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Nutrient and Sediment Inputs of the Beausejour River

Nutrient and Sediment Inputs of the Beausejour River

May 20, 2019

Description

In Grenada, a major problem facing coral reefs in the Moliniere Beausejour Marine Protected Area (MBMPA) is macroalgae overgrowth and their deleterious effects on corals. Reduced herbivory from overfishing and excess nutrients associated with pollution from land runoff have been implicated as factors causing significant increases in macroalgae cover on coral reefs. Since the official launch of the MBMPA in September 2010, increases in the abundance and biomass of herbivorous fish on reefs in the protected area have been observed as a result of the implementation of some fishing restrictions. Nonetheless, this increase has had limited success in restricting macroalgae growth on coral reefs in the protected area thus far. This suggests that other factors such as dissolved nutrients in the water column might possibly be contributing to the proliferation of macroalgae on these reefs. Runoff from rivers is a major source of nutrient and sediment inputs into the marine environment. There are a number of rivers with agricultural activities and human settlements in their catchment areas that discharge in close proximity to coral reefs in the MBMPA. Yet, very little is known about their contribution to nutrient inputs and the extent to which these inputs might be contributing to the problem of macroalgae overgrowth on coral reefs in the protected area