Impact of two sequential super typhoons on coral reef communities in Palau

Gouezo, Marine, Golbuu, Yimnang, van Woesik, Robert, Rehm, Lincoln, Koshiba, Shirley and Doropoulos, Christopher (2015) Impact of two sequential super typhoons on coral reef communities in Palau. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 540 73-85. doi:10.3354/meps11518

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Author Gouezo, Marine
Golbuu, Yimnang
van Woesik, Robert
Rehm, Lincoln
Koshiba, Shirley
Doropoulos, Christopher
Title Impact of two sequential super typhoons on coral reef communities in Palau
Journal name Marine Ecology Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
Publication date 2015-11-26
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps11518
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 540
Start page 73
End page 85
Total pages 13
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Language eng
Abstract Typhoons generally develop in the warm tropics, but rarely damage coral reefs between the latitudes 10°N and 10°S because they intensify at higher latitudes. However, climate change is forcing anomalous weather patterns, and is causing typhoons to take less predictable trajectories. For the first time in 70 yr, in December 2012, a super typhoon passed near the island of Palau, located at 7°N in the western tropical Pacific Ocean. A year later, another super typhoon passed over the northern reefs of Palau. This study characterized the impacts of both typhoons on coral and fish assemblages in 3 habitats (i.e. outer reefs, patch reefs, and inner reefs) and at 2 depths (i.e. 3 and 10 m). Loss of coral cover was highest on the shallow, eastern slopes (~60% coral cover). Juvenile coral densities decreased along the western reef slope and on the inner reefs, where overall coral cover scarcely decreased. These results suggested a potential stock-recruitment relationship with corals on the damaged eastern reefs. Early successional corals, particularly pocilloporids, recruited 6 mo after the second typhoon. Fish communities were generally unaltered by the first typhoon, except small parrotfishes, which doubled in density along the eastern reef-slope and increased on the inner reefs following the second typhoon. In combination, these findings demonstrate high spatial variability in coral loss, overall decreases in juvenile corals, and increases in herbivorous fishes on a tropical reef system that has rarely experienced large typhoon waves.
Keyword Typhoon
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
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