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Hawai'i Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Spatial Patterns and Temporal Dynamics in Reef Coral Communities

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Title: Hawai'i Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Spatial Patterns and Temporal Dynamics in Reef Coral Communities
Authors: Jokiel, Paul L.
Brown, Eric K.
Friedlander, Alan
Rodgers, S. Ku'ulei
Smith, William R.
Issue Date: Apr 2004
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Jokiel PL, Brown EK, Friedlander A, Rodgers SK, Smith WR. 2004. Hawai'i coral reef assessment and monitoring program: spatial patterns and temporal dynamics in reef coral communities. Pac Sci 58(2): 159-174.
Abstract: The Hawai'i Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program
(CRAMP) was established to describe the spatial and temporal variation in Hawaiian
coral reef communities in relation to natural and anthropogenic factors.
Sixty permanent reef sites stratified by depth have been monitored in the main
Hawaiian Islands since 1999 and formed the basis for analysis of temporal
change over the initial 3-yr period. A rapid assessment technique (RAT) was
developed to supplement the monitoring site data and provide much wider
geographic coverage, but with a focus on spatial patterns rather than temporal
change. Analysis of these data supports and amplifies the results of many other
ecological studies on Hawaiian reefs. The data revealed that the major natural
factors influencing reef coral community structure in Hawai'i include depth,
wave height, wave direction, island age, rugosity, and sediment grain size. Possible
anthropogenic influences and trends also appeared in the data. Areas of
decline appear to be concentrated on islands with high human population or in
areas suffering from extensive sedimentation. Reefs receiving high terrigenous
runoff contain sediments with high organic content. Spatial analysis showed an
inverse relationship between percentage organics and coral species richness and
diversity. Reef coral communities can undergo natural oscillations over a period
of years, so continuation of the CRAMP longer-term monitoring is required to
establish long-term (decadal) environmental trends.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 58, Number 2, 2004

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