This study measured water and environmental characteristics to determine the conditions more suitable for corals providing managers in the area with a baseline and goal for coral conservation. Results showed that increased nutrient enrichment correlates with reduced coral cover. Deeper water was also found to be indicative of coral conditions than surface waters, which makes sense as this is where corals and higher nutrient concentrations are found. In addition to nutrients, this research produced results on the optimum environmental and water quality factors for corals in the Pearl River Estuary. The Authors presume that these findings are likely true for similar species in similar ecosystems, but tolerance thresholds for other species and environments may need to be evaluated individually. Sewage discharge was identified as an important contributor to nutrient loading and an important factor for practitioners to consider to improve the environment for coral species. This study supports other findings that nutrient enrichment leads to declines in corals and can be used to inform practitioners about how and what factors to measure to determine the best environments for local coral survivorship.

Authors: Lu, Y., Z. Ding, W. Li, X. Chen, Y. Yu, X. Zhao, X. Lian, and Y. Wang
Year: 2020
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Continental Shelf Research 197. doi:10.1016/j.csr.2020.104807

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