A colony of coral

This image from the Coral Health Atlas website shows growth anomalies affecting a Montipora capitata colony (photo credit: John Burns)

Researchers and students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have launched a pair of websites providing information on the health of various coral reefs around Hawaiʻi Island.

The health of corals is considered to be fundamental to Hawaiʻi’s ocean life with direct cultural, environmental and economic significance.

Researchers hope that the websites will help Hawaiʻi residents understand the importance of a healthy coral community and the state of its health at various reefs around the island.

A research team led by Misaki Takabayashi, UH Hilo associate professor in marine science, spent the past seven years conducting investigations. The team’s findings are available online with easy-to-follow formats.

An interactive Waiʻopae long-term monitoring website displays time-series photographs that tracks changes in 48 coral colonies that were observed every month for the last four–five years at Waiopae tide pools in Puna.

The Coral Health Atlas website provides basic information about coral health and diseases along with the researchers’ data on coral disease prevalence at several sites around Hawaiʻi Island.

Takabayashi’s team included doctoral student John Burns, master’s students Makani Gregg and Monika Frazier, and undergraduates Niegel Rozet, Eva Farah, Lauren Kapono and Danielle Claar.

Photo credit for images associated with this article: Burns JHR, Takabayashi M, Gates RD, Gregg TM, Frazier M, Turner N, Best M, Miyagi K, and Delparte D (2012) The Coral Health Atlas of Hawaiʻi.

—Adapted from a UH Hilo news release

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Despite their great economic and recreational value, a range of human activities now threatens these important habitats. Many of the world’s reefs have already been destroyed or severely damaged by water pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, disease, global climate change, and ship groundings.
    The Hawaiʻi Island information is another great step forward.
    Jimi Ellis.

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