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Maritime Advancement Award - Australian Navy 2010-1012

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Presentation to the Australian Naval Institute by Dr Ali Jones - Keppel Bay Islands coral mapping study - protecting reefs and fisheries is our own country is a way of protecting our borders - helping developing nations do the same is a way of protecting our maritime safety

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Maritime Advancement Award - Australian Navy 2010-1012

  1. 1. Marine ‘refugia’ in the Keppel region of the Great Barrier Reef The Maritime Advancement Award 2008-2010 Dr Alison Jones and Dr Ray Berkelmans Centre for Environmental Management, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton The Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville
  2. 2. The Keppels
  3. 3. Decline in live coral cover in the Florida Keys(Miller, 2009) %coralcover 3cm Florida
  4. 4. Caribbean Loss of live coral cover on Caribbean reefs (Gardner et al., 2003)
  5. 5. • Coastal development • Coral bleaching Causes of reef degradation
  6. 6. The Great Barrier Reef Sweatman H, et al. (2008) Status Report 8. AIMS, Long Term Monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef ~20% (1993-2006)
  7. 7. • Floods • Cyclones • Crown of Thorns starfish Natural threats to the Great Barrier Reef
  8. 8. Human influences • pollution • overfishing • anchors • coral collecting
  9. 9. • Ocean acidification • Coral bleaching
  10. 10. How do we keep them like this?
  11. 11. How have reefs survived in the past?
  12. 12. Age (Million years) Climate driven extinction of coral species (Kiessling, 2007)
  13. 13. Now let’s get this right, Only two of each species please…..
  14. 14. Zooxanthellae (plant) Coral polyp (animal) A successful partnership (symbiosis) +
  15. 15. zooxanthellae C2 D C1 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 coral C2 D C1 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 coral calcification Calcium + Carbonate
  16. 16. Disruption of the symbiosis
  17. 17. Phase shifts
  18. 18. Hard corals form the structure of reefs
  19. 19. How can we prevent this?
  20. 20. But do marine reserves protect corals? Marine reserves
  21. 21. The Maritime Advancement Award • Develop a better model of reef management • Based on coral resilience not on fish stocks • Identify and characterise coral ‘refugia’ • Protect these based on a ‘triage’ model
  22. 22. The ‘Triage’ Principle: ‘The assignation of priority on the basis of where resources are most likely to achieve success’……Merriam Webster Dictionary Reefs that won’t survive no matter what Reefs that will survive in spite of intervention Reefs that have a better chance of survival if we intervene
  23. 23. What are ‘refugia’ and how do they work?
  24. 24. Coral spawning
  25. 25. Fitzroy river Keppels Capricorn Bunker group Why the Keppels?
  26. 26. Landsat image from Geoscience Australia 1991
  27. 27. 2006 37% loss of live coral cover
  28. 28. 2009 Almost 100% recovery suggests that ‘refugia’ exist in the Keppels
  29. 29. The study • Choose 6 characteristics of good coral ‘refugia’ • Map 18 sites in the Keppels using the 6 characteristics • Produce a Google Earth Pro map of the sites • Choose ‘refugia’ based on the 6 characteristics
  30. 30. 18 sites
  31. 31. Six characteristics 1. Coral species number (biological diversity) 2. Percentage coral cover (previous damage) 3. Light (conditions for growth) 4. Temperature (bleaching resilience) 5. Zooxanthellae genotype (bleaching resilience) 6. Habitat variety (biological diversity)
  32. 32. CORAL SPECIES DIVERSITY Loss of species can affect a reef’s capacity to regenerate
  33. 33. Wide angle photo Close-up photo
  34. 34. Coral species number = species ‘richness’
  35. 35. ≥ 38 sp
  36. 36. Outer Pumpkin Humpy Bald PassageMiall Middle Monkey high species count
  37. 37. Characteristics of refugia Coral species number  Percent coral cover Light (kd) Temperature Zooxanthellae genotypes Habitat variety
  38. 38. CORAL COVER High cover suggests bleaching resilience and good growth conditions • 4-6 x 50m photographic transects • 25 photos per transect (100-150 photos per site) • Towed GPS – logged coordinates every 10 s • Imported images into Coral Point Count photo analysis software • Assessments of the amount of hard coral and macro-algae cover at each site
