CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine & Freshwater Research   
Marine & Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the Aquatic Sciences
 
blank image Search
 
blank image blank image
blank image
 
  Advanced Search
   

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Contacts
Content
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Virtual Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Scope
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review an Article
Referee Guidelines
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn

 

Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 62(10)

Rapid increase in coral cover on an isolated coral reef, the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve, north-western Australia

D. M. Ceccarelli A E G, Z. T. Richards A B F, M. S. Pratchett B and C. Cvitanovic C D

A UniQuest Pty Ltd, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.
B ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4814, Australia.
C ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
D Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, PO Box 787, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
E Present address: PO Box 215, Magnetic Island, Qld 4819, Australia.
F Present address: The Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.
G Corresponding author. Email: dmcecca@bigpond.net.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 62(10) 1214-1220 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF11013
Submitted: 21 January 2011  Accepted: 15 June 2011   Published: 29 September 2011


 
PDF (297 KB) $25
 Export Citation
 Print
  
Abstract

Against a background of coral reef ecosystem decline, understanding the propensity for coral communities to recover after acute disturbances is fundamental to forecasting and maintaining resilience. It may be expected that offshore reef ecosystems are less affected by anthropogenic disturbances compared with reefs closer to population centres, but that recovery may be slower on isolated reefs following disturbances. To test the hypothesis that community recovery is slow in isolated locations, we measured changes in coral cover and relative abundance of coral genera over a 4 year period (2005–09) at Ashmore Reef, north Western Australia, following severe bleaching. The percent cover of hard coral tripled, from 10.2% (±1.46 s.e.) in 2005 to 29.4% (±1.83 s.e.) in 2009 in all habitats (exposed and lagoonal) and depth zones (2–5 and 8–10 m), and the percent cover of soft corals doubled, from 4.5% (+0.63 s.e.) in 2005 to 8.3% (+1.4 s.e.) in 2009. Significant shifts in the taxonomic composition of hard corals were detected. Our results imply that coral recovery in isolated locations can occur rapidly after an initial delay in recruitment, presumably through the interacting effects of self-recruitment and reduced exposure to additive impacts such as coastal pollution.

Additional keywords: Alcyoniina, coral bleaching, coral recovery, resilience, Scleractinia, temporal dynamics.


References

Adjeroud, M., Michonneau, F., Edmunds, P. J., Chancerelle, Y., Lison Loma, T., Penin, L., Thibaut, L., Vidal-Dupiol, J., Salvat, B., and Galzin, R. (2009). Recurrent disturbances, recovery trajectories, and resilience of coral assemblages on a South Central Pacific reef. Coral Reefs 28, 775–780.
CrossRef |

Anthony, K. R. N., Maynard, J. A., Diaz-Pulido, G., Mumby, P. J., Marshall, P. A., Cao, L., and Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (2011). Ocean acidification and warming will lower coral reef resilience. Global Change Biology , .
CrossRef |

Ayre, D. J., and Hughes, T. (2004). Climate change, genotypic diversity and gene flow in reef building corals. Ecology Letters 7, 273–278.
CrossRef |

Bellwood, D. R., Hughes, T. P., Folke, C., and Nystrom, M. (2004). Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature 429, 827–833.
CrossRef | CAS |

Brown, B. E., and Suharsono, (1990). Damage and recovery of coral reefs affected by El Niño related seawater warming in the Thousand Islands, Indonesia. Coral Reefs 8, 163–170.
CrossRef |

Burt, J., Bartholomew, A., and Usseglio, P. (2008). Recovery of corals a decade after a bleaching event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Marine Biology 154, 27–36.
CrossRef |

Cheal, A. J., MacNeil, M. A., Cripps, E., Emslie, M. J., Jonker, M., Shaffelke, B., and Sweatman, H. (2010). Coral–macroalgal phase shifts or reef resilience: links with diversity and functional roles of herbivorous fishes on the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 29, 1005–1015.
CrossRef |

Cleary, D. F. R., Suharsono, , and Hoeksema, B. W. (2006). Coral diversity across a disturbance gradient in the Pulau Seribu reef complex off Jakarta, Indonesia. Biodiversity and Conservation 15, 3653–3674.
CrossRef |

Côté, I. R., Gill, J. A., Gardner, T. A., and Watkinson, A. R. (2005). Measuring coral reef decline through meta-analyses. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences 360, 385–395.
CrossRef |

Frankham, R., Ballow, J. D., and Briscoe, D. A. (2002). ‘Introduction to conservation genetics.’ (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)

Gardner, T. A., Côté, I. M., Gill, J. A., Grant, A., and Watkinson, A. R. (2005). Hurricanes and Caribbean coral reefs: impacts, recovery patterns, and role in long-term decline. Ecology 86, 174–184.
CrossRef |

Glynn, P. W. (2004). High complexity food webs in low-diversity eastern Pacific reefcoral communities. Ecosystems 7, 358–367.
CrossRef |

Graham, N. A. J., Wilson, S. K., Jennings, S., Polunin, N. V. C., Bijoux, J. P., and Robinson, J. (2006). Dynamic fragility of oceanic coral reef ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103, 8425–8429.
CrossRef | CAS |

Graham, N. A. J., Spalding, M., and Sheppard, C. R. C. (2010). Reef shark declines in remote atolls highlight the need for multi-faceted conservation action. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20, 543–548.
CrossRef |

Graham, N. A. J., Nash, K. L., and Kool, J. T. (2011). Coral reef recovery dynamics in a changing world. Coral Reefs 30, 283–294.
CrossRef |

Halford, A., Cheal, A. J., Ryan, D., and Williams, D. M. (2004). Resilience to large-scale disturbance in coral and fish assemblages on the Great Barrier Reef. Ecology 85, 1892–1905.
CrossRef |

Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (2011). Coral reef ecosystems and anthropogenic climate change. Regional Environmental Change 11, S215–S227.
CrossRef |

Hughes, T. P., Graham, N. A. J., Jackson, J. B. C., Mumby, P. J., and Steneck, R. S. (2010). Rising to the challenge of sustaining coral reef resilience. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25, 633–642.
CrossRef |

Jones, G. P., McCormick, M. I., Srinivasan, M., and Eagle, J. V. (2004). Coral decline threatens fish biodiversity in marine reserves. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101, 8251–8253.
CrossRef | CAS |

Kospartov, M., Beger, M., Ceccarelli, D., and Richards, Z. (2006). An assessment of the distribution and abundance of sea cucumbers, trochus, giant clams, coral, fish and invasive marine species at Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve and Cartier Island Marine Reserve: 2005. Report prepared by UniQuest Pty Ltd for the Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra, ACT.

Lourey, M. J., Ryan, D. A. J., and Miller, I. R. (2000). Rates of decline and recovery of coral cover on reefs impacted by, recovering from and unaffected by crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci: a regional perspective of the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Ecology Progress Series 196, 179–186.
CrossRef |

NOAA (2010). SST anomaly charts for the year 2003. Available at: http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/sst/anomaly_2003.html [accessed 8 June 2011].

Nyström, M., Graham, N. A. J., Lokrantz, J., and Norström, A. V. (2008). Capturing the cornerstones of coral reef resilience: linking theory to practice. Coral Reefs 27, 795–809.
CrossRef |

Pimm, S. L. (2009). Climate disruption and biodiversity. Current Biology 19, R595–R601.
CrossRef | CAS |

Pratchett, M. S., Wilson, S. K., Berumen, M. L., and McCormick, M. I. (2004). Sublethal effects of coral bleaching on an obligate coral feeding butterflyfish. Coral Reefs 23, 352–356.
CrossRef |

Pratchett, M. S., Munday, P. L., Wilson, S. K., Graham, N. A. J., Cinner, J. E., Bellwood, D. R., Jones, G. P., Polunin, N. V. C., and MacClanahan, T. R. (2008). Effects of climate-induced coral bleaching on coral-reef fishes – ecological and economic consequences. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 46, 251–296.
CrossRef |

Rees, M., Colquhoun, J., Smith, L., and Heyward, A. (2003). Surveys of Trochus, Holothuria, giant clams and the coral communities at Ashmore Reef, Cartier Reef and Mermaid Reef, Northwestern Australia: 2003. Report to the Department of Environment and Heritage by AIMS, Townsville, Qld.

Richards, Z. T., and Beger, M. (2011). A quantification of the standing stock of macro-debris in Majuro lagoon and its effect on hard coral communities. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62, 1693–1701.
| CAS |

Richards, Z., Beger, M., Hobbs, J. P., Bowling, T., Chong-Seng, K., and Pratchett, M. (2009). Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve and Cartier Island Marine Reserve – marine survey 2009. Report to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Townsville, Qld.

Riegl, B. M., and Purkis, S. J. (2009). Model of coral popualtion response to accelerated bleaching and mass mortality in a changing climate. Ecological Modelling 220, 192–208.
CrossRef |

Robertson, D. N., and Butler, M. J. (2009). Variable reproductive success in fragmented populations. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 377, 84–92.
CrossRef |

Sheppard, C. (2009). Large temperature plunges recorded by data loggers at different depths on an Indian Ocean atoll: comparison with satellite data and relevance to coral refuges. Coral Reefs 28, 399–403.
CrossRef |

Sheppard, C. R. C., Spalding, M., Bradshaw, C., and Wilson, S. (2002). Erosion v. recovery of coral reefs after 1998 El Niño: Chagos reefs, Indian Ocean. Ambio 31, 40–48.

Skewes, T. D., Dennis, D. M., Jacobs, D. R., Gordon, S. R., Taranto, T. J., Haywood, M., Pitcher, C. R., Smith, G. P., Milton, D., and Poiner, I. R. (1999). ‘Survey and stock size estimates of the shallow reef (0–15 m deep) and shoal area (15–50 m deep) marine resources and habitat mapping within the Timor Sea MOU74 Box.’ (CSIRO Marine Research: Hobart.)

Smith, L. D., Gilmour, J. P., and Heyward, A. J. (2008). Resilience of coral communities on an isolated system of reefs following catastrophic mass-bleaching. Coral Reefs 27, 197–205.
CrossRef |

Underwood, J. N., Smith, L. D., van Oppen, M. J. H., and Gilmour, J. P. (2009). Ecologically relevant dispersal of corals on isolated reefs: implications for managing resilience. Ecological Applications 19, 18–29.
CrossRef |

van der Meij, S. E. T., Suharsono, , and Hoeksema, B. W. (2010). Long-term changes in coral assemblages under natural and anthropogenic stress in Jakarta Bay (1920–2005). Marine Pollution Bulletin 60, 1442–1454.
CrossRef | CAS |

Wakeford, M., Done, T. J., and Johnson, C. R. (2008). Decadal trends in a coral community and evidence of changed disturbance regime. Coral Reefs 27, 1–13.
CrossRef |

Worm, B., Barbier, E. B., Beaumont, N., Duffy, J. E., Folke, C., Halpern, B. S., Jackson, J. B. C., Lotze, H. K., Micheli, F., Palumbi, S. R., Sala, E., Selkoe, K. A., Stachowicz, J. J., and Watson, R. (2007). Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services. Science 318, 1737–1742.


   
Subscriber Login
Username:
Password:  

 
    
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help

CSIRO

© CSIRO 1996-2016