Project

About the project

Description

This study was undertaken to gather baseline data on demographic processes to improve our understanding of the fundamental population dynamics in relation to recruitment, growth and survival of reef building corals in the Pilbara. The purpose of this project was to use these data to enable predictions of the extent and rate of recovery of reef building corals which are primary producers, habitat formers and key benthic organisms in tropical coastal ecosystems including coral reefs.

Aims

  • To parameterize a demographic/recovery model of coral populations so as to predict the ability of coral populations and assemblages to recover from varying degrees of mortality caused by dredging and environmental disturbance.
  • To quantify the vital rates (recruitment, growth and survival) of populations of common corals in the Pilbara during a year of background conditions and applied these rates to matrix models to investigate which life history stages underlie the recovery of populations following disturbances.
  • Using the in situ vital rates and the resulting population model, simulate the relative effects of degraded water quality (turbidity, sedimentation) quantified experimentally for life history stages in WAMSI DSN Project 4.6 to understand impacts at a population level.

Details

Program: Dredging Science Program

Completed: April 2017

Location: Pilbara and Kimberley; Enderby, West Lewis Islands, Dampier Archipelago.

Project Leader: Russ Babcock

Email: info@wamsi.org.au

Publications

Final Report