Disturbance, Recovery and Restoration of Kenyan Coral Reefs

Evidence for the degradation of Kenyan coral reefs is abundant but the means to restore and manage them is less well understood. Degradation studies show that there are often two terminal states of coral reefs: one where the reef is dominated by large fleshy algae and the second by abundant sea urchins. Summaries of studies are presented where sea urchins and fleshy algae were reduced in order to determine the effect of algal and sea urchin dominance on coral reefs as well as the effect of elimination of fishing on one coral reef. Studies indicate that reducing coral reef plant and animal pests work best if done in areas where fishing is reduced. Reduction of fishing in one coral reef produced a number of predicted changes in the reefs, including increased fish and coral cover and reduced sea urchin and algal turf abundance. There are few options to restoring reefs that will not require reduced fishing effort. Many reefs presently have low coral cover due to the coral bleaching and mortality in March 1998, so there is a need to increase coral reef restoration activities. (Source: Author Abstract).

Title: Disturbance, Recovery and Restoration of Kenyan Coral Reefs
Author: McClanahan, T.R.
Book title: Recent Advances in Coastal Ecology: Studies from Kenya
Editors: Hoorweg, J.
Muthiga, N.
Year: 2003
Pages: 21-33
City of publisher: Leiden
Publisher: African Studies Centre
Geographic term: Kenya
Discipline: Environment
Abstract: Evidence for the degradation of Kenyan coral reefs is abundant but the means to restore and manage them is less well understood. Degradation studies show that there are often two terminal states of coral reefs: one where the reef is dominated by large fleshy algae and the second by abundant sea urchins. Summaries of studies are presented where sea urchins and fleshy algae were reduced in order to determine the effect of algal and sea urchin dominance on coral reefs as well as the effect of elimination of fishing on one coral reef. Studies indicate that reducing coral reef plant and animal pests work best if done in areas where fishing is reduced. Reduction of fishing in one coral reef produced a number of predicted changes in the reefs, including increased fish and coral cover and reduced sea urchin and algal turf abundance. There are few options to restoring reefs that will not require reduced fishing effort. Many reefs presently have low coral cover due to the coral bleaching and mortality in March 1998, so there is a need to increase coral reef restoration activities. (Source: Author Abstract).