Assessment of the resilience of coral reefs to natural and human disturbances by means of recruitment panels in Indo-Pacific

Colagiovanni, Alessandro (2016) Assessment of the resilience of coral reefs to natural and human disturbances by means of recruitment panels in Indo-Pacific. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna, Documento ad accesso riservato.
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Indo-Pacific region encompasses about 75% of world's coral reefs, but hard coral cover in this region experienced a 32% region-wide decline since 1970s. This great change is primarily ascribable to natural and anthropogenic pressures, including climate change and human activities effects. Coral reef conservation requires management strategies oriented to maintain their diversity and the capacity to provide ecosystem goods and services. Coral reef resilience, i.e. the capacity to recover after disturbances, is critical to their long-term persistence. The aims of the present study were to design and to test field experiments intended to measure changes in recruitment processes, as a fundamental aspect of the coral reef resilience. Recruitment experiments, using artificial panels suspended in the water column, were carried out in two Indo-Pacific locations affected by different disturbances: a new mine in Bangka Island (Indonesia), and the increased sedimentation due to coastal dynamics in Vavvaru Island (Maldives). One (or more) putatively disturbed site(s) was selected to be tested against 3 randomly selected control sites. Panels’ arrangement simulates 2 proximities to living corals, i.e. the sources of propagules: few centimetres and 2 meters over. Panels were deployed simultaneously at each site and left submerged for about five months. Recruits were identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level and recruited assemblages were analysed in terms of percent cover. In general it was not possible to detect significant differences between the benthic assemblages recruited in disturbed and control sites. The high variability observed in recruits assemblages structure among control sites may be so large to mask the possible disturbance effects. Only few taxa showed possible effects of the disturb they undergo. The field tests have highlighted strengths and weaknesses of the proposed approach and, based on these results, some possible improvements were suggested.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Colagiovanni, Alessandro
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
coral-reef, siltation, recruitment, resilience, mining
Data di discussione della Tesi
18 Febbraio 2016

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