern Puerto Rico. A fast and intensive region‐wide survey from Punta Jorobado to Punta Petrona was conducted to evaluate the extension and intensity of anthropogenic stressors on shallow seagrass habitats. This task was challenging because it covered a wide variety of ecosystems from...
Article
Full-text available
The long-spined sea urchin Diadema antillarum has been the focus of multiple studies since the mass mortality event in the 1980s. The recovery of this key herbivore in the wider Caribbean is essential for the well-being of coral reefs. This study examined the population density and structure of D. antillarum at seven northern fringing reefs of Puer...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research represents an effort towards the characterization of essential fish habitats and associated reef communities from Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands sponsored by NMFS thru the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC). Since 1993, the CFMC has seasonally closed Lang Bank to all bottom tending gear in order to protect spawning...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A total of 24 reefs from 10 Natural Reserves (Desecheo, Rincón, Mayaguéz, Guánica, Caja de Muerto, Ponce, Guayama, Cabo Rojo, Vega Baja and Vieques), including baseline characterizations at Gallardo Reef, Cayo Caribes, Guayama Shelf-Edge and Guayama Patch Reef were included in the 2013 National Coral Reef Monitoring Program of Puerto Rico. Quantita...
Chapter
Full-text available
We investigated the current patterns of diversity by country and by class of echinoderms, and analyzed their biogeographical, depth, and habitat or substratum affinities, using the database of the appendix of this book. Traditionally, the area has been divided into five biogeographical Regions and nine Provinces that cover a wide climate range. Cur...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research provides mapping and a physical description of the mesophotic benthic habitats of Tourmaline Reef, along with a quantitative and qualitative characterization of the sessile-benthic, fish, and shellfish (queen conch, spiny lobster) populations associated with each of the main benthic habitats present within a 30 – 50 m depth range. Den...
Book
Full-text available
14.1 Introduction The island of Puerto Rico is located in the northeastern part of the Caribbean Sea (18°13 0 N–66°28 0 W). Puerto Rico is considered an archipelago formed by the main island and other small islands mainly off its eastern and southern coastlines (Fig. 14.1). The eastern shelf is very shallow (typically less than 30 m in depth) and d...
Data
Settlement of Diadema antillarum (Philippi, 1845) was studied at monthly intervals with artificial turf plates at six reefs along an inshore-offshore gradient in La Parguera, Puerto Rico, from February to April 2008, and from July to September 2008. Plates were placed at various depths on individual mooring lines. From a total. of 220 D. antillarum...
Article
Full-text available
This study describes temporal and spatial abundance patterns of echinoderm larvae in La Parguera, Puerto Rico. For the temporal study, larvae were sampled by a series of monthly tows taken with a 64 microm mesh net between the new and full moon from April 2005 to July 2006, September 2006 and August 2007. In order to measure spatial variation of ec...
Article
Full-text available
Recruitment success is one of the factors that may be influencing the slow population recovery of Diadema antillarum at many locations in the Caribbean. D. antillarum recruitment was measured with recruitment plates at monthly intervals from September 2005 to September 2006 at three reefs along an inshore-offshore gradient in La Parguera, Puerto Ri...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research at Abrir la Sierra (ALS) forms part of an initiative by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC) to characterize the benthic habitats and associated fish and shellfish communities present within the Caribbean EEZ, Puerto Rico and the USVI, with particular interest on the corals and fish and shellfish species of commercial value...
Article
Full-text available
This study describes temporal variations of early larval stages of the long-spined sea urchin, Diadema antillarum in neritic waters of La Parguera, Puerto Rico. Larvae were sampled with oblique plankton tows between the new and full moons at monthly interval from April 2005 to July 2006, and September 2006. Early pluteus stages (< 5 days old) were...
Article
Full-text available
The generally slow and incomplete recovery of the long-spined sea urchin, Diadema antillarum, from the 1983–84 Caribbean-wide die-off, particularly in the Florida Keys, USA, raises the question of factors limiting population recovery. This study sought to quantify larval settlement rates as an indicator of larval supply at two sites in the Florida...
Article
Full-text available
Diadema antillarum populations at many Caribbean locations have failed to recover from the patho- gen-induced mortality events of the 1980s. It has become clear that the massive decline of this herbivorous urchin and the wide-spread absence of a population recovery lead to numerous long-term ecological conse- quences and reef degradation. While few...
Article
Full-text available
Diadema antillarum populations at many Caribbean locations have failed to recover from a wide-spread mortality event during the early 1980s. Quantitative assessments of Diadema in Dominica have only recently begun and can now be put into a regional context. Diadema and benthic algae were monitored in 4-month intervals at six 100m2 sites, spread ove...

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