Catch of the Week
Seaweed Blooms and Coral Reef Health

Seaweed Blooms and Coral Reef Health

Catch of the Week

In this special CTKN focus article, CTI Pacific technical editor and CTKN contributor Jay Maclean looks into how ‘seemingly natural’ events can have significant impacts on coral reef health.

The thick forest of red alga Hypnea sp. on the southern Calumpang Peninsula reef, March 2015. (Photo by: Marlon Maclean)

The thick forest of red alga Hypnea sp. on the southern Calumpang Peninsula reef, March 2015. (Photo by: Marlon Maclean)

Coral reef communities can be badly affected by ‘natural’ events such as typhoons, coral bleaching, crown-of-thorns starfish invasions, freshwater flooding, etc., sometimes with the result that macroalgae are able to thrive, smother the corals and take over as the dominant organisms on the reef.

Over the past 20 years, the coral reef communities around Anilao, Batangas, a province in Southern Luzon, Philippines, have bounced back from crown-of-thorns starfish plagues and bleaching events in recent years. In addition, the reefs have endured growing fishing pressure over the years that lowered subsistence fish catches around the peninsula.

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