Presentation Title

Long-Term Rehabilitation Within Roatán's Coral Reef System

Presenter Information

Talyssa TopacioFollow

Faculty Mentor

Roy Houston, PhD

Start Date

18-11-2017 12:30 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 1:30 PM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 41

Session

Poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Long-Term Rehabilitation Within Roatán's Coral Reef System

Author: Talyssa Topacio, Loyola Marymount University

Mentor: Roy Houston, PhD., Prof. Emeritus Loyola Marymount University

Long term studies of coral reefs off the northwest coast of Roatán, Hondouras have documented significant changes in reef composition following the events of natural bleaching and Hurricane Mitch during Fall 1998. In years since, researchers at the Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) have observed a trend in stabilization of living hard coral quantities 50% lower than census data prior to 1998. While this stabilization indicates lack of severe degradation of the reef systems within the RIMS Marine Park, it suggests little to no positive net growth and rehabilitation towards original conditions. To model these studies, point intercept line transect data was collected for two randomly selected reef sites within the RIMS Marine Park. The percentage of living hard coral species was analyzed for diversity and compared to data pre- and post-1998. This data showed a similar trend of stabilization, exemplifying the beneficial impact of active restoration on coral communities. RIMS has suggested that in order to facilitate positive growth of reef systems within their protected Marine Park, active restoration efforts are necessary. By utilizing the fast-growing and reef-building properties of Acroporii sp. as well as weather-withstanding infrastructure, RIMS’ first coral nursery has proved to be successful. As anthropogenic development on land persists, the importance of assisted recovery amongst the Roatán reef system can be a key factor in recovering and ensuring the productivity and longevity of this complex marine ecosystem.

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Nov 18th, 12:30 PM Nov 18th, 1:30 PM

Long-Term Rehabilitation Within Roatán's Coral Reef System

BSC-Ursa Minor 41

Long-Term Rehabilitation Within Roatán's Coral Reef System

Author: Talyssa Topacio, Loyola Marymount University

Mentor: Roy Houston, PhD., Prof. Emeritus Loyola Marymount University

Long term studies of coral reefs off the northwest coast of Roatán, Hondouras have documented significant changes in reef composition following the events of natural bleaching and Hurricane Mitch during Fall 1998. In years since, researchers at the Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) have observed a trend in stabilization of living hard coral quantities 50% lower than census data prior to 1998. While this stabilization indicates lack of severe degradation of the reef systems within the RIMS Marine Park, it suggests little to no positive net growth and rehabilitation towards original conditions. To model these studies, point intercept line transect data was collected for two randomly selected reef sites within the RIMS Marine Park. The percentage of living hard coral species was analyzed for diversity and compared to data pre- and post-1998. This data showed a similar trend of stabilization, exemplifying the beneficial impact of active restoration on coral communities. RIMS has suggested that in order to facilitate positive growth of reef systems within their protected Marine Park, active restoration efforts are necessary. By utilizing the fast-growing and reef-building properties of Acroporii sp. as well as weather-withstanding infrastructure, RIMS’ first coral nursery has proved to be successful. As anthropogenic development on land persists, the importance of assisted recovery amongst the Roatán reef system can be a key factor in recovering and ensuring the productivity and longevity of this complex marine ecosystem.