Coral reef ecology is a large part of the research being conducted at Glover’s Reef. Researchers are working to uncover the ecological relationships that exist among the fish, coral and algal communities at the atoll. The research, led by Dr. Tim McClanahan and Dr. Nyawira Muthiga, has found that within Glover’s Reef coral loss and loss of previous coral zonation patterns are occurring. Researchers are looking to discover more answers, but have determined that in addition to coral bleaching and hurricanes, increased algae growth, lower abundance of reef fish, and reduced herbivory seem to impact the survival and abundance of certain coral types.
The research has started to uncover some of the intricate trophic interactions at the reef among the coral and other species, but much more research is needed to fully understand and protect this precious environment from the threats it is facing (see List of publications).