Summary of Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission No. IO50-03-0035PresentationPoster

NATURAL AND ANTHROPOGENIC IMPACTS ON THE CORALS OF PALK BAY

B Manikandan*1, J Ravindran1

1 National Institute of Oceanography, India

ABSTRACT :

Synergistic action of Natural and Anthropogenic impacts elevated the risk of extinction of corals. A deeper insight in to the reef process is essential to draw specific management practices to conserve these ecosystems. In this study, we monitored the community dynamics, coral recruitment pattern, reef fish assemblage and the bleaching and recovery patterns of corals in Palk Bay reef, India. The coral recruitment pattern varied spatially across the Palk Bay reef and it showed the presence of reef connectivity. The annual recruitment rate of corals ranged between 3-12 recruits 10 m-2. Seasonal bloom of macroalgae reduced the healthy live coral cover by 4% in a year. The reef fishing activities further exaggerated the loss of corals by strengthening the turf algal competition, as >90% of the live corals exhibited partial mortality due to turf algal colonization. In total, 53.6% of the corals were severely bleached as the average sea surface temperature rose >30 C and the corals recovered without mortality. Evaluation of the natural and anthropogenic disturbances to the Palk Bay coral communities indicated, the reef fishing activities and seasonal bloom of macro algae are of greatest concern and needs management intervention.