Ilsa Kuffner and team are heading to the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas National Park to study the ecology of coral reefs
The team will conduct benthic surveys inside and outside the no take Research Natural Area at Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO) to understand the processes of herbivory, or grazing, on coral reefs.
Dr. Ilsa Kuffner is leading a team comprised of Nesti Stathakopoulos, BJ Reynolds, and Erin Lyons to complete coral-reef benthic surveys within and outside of the “no-take” Research Natural Area (RNA) at Dry Tortugas National Park. Their surveys will quantify the abundance of herbivores and macroalgae, and species richness of corals and gorgonians, and will be compared to baseline data collected in 2007—the year in which the RNA was established. The 2021 surveys will allow the team to detect changes in fish or benthic communities since the inception of the RNA regulations 14 years ago. These data will help assess changes to coral reef ecosystem food webs resulting from the 2007 management regulations and help park managers better understand the community structure on reefs in the Dry Tortugas.
For more information, see: "11th International Coral Reef Symposium Proceedings."
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