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Barry Lovelace's Coral Reef Presentation


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Presentation done for Coral Reef and Wetland Education Campaign in Tobago

Presentation done for Coral Reef and Wetland Education Campaign in Tobago

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  • 1. Keeping the Balance RightCoral ReefsCITIES UNDER THE SEAPresented by:Barry Lovelace, MSc.,Environmental Science Educator
  • 2. Coral ReefsOur AmazingVery Rich Biodiversity• Well over 1 million differentkinds of organisms sharesmall space (only 10% Identified)• Cities under the sea• Rainforest of the Sea
  • 3. … are large underwater structures(ridges and mounds) built fromthe calcium carbonate (limestone)deposits of animals (mainly coralpolyps).What are Coral Reefs?
  • 4. Coral Reef in Tobago
  • 5. Coral ReefsOur Amazing
  • 6. Largest brain coral in the WesternHemisphere at Speyside, Tobago
  • 7. Coral ReefsCollage of colourful soft corals
  • 8. Coral ReefsDiving between barrel sponges atSpeyside, Tobago
  • 9. Coral ReefsManta ray at Speyside, Tobago
  • 10. Coral ReefsFeather duster worm, Tobago
  • 11. Coral ReefsYellow tube sponge, Tobago
  • 12. Why areCoral Reefsimportant toT&T?In 2006 the World Resource Institute (WRI) presented theestimates of an economic valuation of several Caribbean reefs,Tobago included.
  • 13. Why are Coral Reefs important?Coral reef-associatedTourism andRecreationContributed $130 million tothe national economy in 2006
  • 14. Divers examine largest brain coral
  • 15. Glass-bottom boat tours
  • 16. Why are Coral Reefs important?Coral reef-associatedFisheriesprovide annual economic benefitsestimated $1.3 million
  • 17. Important source of protein in the Caribbeanparrot fishparrot fishSpanishhogfishgruntsnappergrouper
  • 18. Why are Coral Reefs important?ShorelineProtection Services of CoralReefsavoided erosion and storm damage fromwaves valued $33 million peryear
  • 19. BuccooReefTobago’slargestfringing reefon the way tobecoming asmall barrierreef
  • 20. Why are Coral Reefs important?Tourism and recreationFisheriesShoreline ProtectionUS$ 130US$ 1.3US$ 33US$ 164 MilThese are significant compared to Tobago’s GDP, whichwas US$286 million in 2006.Coral reefs provide other important values not capturedin study (beaches, cultural, pharmaceuticals).
  • 21. Understanding thethreats to coral reefsTemperature 21 to 29ºCSalinity >20pptWater Clarity/Light mostly above 30m asthey require sunlightFirm Base for attachmentWater Movement for food and oxygenOptimum conditions for survival
  • 22. Found worldwide in tropical waters…..….warm, clear shallow water.
  • 23. Coral Polyps build reefs
  • 24. Most coralsconsist of manysmall animals(polyps) livingtogether in alarge group ora colony.Coral Polyps build reefs
  • 25. •Tube-shaped body•SessileThePolypTentacles – capture foodMouth – ingests food; expels wasteGut – digests foodSkeleton (coralite cups) – protectivecalcium carbonate structureSkin – contains zooxanthellae
  • 26. Sunlight(90%)Filter feeding(10%)The Polyp Gets Energy from:
  • 27. Filter feeding nematocystzooplanktonAt night, polyps feed ontiny floating animals (zoo-plankton).They paralyse prey withstinging cells callednematocyst.Tentacles pass food to themouth which then getsdigested in the stomach.Waste is expelled throughmouth.
  • 28. Energy from sunlightInner cellszooxanthellaesunlightCoral polyps retreat intotheir coralite cups duringday.Single-celled plants in skin(zooxanthellae), producefood (sugars) fromsunlight (photosynthesis).
  • 29. Coral Bleaching!!!Inner cellszooxanthellaesunlight•Stress: Temperature rise•Polyp expelszooxanthellae•colony appears brilliantwhite•4 – 6 week of bleaching,corals would starve todeath.
  • 30. SEPTEMBER 2005Bleaching of Fire Corals and Brain Coralsfirst observed!
  • 31. OCTOBER 2005Bleaching spread to most coral species
  • 32. OCTOBER 2005Buccoo Reef Trust and Coral CayConservation Team up to survey main reefsfor severity and extent of bleaching…
  • 33. Method25 Sites were surveyed using PointIntercept TransectReport available at
  • 34. ResultsOverall 66%of hard coralbleached!!At some sites over 85%bleachedReport available at
  • 35. NOVEMBER 2005 -SEPTEMBER 2006Buccoo Reef Trust continue tomonitor reefs for recovery/mortality
  • 36. Method8 stations were established from previoussurvey sites
  • 37. At each station, 20 discrete colonies weretagged, photographed repeatedly, andanalyzed over the period the 10 month period
  • 38. Results66% Bleached colonies:November 2005A Bleached colony
  • 39. ResultsPartial Mortality:32.5%Some areas died: Sept. 2006A Bleached colony: Nov. 2005
  • 40. ResultsNovember 2005A Bleached colony
  • 41. ResultsTotal Mortality:6.6%Sept. 2006A Bleached colony: Nov. 2005
  • 42. How do we dealwith CoralBleaching?Reduce stress fromhuman activities
  • 43. Reef Walking…
  • 44. …prevents small corals…
  • 45. …and boat anchors…
  • 46. …kill live corals.
  • 47. Simple solutions to preventing anchor damage- Install moorings and reef demarcation buoys- Avoid reef walking and contact with corals
  • 48. DrainAlgaeCoralWastewater
  • 49. Runoff from cleared lands results insedimentation of water…Sediment kill reef
  • 50. Introductionwww.buccooreef.orgSediment kill reef
  • 51. Coral reefs are in crisis!!!• Less than 0.2% of ocean isreefs• Reefs are disappearing at analarming rate worldwide.
  • 52. Coral reefs are in crisis!!!• 75% of the worlds coralreefs are currentlythreatened by local andglobal pressures (WRI)
  • 53. Coral reefs are in crisis!!!• Left unchecked, the percentof threatened reefs willincrease to more than 90%by 2030 and to nearly allreefs by 2050
  • 54. EDUCATE
  • 55. SPEAK OUT!!
  • 56. Thank you
  • 57. BuccooReefTobago’slargestfringing reefon the way tobecoming asmall barrierreef