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The ecology of shipwrecks : an assessment of biodiversity

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Item Summary

Title: The ecology of shipwrecks : an assessment of biodiversity
Authors: Smith, Derek Michael
Keywords: shipwreck
coral reef ecosystems
Issue Date: Dec 2010
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2010]
Abstract: Coral reef ecosystems are influenced by disturbances at many temporal and spatial scales. The magnitude, frequency, and duration of these events determine initial and continued impacts on the environment. Predation and grazing, bioerosion, storms and hurricanes, and epidemic disease in part make up a dynamic set of interacting disturbances referred to as the natural disturbance regime of coral reefs (Nyström et al., 2000). Coral reefs have been evolving within the context of these events for millions of years and this regime has shaped the diversity of species and structure of coral reef communities today (Pandolfi, 1999; Kaufmann and Fagerstrom, 1993). Conversely, localized and widespread anthropogenic disturbances are a relatively recent addition to the suite of impacts coral reefs organisms must endure. An ever-growing body of scientific literature addresses current and predicted anthropogenic disturbance effects on coral reefs, including diverse topics such as ocean acidification, shoreline development, sedimentation, and overfishing (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2007, Jokiel and Brown, 2004, Friedlander and DeMartini, 2002). However, it is still difficult to determine the relative contribution and importance of natural and anthropogenic impacts at varying temporal and spatial scales (Gardner et al., 2005).
The purpose of this research was to determine if each shipwreck site studied has a distinct ecosystem and if there are residual effects from shipwreck disturbances that manifest as differences between wreck and surrounding coral reef communities. The ecological survey data collected allowed for a comparative analysis among sites to identify patterns in reef recovery. These data also established a baseline for continued monitoring and conservation efforts. The results of this study will help inform future management decisions regarding the preservation and protection of these historic and cultural resources.
Description: M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:M.S. - Zoology

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