Oman's coral reefs: A unique ecosystem challenged by natural and man-related stresses and in need of conservation

J. A. Burt, S. Coles, H. van Lavieren, O. Taylor, E. Looker, K. Samimi-Namin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Oman contains diverse and abundant reef coral communities that extend along a coast that borders three environmentally distinct water bodies, with corals existing under unique and often stressful environmental conditions. In recent years Oman's reefs have undergone considerable change due to recurrent predatory starfish outbreaks, cyclone damage, harmful algal blooms, and other stressors. In this review we summarize current knowledge of the biology and status of corals in Oman, particularly in light of recent stressors and projected future threats, and examine current reef management practices. Oman's coral communities occur in marginal environmental conditions for reefs, and hence are quite vulnerable to anthropogenic effects. We recommend a focus on developing conservation-oriented coral research to guide proactive management and expansion of the number and size of designated protected areas in Oman, particularly those associated with critical coral habitat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-506
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 30 2016

Keywords

  • Arabian Gulf
  • Arabian Sea
  • Gulf of Oman
  • Management
  • Oman Sea
  • Persian Gulf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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