Coral Reef Resilience Monitoring
Coral reef monitoring has traditionally focused on monitoring the status of coral communities and populations of select species, particularly fisheries species. These measures provide useful information on the current status of coral reef communities, and associated fisheries, but they do not provide critical information on the status of key ecological processes that are essential for maintaining coral reef resilience.
Monitoring coral reef resilience requires a combined approach to monitoring key ecological processes, and functional groups that contribute to these processes, including:
- coral population dynamics (size structure and patterns of recruitment)
- factors that influence coral recruitment and post-settlement survivorship, particularly water quality, substratum consolidation and benthic communities
- factors that influence the establishment and growth of macroalgal communities, including functional groups of herbivores, nutrients, and algal recruitment dynamics
This section provides information on methods for assessing and monitoring coral reef resilience that have recently been developed by IUCN Working Group on Climate Change and Coral Reefs, and for monitoring functional groups of herbivorous reef fishes as indicators of coral reef resilience1.