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
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 www.buccooreeftrust.org
34. ResultsOverall 66%of hard coralbleached!!At some sites over 85%bleachedReport available at www.buccooreeftrust.org
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