Kabbikane Reef second flank

Surveyed 18 February 2013.

The second 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 steep dropping off into approximately 15m of water to a steep sloping reef base composed mainly of sand and rubble. The reef structure has few features including bommies.

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

The fish abundance on the second flank of Kabbikane Reef was moderate. Conspicuous groups of reef fishes included parrotfish, surgeonfish, damselfish and sweetlip. Crown-of-thorns starfish were observed on the second flank of Kabbikane 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.

A massive Porites sp. hard coral provides a framework for many other types of hard corals to grow on.
View looking along the reef slope showing one of many sandy areas.
Acropora spp. hard coral recruits growing on an old dead relative shows the future for this reef remains bright,