The effect of coral reef degradation on the recruitment of reef fish larvae at Glover’s Reef Atoll, Belize

Principal Investigator: Niloufar Bayani (Master’s Thesis) Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (Columbia University)

Summary:  The study aims to examine the effect of climate-related coral reef degradation on the recruitment pattern of fish larvae at Glover’s Reef Atoll in Belize. The main objectives are to: 1) determine patterns of fish larval settlement among early and late stages of coral degradation; 2) determine patterns of fish larval settlement among management zones; and 3) determine the effect of predation immediately after settlement of fish larvae and the correlation between predation and human disturbance. If there is a significant difference in frequency of newly settled larvae between predator exclusion sites and those where predators are not excluded, this difference will be used as a proxy for predation rate on newly settled larvae.