Barry Lovelace's Coral Reef Presentation


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Presentation done for Coral Reef and Wetland Education Campaign in Tobago

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Barry Lovelace's Coral Reef Presentation

  1. 1. Keeping the Balance RightCoral ReefsCITIES UNDER THE SEAPresented by:Barry Lovelace, MSc.,Environmental Science Educator
  2. 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. 3. … are large underwater structures(ridges and mounds) built fromthe calcium carbonate (limestone)deposits of animals (mainly coralpolyps).What are Coral Reefs?
  4. 4. Coral Reef in Tobago
  5. 5. Coral ReefsOur Amazing
  6. 6. Largest brain coral in the WesternHemisphere at Speyside, Tobago
  7. 7. Coral ReefsCollage of colourful soft corals
  8. 8. Coral ReefsDiving between barrel sponges atSpeyside, Tobago
  9. 9. Coral ReefsManta ray at Speyside, Tobago
  10. 10. Coral ReefsFeather duster worm, Tobago
  11. 11. Coral ReefsYellow tube sponge, Tobago
  12. 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. 13. Why are Coral Reefs important?Coral reef-associatedTourism andRecreationContributed $130 million tothe national economy in 2006
  14. 14. Divers examine largest brain coral
  15. 15. Glass-bottom boat tours
  16. 16. Why are Coral Reefs important?Coral reef-associatedFisheriesprovide annual economic benefitsestimated $1.3 million
  17. 17. Important source of protein in the Caribbeanparrot fishparrot fishSpanishhogfishgruntsnappergrouper
  18. 18. Why are Coral Reefs important?ShorelineProtection Services of CoralReefsavoided erosion and storm damage fromwaves valued $33 million peryear
  19. 19. BuccooReefTobago’slargestfringing reefon the way tobecoming asmall barrierreef
  20. 20. Why are Coral Reefs important?Tourism and recreationFisheriesShoreline ProtectionUS$ 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. 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. 22. Found worldwide in tropical waters…..….warm, clear shallow water.
  23. 23. Coral Polyps build reefs
  24. 24. Most coralsconsist of manysmall animals(polyps) livingtogether in alarge group ora colony.Coral Polyps build reefs
  25. 25. •Tube-shaped body•SessileThePolypTentacles – capture foodMouth – ingests food; expels wasteGut – digests foodSkeleton (coralite cups) – protectivecalcium carbonate structureSkin – contains zooxanthellae
  26. 26. Sunlight(90%)Filter feeding(10%)The Polyp Gets Energy from:
  27. 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. 28. Energy from sunlightInner cellszooxanthellaesunlightCoral polyps retreat intotheir coralite cups duringday.Single-celled plants in skin(zooxanthellae), producefood (sugars) fromsunlight (photosynthesis).
  29. 29. Coral Bleaching!!!Inner cellszooxanthellaesunlight•Stress: Temperature rise•Polyp expelszooxanthellae•colony appears brilliantwhite•4 – 6 week of bleaching,corals would starve todeath.
  30. 30. SEPTEMBER 2005Bleaching of Fire Corals and Brain Coralsfirst observed!
  31. 31. OCTOBER 2005Bleaching spread to most coral species
  32. 32. OCTOBER 2005Buccoo Reef Trust and Coral CayConservation Team up to survey main reefsfor severity and extent of bleaching…
  33. 33. Method25 Sites were surveyed using PointIntercept TransectReport available at
  34. 34. ResultsOverall 66%of hard coralbleached!!At some sites over 85%bleachedReport available at
  35. 35. NOVEMBER 2005 -SEPTEMBER 2006Buccoo Reef Trust continue tomonitor reefs for recovery/mortality
  36. 36. Method8 stations were established from previoussurvey sites
  37. 37. At each station, 20 discrete colonies weretagged, photographed repeatedly, andanalyzed over the period the 10 month period
  38. 38. Results66% Bleached colonies:November 2005A Bleached colony
  39. 39. ResultsPartial Mortality:32.5%Some areas died: Sept. 2006A Bleached colony: Nov. 2005
  40. 40. ResultsNovember 2005A Bleached colony
  41. 41. ResultsTotal Mortality:6.6%Sept. 2006A Bleached colony: Nov. 2005
  42. 42. How do we dealwith CoralBleaching?Reduce stress fromhuman activities
  43. 43. Reef Walking…
  44. 44. …prevents small corals…
  45. 45. …and boat anchors…
  46. 46. …kill live corals.
  47. 47. Simple solutions to preventing anchor damage- Install moorings and reef demarcation buoys- Avoid reef walking and contact with corals
  48. 48. DrainAlgaeCoralWastewater
  49. 49. Runoff from cleared lands results insedimentation of water…Sediment kill reef
  50. 50. Introductionwww.buccooreef.orgSediment kill reef
  51. 51. Coral reefs are in crisis!!!• Less than 0.2% of ocean isreefs• Reefs are disappearing at analarming rate worldwide.
  52. 52. Coral reefs are in crisis!!!• 75% of the worlds coralreefs are currentlythreatened by local andglobal pressures (WRI)
  53. 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. 54. EDUCATE
  55. 55. SPEAK OUT!!
  56. 56. Thank you
  57. 57. BuccooReefTobago’slargestfringing reefon the way tobecoming asmall barrierreef