Photographic time series


The photographic time series from the coral reefs of Moorea provides some of the quantitative data MCR is collecting on how the reefs are changing through time.
These pictures (both 0.5 x 0.5 m) from a site at 10 m depth on the north shore of the island show a representative area of reef in 2005 (left) and 2011 (right). Over this 6 year period, the reef changed dramatically after the coral was eaten by seastars (2007-2009) and broken by a cyclone (2010). Diversity matters -- nestled within the diverse assemblage on the left is a combination of winners and losers. The massive coral in the center of the left picture (a species of massive Porites) appears to be one of the winners -- it endures cyclones and is less affected by ocean acidification -- as is the yellow fire coral (Millepora spp.) in the lower center of the picture on the right. Understanding the mechanisms that allow these species to survive will be critical to understanding the kinds of reefs that will occur in the future. Credit: Peter J. Edmunds

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