Scientist Anna Bakker recently presented her research on modeling coral reef health across the South Pacific to the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS).
During her work, she found which anthropogenic and natural factors are responsible for reef health, including healthy coral and rich, diverse fish life.
Collecting the data was done as part of the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation’s Global Reef Expedition. Data was collected from around the South Pacific, including the Solomon Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands and Palau.
The research methodology used is innovative and can lead to a better understanding of coral reefs worldwide. According to Bakker:
“This research would not have been possible without the massive amount of field data collected on the Global Reef Expedition The sheer amount of benthic and fish observations collected in the field from around the world enabled us to take a holistic look at indicators of coral reef health — such as coral cover or fish biomass — and figure out what drives one coral reef to be healthier than another.”
Check out all the research presented at the symposium here.
(Featured image credit: Michele Westmorland/iLCP)