Reef Plan monitoring of inshore coral reef communities, Great Barrier Reef (RRMMP)

Monitoring has been carried out on inshore reefs since 2005. Benthic community monitoring program variables: percent cover of benthic organisms (hard corals, soft corals and macroalgae); settlement of coral larvae (numbers of spat settling to tiles) and densities of juvenile corals; numbers of genera; size distributions of coral colonies; prevalence of coral diseases; composition of benthic Foraminifera communities. Sediment sample variables: grain size fractions; nitrogen; organic, inorganic and total carbon. Geographic areas (note not all locations have all data in all years) relate to Natural Resource Management (NRM): Wet Tropics NRM, Burdekin NRM, Mackay Whitsunday NRM, Fitzroy NRM. Reef locations: Barren Island, Daydream Island, Dent Island, Double Cone Island, Dunk Island, Fitzroy Island, Frankland Group, Geoffrey Bay, Havannah Island, High Island, Hook Island, Humpy & Halfway Island, King Reef, Lady Elliot Reef, Middle Island, Middle Reef, North Barnard Group, North Keppel Island, Orpheus Island, Pandora Reef, Peak Island, Pelican Island, Pelorus Island, Pine Island, Seaforth Island, Shute & Tancred Island, Snapper Island, Cape Tribulation fringing reefs.

Data monitors the condition of coral community characteristics on inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. This dataset is associated with another dataset on inshore water quality under Reef Plan MMP (see separate metadata record) The objective of the biological monitoring of nearshore reefs is to document trends in the benthic reef communities on selected nearshore reefs. These changes may be due to acute disturbances such as cyclonic winds, bleaching and crown-of-thorns starfish as well as those related to land runoff (e.g. floods), which disrupt processes of recovery such as recruitment and growth.

These data are collected in conjunction with another dataset: Inshore Water Quality as part of the Reef Rescue Marine Monitoring Program. Data-series from Cape Tribulation Fringing reefs was ceased in 2006 Benthic Cover from pre 2007 was estimated from video frames, from 2007 on from digital photos Sampling of coral size classes changed from 5 by 10m long transects at each site and depth and all coral sizes in 2005 and 2006 to only sizes 0-2cm, 2-5cm and 5-10cm in 5 by 20m long transects from 2007 on. Sampling design: coral community attributes are monitored at both 2m and 5m depths below lowest astronomical tide at each of two sites on each reef. Within site and depth combinations are five 20m transects marked with steel pickets at the beginning and steel rod at the middle and each end. Markers are maintained through time. Benthic cover is estimated from digital photos taken at 50cm intervals along the upslope side of the marked transects. Incidence of coral mortality and disease are counted within 2m wide belts centred on the marked transects. Small size-class corals are counted within 34cm wide belts on the upslope side of the marked transects. Sediment samples are collected from deposits along the 5m deep transects using cut off 100ml syringe tubes to collect a 1cm deep sediment plugs. Sediment trap data and current data are available for a subset of reefs and limited duration. Temperature data-series are available from most reefs.

Custodian
Thompson, Angus, Mr Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Point Of Contact
Data Manager, AIMS Data Centre Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) adc@aims.gov.au

34 temporal extents spanning 08 Apr 2005 to 23 Oct 2013


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Data Cite
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). 2016, Reef Plan monitoring of inshore coral reef communities, Great Barrier Reef (RRMMP), http://data.aims.gov.au/metadataviewer/faces/view.xhtml?uuid=c30cfb2d-46be-4837-9733-9bb60489b65b, accessed 25/05/2016
Data Quality Lineage Statement
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