  39. 39. CPCeTM v3.1 (http://www.nova.edu/ocean/cpce/index.html)
  40. 40. > 50%
  41. 41. Outer Pumpkin Humpy Passage Middle Monkey high coral cover high species count
  42. 42. Characteristics of refugia Coral species number  Percent coral cover  Light (kd) Temperature Zooxanthellae genotypes Habitat variety
  43. 43. LIGHT (IRRADIANCE) Light enhances coral calcification coral absorption reflection Scattering (refraction) Water surface
  44. 44. sensor wiper
  45. 45. Irradiance (light) Irradiance (surface) depth (z) coralsensor
  46. 46. Light attenuation coefficient - Kd coral I = Isurface*(e– kd *z) kd = Ln [(I/I surface)] / z
  47. 47. 0.000 0.100 0.200 0.300 0.400 0.500 0.600 0.700 Middle Pumpkin Pelican Halftide BigPeninsular Halfway Clam Shelving Man&Wife Bald Coroboree Outer Wreck NthKeppel Monkey Barren Passage Egg Humpy kd light kd ≤ 0.40
  48. 48. Nth Keppel Humpy Passage Monkey Egg Barren Bald Wreck Pumpkin Outer high coral cover high species high light
  49. 49. Characteristics of refugia Coral species number  Percent coral cover  Light (kd)  Temperature Zooxanthellae genotypes Habitat variety
  50. 50. TEMPERATURE Warmer temperatures can stress coral and promote algal overgrowth= Average daily temperature ÷ average daily temperature at Humpy (coolest site) Odyssey data loggers Temperature logged every 30 mins at each site over 3 months in summer
  51. 51. cooler warmer ≤ 1.018
  52. 52. Barren Egg Man & Wife Humpy Miall Nth Keppel PassageMiddle Shelving Monkey high coral cover high species high light cool temp Pumpkin Outer
  53. 53. Characteristics of refugia Coral species number  Percent coral cover  Light (kd)  Temperature  Zooxanthellae genotypes Habitat variety
  54. 54. ZOOXANTHELLAE GENOTYPES (SYMBIONTS) The presence of thermally tolerant symbiont types D and C1 in the main reef-building corals can make the entire reef more resilient to bleaching C2 D C1
  55. 55. D D C1 D D D D D D D D D D D D UNBLEACHED BLEACHED C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 C2 D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D D C2D C1 C1
  56. 56. Molecular method of zooxanthellae genotype identification nrDNA
  57. 57. Barren Egg Man & Wife Humpy Miall Nth Keppel Passage Middle Shelving Monkey Pelican Big Peninsular Wreck Bald Outer Pumpkin symbionts high coral cover high species high light cool temp
  58. 58. Characteristics of refugia Coral species #  % Coral cover  Light (kd)  Temperature  Zooxanthellae genotypes  Habitat variety
  59. 59. HABITAT VARIETY The presence of both shallow and deep areas encourages biodiversity Reef flat Reef slope
  60. 60. Barren Egg Man & Wife Humpy Miall Nth Keppel Passage Middle Shelving Monkey Pelican Big Peninsular Wreck Bald Outer Pumpkin Deep and shallow symbionts high coral cover high species high light cool temp
  61. 61. Corals from the Family Faviidae
  62. 62. Characteristics of refugia Coral species #  % Coral cover  Light (kd)  Temperature  Zooxanthellae genotypes  Habitat variety 
  63. 63. SE wind driven current (JCU unpublished data) Northerly summer winds
  64. 64. 1 4 65 32 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18
  65. 65. Now let’s get this right, Only two of each species please…..
  66. 66. Where to from here? Reduce extraction Prevent anchor damage Enhance water quality
  67. 67. Fitzroy catchment Keppel Islands
  68. 68. Woolridge, 2009 Water quality and coral bleaching thresholds: Formalising the linkage for the inshore reefs of the GBR, Australia
  69. 69. Summary • We have developed a better model of reef management based on coral resilience • We have identified and characterised four likely coral ‘refugia’ in the Keppels • We will suggest these for increased future protection based on a ‘triage’ model
  70. 70. Coral ‘refugia’: an insurance policy for reefs facing climate change……?
  71. 71. Empowering people. Inspiring change. …revolutionising the use of public resources… …providing real world outcomes to enhance policy outcomes…
  72. 72. The music accompanying the following footage ‘Ai gama siasi – Oshen’ was written and played by Jason Hershey and Kayoka for the Asia Pacific Triennial (Papua New Guinea/Hawaii) is a dedication to the sponsors, collaborating partners and volunteers too numerous to mention…. GIS data in this presentation was supplied by the Australian Government, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Fitzroy Basin Association

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