|KMRS Research Projects|
Over the past year the KMRS researchers have designed and implemented monitoring programs to produce baseline data for the environment around Cygnet Bay and fill knowledge gaps. For example, Coral reef ecosystems at Cygnet Bay endured an influx of abnormally warm sea temperatures which resulted in extensive coral bleaching. In response to this, the KMRS team constructed a program to monitor recovery and continued data collection on the health of the reef. Recently, measures have been put into place to monitor recruitment and individual coral colonies to further understand the overall health status of the reef.
Another monitoring project which is ongoing involves naturally occurring rock oysters of the Kimberley region. Recruitment of spat and relationships of sessile organisms in the intertidal zone are being observed to bridge knowledge gaps surrounding the specific species which inhabit the area. This particular information will also be used to assess the viability of a commercial production involving the wider community.
As phytoplankton are well known to be indicators of environmental change, KMRS is currently developing methods for monthly phytoplankton surveys to be undertaken to establish baseline data for the phytoplankton community and utilise this data complimentary to physical and chemical data collected to monitor changes in the marine environment.