[Coral-List] Re: Sakanan-Thailand (Dida)

Robert Richmond richmond at hawaii.edu
Thu Jan 20 16:31:33 EST 2005

In response to the e-mail forwarded by Dida Kutz from Sakanan:
...." We also need a recommendation for proper research i.e., restoration research, rehabiliation process, and
also the further impact on growth and reproduction of damaged corals" ...
experience from Guam may be of help.
1) Guam is in the typhoon belt, and the reefs there are subjected to powerful waves whenever a typhoon hits (albeit smaller than the tsunami, but for longer periods of time).  Following these storms, substantial amounts of debris are washed into the coastal zone.  Reef cleanup efforts (the largest funded by NOAA following a "Supertyphoon" ) were helpful in reducing additional reef damage and supporting recovery.  Tons of building material, clothes, plastic and other debris were removed by volunteers.
2) Following large typhoons during the months of December and January, corals spawned "on-cycle" in June and July.  While many branching and plating corals were broken back to their bases, even colony remnants of suitable size spawned viable gametes.
3) For natural recovery to occur, efforts should be made to return water and substratum quality to optimal levels.  The larvae of many acroporid corals preferntially settle on crustose coralline algae, and hence fleshy algae, sediment and debris covering the bottom will reduce levels of coral larval recruitment.
4) Following strong typhoons that damaged reef areas across Micronesia, crustose coralline algal cover returned quickly in areas where water and substratum quality were good, and subsequently, coral recruitment levels were also good.
the punchline: the most effective means of promoting coral reef recovery is to restore those conditions that allow natural recovery to occur.  Cleanup efforts in coastal areas will help, as will efforts on land to reduce watershed/land-based discharges of sediment and pollutants.

Best wishes,

Bob Richmond

Robert H. Richmond, Ph.D.
Research Professor
Kewalo Marine Laboratory
Pacific Biomedical Research Center
University of Hawaii at Manoa
41 Ahui Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: 808-539-7331
Fax: 808-599-4817
e-mail: richmond at hawaii.edu

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