Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 169–177 | Cite as

Response of the coral reef benthos and herbivory to fishery closure management and the 1998 ENSO disturbance

  • T. R. McClanahan
Global Change Ecology - Original Paper

Abstract

The hypothesis that herbivory is higher in areas without fishing and will increase the rate at which hard coral communities return to pre-disturbance conditions was tested in and out of the marine protected areas (MPA) of Kenya after the 1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Herbivory was estimated by assay and biomass methods, and both methods indicated higher herbivory in fishery closures. Despite higher herbivory, the effect of the ENSO disturbance was larger within these closures, with reefs undergoing a temporary transition from dominance by hard and soft coral to a temporary dominance of turf and erect algae that ended in the dominance of calcifying algae, massive Porites, Pocillopora and a few faviids six years after the disturbance. The fished reefs changed the least but had a greater cover of turf and erect algae and sponge shortly after the disturbance. Higher herbivory in the fishery closures reduced the abundance and persistence of herbivore-susceptible erect algae and created space and appropriate substratum for recruiting corals. Nonetheless, other post-settlement processes may have had strong influences such that annual rates of coral recovery were low (∼2%) and not different between the management regimes. Recovery, as defined as and measured by the return to pre-disturbance coral cover and the dominant taxa, was slower in fishery closures than unmanaged reefs.

Keywords

Algae Bleaching Climate change Indian Ocean Marine protected areas Succession 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I thank H. Machano Ali, R. Arthur, A. Kamukuru, B. Kaunda-Arara, R. Kiambo, J. Maina, S. Mangi, J. Mariara, N. Muthiga, S. Mwachireya, H. Peters, and M. J. Rodriques for assistance with the fieldwork and E. Darling and J. Omukoto for help with the statistics, graphs, and tables. The Wildlife Conservation Society funded the research and the Kenya Wildlife Service granted permission to work in the parks and provided logistic support. Kenya’s Ministry of Science and Technology provided research clearance.

