Coral Reef Case Study

929 Words4 Pages
It is important that coral reefs recover once they have been damaged, some of the consequences are; less diverse reef communities, decline in fisheries, tourism and coastal protection (Hoegh-Guldberg et al, 2007). There are 5 potential predictors for how well a coral reef will recover after bleaching (Graham, Nash & Kool, 2011). Firstly, the reef characteristic, if the skeleton of the reef is still present it is likely to maintain ecological processes and therefore recover rapidly (Graham, Nash & Kool, 2011). Secondly, the connectivity of the reef, high connectivity of coral reefs is important for recovery, isolated reefs are more likely to have a slow recovery (Graham, Nash & Kool, 2011). Thirdly, the ecological characteristics of the reef,…show more content…
Studying the animals that live amongst the coral reefs can give information on the health of the coral reef as there are significant relationships between structure and complexity of the coral and the diversity of the fauna (Chabanet et al, 1997). There is a lot of opinions regarding the relationships coral reefs hold with the diversity and the abundances of the fish that inhabit them, according to Öhman & Rajasuriya (1998) there are two clear correlations, structural complexity and species diversity, and that live coral cover increases the abundance of butterflyfish. The majority of the fish that feed on live corals are butterflyfish, Chaetodonitdae, other species include; Labridae, Tetraodontidae, Balistidae, Monacanthidae, Pomacentridae and Scaridae, this means that if these species are present, then there is a high chance there is live coral present too (Cole, Pratchett & Jones, 2008). Reef communities are strongly influenced by various aspects of reef structure, abundances of certain species, families and trophic groups are correlated with habitat due to features like food availability and shelter (Öhman & Rajasuriya, 1998). From the data collected for this study, the parrot fish is the only herbivore in which feeds on algae, but there are other species whose data has been collected, who also eat algae as well as small fish and/or coral. Herbivores have been known to play a part in the corals resilience, they keep algae cover low, allowing coral cover to expand (Noström et al, 2009). However it is found that although parrotfish help corals by removing a main competitor, macro algae, they too consume certain species of coral on certain reefs, this can result in mortality of the coral or even the coral reef (Rotjan et al, 2006). Bellwood, Hughes and Hoey (2006) found that herbivorous fish like parrot fish and surgeon fish weren’t the

More about Coral Reef Case Study

Open Document