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Change detection using remote sensing in a reef environment of the UAE during the extreme event of El Niño 2015–2016.

Ben-Romdhane, Haïfa; Al-Musallami, Mohamed; Marpu, Prashanth Reddy; Ouarda, Taha B. M. J.; Ghedira, Hosni (2018). Change detection using remote sensing in a reef environment of the UAE during the extreme event of El Niño 2015–2016. International Journal of Remote Sensing , vol. 39 , nº 19. p. 6358-6382. DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2018.1460502.

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Résumé

Coral reefs of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are living in the world’s hottest sea. Recently, corals harbouring Symbiodinium thermophilum, a thermotolerant microalgae, were found to be prevalent among UAE reefs and were reported to endure extreme sea-surface temperatures. Late 2015–early 2016 was marked with the strongest El Niño on record worldwide, which caused massive coral bleaching (loss of symbiotic microalgae from reef-building corals). In September 2015, the waters flanking UAE coasts were identified to be among the areas facing a thermal stress reaching its highest level liable to cause massive coral bleaching. However, the effect of this thermal stress on UAE corals remained largely unknown. Here, multi-temporal DubaiSat-2 satellite images were used to show that changes in the reef environment of Dalma Island, UAE, between 2014 and 2016, occurred in macroalgae-dominant habitats, whereas live corals remained unaltered. Furthermore, extending the study to a larger area helped in discovering a continuum of live and pristine corals, which was not reported or studied before. While sea-surface temperature anomalies of 1°C were reported to significantly damage coral reefs around the world, the live coral habitat was observed to exhibit no-change despite four consecutive months of +2°C to 3°C anomalies reported during the study period. These findings point to the tolerance of UAE live corals faced with extreme climate conditions.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: algae; atmospheric temperature; bleaching; cleaning; coastal zones; ecosystems; microorganisms; oceanography; remote sensing; submarine geophysics; surface properties; surface waters; thermal stress
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 04 déc. 2019 14:49
Dernière modification: 04 déc. 2019 14:49
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/9645

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