AJCC  Vol.2 No.2 , June 2013
Coral Reef Populations in the Caribbean: Is There a Case for Better Protection against Climate Change?
ABSTRACT
Knowledge of factors that are important in coral reef growth help us to understand how reef ecosystems react following major environmental disturbances due to climate change and other anthropogenic effects. This study shows that despite a range of anthropogenic stressors, corals on the fringing reefs south of Kingston harbour, as well as corals on fringing reefs on the north coast of Jamaica near Discovery Bay can survive and grow. Skewness values for Sidastrea siderea and Porites astreoides were positive (0.85 - 1.64) for all sites, implying more small colonies than large colonies. Coral growth rates are part of a demographic approach to monitoring coral reef health in times of climate change, and linear extension rates (mm.yr-1) of Acropora palmata branching corals at Dairy Bull, Rio Bueno, and Pear Tree Bottom on the north coast of Jamaica were c. 50 - 90 mm.year-1 from 2005-2012. The range of small-scale rugosities at the Port Royal cay sites studied was lower than that at the Discovery Bay sites; for example Rio Bueno was 1.05 ± 0.15 and Dairy Bull the most rugose at 2.3 ± 0.16. Diary Bull reef has for several years been the fringing reef with the most coral cover, with a benthic community similar to that of the 1970s. We discuss whether Jamaica can learn from methods used in other Caribbean countries to better protect its coral reefs against climate change. Establishing and maintaining fully-protected marine parks in Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean is one tool to help the future of the fishing industry in developing countries. Developing MPAs as part of an overall climate change policy for a country may be the best way of integrating climate change into MPA planning, management, and evaluation.

Cite this paper
M. Crabbe, "Coral Reef Populations in the Caribbean: Is There a Case for Better Protection against Climate Change?," American Journal of Climate Change, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2013, pp. 97-105. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.22010.
References
[1]   T. A. Gardner, I. M. Coté, J. A. Gill, A. Grant and A.R. Watkinson, “Long-Term Region-Wide Declines in Caribbean Corals,” Science, Vol. 301, No. 5635, 2003, pp. 958-960. doi:10.1126/science.1086050

[2]   C. M. Eakin, J. A. Morgan, S. F. Heron, T. B. Smith, G. Liu, L. Alvarez-Filip, B. Baca, E. Bartels, C. Bastidas, C. Bouchon, M. Brandt, A. Bruckner, L. Bunkley-Williams, A. Cameron, B. D. Causey, M. Chiappone, T. R. L. Christensen, M. J. C. Crabbe, O. Day, E. de la Guardia, G. Díaz-Pulido, D. DiResta, D. L. Gil-Agudelo, D. Gilliam, R. Ginsburg, S. Gore, H. M. Guzman, J. C. Hendee, E. A. Hernández-Delgado, E. Husain, C. F. G. Jeffrey, R. J. Jones, E. Jordán-Dahlgren, L. Kaufman, D. I. Kline, P. Kramer, J. C. Lang, D. Lirman, J. Mallela, C. Manfrino, J.-P. Maréchal, K. Marks, J. Mihaly, W. J. Miller, E. M. Mueller, E. Muller, C. A. Orozco Toro, H. A. Oxenford, D. Ponce-Taylor, N. Quinn, K. B. Ritchie, S. Rodríguez, A. Rodríguez Ramírez, S. Romano, J. F. Samhouri, J. A. Sánchez, G. P. Schmahl, B. Shank, W. J. Skirving, S. C. C. Steiner, E. Villamizar, S. M. Walsh, C. Walter, E. Weil, E. H. Williams, Woody K. Roberson and Y. Yusuf, “Caribbean Corals in Crisis: Record Thermal Stress, Bleaching, and Mortality in 2005,” PLOS ONE, Vol. 5, No. 11, 2010, Article ID: e13969. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013969

[3]   L. Alvarez-Filip, J. A. Gill, N. K. Dulvy, A. L. Perry, A. R. Watkinson and I. M. Coté, “Drivers of Region-Wide Declines in Architectural Complexity on Caribbean Reefs,” Coral Reefs, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2011, pp. 1051-1060. doi:10.1007/s00338-011-0795-6

