Disturbance and the Dynamics of Coral Cover on the Great Barrier Reef (1995–2009)
Kate Osborne,* Andrew M. Dolman,¤a Scott C. Burgess,¤b and Kerryn A. Johns
Received October 13, 2010; Accepted February 7, 2011.
While the limited data for the GBR prior to the 1980’s suggests that coral cover was higher than in our survey, we found no evidence of consistent, system-wide decline in coral cover since 1995. Instead, fluctuations in coral cover at subregional scales (10–100 km), driven mostly by changes in fast-growing Acroporidae, occurred as a result of localized disturbance events and subsequent recovery.