Status and vulnerability of Acropora spp. assemblages at the Egyptian coasts of the red sea

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Mohamed Ismail
M. Aminur Rahman

Abstract

In the Red Sea, the availability of information about the status of Acropora spp. assemblages is more restricted, where a few comprehensive or even preliminary studies were conducted on the genus Acropora at this area, especially at the Egyptian coasts. Accordingly, our goal focused on the assessment of the status of genus Acropora assemblages at the Egyptian coasts of the Red Sea and addressing the main keystone species of Acropora at this area. Three sites at the Gulf of Aqaba, located in Ras Muhammad National Park in addition to two sites at the Red Sea proper (Hurgada and Marsa Alam) were selected to conduct the study during 2016. The line intercept transect methodology was used to estimate the cover of Acropora assemblages. Samples from different colonies of Acropora were collected for further analysis of the micromorphology of coral’s exoskeletal structures. The study revealed that there were 16 common species of Acropora at the study sites. Also, the results indicated that Gulf of Aqaba had the higher benthic cover of Acropora assemblage than southern ones. On the other hand, some of the near threatened species of Acropora, proposed by IUCN Red List, showed high benthic cover compared to other species. The study concluded that more than 50% of the Acropora species at the Egyptian coasts of the Red Sea were threatened or vulnerable to different environmental perturbations according to IUCN criteria. Consequently, the coral reefs at the Gulf of Aqaba may represent a refugium for endangered species at the Red Sea.

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How to Cite
Ismail, M., & Aminur Rahman, M. (2022). Status and vulnerability of Acropora spp. assemblages at the Egyptian coasts of the red sea. Journal of Biological Studies, 5(3 (Special Issue), 648–672. Retrieved from https://onlinejbs.com/index.php/jbs/article/view/7087
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