Kabbikane Reef back

Surveyed 18 February 2013.

The back of Kabbikane Reef is sheltered from 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 broken dropping off into deep water with no discernable bottom. The reef structure has few features including bommies.

The benthic community was dominated by hard coral, but sand and rubble were also common. Hard coral cover on the reef back was high composed mainly of Porites species. The dominant coral lifeform was massive, but other forms such as branching and sub-massive corals were also present in decreasing order of abundance. Coral bleaching was not present.

The fish abundance on the back of Kabbikane Reef was high. Conspicuous groups of reef fishes included pelagic predators, sweetlip, parrotfish, surgeonfish and damselfish. Crown-of-thorns starfish were observed on the back of Kabbikane Reef at incipient outbreak levels that may be expected to have some 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.

Uplifted reef rock on the beach shows that this area has not been immune to past tectonic activity.
Massive Porites spp. hard corals dominated the benthic community on this part of the reef.
Sandy areas such as this were a feature of the back reef.