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Coral Reef Recovery Subsequent to the Freshwater Kill of 1965

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Title:Coral Reef Recovery Subsequent to the Freshwater Kill of 1965
Authors:Holthus, Paul F.
Maragos, James E.
Evans, Christopher W.
Date Issued:Apr 1989
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Holthus PF, Maragos JE, Evans CW. 1989. Coral reef recovery subsequent to the freshwater kill of 1965. Pac Sci 43(2): 122-134.
Abstract:The reef coral community on the landward side of a patch reef
near Kahaluu in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii was resurveyed 18 yr after all live
coral was killed by a thick lens of freshwater runoff from a flashflood in 1965.
The initial phase of recovery of the reef was documented from 1968 to 1973. A
resurvey of the reef was conducted in 1983, using the same methods as the 1973
study. Species, abundance, and distribution of corals on the patch reef were
measured and recorded along a series of 10 transects. Results show large increases
in size and numbers of colonies, area, and depth range covered by corals.
Greatest coral abundance was reported in the upper 5 m, but community
diversity did not increase because the fast-growing finger coral, Porites compressa,
became more dominant. The pattern of coral community succession at this
sheltered location was similar to that observed at other environments in the
Hawaiian Archipelago. Recovery appears to be rapid in protected, low-wave-energy
environments such as Kaneohe Bay, which are infrequently affected by major disturbances. Almost 20 yr after major disturbance, the Kahaluu patch
reef slope coral community is approaching the climax conditions of other reef
slope communities in Kaneohe Bay not disturbed by the 1965 flashflood.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 43, Number 2, 1989

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