Quantifying the impact of watershed urbanization on a coral reef: Maunalua Bay, Hawaii

Wolanski, Eric, Martinez, Jonathan A., and Richmond, Robert H. (2009) Quantifying the impact of watershed urbanization on a coral reef: Maunalua Bay, Hawaii. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science , 84 (2). pp. 259-268.

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Abstract

Human activities in the watersheds surrounding Maunalua Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, have lead to the degradation of coastal coral reefs affecting populations of marine organisms of ecological, economic and cultural value. Urbanization, stream channelization, breaching of a peninsula, seawalls, and dredging on the east side of the bay have resulted in increased volumes and residence time of polluted runoff waters, eutrophication, trapping of terrigenous sediments, and the formation of a permanent nepheloid layer. The ecosystem collapse on the east side of the bay and the prevailing westward longshore current have resulted in the collapse of the coral and coralline algae population on the west side of the bay. In turn this has lead to a decrease in carbonate sediment production through bio-erosion as well as a disintegration of the dead coral and coralline algae, leading to sediment starvation and increased wave breaking on the coast and thus increased coastal erosion. The field data and resulting coral reef ecohydrology model presented in this paper demonstrate and quantify the importance of biophysical processes leading to coral reef degradation as the result of urbanization. Coral restoration in Maunalua Bay will require an integrated ecosystem approach.

Item ID: 5107
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: urbanization; river plume; fine sediment; nepheloid layer; herbivorous fish; algae; coral reefs; Hawaii
ISSN: 1096-0015
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2009 01:45
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
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