Select Language :   فارسی
Home  |   Links   |      Contact Us 
Coral Reef Monitoring in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman

 

Monitoring of the coral patches in the northeastern Persian Gulf

Written by: Jahangir Vajed Samiei

Considering scientific projections, present summer temperatures of the Persian Gulf coral patches resemble thermal levels that will be faced by other coral reefs by the end of the current century. Therefore, Persian Gulf coral patches have been suggested as models for understanding the effect of global warming on coral reefs. In addition, Persian Gulf coral patches provide goods and income, recreational activities, research and educational benefits, waste and coastal protection; which designate them as an essential part of the local livelihood, and as ecosystems with high economical values. However, these precious communities are threatened by climate change, and also by oil pollution, breakwater construction, sedimentation caused by coastal developments, dredging, ornamental fishing, extensive anchor damage and discharge of nutrients and sewages. While mitigating the effect of the global stressors needs international collaborations, many of the local threats could be avoided by proper local management actions. However, deficiency of ecological data is among the factors impeding on time management actions toward conservation of these ecosystems. Hence, we have carried out continuous surveys in the coral patches of the Northeastern Persian Gulf to:

·         recognize the status of ecosystems and natural and anthropogenic threats to them,

·         detect temporal and spatial variation in abundance and diversity of marine organisms,

·         identify possible cause and effect relationships,

·         evolve and address questions and issues that are important for local communities,

·         identify if the local management actions are working.

 

The Ecological monitoring:

Ecological monitoring of the Northeastern coral patches of the Persian Gulf have been initiated in 2014. Five permanent sites were established in coral patches of Hengam and Larak Islands (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Geographical positions of the permanent monitoring sites.

 

Photo and video surveys were carried out on fifteen 20 m transects in summer 2014, and biological parameters including coverage of main benthic components, abundance and diversity of corals, prevalence of coral disease and bleaching, and diversity and abundance of fishes have been assessed (Fig. 2). In the study sites, density and diversity of phytoplankton, and environmental parameters including underwater temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and carbonate chemistry have been seasonally evaluated since winter 2013. In Hengam coral community, seasonal variation in settlement of larvae and bio-fouling communities on terracotta tiles have been understudy (Fig. 1a).

Figure 2. Permanent sites and transects. a: a site in Hengam Island containing settlement tiles, b: a site in Larak Island, c: an exemplary photo-quadrate, d: benthic assemblage analysis using CPCe software.

Figure 3. Field works. a: seawater sampling for carbonate chemistry analysis, b: seawater sampling for nutrient analysis, c: divers ready for underwater  assessments, d: coral transplantation for evaluation  of seasonal growth rate.

 

Other assessments:

From 2012, environmental parameters including underwater temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, carbonate chemistry, and bleaching status of corals have been evaluated in Hengam coral patches.  In concert, some other studies have been focused on seasonal evaluation of in situ growth rate of Acropora downingi (i.e. the dominant coral of Hengam coral community) (Fig. 3d), and its lipid content and composition. In addition, base-line evaluation of concentration of PAH contaminants in coral tissue and sediments has been understudy (Fig. 4d).

Figure 4. Laboratory analyses. a: studying fouling organisms, b: studying phytoplankton, c: measuring alkalinity using the automatic titration stand, d: measuring PAHs concentrations by HPLC.

Researchers:

Jahangir Vajed Samieia, Abolfazl Salehb, Arash Shirvanic, Neda Sheyjooni, Ali Mehdiniad, Neda Mehdipoure, Mahshid Jalilie, Mehri Hashtroodif, Fatemeh Amini Yektag, Koosha Dab

 

Correspondences:

a Ecological dynamic & growth rate analysis (jvajedsamiei@inio.ac.ir)

b Nutrients, Carbonate Chemistry & growth rate analysis (saleh@inio.ac.ir)

c Conservation priority assessment of coral patches (PhD thesis) (arashbio@yahoo.com)

d Lipid analysis (mehdinia@inio.ac.ir)

e Phytoplankton analysis (neda.mehdipour@inio.ac.ir; m_jalili@inio.ac.ir)

f PAHs analysis (hashtroudi@inio.ac.ir)

g Fouling organism analysis (f.aminiyekta@inio.ac.ir)

 

Acknowledgements:

We highly thank the diving club Dive Persia for providing lodging at Hengam Island during the study. We also thank Hasan Sharifi for helping us during the field works. We are grateful to the NGO CENESTA which is trying to establish Indigenous community base conserved area (ICCAs) in the northern Persian Gulf, for consultation, and collaboration of Koosha Dab in the field works during winter 2014.

