Table of Contents
Journal of Ecosystems
Volume 2013, Article ID 358183, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/358183
Research Article

Status of Coral Reef Communities on Two Carbonate Platforms (Tun Sakaran Marine Park, East Sabah, Malaysia)

1Géosciences Marines et Géomorphologie du Littoral, Laboratoire Domaines Océaniques, UMR 6538 CNRS, Université de Bretagne Sud (UBS), 56000 Vannes, France
2Laboratoire ECOMAR, Université de la Réunion (UR), 97460 Sainte-Clotilde, France
3Département de Physique, Université de la Réunion (UR), 97460 Sainte-Clotilde, France
4South-East Asia Carbonate Research Laboratory (SEACARL), Universiti Teknologi, Petronas, 31150 Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia
5Department of Geosciences, Universiti Teknologi, Petronas, 31150 Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia

Received 12 March 2013; Revised 29 May 2013; Accepted 26 August 2013

Academic Editor: Luiz E. Aragao

Copyright © 2013 A. Montagne et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study concerns three sites, located on carbonate platforms, east Sabah: Gaya West, Gaya East, and Mantabuan. At each site, the dominant coral shapes and their health were recorded (lagoons and outer slopes). Densities of echinoderms, Tridacna, and nudibranchs were recorded while fish density was estimated. Generally, the coral vitality is low (≤50% living corals). Massive corals dominate all sites, except the Gaya West-outer slope where coral coverage and diversity are the highest. On the Mantabuan-mesh reef, a diverse Acropora assemblage dominates the landscape. On the reef flat of Gaya East, monospecific circa 10 meter coral patches occur. Primary producers are scarce on all sites. Sea urchins, dominated by Diadema, are abundant on the Gaya East-reef flat and the Gaya West-mesh reef. Sea stars and holothurids are the most prevalent in Gaya West-outer slope, although they remain scarce. Crinoids are only abundant in Mantabuan. Stegastes damselfish highly characterizes the sites of Gaya East (reef flat and inner slope) and the Mantabuan-mesh reef. On the Mantabuan-outer slope, parrotfish and other fishes are plentiful. No sign of eutrophication has been detected and natural hypersedimentation and/or eventual ancient bleaching events appear to be the direct principal causes of coral death or coral degradation.