Using Agent-Based models to aid reef restoration: Enhancing Coral cover and topographic complexity through the spatial arrangement of coral transplants

J.C. Sleeman, G.S. Boggs, Ben Radford, Gary Kendrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High coral cover and topographic complexity are favorable qualities of a healthy coral reef. Because coral reef restoration is expensive and coral growth is naturally slow, there is a need to strategically arrange coral transplants to maximize coral cover and topographic complexity. Similarly, it is important to understand how differences in the life history characteristics of coral transplants can influence changes in the structural attributes of coral reefs. This study utilizes agent-based computer modeling to explore the different spatial scenarios of coral transplantation using corals with contrasting r- and K-selected life histories. Spatial indexes are used to compare coral cover and topographic complexity at incremental time scales, within which disturbance events are of minor importance in spatial structuring. The outcomes of the model suggest that even-spaced grided transplanting arrangements provide the fastest increase in coral cover and three-dimensional habitat space (topographic complexity) across large temporal scales (< 30 years) for corals with r-selected life history strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-694
JournalRestoration Ecology
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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