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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2011, Article ID 151268, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/151268
Research Article

Coral Reef Monitoring: From Cytological Parameters to Community Indices

1The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat, P.O. Box 469, Eilat 88103, Israel
2Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel
3Department of Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Sciences, University of Jordan, Aqaba Branch, Aqaba 77110, Jordan
4Marine Science Station, University of Jordan and Yarmouk University, Aqaba 77110, Jordan

Received 24 March 2011; Revised 13 June 2011; Accepted 30 June 2011

Academic Editor: Yehuda Benayahu

Copyright © 2011 Ofer Ben-Tzvi 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

Sound-ecosystem-based management of coral reefs is largely based on indicators of reef health state. Currently there are various ecological parameters that serve as reef state indices; however, their practical implications are under debate. In the present study we examine an alternative parameter, the deterioration index (DI), which does not purport to replace the traditional indices but can provide a reliable, stand-alone indication of reef state. Patterns of cytological indices, which are considered as reliable indicators of environmental stressors, have been compared to ten selected reef community indices. The DI showed the highest correlations among community indices to the cytological indices in artificial reefs and high correlation in natural reefs as well. Our results suggest that in cases of lacking adequate monitoring abilities where a full set of community indices cannot be obtained, the DI can serve in many cases as the preferred, stand-alone indicator of coral reef state.