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Conservation biology and reef management
Coral reefs are subjected to an increasingly diverse barrage of human activity-induced negative impacts. Understanding the effects of these impacts on corals and reefs is essential to finding ways to mitigate these effects. Hence, an important area of research at the Marine Lab includes the ecology of coral diseases and developing novel methods of reef rehabilitation by stimulating natural recovery processes. Marine Protected Areas are potent management tools usually established to protect fish populations, but may also be useful in the management of disease outbreaks or in finding ways to stimulate recovery from past anthropogenic and natural stressors. Finally, surveys of reef biota have been an important activity of Marine Lab investigators since the Lab's beginning. Quantitative assessments of algae, corals, macroinvertebrates and fishes on reefs of Guam and other islands in the Pacific are providing insights into the community sturcutre of corals reefs and their biotic diversity. It is now becoming possible to re-survey reef areas taht had been surveyed 20 or more years ago to assess changes, which may be attributable to human impacts.
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