The Marine chapter of the 2016 State of the Environment (SoE) report incorporates multiple expert templates developed from
streams of marine data. This metadata record describes the Expert Assessment "The state and trends of quality of habitats
and communities – Coral reefs (<25m)". The full Expert Assessment, including figures and tables (where provided), is attached
to this record. Where available, the Data Stream(s) used to generate this Expert Assessment are accessible through the
"On-line Resources" section of this record.
DESCRIPTION OF ECOLOGICAL HABITAT/COMMUNITY FOR EXPERT ASSESSMENT
Hard corals occur in shallow waters all around tropical and subtropical Australia, forming both biogenic coral reefs and
diverse communities of corals growing on rock. There are coral reefs in the World Heritage sites of Shark Bay, Lord Howe
Is, Ningaloo Reef and the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Many nearshore reefs in the north and northwest have been little studied
and recent surveys have found surprisingly diverse communities.
DATA STREAM(S) USED IN EXPERT ASSESSMENT
For Great Barrier Reef:
• Marine Monitoring Program (GBRMPA/AIMS)
• AIMS Long-term Monitoring Program
For NW Australia:
• WA DPAW unpublished data
• CSIRO unpublished data
2016 SOE ASSESSMENT SUMMARY [see attached Expert Assessment for full details]
• 2016 •
Assessment grade: Poor-Good
Assessment trend: Stable -Deteriorating
Confidence grade: Adequate high quality evidence and high level of consensus
Confidence trend: Adequate high quality evidence and high level of consensus
Comparability: Grade and trend are somewhat comparable to the 2011 assessment
• 2011 •
Assessment grade: Good
Assessment trend: Stable
Confidence grade: Limited evidence or limited consensus
Confidence trend: Limited evidence or limited consensus
CHANGES SINCE 2011 SOE ASSESSMENT
Environmental conditions (water temperatures, cyclones COTS outbreaks) and continuing pressures affecting reefs.
Abdo DA, Bellchambers LM, Evans SN (2012) Turning up the Heat: Increasing Temperature and Coral Bleaching at the High Latitude
Coral Reefs of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands. PLoS ONE 7(8): e43878. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043878
Ceccarelli, D. M., Richards, Z. T., Pratchett, M. S., & Cvitanovic, C. (2011). Rapid increase in coral cover on an isolated
coral reef, the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve, north-western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 62(10),
De’ath, G., Fabricius, K. E., Sweatman, H., & Puotinen, M. (2012). The 27–year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier
Reef and its causes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(44), 17995-17999.
Depczynski, M., Gilmour, J. P., Ridgway, T., Barnes, H., Heyward, A. J., Holmes, T. H., Moore, J. A. Y., Radford, B. T.,
Thomson, D. P., Tinkler, P., and Wilson, S. K. (2013). Bleaching, coral mortality and subsequent survivorship on a West
Australian fringing reef. Coral Reefs 32, 233–238. doi:10.1007/S00338-012-0974-0
Gilmour J, Smith L, Cook K, Pincock S (2013a) Discovering Scott Reef. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Perth. http://www.aims.gov.au/publications/discovering-scott-reef
Gilmour JP, Smith LD, Heyward AJ, Baird AH, Pratchett MS (2013b) Recovery of an isolated coral reef system following severe
disturbance. Science 340:69-71
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2014, Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2014, GBRMPA, Townsville.
Heyward, A, et al. 2011; Monitoring Study S6B Corals Reefs, Montara: 2011 Shallow Reef Surveys at Ashmore, Cartier and Seringapatam
Reefs. Final Report for PTTEP Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty. Ltd. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.
Lafratta, A., Fromont, J., Speare, P., Schonberg, CHL (2016) Coral bleaching in turbid waters of north-western Australia.
Marine and Freshwater Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF15314, 11pp.
Moore, J. A. Y., Bellchambers, L. M., Depczynski, M. R., Evans, R. D., Evans, S. N., Field, S. N., Friedman, K. J., Gilmour,
J. P., Holmes, T. H., Middlebrook, R., Radford, B. T., Ridgway, T., Shedrawi, G., Taylor, H., Thomson, D. P., and Wilson,
S.K. (2012). Unprecedented mass bleaching and loss of coral across 1268 of latitude in Western Australia in 2010–11. PLOS
ONE 7, e51807. doi:10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0051807
Richards ZT, Garcia RA, Wallace CC, Rosser NL, Muir PR (2015) A Diverse Assemblage of Reef Corals Thriving in a Dynamic Intertidal
Reef Setting (Bonaparte Archipelago, Kimberley, Australia). PLoS ONE 10(2): e0117791. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117791
Richards, Zoe T., Alison Sampey, and Loisette Marsh. "Kimberley marine biota. Historical data: scleractinian corals." Rec.
West. Aust. Mus. Suppl 84.11 (2014).
Speed, C. W., Babcock, R. C., Bancroft, K. P., Beckley, L. E., Bellchambers, L. M., Depczynski, M., Field, S. N., Friedman,
K. J., Gilmour, J. P., Hobbs, J.-P. A., Kobryn, H. T., Moore, J. A. Y., Nutt, C. D., Shedrawi, G., Thomson, D. P., and Wilson,
S. K. (2013). Dynamic stability of coral reefs on the west Australian coast. PLOS ONE 8, e69863. doi:10.1371/ JOURNAL.PONE.0069863
Wilson, Barry. The biogeography of the Australian North West Shelf: environmental change and life's response. Elsevier, 2013.
QUALITY OF DATA USED IN THE ASSESSMENT
Good and in the case of the AIMS Long-term Monitoring Program a time series of >20 years
CUSTODIANS OF OF DATA
AIMS, WA DPAW and CSIRO (details of specific data sets used to generate the assessment have not been provided).
METHOD USED TO DETERMINE STATE OR RECENT TREND
Expert assessment based on data available and analyses from datasets listed published in peer review publications
When citing this Expert Assessment in a list of references use the following format:
citation author name/s (year metadata published), metadata title. Citation author organisation/s. File identifier and Data
accessed at (add http link).