[Coral-List] Publication Available: Determining Thermal Capacitance for PAN Design in Palau

Britt Parker britt.parker at noaa.gov
Thu Jan 21 11:36:03 EST 2010


I am very happy to announce the electronic publication of the Coral Reef 
Conservation Program Technical Memo #12: "Determining Thermal 
Capacitance for Protected Area Network Design in Palau".  
The Tech Memo can be found at 
http://coris.noaa.gov/activities/thermal_tech/.  Information on the Tech 
Memo follows.

Thank you

Skirving, W.J., S.F. Heron, C.R. Steinberg, C. McLean, B.A.A. Parker, 
C.M. Eakin, M.L. Heron, A.E. Strong, and L.F. Arzayus. 2010. 
/Determining Thermal Capacitance for Protected Area Network Design in 
Palau/. Silver Spring, MD: NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. NOAA 
Technical Memorandum CRCP 12. 317 pp.

During the latter half of 1998, Palau experienced unprecedented 
bleaching that resulted in significant mortality and the loss of 
significant proportions of one of the few remaining pristine coral reefs 
in the world. Prior to 1998 and since 1998, little to no ecologically 
significant coral bleaching has been observed.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Palau Government joined forces to 
design and implement a protected areas network (PAN) for Palau's coral 
reef ecosystem. A PAN is best described as a series of marine protected 
areas (MPAs). They recognized bleaching as being potentially one of the 
major future threats to the Palau coral reef ecosystem. However, with 
only one poorly documented bleaching event on record, it is difficult to 
gain enough experience to be able to build resilience to these events 
into the PAN.  In parallel with this effort to design a PAN for Palau, 
NOAA and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) were 
collaborating on the use of hydrodynamic models to predict heat stress 
during a bleaching event. In 2003, it was decided to combine these 
efforts and for NOAA and AIMS to produce a heat stress model for Palau 
for use in the PAN planning as an attempt to identify factors that might 
confer resilience to climate change.

The work described in the main body of this Technical Report represents 
an important new tool for Marine Protected Area (MPA) design. Prior to 
this project, the design of MPAs was based on species diversity alone 
and some socioeconomic considerations. Prior to this work, there had not 
been a serious attempt to include physical variables to build resilience 
against climate change, and in particular coral bleaching, into MPA 
design.   This project demonstrated that a simplistic physical model can 
be used to improve MPA planning to incorporate resilience against future 
coral bleaching events.
Appendix 1 presents a comprehensive overview of the data collected and 
allows a brief view of some of the time series collected. These time 
series are of sufficient length to undertake a tidal current analysis 
for hind-casting or prediction.  Appendices 2 and 3 are publications 
that came out of the modeling effort in Palau.

**Contact: William.Skirving at noaa.gov

Britt Parker
Program Specialist, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
IMSG at NOAA/NESDIS Coral Reef Watch
E/RA31, SSMC1, Room 5307, 1335 East West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
Phone: (301) 713-2857 x132      Fax: (301) 713-3136
Email: Britt.Parker at noaa.gov  Web: www.coralreef.noaa.gov

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