Event News
Event News

12/27 10:00_Dr. Chun Hong Tan_Overview of the Mesophotic Coral Community along the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, South China Sea

(Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems)

Time:2022. 12. 27  Tue. 10:00

Venue: Auditorium, 1st Floor, Interdisciplinary Research Building

Speaker:Dr. Chun Hong Tan
                     Associate Professor 
                     Faculty of Science and Marine Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu

Title:Overview of the Mesophotic Coral Community along the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, South China Sea

Host:Dr. Ming-Jay Ho

      Malaysia is part of the Coral Triangle region with high Scleractinian coral diversity. A total of 572 hard coral species have been reported in Malaysia with Acroporidae (27%), Merulidae (21%) and Fungidae (10%) being the top three families. Coral reefs around Peninsular Malaysia can be found in shallow water above 30m which had contributed to the scientific literature on coral and coral reefs in this area. On the other hand, information about corals in deeper (>30m) areas is very limited. Here I presented the mesophotic reefs survey conducted around Peninsular Malaysia in 2021 - 2022. Surveys were conducted via SCUBA diving in mesophotic reefs (30 to 50 metre depth) around Peninsular Malaysia (East and West coasts). Coral Video Transect and photo quadrat methods were carried out to record the benthic cover and diversity. A total of six mesophotic reefs were identified along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Generally, the diversity of mesophotic reefs surveyed was lower compared to shallow reefs with hard corals of mostly plate and encrusting forms. Common hard coral genera found at mesophotic reefs include Favites, Cyphastrea, Pachyseris, Turbinaria, Pavona, and Podobacia. Coral genus found at the mesophotic sites were also found at nearby shallow reefs. The relationship of reefs across different depths needs to be further explored to elucidate the potential of mesophotic reefs as refugia from climate change impacts.

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