Extraordinarily high coral cover on a nearshore, high-latitude reef in south-west Australia

Thomson, D.P., and Frisch, A.J. (2010) Extraordinarily high coral cover on a nearshore, high-latitude reef in south-west Australia. Coral Reefs, 29 (4). pp. 923-927.

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Abstract

Photographic line transects were used to quantify the benthic community at Hall Bank, a small, nearshore, high-latitude reef in south-west Australia. In some places, coral cover was 72.5% (mean = 52.6 ± 0.45%), which is the highest ever recorded coral cover for any reef at or beyond 32˚S. There were no macro-algae, possibly due to a high density of herbivorous sea-urchins (mean = 5.0 ± 0.8 m-2), which we hypothesize may also facilitate the high coral cover observed. Fourteen species of scleractinian corals dominated the benthos, seven of which were from the family Faviidae. Given that Hall Bank is at the limit of environmental tolerance for reef formation, it represents a valuable research opportunity for understanding the factors that build and maintain coral reef biodiversity and resilience.

Item ID: 17668
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: coral cover; high latitude; urchin; Goniastrea
ISSN: 1432-0975
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2011 07:01
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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