Tight coupling between coral reef morphology and mapped resilience in the Red Sea

Gwilym Rowlands, Sam Purkis, Andrew Bruckner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Lack of knowledge on the conservation value of different reef types can stymie decision making, and result in less optimal management solutions. Addressing the information gap of coral reef resilience, we produce a map-based Remote Sensed Resilience Index (RSRI) from data describing the spatial distribution of stressors, and properties of reef habitats on the Farasan Banks, Saudi Arabia. We contrast the distribution of this index among fourteen reef types, categorized on a scale of maturity that includes juvenile (poorly aggraded), mature (partially aggraded), and senile (fully aggraded) reefs. Sites with high reef resilience can be found in most detached reef types; however they are most common in mature reefs. We aim to stimulate debate on the coupling that exists between geomorphology and conservation biology, and consider how such information can be used to inform management decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-585
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 30 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Coral
  • GIS
  • Geomorphology
  • Protected area
  • Remote sensing
  • Resilience
  • Satellite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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