[4]   R. Rodolfo-Metalpa, F. Houlbréque, E. Tambutté, F. Biosson, C. Baggini, F. P. Patti, R. Jefree, M. Fine, A. Foggo, J-P. Gattuso and J. M. Hall-Spencer, “Coral and Mollusc Resistance to Ocean Acidification Adversely Affected by Warming,” Nature Climate Change, Vol. 1, 2011, pp. 308-312. doi:10.1038/nclimate1200

[5]   J. D. Woodley, E. A. Chornesky, P. A. Clifford, J. B. C. Jackson, L. S. Kaufman, N. Knowlton, J. C. Lang, M. P. Pearson, J. W. Porter, M. C. Rooney, K. W. Rylaarsdam, V. J. Tunnicliffe, C. M. Wahle, J. L. Wulff, A. S. G. Curtis, M. D. Dallmeyer, B. P. Jupp, M. A. R. Koehl, J. Neigel and E. M. Sides, “Hurricane Allen’s Impact on Jamaican Coral Reefs,” Science, Vol. 214, No. 4522, 1981, pp. 749-755.

[6]   M. J. C. Crabbe, J. M. Mendes and G. F. Warner, Lack of Recruitment of Non-Branching Corals in Discovery Bay Is Linked to Severe Storms,” Bulletin of Marine Science, Vol. 70, 2002, pp. 939-945.

[7]   J. Mallela and M. J. C. Crabbe, “Hurricanes and Coral Bleaching Linked to Changes in Coral Recruitment in Tobago,” Marine Environmental Research, Vol. 68, No. 4, 2009, pp. 158-162. doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2009.06.001

[8]   J. B. C. Jackson, “Reefs since Columbus,” Proceedings of the 8th International Coral Reef Symposium, Vol. 1, 1997, pp. 97-106.

[9]   J. P. Hawkins and C. M. Roberts, “Effects of Artisanal Fishing on Caribbean Coral Reefs,” Conservation Biology, Vol. 18, No. 1, Conservation Biology, Vol. 18, 2004, pp. 215-226. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00328.x

[10]   T. P. Hughes, “Catastrophes, Phase Shifts and LargeScale Degradation of a Caribbean Coral Reef,” Science, Vol. 265, No. 5178, 1994, pp. 1547-1551. doi:10.1126/science.265.5178.1547

[11]   R. B. Aronson and W. F. Precht, “Evolutionary Paleoecology of Caribbean Coral Reefs,” In: W. D. Allmon and D. J. Bottjer, Eds., Evolutionary Paleoecology: The Ecological Context of Macroevolutionary Change, Columbia University Press, New York, 2001, pp. 171-233.

[12]   A. M. Greenaway and D.-A. Gordon-Smith, “The Effects of Rainfall on the Distribution of Inorganic Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Discovery Bay, Jamaica,” Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 51, 2006, pp. 2206-2220.

[13]   E. H. I. Meesters, M. Hilterman, E. Kardinaal, M. Keetman, M. de Vries and R. P. M. Bak, “Colony Size-Frequency Distributions of Scleractinian Coral Populations: Spatial and Interspecific Variation,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 209, 2001, pp. 43-54.

[14]   L. D. Smith, M. Devlin, D. Haynes and J. Gilmour, “A Demographic Approach to Monitoring the Health of Coral Reefs,” Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 51, No. 1-4, 2005, pp. 399-407. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2004.11.021

[15]   Monitoring Report, “Final Monitoring Report, Dredging and Reclamation Programme in Kingston Harbour,” National Environmental Protection Agency, Jamaica, 29 November 2002. http://www.nrca.org/publications/coastal/monitoring_rep/reports/MONITORING_REPORTFnl.pdf

[16]   B. A. Wade, L. Antonio and R. Mahon, “Increasing Organic Pollution in Kingston Harbour, Jamaica,” Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 7, 1972, pp. 106-111. doi:10.1016/0025-326X(72)90251-2

[17]   A. Mansingh and A. Wilson, “Insecticide Contamination of Jamaican Environment III. Baseline Studies on the Status of Insecticidal Pollution of Kingston Harbour,” Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 30, No. 10, 1995, pp. 640-645. doi:10.1016/0025-326X(95)00038-O

[18]   J. E. Andrews, A. M. Greenaway, G. R. Bigg, D. F. Webber, P. F. Dennis and G. A. Guthrie, “Pollution History of a Tropical Estuary Revealed by Combined Hydrodynamic Modelling and Sediment Geochemistry,” Journal of Marine Systems, Vol. 18, No. 4, 1999, pp. 333-343. doi:10.1016/S0924-7963(98)00019-0

