Journal of Water Resources and Ocean Science
Volume 6, Issue 6, December 2017, Pages: 85-89
Received: Aug. 22, 2017;
Accepted: Oct. 16, 2017;
Published: Nov. 29, 2017
Views 2722 Downloads 111
Shaker Hamza Alhazeem, Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Resources Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, AlSalmyah, Kuwait
John A. Burt, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Adel Hasan Alsaffar, Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Resources Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, AlSalmyah, Kuwait
Weizhong Chen, Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Resources Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, AlSalmyah, Kuwait
Mohammad Abdulla Al-Kandari, Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Resources Program, Environment and Life Sciences Research Centre, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, AlSalmyah, Kuwait
Coral reefs in Kuwait occur at high latitude (29 N) and in in extreme environmental conditions (SST range: 13°C to 32°C, annually), and have been subject to chronic anthropogenic pressure in recent decades (recurrent bleaching, oil spills, chronic recreational anchoring and diving impacts). We surveyed coral communities at six sites around Kubbar Island in 2015 and compared these to quantitative survey results collected at the same sites 31 years earlier (1984) as well as to results from several sites resurveyed a decade ago (2003) in order to characterize changes in coral community structure in this marginal reef environment. Mean coral cover was 25% in 2015 compared with 34% in 1984, but declines in coral cover were significant at only one site. The decline in coral cover at this single site was mainly due to a >80% loss of formerly dominant Acropora, and a concomitant shift towards a lower cover community dominated by massive corals. A total of 13 coral genera were observed across sites, comparable to the 12 observed in 1984 and the 13 observed in 2003. Overall, the results of this study indicate a high degree of long term stability in coral community structure in the marginal and heavily disturbed environment of northern Kuwait.
Shaker Hamza Alhazeem,
John A. Burt,
Adel Hasan Alsaffar,
Mohammad Abdulla Al-Kandari,
Long-Term Coral Community Stability in a Disturbed Marginal Reef in Kuwait, Journal of Water Resources and Ocean Science.
Vol. 6, No. 6,
2017, pp. 85-89.
Downing, N., 1989. Final report: A study of the corals and coral reef fishes of Kuwait, Volume II: the reef building corals. Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (Project MB-42), Kuwait.
Benzoni, F., Pichon, M., Al-Hazeem, S., Gallo, P., 2006. The coral reefs of the northern Arabian Gulf: stability over time in extreme environmental conditions? Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, Okinawa, Japan, 969-975.
Carpenter, K., Harrison, P., Hodgson, G., Alsaffar, A., Alhazeem, S., 1997. The corals and coral reef fishes of Kuwait. Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait.
Downing, N., 1985. Coral reef communities in an extreme environment: the northwestern Arabian Gulf, Proceedings of the fifth International Coral Reef Congress (27 May -1 June, 1985), Tahiti, pp. 343-348.
Downing, N., Roberts, C., 1993. Has the Gulf War affected coral reefs of the northwestern Gulf? Mar Pollut Bull 27, 149-156.
Gerges, M. A., 1993. On the impacts of the 1991 Gulf War on the environment of the region: General observations. Mar Pollut Bull 27, 305-314.
Alsaffar, A. H., Lone, K. P., 2000. Reproductive cycles of Diadema setosum and Echinometra mathaei (Echinoidea: echinodermata) from Kuwait (northern Arabian Gulf). Bull Mar Sci 67, 845-856.
Downing, N., El-Zahr, C. R., 1987. Gut evacuation and filling rates in the rock-boring sea urchin, Echinometra mathae. Bull Mar Sci 41, 579-584.
Downing, N., 1988. The coral reefs and coral islands of Kuwait, Proceedings of the ROPME workshop on coastal area development. United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies No. 90/ROPME Publication No. GC-5/006, pp. 73-78.
Fadlallah, Y. H., Eakin, M., Allen, K., Rahim, R., Reaka-Kudla, M., Earle, S., 1993. Reef coral distribution and reproduction, community structure, and reef health (Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait): results of the RIV Mt. Mitchell Cruise, Proceedings of the Scientific Workshop on the Results of the Mt. Mitchell Cruise in the ROPME Sea Area, January 1993, Kuwait, pp. 1-26.
Bento R, Hoey AS, Bauman AG, Feary DA, Burt JA (2016) The implications of recurrent disturbances within the world's hottest coral reef. Mar Pollut Bull 105:466-472.
Burt, J., Al-Harthi, S., Al-Cibahy, A., 2011. Long-term impacts of bleaching events on the world’s warmest reefs. Mar Environ Res 72, 225-229.
Burt, J., Al-Khalifa, K., Khalaf, E., AlShuwaik, B., Abdulwahab, A., 2013. The continuing decline of coral reefs in Bahrain. Mar Pollut Bull 72, 357-363.
Burt JA, Smith EG, Warren C, Dupont J (2016) An assessment of Qatar's coral communities in a regional context. Mar Pollut Bull 105:473-479.
Riegl B, Purkis S (2015) Coral population dynamics across consecutive mass mortality events. Global Change Biology 21:3995-4005.
Riegl, B., Purkis, S., 2012. Dynamics of Gulf coral communities: observations and models from the world’s hottest coral sea, in: Riegl, B. M., Purkis, S. J. (Eds.), Coral reefs of the Gulf: adaptation to climatic extremes. Springer Science+Business Media B. V., pp. 71-93.
Hodgson, G., Carpenter, K., 1995. Scleractinian corals of Kuwait. Pac Sci 49, 227-246.
Buchanan JR, Krupp F, Burt JA, Feary DA, Ralph GM, Carpenter KE (2016) Living on the edge: Vulnerability of coral-dependent fishes in the Gulf. Mar Pollut Bull 105:480-488.