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Coral Researchers

​James Than JCU

Declining water quality can impact the health of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) close to major rivers and influence their resilience to thermal stress.

In Keppel Bay in the southern GBR, the 2011 Fitzroy flood resulted in complete destruction of corals to ~2m at many sites. Without strong regeneration capacity from sexual reproduction, these reefs face a grim future considering predictions of increases in contaminants from land-use in the Fitzroy catchment and the threat of an increase in the frequency and intensity of freshwater flows to the GBR. A CQUniversity Hons project is investigating the recruitment of juvenile corals to approximately 9 reefs in Keppel Bay with a view to correlating recruitment to loss of coral cover from the 2011 flood and to predicting the capacity of key reefs to recover over the coming decade.

Visitors have an opportunity to access the science of this project.