Coral recovery in the central Maldives archipelago since the last major mass-bleaching, in 1998

Pisapia, Chiara, Burn, Deborah, Yoosuf, R., Najeeb, A., Anderson, Kristen, and Pratchett, Morgan (2016) Coral recovery in the central Maldives archipelago since the last major mass-bleaching, in 1998. Scientific Reports, 6. pp. 1-10.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (574kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep34720
 
3
12


Abstract

Increasing frequency and severity of disturbances is causing global degradation of coral reef ecosystems. This study examined temporal changes in live coral cover and coral composition in the central Maldives from 1997 to 2016, encompassing two bleaching events, a tsunami, and an outbreak of Acanthaster planci. We also examined the contemporary size structure for five dominant coral taxa (tabular Acropora, Acropora muricata, Acropora humilis, Pocillopora spp, and massive Porites). Total coral cover increased throughout the study period, with marked increases following the 1998 mass-bleaching. The relative abundance of key genera has changed through time, where Acropora and Pocillopora (which are highly susceptible to bleaching) were under-represented following 1998 mass-bleaching but increased until outbreaks of A. planci in 2015. The contemporary size-structure for all coral taxa was dominated by larger colonies with peaked distributions suggesting that recent disturbances had a disproportionate impact on smaller colonies, or that recruitment is currently limited. This may suggest that coral resilience has been compromised by recent disturbances, and further bleaching (expected in 2016) could lead to highly protracted recovery times. We showed that Maldivian reefs recovered following the 1998 mass-bleaching event, but it took up to a decade, and ongoing disturbances may be eroding reef resilience.

Item ID: 47549
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Additional Information:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. © The Author(s) 2016

ISSN: 2045-2322
Funders: Rufford Foundation
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 22:07
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960310 Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 12
Last 12 Months: 10
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page