Welcome to the Coral Health Atlas
This website is designed to provide interactive access to coral health data and ecosystem characteristics at study sites throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago (Figure 1). Please use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate the website and explore information regarding coral health research.
|Figure 1. Hawaiian Archipelago including the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Main Hawaiian Islands.
(Map courtesy of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument)
Be sure to click on the ‘Interactive Map’ tab to view the available coral health data. Please be patient as it may take a few minutes to load.
Nearshore coral reef ecosystems have provided a source of sustenance and cultural importance to Hawaiian communities for hundreds of years. Today, the coral reef ecosystems of Hawai‘i are not only important sources of food and coastal protection, but are also a critical economic resource. Nearshore marine ecosystems in Hawai‘i are currently being exposed to increasing levels of global (climate change) and local (resource exploitation and land based pollution) stressors driven by a rapidly expanding human population. Due to isolation and high levels of endemism, the health and function of coral reefs in Hawai‘i is inherently susceptible to harmful environmental stressors. The protection and conservation of these important ecosystems will require a thorough understanding of the dynamics of coral health and disease (Figure 2 and 3).
|Figure 2. Growth anomalies affecting a Montipora capitata colony (Photo Credit: John Burns)|
|Figure 3. Diver conducting coral health surveys
(Photo Credit: Courtney Couch)
There has been a considerable amount of research conducted to investigate coral health dynamics. However, much of this data is not publically accessible. The goal of the Coral Health Atlas is to make data pertaining to coral health easily accessible to the public. The interactive map allows users to view coral health data at each study site. The map also contains additional data layers that provide information about ecosystem characteristics at each site. Users can explore the interactive map to compare data between sites, species, or by specific diseases. The coral health data provides mean values of severity and prevalence of various diseases and states of reduced health. Data is currently available from EPSCoR research sites on the West side of Hawai‘i Island. We plan to continue to add data from our study sites throughout the Hawaiian archipelago, so stay tuned as we continue to improve the interactive map! Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in contributing to the Coral Health Atlas.