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Nouméa, New Caledonia

Heintz T.,Soproner | Haapkyla J.,James Cook University | Gilbert A.,Soproner
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2015

Coral health data are poorly documented in New Caledonia, particularly from reefs chronically subject to anthropogenic and natural runoff. We investigated patterns of coral disease and non-disease conditions on reefs situated downstream of mining sites off the coast of New Caledonia. Surveys were conducted in March 2013 at 2 locations along the west coast and 2 locations along the east coast of the main island. Only 2 coral diseases were detected: growth anomalies and white syndrome. The most prevalent signs of compromised health at each location were sediment damage and algal overgrowth. These results support earlier findings that sedimentation and turbidity are major threats to inshore reefs in New Caledonia. The Poritidae-dominated west coast locations were more subject to sediment damage, algal overgrowth and growth anomalies compared to the Acroporidae-dominated east coast locations. If growth form and resistance of coral hosts influence these results, differences in environmental conditions including hydrodynamism between locations may also contribute to these outputs. Our results highlight the importance of combining coral health surveys with measurements of coral cover when assessing the health status of a reef, as reefs with high coral cover may have a high prevalence of corals demonstrating signs of compromised health. © Inter-Research 2015. Source

Adjeroud M.,University of Perpignan | Gilbert A.,Soproner | Facon M.,Soproner | Foglia M.,Soproner | And 2 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2016

We report here an interannual survey (2006-2012) of coral cover in the northwestern lagoon of New Caledonia, to assess the impact of an important dredging operation (August 2008-February 2010) associated with the construction of the largest nickel mining site in the Pacific. A BACI (Before-After Control-Impact) analysis failed to detect any significant interaction between period (before, during, and after dredging) and the category of the stations (impact vs. control). Among the 31 stations surveyed, only seven showed decreasing coral cover during the study period, mainly due to a decline in Acroporidae. However, the relationship between the dredging and this decrease was highly plausible only for one station, situated 0.9. km from the dredging site. High hydrodynamism in the study area, the abundance of resistant corals and efficient protective measures during the dredging operation might explain these localised and limited impacts. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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