References

  1. Bellwood DR, Hughes TP, Folke C, Nystrom M (2004) Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature 429:827–833PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carreiro-Silva M, McClanahan TR (2001) Echinoid bioerosion and herbivory on Kenyan coral reefs: the role of protection from fishing. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 262:133–153PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cole J, Dunbar R, McClanahan T, Muthiga N (2000) Tropical Pacific forcing of decadal variability in SST in the western Indian Ocean. Science 287:617–619PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Field A (2005) Discovering statistics using SPSS, 2nd edn. Sage, London, p 779Google Scholar
  5. Fox HE (2005) Rapid coral growth on reef rehabilitation treatments in Komodo National Park, Indonesia. Coral Reefs 24:263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Goreau T, McClanahan T, Hayes R, Strong A (2000) Conservation of coral reefs after the 1998 global bleaching event. Conserv Biol 14:5–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Harrington L, Fabricius FH, De’ath G, Negri A (2004) Recognition and selection of settlement substrata determines post-settlement survival in corals. Ecology 85:3428–3437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hay ME (1991) Fish–seaweed interactions on coral reefs: effects of herbivorous fishes and adaptations of their prey. In: Sale PF (ed) The ecology of coral reef fishes. Academic, New York, pp 96–119Google Scholar
  9. Hill MO, Gauch HGJ (1980) Detrended correspondence analysis, an improved ordination technique. Vegetation 42:47–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hoegh-Guldberg O (1999) Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world’s coral reefs. Mar Freshw Res 50:839–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Holling CS (2001) Understanding the complexity of economic, ecological, and social systems. Ecosystems 4:390–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hughes TP, Baird AH, Bellwood DR, Card M, Connolly SR, Folke C, Grosberg R, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Jackson JBC, Kleypas J, Lough JM, Marshall P, Nystrom M, Palumbi S, Pandolfi JM, Rosen B, Rougharden J (2003) Climate change, human impacts, and the resilience of coral reefs. Science 301:929–933PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hughes TP et al. (2007) Phase shifts, herbivory, and resilience of coral reefs to climate change. Curr Biol 17(4):360–365Google Scholar
  14. Ives AR, Carpenter SR (2007) Stability and diversity of ecosystems. Science 317:58–62PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jones GP, McCormick MI, Srinivasan M, Eagle JV (2004) Coral decline threatens fish biodiversity in marine reserves. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:8251–8258PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. King AW, Pimm SI (1983) Complexity, diversity, and stability: a reconciliation of theoretical and empirical results. Am Nat 122:229–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lewis SA (1986) The role of herbivorous fishes in the organization of a Caribbean reef community. Ecol Monogr 56:183–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Littler MM, Littler DS (1980) The evolution of thallus form and survival strategies in benthic marine macroalgae: field and laboratory tests of a functional form model. Am Nat 116:25–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. McClanahan TR (1992) Resource utilization, competition and predation: a model and example from coral reef grazers. Ecol Modell 61:195–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McClanahan TR (2002) The near future of coral reefs. Environ Conserv 29:460–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McClanahan TR, Shafir SH (1990) Causes and consequences of sea urchin abundance and diversity in Kenyan coral reef lagoons. Oecologia 83:362–370Google Scholar
  22. McClanahan TR, Kaunda-Arara B (1996) Fishery recovery in a coral-reef marine park and its effect on the adjacent fishery. Conserv Biol 10:1187–1199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McClanahan TR, Obura DO (1996) Coral reefs and nearshore fisheries. In: McClanahan TR, Young TP (eds) East African ecosystems and their conservation. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 67–99Google Scholar
  24. McClanahan TR, Maina J (2003) Response of coral assemblages to the interaction between natural temperature variation and rare warm-water events. Ecosystems 6:551–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McClanahan TR, Nugues M, Mwachireya S (1994) Fish and sea urchin herbivory and competition in Kenyan coral reef lagoons: the role of reef management. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 184:237–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McClanahan TR, Muthiga NA, Mangi S (2001) Coral and algal response to the 1998 coral bleaching and mortality: interaction with reef management and herbivores on Kenyan reefs. Coral Reefs 19:380–391Google Scholar
  27. McClanahan TR, McLaughlin SM, Davy JE, Wilson WH, Peters EC, Price KL, Maina J (2004) Observations of a new source of coral mortality along the Kenyan coast. Hydrobiologia 530/531:469–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McClanahan TR, Maina J, Starger CJ, Herron-Perez P, Dusek E (2005) Detriments to post-bleaching recovery of corals. Coral Reefs 24:230–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McClanahan TR, Verheij E, Maina J (2006) Comparing management effectiveness of a marine park and a multiple-use collaborative fisheries management area in East Africa. Aquat Conserv 16:147–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McClanahan TR, Ateweberhan M, Muhando C, Maina J, Mohammed SM (2007a) Effects of climate and seawater temperature variation on coral bleaching and mortality. Ecol Monogr 77(4) (in press)Google Scholar
  31. McClanahan TR et al. (2007b) Western Indian Ocean coral communities, bleaching responses, and susceptibility to extinction. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 337:1–13Google Scholar
  32. Morse ANC, Iwao K, Baba M, Shimoike K, Hayashibara T, Omori M (1996) An ancient chemosensory mechanism brings new life to coral reefs. Biol Bull 191:149–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mumby PJ, Dahlgren CP, Harborne AR, Kappel CV, Micheli F, Brumbaugh DR, Holmes KE, Mendes J, Broad K, Sanchirico JN, Buch K, Box S, Stoffle RW, Gill AB (2006) Fishing, trophic cascades, and the process of grazing on coral reefs. Science 311:98–101PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Saji NH, Goswami BN, Vinayachandran PN,Yamagata (1999) A dipole mode in the tropical Indian Ocean. Nature 401:360–363PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Sall J, Lehmaan A, Creighton L (2001) JMP start statistics, 2nd edn. Thomson Learning/Duxbury, Belmont, CAGoogle Scholar
  36. Sheppard CRC (2003) Predicted recurrences of mass coral mortality in the Indian Ocean. Nature 425:294–297PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Soong K, Chen T (2003) Coral transplantation: regeneration and growth of Acropora fragments in a nursery. Rest Ecol 11:62–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Steneck RS (1986) The ecology of coraline algal crusts: convergent patterns and adaptive strategies. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 17:273–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tamelander J (2002) Coral recruitment following a mass mortality event. Ambio 31:551–557PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. West JM, Salm RV (2003) Resistance and resilience to coral bleaching: implications for coral reef conservation and management. Conserv Biol 17:956–967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Williams ID, Polunin VC, Hendrick VJ (2001) Limits to grazing by herbivorous fishes and the impact of low coral cover on macroalgal abundance on a coral reef in Belize. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 222:187–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Programs, Wildlife Conservation SocietyBronxUSA
  2. 2.MombasaKenya

Personalised recommendations