Hurricanes and coral reefs: The intermediate disturbance hypothesis revisited

  title={Hurricanes and coral reefs: The intermediate disturbance hypothesis revisited},
  author={Caroline S. Rogers},
  journal={Coral Reefs},
  • C. Rogers
  • Published 1 November 1993
  • Environmental Science
  • Coral Reefs
A review of research on the effects of hurricanes on coral reefs suggests that the intermediate disturbance hypothesis may be applicable to shallow reef zones dominated by branching or foliaceous coral species that are especially susceptible to mechanical damage from storms. Diversity (H') increases because of an increase in evenness following destruction or removal of the species that was monopolizing the space. The intermediate disturbance hypothesis as presented by Connell focuses on changes… 
Decadal-scale changes in the community structure of coral reefs of St. John, US Virgin Islands
Most coral reefs differ from those visited by explorers in the 15th century and described by ecologists in the 1950s, and reports of degraded reefs and hypotheses regarding the implications of the
The decline of corals on tropical reefs is usually ascribed to a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors, but the relative importance of these causes remains unclear. In this paper, we
Impact of Hurricanes Emily and Wilma on the Coral Community of Cozumel Island, Mexico
In 2005, the Mexican Caribbean was impacted by two powerful hurricanes: Emily (July) and Wilma (October). This study assessed the immediate damage caused by these events on the coral community in the
Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities
Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some N TRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery.
Impact of hurricane Dean on coral reef benthic and fish structure of Martinique, French West Indies
The fish community was significantly modified while the habitat complexity was considerably reduced due to digitate coral destruction, and the ability of reef species to adapt to new environmental conditions was affected.
Detecting the effects of natural disturbances on coral assemblages in French Polynesia: A decade survey at multiple scales
Coral reefs in French Polynesia, just like many others throughout the world, have been subjected to several natural disturbances including 15 cyclones, seven major bleaching events, and several
Coral Reef Recovery in the Mexican Caribbean after 2005 Mass Coral Mortality—Potential Drivers
In 2005, an extreme heatwave hit the Wider Caribbean, followed by 13 hurricanes (including hurricanes Emily and Wilma) that caused significant loss in hard coral cover. However, the drivers of the
Modelling the linkage between coral assemblage structure and pattern of environmental forcing
An empirically-grounded numerical model is constructed to simulate coral assemblage dynamics under a spectrum of disturbance regimes, contrasting hydrodynamic disturbances (which cause morphology-specific, whole-colony mortality) with disturbances that cause mortality independently of colony morphology.
Cyclone Impacts on Coral Reef Communities in Southwest Madagascar
Tropical cyclones can cause severe destruction of coral reefs with ecological consequences for reef fish communities. Ocean warming is predicted to shorten the return interval for strong tropical


Monitoring of coral reefs with linear transects: A study of storm damage☆
Population trends among Jamaican reef corals
Disturbance has been cited as a potentially important agent in structuring ecological communities by modifying the effects of competition1–5. Catastrophic disturbance has also been proposed as a
Patterns of Species Diversity on Coral Reefs
Strong evidence suggests that predictable patterns of species diversity exist along a depth gradient, and Coral reefs have been described recently as being nonequilibrium systems, where competitive exclusion is prevented by frequent disturbances, as pre-pre-Nonequilibrium.
Effect of Hurricane Hugo on the primary framework of a reef along the south shore of St. John, US Virgin Islands
These areas provided the opportunity to determine the effect of Hurricane Hugo on the reef framework and this note describes the results of the quantitative analyses.
Phase shifts in coral reef communities and their ecological significance
  • T. Done
  • Environmental Science
  • 2004
This presentation reviews various models and case studies which suggest that reefs can be knocked precipitously or move slowly from one phase (coral-dominated) to another ( coral-depleted and/or algal dominated) and transitions in the other direction (‘recovery’).
One of the differences between man-made polluting activities and natural catastrophes on coral reefs, is the possibility that the human- perturbed environment will not return to its former configuration, while reconstitution of reef areas denuded by natural disturbances is mainly a function of time.
Patterns of reef community structure, North Jamaica
This study provides data on reef communities which were subsequently altered by major disturbance events (e.g., Hurricane Allen in 1980 and the mass mortality of the urchin, Diadema in 1982) and indicates cover by macroand filamentous algae and fleshy sponges is positively correlated with increasing depth on the fore reef while cover by coralline algae and boring sponge is negatively correlated with decreasing depth.
Chronic and catastrophic natural mortality of three common Caribbean reef corals
Differences in susceptibility to the various types of natural disturbance among species, coupled with high spatial and temporal variability in the effects of such disturbances, may be critical to the maintenance of species diversity on the reef.
Coral reef recovery in Florida and the Persian Gulf
Long-term observations and study of coral reef destruction by hurricanes in the Florida Keys show, surprisingly, that although corals are devastated on a grand scale during storms, recovery is rapid.
Community structure, succession and development of coral reefs in Hawaii
Reef building corals in the Hawaiian Archipelago consist of only 42 species belonging to 16 genera. The Hawaiian coral fauna is highly depauperate relative to the Indo-West Pacific Ocean, a result