Land forcing and coral reefs terrestrial runoff as a factor in coral reef distribution
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Land Forcing and Coral Reefs: Terrestrial Runoff as a Factor in Coral Reef Distribution. By: Casey J. McLaughlin University of Kansas And Casey C. Smith Swarthmore College. Introduction.

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Land forcing and coral reefs terrestrial runoff as a factor in coral reef distribution
Land Forcing and Coral Reefs: Terrestrial Runoff as a Factor in Coral Reef Distribution

By:

Casey J. McLaughlin

University of Kansas

And

Casey C. Smith

Swarthmore College


Introduction
Introduction

Coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs are increasingly in danger from non-local anthropogenic effects such as deforestation, land use, and pollution in inland river basins. These non-local pressures are channeled from a potentially large basinscale through freshwater discharge into the coastal zone. As a first estimate of a reef—to--runoff relationship, I examined global reef distributions as a function of total runoff within the same 30’ grid cell. The resulting correlation suggested that runoff inhibited reef occurrence when runoff was greater than 1010 m3/yr. Combining basin runoff and five additional variables (average sea surface temperature, minimum salinity, wave height, tidal range, Chlorphyll-A) selected to proxy the effect of runoff, increased predictive capabilities. The use of statistical representation of spatial and temporal variability allowed useful analytical comparisons of the environmental variables. Spatial and temporal statistics (standard deviations minimum/maximum months, ranges) were summarized for each variable into a standard 30’ spatial grid cell, providing a common framework for K-means clustering routine. Further classification of runoff-related stresses can then be made, for example, by adding modeled sediment discharge to refine the prediction of areas of reef stress from human activities. This information is important to understanding both paleo-environmental forcing of reefs and the potential effects of present and future human alterations to the hydrologic cycle.


Objective

www.epa.gov/Oceans and Coastal Protection Coral Reefs and Your Coastal Watershed.htm

Objective

  • Investigate the relationship between terrigenous runoff and coral reef distribution

  • Integrate land and ocean based data sets to test coral reef distribution relative to fresh water discharge

1. Selection Criteria

2. Data Integration

3. Hypothesis Testing

Craig Quirolo

http://www.reefrelief.org


Defining the limits of coral reef distribution: Your Coastal Watershed.htm

Minimum Sea Surface Temperature Salinity Light Penetration Aragonite Saturation Nutrient Loads

Conceptual tie-in:

We consider sediment loads

in addition to proxies for the other variables

Scale:

1 degree grid system

1,000 reef locations

1-100 year time scale

1. Selection Criteria

2. Data Integration

3. Hypothesis Testing

Environmental Limits to Coral Reef

Development, Where Do We Draw the Line?

Kleypas, Joan, McManus, John, and Meñez, Lambert

American Zoologist, Vol. 39, No. 1 February 1999


Environmental variables used to investigate Your Coastal Watershed.htm

sediment--reef relationships in the context of

distribution-limiting variables

Spatial Limitations:

Land Forcing:

Annual Basin Discharge (log)

Latitude: 30N to 30S

Reefs: Coastal focus ~6600 records

Grid Cell: 0.5 degrees

System Interaction:

Wave Height, Tidal Range, and Chlorophyll-A

Ocean Influence:

Average Sea Surface Temperature

Minimum Salinity

Location:

ReefBase reef location inventory ~10,000 total records

1. Selection Criteria

2. Data Integration

3. Hypothesis Testing


Reefbase Reef Inventory Your Coastal Watershed.htm


LOICZ and Hexacorallia Your Coastal Watershed.htm

database structure

1. Selection Criteria

2. Data Integration

3. Hypothesis Testing


Analysis methods
Analysis Methods Your Coastal Watershed.htm

  • K-means clustering (LOICZVIEW) of runoff, reef occurrence

  • and environmental variables

  • Visualization

  • Buffering and spatial querying using ArcView GIS

1. Selection Criteria

2. Data Integration

3. Hypothesis Testing


Statistical Analysis of reef occurrence in relation to log basin runoff

Runoff

Unsupervised

runoff clustering

with reef overlay

Considered alone,

runoff has a strong

anti-correlation

with reef

distribution


Statistical Analysis of reef occurrence in relation to combined env. variables

Unsupervised

Unsupervised

clustering of

6 env. variables

with reef overlay

Runoff does not

dominate

distribution


Statistical Analysis of reef occurrence in relation to log basin runoff

Supervised

Supervised by

runoff: clustering of 6

env. variables

with reef overlay

High runoff values

show strong control

of reef distribution


Deviations basin runoff

1. Selection Criteria

2. Data Integration

3. Hypothesis Testing


The Americas-- basin runoff

visualizing results:

an example


Africa and Arabia basin runoff


Austral-Asia basin runoff


Buffering an alternative test of reef runoff relationships
Buffering: an alternative test of reef--runoff relationships basin runoff

If Log runoff > 9.8, few reefs are within ~80 km (ocean and coastal)


Conclusions
Conclusions basin runoff

  • Terrigenous runoff doesinfluence reef distribution --occurrence threshold roughly 9.6x106 meters3/year/0.5 degree coastal cell

  • Integration of data is both possible and useful

  • Spatial and temporal resolution are always problems --hypothesis to be tested must match the scale of the data and vice versa

1. Selection Criteria

2. Data Integration

3. Hypothesis Testing


Web references

http://www.reefbase.org/ basin runoff

Web References

http://www.kgs.ukans.edu/Hexacoral/index.html

http://www.reefbase.org

http://www.nioz.nl/loicz/

http://www.palantir.swarthmore.edu/~maxwell/loicz/

Support:

NSF OCE-00-03970, ‘Biogeoinformatics of the Hexacorallia’; IGBP-LOICZ; UNEP-GEF


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