The impact of climate change has been acutely felt by coral reefs across the Indian Ocean. Successive ‘bleaching’ events have been observed with greater frequency and duration – a potentially lethal combination.
This programme of work is monitoring how different reefs respond to these warming and bleaching events over the short, medium and long-term. It looks at the relationship between islands and nearby reefs and how the health of one, impacts the other. By collaborating with scientists focused on other aspects of the marine environment, this work will also uncover the impact of a changing coral reef and island ecosystem on other animal and plant populations.
Science from this programme is helping to inform conservation action. Scientists are using research from the programme to understand the impact of removing invasive rodents from oceanic islands around the world. Additionally, the programme has increased our knowledge of key habitats such as seagrass meadows and coral reefs.