Aureed Reef front

Surveyed 16 February 2013.

The front of Aureed Reef is exposed to the prevailing wind and sea conditions found within the lagoon of the Great Barrier Reef. Manta tow surveys were conducted on the reef slope. The reef slope is generally moderate dropping off into deep water with no discernable bottom. The reef structure has few features including bommies and pavement.

The benthic community was dominated by coralline/turf algae, but hard coral and soft coral were also common. Hard coral cover on the reef front was moderate composed mainly of Acropora species. The dominant coral lifeform was branching, but other forms such as tabulate, encrusting and massive corals were also present in decreasing order of abundance. Coral bleaching was not present.

The fish abundance on the front of Aureed Reef was moderate. Conspicuous groups of reef fishes included parrotfish, surgeonfish, damselfish and snapper. Crown-of-thorns starfish were observed on the front of Aureed Reef below levels that may be expected to impact on live coral cover.

Changes in zone-wide live coral cover through time. Points indicate median coral cover in a given survey year. Solid line indicates a moving average taken over three (preceding, actual and following) survey years.

Beds of macroalgae (mainly Sargassum spp.) were a feature of the upper reef slope and reef flat.
Further down the slope there was less macroalgae but coral cover was still sparse. Here schools of herbivores (surgeon and parrot fish) go about their business.
Hard and soft corals growing on the reef slope in amongst sand and macroalgae.