Trends in the distribution of macroalgae in a bleached Kenyan reef ecosystem
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In May 1999, two sites were selected within the Mombasa Marine Park and Reserve for the study of macroalgal succession due to bleaching. One of the sites was Starfish, which lies within the Mombasa Marine Park and is protected from fishing and the other site was Ras Iwatine, which lies in the Reserve area and is Subjected to fishing activities. The study revealed that the Starfish site had a significantly higher hard coral cover, which did not change over the study period. A comparison of the density of macroalgae revealed that a higher proportion of the substrate in Ras Iwatine was dominated by macroalgae. Settlement tiles, used to study algal recruitment, indicated that the succession process in the Starfish site passes through more stages compared to the Ras Iwatine site. This succession process suggested the influence of grazers in Starfish and their importance in maintaining a lower cover of macroalgae in this site.