NESP TWQ Round 3 - Project 3.3.1 - Quantifying the linkages between water quality and the thermal tolerance of GBR coral reefs

Region map

This project will deliver two outcomes: (i) understanding of how water quality (WQ) exposure affects the ability of corals to resist and recover from bleaching, (ii) a modelling framework to identify management options that would mitigate the effects of warming on reefs exposed to WQ pressures. Using SeaSim experiments and field data, we examine which WQ parameters (nutrients/light/turbidity) affect corals’ thermal tolerance, and assess how temperature and WQ exposure histories affected coral bleaching and recovery during the 2016 bleaching event. We will refine the eReefs model to derive WQ management scenarios expected to maximize coral survival in a warming climate.



20 October 2021

This dataset is a compilation of available ocean temperature data, aerial and in-water bleaching observations during the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef in order to estimate the total reef area impacted by coral bleaching and thermal heat stress. A total of 982 reefs (56.8% reef area of the GBR) were surveyed in 2016 and 781 reefs (50.9% reef area of the GBR) surveyed in 2017.