Monitoring of coral communities in Madagascar
SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT
Within the framework of the LMI "MIKAROKA", the objective of the "corals" component is to set up a perennial monitoring of the health, structure and dynamics of scleractinian coral communities around Madagascar. The monitoring concerns the scleractinian corals of the reefs of the 0-40 m bathymetric zone (the corals of the mesophotic reefs will not be - for logistic reasons - studied in this project).
Two main lines of research will be developed:
1) Spatial and temporal structure of coral communities: interannual variability of coral cover, diversity and abundance at monitoring stations; for cover, it will also involve monitoring the main categories of biotic substrates, including algae (algal turf cover, encrusting calcareous algae and macroalgae), invertebrates associated with coral health (Acanthaster spp, Culcita spp., Drupella spp., etc.), and abiotics (dead corals, sand, etc.).
2) Coral population maintenance processes: interannual monitoring of recruitment and reproductive strategies - more particularly on sexual reproduction modalities.
In addition to these two main axes, a project for the development of coral transplantation techniques will be carried out, in order to improve restoration projects of degraded reefs. These actions will allow to propose mitigation measures in reef areas of ecological, heritage or economic interest. This project on transplantation will benefit from the advances of the two previous axes, particularly on recruitment and reproductive strategies of corals.
Axes 1) and 2) will determine the health status of coral communities in the main reefs of Madagascar and estimate their vulnerability and resilience.