Vroom, P. S., Page, K. N.
Relative abundance of macroalgae (RAM) on Northwestern Hawaiian Island reefs
Atoll Research Bulletin
"The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) represent one of the last relatively intact tropical reef ecosystems in existence, yet macroalgal community dynamics of the 10 atolls, islands, and reefs situated in the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve remain virtually unknown. This manuscript is the first to provide distributional maps of six common species along the NWHI chain, statistically compare sites from differing habitats and islands based on relative abundance of macroalgae (RAM), and look for temporal differences in macroalgal populations. Our findings reveal that the abundance of most macroalgal species is low, but that members of Halimeda and Microdictyon can be extremely common and in some cases form dense monotypic meadows on the reef. Other genera, such as Stypopodium, Lobophora, and Laurencia, become increasingly prevalent in northwesterly atolls of the Hawaiian Archipelago. The RAM across the NWHI chain as a whole remained relatively static for the years surveyed. However, slight changes occurred at Kure and Midway atolls where coral bleaching events were documented in 2002 and 2004."
FY2004 CRCP Project ID 1221; Project Title: Long-Term Monitoring of Benthos (Coral, Other Invertebrates, Algea): Rapid Ecological Assessments at all U.S. Pacific Islands; Principal Investigator: Rusty Brainard