[Coral-List] New journal article: The relationship between macroalgae taxa and human disturbance on central Pacific coral reefs

Sara Cannon secanno at gmail.com
Fri May 24 19:19:17 UTC 2019

Hello everyone,

I am excited to share our new publication, out today in Marine Pollution

S.E. Cannon, Donner, S.D., Fenner, D., Beger, M. (2019). The relationship
between macroalgae taxa and human disturbance on central Pacific coral
reefs. *Marine Pollution Bulletin*, 145, 161-173.

Abstract: Climate change and human disturbance threaten coral reefs across
the Pacific, yet there is little consensus on what characterizes a
“healthy” reef. Benthic cover, particularly low coral cover and high
macroalgae cover, are often used as an indicator of reef degradation,
despite uncertainty about the typical algal community compositions
associated with either near-pristine or damaged reefs. In this study, we
examine differences in coral and algal community compositions and their
response to human disturbance and past heat stress, by analyzing 25 sites
along a gradient of human disturbance in Majuro and Arno Atolls of the
Republic of the Marshall Islands. Our results show that total macroalgae
cover indicators of reef degradation may mask the influence of local human
disturbance, with different taxa responding to disturbance differently.
Identifying macroalgae to a lower taxonomic level (e.g. the genus level) is
critical for a more accurate measure of Pacific coral reef health.

The paper is open access for the next 50 days using the following link:



Sara Cannon, M.Sc. (*she/her/hers*)
Ph.D. Candidate, University of British Columbia
Department of Geography, and the
Institute for Oceans and Fisheries

*I am grateful for the opportunity to live, work, and play on the unceded
and traditional homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam),
sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil Waututh) and Coast Salish

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