Spatial variability in reef habitat structure in southern central Philippines
Galaxea Journal of Coral Reef Studies
This study was conducted to provide information necessary for deriving indicators in reef MPA sites by means of characterizing spatial trends in benthic com munity structures in an attempt to provide traces requisite in understanding coral reef dynamics and ultimately, de termining supplemental site-specific management approaches. This is part of a 7year program aimed at con serving biological diversity in four focal areas in the Philippines situated at different geographic locations in the
... try. A total of 126 transects were surveyed in two focal areas, 60 in Surigao del Sur and 66 in Danajon Bank, Bohol, surveyed in June and August 2008, respectively. For both areas, live hard coral cover showed variability among transects within MPA sites (200-400 m apart) as well as between MPA sites (10-60 km apart), although MPA sites located within only a few kilometers from each other tend to be similar in terms of live hard coral coverage. However, a significant degree in variation was observed between MPAs in Surigao del Sur, which have exposed reef systems, compared with those observed in Danajon Bank, Bohol, which are all within a double barrier reef system. In Surigao del Sur, variability in LHC cover between inshore MPAs and island MPAs was also found to be significantly different. Results of spatial correlation between live hard coral and total algal cover between the two focal areas is discussed further.