Exploratory coral reef assessment of the offshore islands of the Egyptian Red Sea

November 11, 2014 - Author: de Grissac, T.V.; E. Saadalla; B. Salleh; A. Afifi; Y. Audalla; A. Mabrouk; W. M. Salam; G. Jobbins

Journal or Book Title: Proceedings of the Ninth International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali. 23-27 Oct. 2000.

Keywords: Exploratory survey; Baseline study; Coral cover; Soft corals

Volume/Issue: 2

Page Number(s): 867-873

Year Published: 2000

An exploratory survey of five offshore islands in the Egyptian Red Sea (Small and Big Brothers, Abu El Kizan, El Zabarghad, Rocky Islands) has been undertaken in December 1997 by the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, Nature Conservation Sector to evaluate the importance of natural resources in terms of biodiversity and serve as baseline study to monitoring studies prior to the opening on 30 May 1998 to recreational diving. Results attested that these islands arc of great interest to science and to underwater tourism and that the leeward SE reef side of each island is more suitable to mooring. The total cover of living hard and soft corals on the leeward reefs of each island ranged from 42% for El Zabarghad to 72% for Abu El Kizan island influenced by a great variability in soft coral cover. Hard coral genera richness was highest in Small Brother and Abu El Kizan and lowest in Rocky island. Depth gradient was not a significant parameter controlling these coral assemblages. Cluster analysis returned two clusters on pooled data on hard and soft coral cover percentages and was used to describe epi-benthic assemblages at different depths for each island.

Tags: baseline study, center for systems integration and sustainability, coral cover, exploratory survey, soft corals

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