Skip to main content

Free Content Benthic Zonation and Community Structure of South Island Reef, Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef)

Download Article:
(PDF 1161.8720703125 kb)
South Island Reef is a coral reef extending over 1.8 km between South Island and Bird Islet, immediately south of Lizard Island. The reef is exposed to southeast trade winds but is protected from heavy swell by the outer Barrier Reef lying some 12 miles offshore. Benthic zonation and community structure of South Island Reef were studied, with special reference to two of the most conspicuous benthic groups, which are also two of the most important primary producers, scleractinian corals and algae. Quantitative information was obtained for scleractinian corals by the use of the line transect intercept method. Numerical analysis of the data collected indicates that the coral assemblages of the slopes are markedly different from those of the reef flat. A zonation pattern is defined on the reef flat. The various coral assemblages show very unequal development, and most of the reef flat corresponds to a unit in which the subdivisions suggested by the numerical analysis do not represent drastically different coral communities.

Owing to the frequent layering of algae in several stories, two indexes are defined: ground cover and line cover. The relative importance at each station of the algal groups (erect calcareous algae, fleshy macro algae, crustose coralline algae and turf) is discussed, and the variations of abundance of these groups throughout the reef flat are utilized to define and to characterize the zonation of the reef flat.

8 References.

No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1981-07-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more