| Baseline assessments for coral reef community structure and demographics on West Maui : data report - :14801 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP)
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Baseline assessments for coral reef community structure and demographics on West Maui : data report
  • Published Date:
Filetype[PDF-3.72 MB]

  • Corporate Authors:
    Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (U.S.)
  • Description:
    "The coastal and upslope terrains of West Maui have had a long history of impacts owing to more than a century of human activities. Resource extraction, agriculture, as well as residential and resort development have caused land-based pollution that impairs water quality and adversely impact the adjacent marine ecosystem. Today, West Maui's coral reefs are chronically impacted by the effects of land-based pollution, mainly sedimentation and nutrients, with documented losses of 30 - 75% in coral cover over the last 20 years. Nonetheless, despite their current status and levels of environmental impact, these coral reef communities represent a key local resource and a counterpoint to the overall low coral reef development levels both island- and state-wide. This is of high relevance because the occurrence of coral-rich assemblages and accreted reef complexes statewide is sparse. Only limited segments along the coastlines of Maui, Hawai'i, Lana'i, Moloka'i, and Kaho'olawe, harbor mature, fringing coral reefs; and unfortunately, many of them are seriously threatened by terrestrial runoff. This report describes the results of baseline assessment surveys of coral reef benthic structure, coral community demographics, and coral condition. These surveys are intended to provide benchmarks for continued monitoring efforts and provide a gauge for comparing and evaluating the effectiveness of management actions to reduce land-based sources of pollution in priority watersheds on West Maui. Within this context, 12 permanent, long-term monitoring sites were strategically established adjacent to the 7 primary stream drainages (Wahikuli, Honokowai, Mahinahina, Kahana/Ka'opala, Honokeana, Honokahua, and Honolua) within the five priority watersheds (Wahikuli, Honokowai, Kahana, Honokahua, and Honolua). Herein, benthic cover and composition, coral demographics, and coral condition of the monitoring sites are described and contrasted in the 'Benthic Characterization' and 'Synthesis and Discussion' sections of this report"--Executive Summary. [doi:10.7289/V5/SP-PIFSC-17-001 (https://doi.org/10.7289/V5/SP-PIFSC-17-001)]

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