Coral community structures on shallow reef flat, reef slope and underwater pinnacles in Mu Ko Chumphon, the Western Gulf of Thailand

Authors

  • Ploypailin Rangseethampanya Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Ramkhamhaeng University Marine Biodiversity Research Group Department of Biology, Faculty of Science Ramkhamhaeng University
  • Charernmee Chamchoy Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Thamasak Yeemin Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Chainarong Ruengthong Chumphon Marine National Park Operation Center 1, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Chumphon Province, Thailand
  • Montaphat Thummasan Green Biology Research Division, Research Institute of Green Science and Technology, Shizuoka University, Shizuoka 422-8529, Japan
  • Makamas Sutthacheep Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand

Keywords:

Coral Bleaching, Shading, Mortality, Recovery, Gulf of Thailand

Abstract

The coral reef ecosystem is the most diverse and productive marine ecosystems in the world. Coral reefs provide high species diversity which enhances a community survival rate when the condition of the environment change. Coral reefs are commonly found widely distributed in depths up to 30m. And various environmental factors drive different community compositions. This study examined coral community structures on shallow reef flat, reef slope and underwater pinnacles in the Western Gulf of Thailand. The field surveys were conducted at three coral reefs, including Ko Mattra, Ko Lawa, and Ko Kula and three underwater pinnacles i.e. Hin Thong Vo, Hin Jen Talay and Hin Ang in Mu Ko Chumphon by using a belt transect method. The results revealed that the percentages of live coral cover at most study sites were relatively high (over 50%). We found high species diversity of corals at the underwater pinnacles. The most dominant coral at all three study sites was Porites lutea. The dominant corals on underwater pinnacles were also Favites spp., Dipsastraea spp. and Diploastrea heliopora. This study highlights the importance of underwater pinnacles in the Gulf of Thailand for their ecosystem services, particularly providing fishery products and incomes from tourism. 

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Published

2021-04-30

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Original Articles