Kabbikane Reef first flank

Surveyed 18 February 2013.

The first flank of Kabbikane Reef is partly 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 vertical dropping off into approximately 20m of water. The reef structure has few features including bommies.

The benthic community was dominated by coralline/turf algae, but hard coral, soft coral and macro-algae were also common. Hard coral cover on the reef first flank was moderate with no one coral genus dominant. The dominant coral lifeform was massive, but other forms such as sub-massive, tabulate and branching corals were also present in decreasing order of abundance. Coral bleaching was not present.

The fish abundance on the first flank of Kabbikane Reef was moderate. Conspicuous groups of reef fishes included parrotfish and surgeonfish. Crown-of-thorns starfish were observed on the first flank of Kabbikane Reef below levels that may be expected to impact on live coral cover. White syndromes (such as white band disease or shutdown reaction) were present on hard corals.

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.

massive Porites spp. hard corals were a dominant feature on this part of the reef.
A coral trout looks on over this typical scene for this part of the reef.
Hard and soft corals on the reef slope. Constant grazing by urchins has created the crazy shape on the left.