| || || Lal, Ronal R.|
| || || Coral settlement, survivability, and diversity in a heavily stressed urban reef environment in the Fiji Islands|
Author:Lal, Ronal R.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Coral reef ecology -- Fiji, Coral communities -- Fiji
Call No.: pac QL 377 .C5 L35 2016
Copyright:Over 80% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: A relic inshore reef ecosystem located 400 meters from the Fijian capital City of Suva and adjacent industrial area was monitored monthly from July 2014 to July 2015 for coral cover, recruitment rates, sedimentation rates, light intensity, temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen magnitudes (primary inshore site). Five permanent quadrats, five settlement tile racks, five sediment traps, and two light and temperature loggers were deployed in this primary site; and in a control site with a similar depth profile located offshore (control offshore site). Despite a major sewage spill disaster in Suva Harbour in December 2014, the stressed inshore primary site recorded higher coral species diversity and similar abundances in comparison to the offshore control site. A significant decrease in coral cover was observed between July 2014 (27.10%) and January 2015 (20.33%) in the primary site; however, no significant decrease was seen in July 2015 (18.47%). Coral spat abundance on artificial substrata (6720 cm 2 per site) was similar for both sites except for Family Poritidae; with relatively similar total yearly spat abundance between sites: 106 spat inshore, 132 spat offshore. Annual sedimentation was significantly higher in the inshore primary site (657.14 g.cm 2 ), compared to the offshore control site (371.52 g.cm 2 ). Particulate Organic Matter (POM) was also significantly higher in the inshore location (107.51 g.cm 2 ), compared to the control site (43.37 g.cm 2 ). Mean light intensity was significantly lower for the primary site (69.81 lum/ft 2 ) compared to the control site (239.26 lum/ft 2 ), with Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) also lower for the inshore site (800- 1066.66 μmol m2 s 1 ) compared to the offshore site (3266.66-3600 μmol m2 s 1 ). Mean ambient site temperature was consistently similar for the inshore and offshore sites; 26.87°C and 26.86°C respectively