Abstracts
Krupp, F., Abuzinada, A.H. & Nader, I.A. (eds.), A Marine Wildlife Sanctuary for the Arabian Gulf. Environmental research and conservation following the 1991 Gulf War Oil Spill. NCWCD, Riyadh and Senckenberg Research Institute, Frankfurt a.M.
 

Investigations on coral reefs in the Jubail Marine Wildlife Sanctuary using underwater video recordings and digital image analysis

A b s t r a c t: At two inshore and three offshore reefs ten Permanent Transect Lines were established in order to detect possible changes caused by the Gulf War oil spill. Between June 1992 and June 1993, the transects were recorded three times with the help of a S-VHS underwater video camera. A computer-based image processing system allowed for the calculation of species and substrate coverage and the production of colour-coded maps. The results of the area calculations of all three periods of investigation strongly suggest that the live coral cover was stable. No signs of reef deterioration were observed at any location. However, severe reef damage caused mainly by anchoring fishing boats in the reefs surrounding the islands of Juraid, Kurain, Jana and Karan was observed. Considerable numbers of nets and other fishing gear were found littering the reefs. A comparison between inshore and offshore reefs revealed pronounced differences. At the inshore reefs the poor live coral cover consisted mainly of Porites. These reefs were subject to a pronounced seasonality with seaweeds covering large parts of the reefs for several months of the year. Zonation patterns were studied at a typical offshore reef by the use of Loya's transect method. Results indicate that the coralline alga Lithophyllum kotschyanum was the most important reef builder in the first 2 m water depth. With increasing water depth, corals of the genus Acropora occurred more frequently and dominated the deeper reef. At most reefs, coral cover was poor to fair, with maxima at a water depth of 2-6 m. Coral cover became sparse in water depths of more than 10 m, and only a few colonies were found at depths of 20-25 m.

 
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