UROP Proceedings 2020-21

School of Science Department of Ocean Science 64 Characterising Coral Reef Function across Anthropogenic Gradients Supervisor: WYATT Alex / OCES Student: LEUNG Shu Kiu / ENVS Course: UROP1100, Fall Coral reefs, endangered by human activity and climate change, are vulnerable ecosystems that demand our attention. To better our understanding of the threats faced by the ocean, it is vital to develop new methods for monitoring reef health. The gradient flux (GF) boundary layer approach in this paper helps to measure a key parameter, net ecosystem production (NEP), for determining ecosystem functions of 5 sites in the reefs of Palau. Within the study area, site A4 (13.33 ± 17.27 −2 ℎ −1) had the highest average NEP, suggesting that the reef harbored the largest number of photosynthetic organisms, and likely algal dominated. Future studies should include net community calcification (NEC) as well to ensure an accurate prediction of reef health. Characterising Coral Reef Function across Anthropogenic Gradients Supervisor: WYATT Alex / OCES Student: NANDI Shrinivas / ENVS Course: UROP1100, Fall Coral reefs are facing a grave future as they are exposed to severe environmental stresses due to increasing anthropogenic activities. Measurements of Primary Production over coral reefs provide a strong indication of reef condition. Consistent and long-term measurement of these factors over a period of time can indicate the damage being caused by phenomena like Climate Change and Ocean Acidification. In this study, we use the Gradient Flux method in the biodiversity-rich ecosystem of Palau to measure the Primary Productivity and the benthic composition. The measurements were made in 5 different sites, over a 24 hour period. The differences between Primary Productivity and benthic composition at each of the sites were analysed. Characterising Coral Reef Function across Anthropogenic Gradients Supervisor: WYATT Alex / OCES Student: GOSWAMI Arnab / CEEV Course: UROP1100, Spring Corals consist of small animals called polyps, which exist in large colonies (reefs). This paper studies the coral species characteristics and the abundance in Hong Kong. A further examination of coral structure formation from calcium carbonate and sediments is conducted and the dissolution of these structures through chemical, physical, and biological methods is discussed. A final discussion is presented to show the effect of human activities on coral communities and the importance of these species to the health of the oceans.

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