Coral reefs of the Glorieuses Islands, western Indian Ocean

M. H. Schleyer, L. Bigot, Y. Benayahu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The benthic fauna on reefs around the Glorieuses Islands, a small and protected Indian Ocean archipelago northwest of Madagascar, was surveyed in November 2015, focusing particularly on the orders Alcyonacea (soft corals and gorgonians) and Scleractinia (stony corals). The species richness of both groups was rather low for a protected, relatively pristine environment in the region. Though certain soft ‘fugitive’ alcyonacean species were noticeably abundant, other soft corals were rare. Sediment-tolerant faviid corals were abundant among the scleractinians. The sediment around the reefs was fine-grained and white, and appeared to be derived from abundant green macroalgae Halimeda and coralline seaweeds. The abundance of these, in turn, might have been attributable to nutrient enrichment from guano deposited on one of the islands by migratory seabirds, causing the aforementioned anomalies in coral biodiversity and abundance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-339
Number of pages9
JournalAfrican Journal of Marine Science
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Alcyonacea
  • Halimeda
  • Mozambique Channel
  • Scattered Islands
  • Scleractinia
  • marine protected area
  • sediment

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