Effect of Anthropogenic Activities on Coral Distribution at Onshore and Offshore Reefs Along the Egyptian Coast, Red Sea
Using SCUBA diving, Line Intercept Transect (LIT) and under water digital camera coral distribution at onshore and offshore reefs was surveyed in respect to the effect of anthropogenic activities. Four sites were selected during this study. The onshore sites comprised Ras Gharib Petroleum Company (site 1), impacted by oil pollution, and Old Al-Qusyer Harbour (site 2) impacted by phosphate shipping. While, the offshore sites were chosen at Small Gifton Island (site 3), and Abu Ramad Island (site 4); each was impacted by diving activities. The present results showed that, 70 species belonging to 23 genera, distributed within 18 families were recorded at the studied sites, of which, 26 species have massive lifeform, 23 branching, 5 encrusting, 6 solitary and only 2 species belong hydrocorals. In addition, 7 species of a hermatypic corals were also recorded. The present study indicated that, either onshore or offshore reefs showed coral decline, but onshore reefs have more degradations. The highest percent cover of dead corals was 29.1% and 34.4 %, recorded at onshore reefs, sites 1and 2, respectively. On contrast, the lowest percent cover was 28.1% and 4.4%, detected at offshore reefs of sites 3 and 4, respectively. On the other hand, site 1 (onshore reef) recorded the highest percent cover of soft corals (40.5%) from 36% the percent of live soft and hard corals, compared with 2.7% at site 4 (offshore reef) from the percent 61.2% of live soft and hard corals. Branching corals have remarkably higher percent (47%) at offshore (site 4) than that recorded (26.5%) at onshore (site 1). However, massive corals recorded relatively higher percent (52.2%) at offshore (site 3) than (50.4%) onshore (site 2). The offshore site 3 recorded the highest diversity (2.6) and highest richness (1.7), compared with the lowest diversity (2.29) and lowest richness (1.35) recoded at onshore site 1. The equability of distributions among species at the studied reefs were 0.83, 0.78, 0.73 and 0.75 at sites 1, 2, 3 & 4, respectively. At site 1, the stony coral Stylophora pistillata was the only abundant species, with non- expected big and thick branches, while most other corals were scarce. On contrast, Porites sp. was the most dominant at sites 2 &3; while the massive coral, Goniastrea retiformis was the most dominant species at site 4.
Montaser A. M. Al-Hammady,
Fattma M. A. Fouda,
Hussein N. M. Hussein,
Awad A. M. Elsyed,
Effect of Anthropogenic Activities on Coral Distribution at Onshore and Offshore Reefs Along the Egyptian Coast, Red Sea, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis. Special Issue: New Horizons in Environmental Science.
Vol. 3, No. 5-1,
2015, pp. 1-9.
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