[19]   A. M. Maxam and D. F. Webber, “Using the Distribution of Physicochemical Variables to Portray Reefal Bay Waters,” Journal of Coastal Research, Vol. 25, No. 6, 2009, pp. 1210-1221. doi:10.2112/08-1046.1

[20]   M. J. C. Crabbe, “The Influence of Extreme Climate Events on Models of Coral Colony Recruitment and Survival in the Caribbean,” American Journal of Climate Change, Vol. 1, 2012, pp. 33-40. doi:10.4236/ajcc.2012.11003

[21]   M. Huston, “Variation of Coral Growth Rates with Depth at Discovery Bay, Jamaica,” Coral Reefs, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1985, pp. 19-25. doi:10.1007/BF00302200

[22]   T. P. Hughes and J. B. C. Jackson, “Do Corals Lie about Their Age? Some Demographic Consequences of Partial Mortality, Fission, and Fusion,” Science, Vol. 209, No. 4457, 1980, pp. 713-715. doi:10.1126/science.209.4457.713

[23]   N. L. Foster, I. B. Baums and P. J. Mumby, “Sexual vs Asexual Reproduction in an Ecosystem Engineer: The Massive Coral Montastrea annularis,” Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 76, No. 2, 2007, pp. 384-391. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01207.x

[24]   Z. H. Zar, “Biostatistical Analysis,” 4th Edition, Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, 1999, p. 663.

[25]   M. J. C. Crabbe, “Topography and Spatial Arrangement of Reef-Building Corals on the Fringing Reefs of North Jamaica May Influence Their Response to Disturbance from Bleaching,” Marine Environmental Research, Vol. 69, No. 3, 2010, pp. 158-162. doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2009.09.007

[26]   A. R. Harborne, P. J. Mumby and R. Ferrari, “The Effectiveness of Different Meso-Scale Rugosity Metrics for Predicting Intra-Habitat Variation in Coral Reef Assemblages,” Environmental Biology of Fishes Vol. 94, 2012, pp. 431-442. doi:10.1007/s10641-011-9956-2

[27]   J. A. Idjadi, S. C. Lee, J. F. Bruno, W. F. Precht, L. Allen-Requa and P. J. Edmunds, “Rapid Phase-Shift Reversal on a Jamaican Coral Reef,” Coral Reefs, Vol. 25, 2006, pp. 209-211.

[28]   I. Westfield, S. Dworkin, R. Bonem and E. Lane, “Identification of Sediment Sources Using Geochemical Fingerprinting at Pear Tree Bottom Reef, Runaway Bay, Jamaica,” Abstracts of the 11th International Coral Reef Society, 2008, p. 137.

[29]   G. Roff and P. J. Mumby, “Global Disparity in the Resilience of Coral Reefs,” Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 27, No. 7, 2012, pp. 404-413. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2012.04.007

[30]   P. M. H. Gayle, P. Wilson-Kelly and S. Green, V. S. Flood, J. M. Pitt and S. R. Smith, “Transplantation of Benthic Species to Mitigate Impacts of Coastal Developments in Jamaica,” Revista de Biologia Tropical, Vol. 53,2005, pp. 105-115.

[31]   V. S. Flood, J. M. Pitt and S. R. Smith, “Historical and Ecological Analysis of Coral Communities in Castle Harbour (Bermuda) after More than a Century of Environmental Perturbation,” Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 51, No. 5-7, 2005, pp. 545-557. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.07.010

[32]   N. J. Quinn and B. L. Kojis, “The Recent Collapse of a Rapid Phase-Shift Reversal on a Jamaican North Coast Reef after the 2005 Bleaching Event,” International Journal of Tropical Biology, Vol. 56, Suppl. 1, 2008, pp. 149-159. doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2009.01.003

[33]   M. J. C. Crabbe, “Scleractinian Coral Population Size Structures and Growth Rates Indicate Coral Resilience on the Fringing Reefs of North Jamaica,” Marine Environmental Research, Vol. 67, No. 4-5, 2009, pp. 189-198.

