Benthic shift in a Solomon Islands' lagoon: Corals to cyanobacteria

Albert, Simon, Dunbabin, Matthew, Skinner, Mark, Moore, Brad and Grinham, Alistair (2012). Benthic shift in a Solomon Islands' lagoon: Corals to cyanobacteria. In: D. Yellowlees and T. P. Hughes, Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, Australia, (). 9 -13 July 2012.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Albert, Simon
Dunbabin, Matthew
Skinner, Mark
Moore, Brad
Grinham, Alistair
Title of paper Benthic shift in a Solomon Islands' lagoon: Corals to cyanobacteria
Conference name 12th International Coral Reef Symposium
Conference location Cairns, Australia
Conference dates 9 -13 July 2012
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium
Place of Publication Townsville, Australia
Publisher James Cook University
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9780980857252
Editor D. Yellowlees
T. P. Hughes
Total pages 5
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
In June 2011 a large phytoplankton bloom resulted in a catastrophic mortality event that affected a large coastal embayment in the Solomon Islands. This consisted of an area in excess of 20 km2 of reef and soft sandy habitats in Marovo Lagoon, the largest double barrier lagoon in the world. This embayment is home to over 1200 people leading largely subsistence lifestyles depending on the impacted reefs for majority of their protein needs. A toxic diatom (Psuedo-nitzchia spp.) and toxic dinoflagellate (Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum) reached concentrations of millions of cells per litre. The senescent phytoplankton bloom led to complete de-oxygenation of the water column that reportedly caused substantial mortality of marine animal life in the immediate area within a rapid timeframe (24 h). Groups affected included holothurians, crabs and reef and pelagic fish species. Dolphins, reptiles and birds were also found dead within the area, indicating algal toxin accumulation in the food chain. Deep reefs and sediments, whilst initially unaffected, have now been blanketed in large cyanobacterial mats which have negatively impacted live coral cover especially within the deep reef zone (> 6 m depth). Reef recovery within the deep zone has been extremely slow and may indicate an alternative state for the system.
Keyword Cyanobacteria
Phase shift
Algal bloom
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Theme 11: Ecological dynamics, resilience & phase shifts; ICRS2012_11B_2

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2013 Collection
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Created: Sat, 04 Aug 2012, 23:05:02 EST by Dr Alistair Grinham on behalf of School of Civil Engineering