The continuing decline of coral reefs in Bahrain

John Burt, Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Ebtesam Khalaf, Bassem AlShuwaikh, Ahmed Abdulwahab

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Historically coral reefs of Bahrain were among the most extensive in the southern basin of the Arabian Gulf. However, Bahrain's reefs have undergone significant decline in the last four decades as a result of large-scale coastal development and elevated sea surface temperature events. Here we quantitatively surveyed six sites including most major coral reef habitats around Bahrain and a reef located 72. km offshore. Fleshy and turf algae now dominate Bahrain's reefs (mean: 72% cover), and live coral cover is low (mean: 5.1%). Formerly dominant Acropora were not observed at any site. The offshore Bulthama reef had the highest coral cover (16.3%) and species richness (22 of the 23 species observed, 13 of which were exclusive to this site). All reefs for which recent and historical data are available show continued degradation, and it is unlikely that they will recover under continuing coastal development and projected climate change impacts.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)357-363
    Number of pages7
    JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
    Volume72
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 30 2013

    Fingerprint

    Bahrain
    Reefs
    coral reefs
    coral reef
    reefs
    reef
    coastal development
    algae
    corals
    coral
    Persian Gulf
    Acropora
    lawns and turf
    surface temperature
    sea surface temperature
    species richness
    alga
    Algae
    climate change
    basins

    Keywords

    • Bahrain
    • Bleaching
    • Coral
    • Reclamation
    • Recovery
    • Reef

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aquatic Science
    • Oceanography
    • Pollution

    Cite this

    Burt, J., Al-Khalifa, K., Khalaf, E., AlShuwaikh, B., & Abdulwahab, A. (2013). The continuing decline of coral reefs in Bahrain. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 72(2), 357-363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.08.022

    The continuing decline of coral reefs in Bahrain. / Burt, John; Al-Khalifa, Khalifa; Khalaf, Ebtesam; AlShuwaikh, Bassem; Abdulwahab, Ahmed.

    In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 2, 30.07.2013, p. 357-363.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Burt, J, Al-Khalifa, K, Khalaf, E, AlShuwaikh, B & Abdulwahab, A 2013, 'The continuing decline of coral reefs in Bahrain', Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 72, no. 2, pp. 357-363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.08.022
    Burt J, Al-Khalifa K, Khalaf E, AlShuwaikh B, Abdulwahab A. The continuing decline of coral reefs in Bahrain. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2013 Jul 30;72(2):357-363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.08.022
    Burt, John ; Al-Khalifa, Khalifa ; Khalaf, Ebtesam ; AlShuwaikh, Bassem ; Abdulwahab, Ahmed. / The continuing decline of coral reefs in Bahrain. In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2013 ; Vol. 72, No. 2. pp. 357-363.
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