Bommies away! Logistics and early effects of repositioning 400 tonnes of displaced coral colonies following cyclone impacts on the Great Barrier Reef

McLeod, Ian M., Williamson, David H., Taylor, Sascha, Srinivasan, Maya, Read, Mark, Boxer, Craig, Mattocks, Neil, and Ceccarelli, Daniela M. (2019) Bommies away! Logistics and early effects of repositioning 400 tonnes of displaced coral colonies following cyclone impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. Ecological Management and Restoration, 20 (3). pp. 262-265.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1111/emr.12381
 
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Abstract

For over 40 years, management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) in Australia has focused on limiting human-use impacts to facilitate natural resilience and recovery. Compounding acute disturbances and chronic stressors have resulted in degradation of coral reef habitats in many areas of the Marine Park. Given current trends and predictions of escalating climate-driven disturbances, it is increasingly evident that effective management of the GBRMP requires adaptive and novel approaches to protect and restore coral reef health. Here, we provide an overview of the logistical requirements and early-stage ecological benefits of repositioning 400 tonnes of moderately sized (1–3 m diameter) Porites spp. coral colonies (bommies) that were displaced by cyclone-generated swells that impacted reefs in the Whitsunday Islands during March 2017. An ecological survey conducted 16 months after the bommie repositioning revealed that several genera of hard coral had settled onto the bommies and that a range of reef fish species were associating with the restored habitat. Early findings suggest that the repositioning of the displaced bommies has assisted in restoring reef habitat structure and settlement habitat for juvenile corals, while improving natural aesthetics, vessel access and tourist experiences at Manta Ray Bay.

Item ID: 61107
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1839-3330
Keywords: coral, coral reef restoration, environmental management, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, porites
Copyright Information: © 2019 Ecological Society of Australia and John Wiley & Sons Australia
Funders: National Environment Science Programme, Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2019 05:57
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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