RECOVERY AND REORGANISATIONS OF CORAL REEFS DUE TO THE COMBINED EFFECT OF OCEAN WARMING AND ACIDIFICATION IN THE GULF OF MANNAR AND PALK BAY, INDIA
Episodic bleaching phenomena occurred around the globe since 1998 recurrently including India. Recurrent bleaching incidences resulted in the loss of live coral cover along with the changes in the coral community structure of the reefs. After the 1998 and 2002 massive bleaching phenomena in the Gulf of Mannar and the adjacent Palk Bay, significant recovery of live coral cover was observed. Conversely, after the 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2013 bleaching incidences, coral cover has continued to decline in response to multiple smaller bleaching events in the Palk bay reefs and Gulf of Mannar. Despite the severity of bleaching, recovery of coral species belongs to the families such as Porites, Favites, Montastrea, Favia, Platygyra, Symphillia and Goniastrea have been recorded. However, significant decline was also observed among the dominant reef builders belong to the families viz., Acropora, Montipora, Pocillopora and Galaxea in the reefs of Palk bay and some reefs in the Gulf of Mannar after successive bleaching events. In spite of the catastrophic bleaching events and associated triggering factors such as ocean acidification, data sets of the biophysical status of corals from 1996 to till date revealed that the transition of coral reef ecosystem with slight changes in the ecosystem functions in the reefs of Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay is evident. The study also stressed the need for strong commitment and management towards maintain ecosystem services of the coral reef ecosystem of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve and Palk Bay resilience by restoring healthy levels of herbivory, macroalgal cover, streamlining the fishing practices and monitor the coral recruitment.
Kannnan Jayakumar, K., MADURAI KAMARAJ UNIVERSITY, India, email@example.com
Location: 313 A
Presentation is given by student: No