 

 

Monitoring of the coral patches in the northeastern Persian Gulf

Written by: Jahangir Vajed Samiei

Considering scientific projections, present summer temperatures of the Persian Gulf coral patches resemble thermal levels that will be faced by other coral reefs by the end of the current century. Therefore, Persian Gulf coral patches have been suggested as models for understanding the effect of global warming on coral reefs. In addition, Persian Gulf coral patches provide goods and income, recreational activities, research and educational benefits, waste and coastal protection; which designate them as an essential part of the local livelihood, and as ecosystems with high economical values. However, these precious communities are threatened by climate change, and also by oil pollution, breakwater construction, sedimentation caused by coastal developments, dredging, ornamental fishing, extensive anchor damage and discharge of nutrients and sewages. While mitigating the effect of the global stressors needs international collaborations, many of the local threats could be avoided by proper local management actions. However, deficiency of ecological data is among the factors impeding on time management actions toward conservation of these ecosystems. Hence, we have carried out continuous surveys in the coral patches of the Northeastern Persian Gulf to:

·         recognize the status of ecosystems and natural and anthropogenic threats to them,

·         detect temporal and spatial variation in abundance and diversity of marine organisms,

·         identify possible cause and effect relationships,

·         evolve and address questions and issues that are important for local communities,

·         identify if the local management actions are working.

 

The Ecological monitoring:

Ecological monitoring of the Northeastern coral patches of the Persian Gulf have been initiated in 2014. Five permanent sites were established in coral patches of Hengam and Larak Islands (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Geographical positions of the permanent monitoring sites.

 

Photo and video surveys were carried out on fifteen 20 m transects in summer 2014, and biological parameters including coverage of main benthic components, abundance and diversity of corals, prevalence of coral disease and bleaching, and diversity and abundance of fishes have been assessed (Fig. 2). In the study sites, density and diversity of phytoplankton, and environmental parameters including underwater temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and carbonate chemistry have been seasonally evaluated since winter 2013. In Hengam coral community, seasonal variation in settlement of larvae and bio-fouling communities on terracotta tiles have been understudy (Fig. 1a).

Figure 2. Permanent sites and transects. a: a site in Hengam Island containing settlement tiles, b: a site in Larak Island, c: an exemplary photo-quadrate, d: benthic assemblage analysis using CPCe software.

Figure 3. Field works. a: seawater sampling for carbonate chemistry analysis, b: seawater sampling for nutrient analysis, c: divers ready for underwater  assessments, d: coral transplantation for evaluation  of seasonal growth rate.

 

Other assessments:

From 2012, environmental parameters including underwater temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, carbonate chemistry, and bleaching status of corals have been evaluated in Hengam coral patches.  In concert, some other studies have been focused on seasonal evaluation of in situ growth rate of Acropora downingi (i.e. the dominant coral of Hengam coral community) (Fig. 3d), and its lipid content and composition. In addition, base-line evaluation of concentration of PAH contaminants in coral tissue and sediments has been understudy (Fig. 4d).

Figure 4. Laboratory analyses. a: studying fouling organisms, b: studying phytoplankton, c: measuring alkalinity using the automatic titration stand, d: measuring PAHs concentrations by HPLC.

Researchers:

Jahangir Vajed Samieia, Abolfazl Salehb, Arash Shirvanic, Neda Sheyjooni, Ali Mehdiniad, Neda Mehdipoure, Mahshid Jalilie, Mehri Hashtroodif, Fatemeh Amini Yektag, Koosha Dab

 

Correspondences:

a Ecological dynamic & growth rate analysis (jvajedsamiei@inio.ac.ir)

b Nutrients, Carbonate Chemistry & growth rate analysis (saleh@inio.ac.ir)

c Conservation priority assessment of coral patches (PhD thesis) (arashbio@yahoo.com)

d Lipid analysis (mehdinia@inio.ac.ir)

e Phytoplankton analysis (neda.mehdipour@inio.ac.ir; m_jalili@inio.ac.ir)

f PAHs analysis (hashtroudi@inio.ac.ir)

g Fouling organism analysis (f.aminiyekta@inio.ac.ir)

 

Acknowledgements:

We highly thank the diving club Dive Persia for providing lodging at Hengam Island during the study. We also thank Hasan Sharifi for helping us during the field works. We are grateful to the NGO CENESTA which is trying to establish Indigenous community base conserved area (ICCAs) in the northern Persian Gulf, for consultation, and collaboration of Koosha Dab in the field works during winter 2014.

 

All rights reserved to the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science
Portal Design and Optimization (SEO) : Raahbar