Temporal variation in a coral reef community at Pattaya Bay, Gulf of Thailand
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Changes in the fringing coral reef community of a small island (Ko Nok) at Pattaya Bay, Gulf of Thailand, were examined at the beginning and at the end of a 3-year period using 7m×7m permanent quadrats for benthic organisms, and visual census along 100m transects for fish. The coral community was dominated by Porites lutea in terms of colony number and areal cover throughout the period. Variations in the community structure parameters on opposite sides of the island indicated increasing dissimilarity with time. Little variation in live coral cover was noted, but colony number and species diversity declined on both sides. The abundance of edible fish species dropped while that of non-edible species increased over the 3-year period, indicating selective removal of the former category through fishing. Impacts from both human and natural influences are implicated in these changes.
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