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Diversity 2010, 2(6), 881-896; doi:10.3390/d2060881

Coral Ecosystem Resilience, Conservation and Management on the Reefs of Jamaica in the Face of Anthropogenic Activities and Climate Change

LIRANS Institute for Research in the Applied Natural Sciences, Faculty of Creative Arts, Technologies and Science, University of Bedfordshire, Park Square, Luton, LU1 3JU, UK
Received: 13 March 2010 / Revised: 26 April 2010 / Accepted: 18 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management)
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Abstract

Knowledge of factors that are important in reef resilience and integrity help us understand how reef ecosystems react following major anthropogenic and environmental disturbances. The North Jamaican fringing reefs have shown some recent resilience to acute disturbances from hurricanes and bleaching, in addition to the recurring chronic stressors of over-fishing and land development. Factors that can improve coral reef resilience are reviewed, and reef rugosity is shown to correlate with coral cover and growth, particularly for branching Acropora species. The biodiversity index for the Jamaican reefs was lowered after the 2005 mass bleaching event, as were the numbers of coral colonies, but both had recovered by 2009. The importance of coastal zone reef management strategies and the economic value of reefs are discussed, and a protocol is suggested for future management of Jamaican reefs.
Keywords: tropical storms; hurricanes; economics; bleaching; rugosity; Caribbean; global warming; coral growth; recruitment; ICZM; MPA; biodiversity; Discovery Bay tropical storms; hurricanes; economics; bleaching; rugosity; Caribbean; global warming; coral growth; recruitment; ICZM; MPA; biodiversity; Discovery Bay
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Crabbe, M.J.C. Coral Ecosystem Resilience, Conservation and Management on the Reefs of Jamaica in the Face of Anthropogenic Activities and Climate Change. Diversity 2010, 2, 881-896.

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