Year of selection 2014
Institution National University of Singapore
Coral reefs are in decline worldwide with many being overgrown by large fleshy macroalgae. While the causes of reef degradation are relatively well established, there is an absence of information on how key ecological processes respond to this degradation. This project aims to understand the role of macroalgae in shaping ecological processes on degraded coral reefs. This research will determine how the foraging behavior of fishes capable of preventing and reversing macroalgal overgrowth, and the replenishment of fish and coral populations are influenced by the composition and density of macroalgal beds. The outcomes from this research will provide a framework for predicting future changes in key processes on coral reefs and will identify temporal windows in which management actions may be most effective; leading to more effective protection of coral reefs. In doing so it will not only identify the processes that maintain and reinforce macroalgae dominance on coral reefs, but also identify ways to reverse such states.
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