Coral Reef Monitoring and Assessment Needs and Methods

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M.S. Marine Biology

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It is necessary and urgent to understand coral health because coral cover and diversity on many reefs is declining. The focus of this paper is to provide a general description of coral reefs, to give an overview of the management of coral reefs, and to review coral reef monitoring and assessment needs and methods. Coral reefs are tropical, shallow water ecosystems. Proper long-term management of coral reefs requires both the identification of potential disturbance factors and accurate assessment of their significance as perturbations in the environment. Monitoring and assessment is necessary because coral reefs are an invaluable resource to human populations and marine communities. This information is becoming increasingly significant as we confront the reality that human interference is altering coral reef ecosystems.

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