Reconnaissance of species-rich coral reefs in a muddy, macro-tidal, enclosed embayment, Talbot Bay, Kimberley, Western Australi

B Wilson, S Blake, D Ryan, Jorg Hacker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Preliminary observations are presented on species-rich coral reefs in a mud-dominated, macro-tidal, virtually landlocked embayment on the Yampi Peninsula. The reef platforms stand 6-7 m above water level at extreme low spring tide. High lagoons on the top of the platforms, impounded by crustose algal terraces and banks of rhodoliths, provide habitat for a moderately diverse assemblage of scleractinian corals with up to 30% live cover. Reef flats in the lower-littoral zone around the periphery of the fringing reef platforms, and on small patch reefs scattered throughout the bay, support species-rich coral assemblages with live coral cover up to 90% even though heavily affected by mud. There is dynamic interaction between coral reef growth and the development of massive mud banks in the bay. Drilling will be required to determine the geological origins, age and composition of these massive reef structures. If they are entirely of Holocene construction they would represent a remarkably high rate of coral reef growth in such a mud-dominated environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-261
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Western Australia
    Volume94
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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