reef recovery
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Diversity ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 39
Atsuko Fukunaga ◽  
Kailey H. Pascoe ◽  
Ashley R. Pugh ◽  
Randall K. Kosaki ◽  
John H. R. Burns

Recovery of coral reefs after physical damage sustained from storm events can be affected by various factors. Here, we examined the initial recovery of a coral reef at the southern end of uninhabited Lalo Atoll of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument after its complete destruction by Hurricane Walaka in 2018. While the site was still mostly (98%) covered by a mixture of rubble and sand, surveys utilizing underwater photogrammetry allowed for detailed quantitative assessments of benthic cover and confirmed colonization of coral (Pocillopora meandrina and Porites lobata), macroalgae and sponges. The proportion of sand in the rubble–sand mixture also decreased from the level observed in 2019. Visual fish surveys confirmed the presence of 35 reef fish species, a large increase from no reef fish in 2019, despite the low biotic benthic cover. Overall, the colonization of benthic organisms and the return of reef fish, which is potentially supported by the benthos and cryptofauna in the rubble bed, offer positive signs of reef recovery. The photogrammetric surveys in the present study captured the subtle changes in the benthic cover and provided us with a procedure to continue monitoring the succession of the site. Continuous monitoring of the site should reveal whether the reef returns to the original state of Acropora coral dominance or progresses towards a coral assemblage with a different composition.

Ecology ◽  
2021 ◽  
Christopher Doropoulos ◽  
Yves‐Marie Bozec ◽  
Marine Gouezo ◽  
Mark A. Priest ◽  
Damian P. Thomson ◽  

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (12) ◽  
pp. e0260516
Anna Koester ◽  
Amanda K. Ford ◽  
Sebastian C. A. Ferse ◽  
Valentina Migani ◽  
Nancy Bunbury ◽  

Coral recruitment and successive growth are essential for post-disturbance reef recovery. As coral recruit and juvenile abundances vary across locations and under different environmental regimes, their assessment at remote, undisturbed reefs improves our understanding of early life stage dynamics of corals. Here, we first explored changes in coral juvenile abundance across three locations (lagoon, seaward west and east) at remote Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles) between 2015 and 2019, which spanned the 2015/16 global coral bleaching event. Secondly, we measured variation in coral recruit abundance on settlement tiles from two sites (lagoon, seaward reef) during August 2018–August 2019. Juvenile abundance decreased from 14.1 ± 1.2 to 7.4 ± 0.5 colonies m-2 (mean ± SE) during 2015–2016 and increased to 22.4 ± 1.2 colonies m-2 during 2016–2019. Whilst juvenile abundance increased two- to three-fold at the lagoonal and seaward western sites during 2016–2018 (from 7.7–8.3 to 17.3–24.7 colonies m-2), increases at the seaward eastern sites occurred later (2018–2019; from 5.8–6.9 to 16.6–24.1 colonies m-2). The composition of coral recruits on settlement tiles was dominated by Pocilloporidae (64–92% of all recruits), and recruit abundance was 7- to 47-fold higher inside than outside the lagoon. Recruit abundance was highest in October–December 2018 (2164 ± 453 recruits m-2) and lowest in June–August 2019 (240 ± 98 recruits m-2). As Acroporid recruit abundance corresponded to this trend, the results suggest that broadcast spawning occurred during October–December, when water temperature increased from 26 to 29°C. This study provides the first published record on coral recruit abundance in the Seychelles Outer Islands, indicates a rapid (2–3 years) increase of juvenile corals following a bleaching event, and provides crucial baseline data for future research on reef resilience and connectivity within the region.

2021 ◽  
Vol 295 ◽  
pp. 113209
Marine Gouezo ◽  
Katharina Fabricius ◽  
Peter Harrison ◽  
Yimnang Golbuu ◽  
Christopher Doropoulos

Eos ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 102 ◽  
Clara Chaisson

New research on Kiribati’s beleaguered atolls paints a complex picture of reef recovery.

Peter J. Mumby ◽  
Robert A. B. Mason ◽  
Karlo Hock

2020 ◽  
Gaétan Morand ◽  
Simon Dixon ◽  
Thomas Le Berre

AbstractCoral restoration emerged globally as a form of life support for coral reefs, awaiting urgent mitigation of anthropogenic pressure. Yet its efficiency is difficult to assess, as ambitious transplantation programs handle hundreds of thousands of fragments, with survival rates inherently time-intensive to monitor. Due to limited available data, the influence of most environmental and methodological factors is still unknown.We therefore propose a new method which leverages machine learning to track each colony’s individual health and growth on a large sample size. This is the first time artificial intelligence techniques were used to monitor coral at a colony scale, providing an unprecedented amount of data on coral health and growth. Here we show the influence of genus, depth and initial fragment size, alongside providing an outlook on coral restoration’s efficiency.We show that among 77,574 fragments, individual survival rate was 31% after 2 years (21% after 4 years), which is much lower than most reported results. In the absence of significant anthropogenic pressure, we showed that there was a depth limit below which Pocillopora fragments outperformed Acropora fragments, while the opposite was true past this threshold. During the mid-2019 heatwave, our research indicates that Pocillopora fragments were 37% more likely to survive than Acropora fragments.Overall, the total amount of live coral steadily increased over time, by more than 3,700 liters a year, as growth compensated for mortality. This supports the use of targeted coral restoration to accelerate reef recovery after mass bleaching events.

Andreas Kunzmann ◽  
. Samsuardi ◽  
Ofri Johan ◽  
Karin Springer

In 2000 a protected area of 20,000 ha was established in West Sumatra, Indonesia (MPA Pulau Pieh) and the partial reef recovery is well documented. During monitoring of destructed reefs, a new cryptic mushroom coral species, Podabacia kunzmanni, was detected. It is not common, with rather occasional occurrence and most specimens are small. During recent visits in 2018 and 2019, the authors detected numerous specimens, mainly at three locations within the MPA Pulau Pieh, mainly at Pulau Pandan. Most individuals were found in greater depth, down to 18 m, reaching diameters of up to 20 cm. With regard to size, depth distribution and abundance, three new records can be established for this species. There are two potential explanations for finding them mainly on dead reefs: either they are better survivors or they are better colonizers of dead coral substrata. The team is presently collecting more data on the distribution and the reasons behind the sudden rise in visibility.

2020 ◽  
Vol 287 (1940) ◽  
pp. 20202305
Ana Molina-Hernández ◽  
F. Javier González-Barrios ◽  
Chris T. Perry ◽  
Lorenzo Álvarez-Filip

The ecology of coral reefs is rapidly shifting from historical baselines. One key-question is whether under these new, less favourable ecological conditions, coral reefs will be able to sustain key geo-ecological processes such as the capacity to accumulate carbonate structure. Here, we use data from 34 Caribbean reef sites to examine how the carbonate production, net erosion and net carbonate budgets, as well as the organisms underlying these processes, have changed over the past 15 years in the absence of further severe acute disturbances. We find that despite fundamental benthic ecological changes, these ecologically shifted coral assemblages have exhibited a modest but significant increase in their net carbonate budgets over the past 15 years. However, contrary to expectations this trend was driven by a decrease in erosion pressure, largely resulting from changes in the abundance and size-frequency distribution of parrotfishes, and not by an increase in rates of coral carbonate production. Although in the short term, the carbonate budgets seem to have benefitted marginally from reduced parrotfish erosion, the absence of these key substrate grazers, particularly of larger individuals, is unlikely to be conducive to reef recovery and will thus probably lock these reefs into low budget states.

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