[34]   F. R. Gell and C. M. Roberts, “Benefits beyond Boundaries: The Fishery Effects of Marine Reserves,” Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 18, 2003, pp. 448-455. doi:10.1016/S0169-5347(03)00189-7

[35]   S. Macia, M. P. Robinson and A. Nalevanko, “Experimental Dispersal of Recovering Diadema antillarum increases Grazing Intensity and Reduces Macroalgal Abundance on a Coral Reef,” Marine Ecology-Progress Series, Vol. 348, 2007, pp. 173-182. doi:10.3354/meps06962

[36]   I. M. Co té and E. S. Darling, “Rethinking Ecosystem Resilience in the Face of Climate Change,” PLoS Biology, Vol. 8, No. 7, 2010, Article ID: e1000438. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000438

[37]   T. P. Hughes, N. A. J. Graham, J. B. C. Jackson, P. J. Mumby and R. S. Stenek, “Rising to the Challenge of Sustaining Coral Reef Resilience,” Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 25, No. 11, 2010, pp. 633-642. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2010.07.011

[38]   C. Mora and P. F. Sale, “Ongoing Global Biodiversity Loss and the Need to Move beyond Protected Areas: A Review of the Technical and Practical Shortcomings of Protected Areas on Land and Sea,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 434, 2011, pp. 251-266. doi:10.3354/meps09214

[39]   FAO, “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture,” FAO, Rome, 2012. http://www.fao.org/corp/statistics/en/

[40]   World Bank, “Global Financial Development Report 2013: Rethinking the Role of the State in Finance,” World Bank, New York, 2012. http://data.worldbank.org/

[41]   IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), “2012 Report on Caribbean Coral Reefs,” IUCN.

[42]   L. Jones, P. M. Alcolado, Y. Cala, D. Cobián, V. Coelho, A. Hernández, R. Jones, J. Mallela and C. Manfrino, “The Effects of Coral Bleaching in the Northern Caribbean and Western Atlantic,” In: C. Wilkinson and D. Souter, Eds., Status of Caribbean Coral Reefs after Bleaching and Hurricanes in 2005, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, and Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Townsville, 2008, pp. 73-83.

[43]   F. Micheli, A. Saenz-Arroyo, A. Greenley, L. Vazquez, J. A. E. Montes, M. Rossetto and G. A. Leo, “Evidence that Marine Reserves Enhance Resilience to Climatic Impacts,” PLoS ONE, Vol. 7, No. 7, 2012, Article ID: e-40832 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040832

[44]   Z. Sary, H. A. Oxenford and J. D. Woodley, “Effects of an Increase in Trap Mesh Size on an Over-Exploited Coral Reef Fishery at Discovery Bay, Jamaica,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 154, 1997, pp. 107-120. doi:10.3354/meps154107

[45]   B. E. Huntington, M. Karnauskas and D. Lirman, “Corals Fail to Recover at a Caribbean Marine Reserve Despite Ten Years of Reserve Designation,” Coral Reefs, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2012, pp. 1077-1085. doi:10.1007/s00338-011-0809-4

[46]   C. Doropoulos, S. Ward, G. Diaz-Pulido, O. HoeghGuldberg and P. J. Mumby, “Ocean Acidification Reduces Coral Recruitment by Disrupting Intimate Larval-Algal Settlement Interactions,” Ecology Letters, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2012, pp. 338-346. doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01743.x

[47]   K. Frieler, M. Meinhausen, A. Golly, M. Mengel, K. Lebek, S. D. Donner and O. Hoegh-Guldberg, “Limiting Global Warming to 2℃ Is Unlikely to Save Most Coral Reefs,” Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, 2013, pp. 165170. doi:10.1038/nclimate1674

[48]   E. R. Selig, K. S. Casey and J. F. Bruno, “Temperature-Driven Coral Decline: The Role of Marine Protected Areas,” Global Change Biology, Vol. 18, No. 5, 2012, pp. 1561-1570. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02658.x

[49]   B. D. Keller, D. F. Gleason, E. McLeod, C. M. Woodley, S. Airame, B. D. Causey, A. M. Friedlander, R. GroberDunsmore, J. E. Johnson, S. L. Miller and R. S. Steneck, “Climate Change, Coral Reef Ecosystems, and Management Options for Marine Protected Areas,” Environmental Management, Vol. 44, No. 6, 2009, pp. 1069-1088. doi:10.1007/s00267-009-9346-0

[50]   P. Soderholm, “Modeling the Economic Costs of Climate Policy: An Overview,” American Journal of Climate Change, Vol. 1 No. 1, 2012, pp. 14-32. doi:10.4236/ajcc.2012.11002

 
 
Top