Coral Reef

Initial Wai’ōpae Coastal Reef Findings

Coral Breakage due to Hurricane Iselle

The storm surge created by Hurricane Iselle physically fragmented some coral colonies. The coral breakage was restricted to the northern part of Waiʻōpae Tide Pools (outside of the Marine Life Conservation District) where up to 18% of coral colonies were broken, depending on the species (Figure 1). Cauliflower corals with long slender branches were especially vulnerable (Figure 2). Inside of the MLCD saw no coral breakage.

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Figure 1. Percentage of corals broken by Hurricane Iselle, sorted by coral species. Data were collected during September and October of 2014.

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Figure 2. Corals, mostly cauliflower coral (Pocillopora meandrina), broken by Hurricane Iselle.

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Figure 3. Changes in benthic cover in 8 tidepools at Waiʻōpae. Map shows the locations of the numbered tide pools.

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