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However, after the cyclone had passed, the physical structure of Moorea's outer slopes especially on the northern side were found to be seriously and lastingly affected. Comparison of data before and after the cyclone struck reveals a very significant reduction in the relief of the outer slope. A large number of colonies present, even if dead as a result of predation by Acanthaster , were torn off by wave action and broken up by boulders.
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This time, it was the three-dimensional structure of the reef which was affected. This determines the habitat of much of the fauna associated with the coral, including many species of fish. Other observations carried out on the islands of Raiatea-Tahaa Leeward Islands and on Tubuai Austral Islands reveal an even more critical situation on the coasts that are most exposed to the action of cyclones. Although it is still too soon to assess the impact of the cyclone on other species fish, coral-eating starfish, etc , changes in the diversity and abundance of living organisms are to be expected.
More precise data about fish populations are in the process of being collected, which will enable the real impact of the cyclone on these animal populations to be quantified.
However, Oli appears to have been one cyclone too many for the reefs of some of the Polynesian islands including Moorea, Tahiti, Raiatea, Tahaa, and Bora-Bora. Two different scenarios are now possible: either the algae continue, dominating the system and getting the upper hand over the coral leading to the death of the reef , which has happened in many reefs all over the world, or else the reef starts from scratch its current state and gets going again with assemblages of coral that are likely to be different with regard to the species present, to abundance, etc.
Since the s, scientists have observed the resilience of the coral reef 3.
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Although its past record shows that it has always got going again, the series of stresses which it has recently undergone coral bleaching, cyclones, local pollution, etc give less cause for optimism. We shall know ten years from now, which according to scientists is the time needed for its regeneration. In this context, the surveillance and long-term monitoring of reefs is essential in order to take the measure of the resilience of coral reefs in Polynesia today. Percentages of live coral fell by Materials provided by CNRS. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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Science News. The damage varies according to depth.
Thus it can be observed that: from 0 to 6 meters depth: a critical state of destruction. Most of the scattered live colonies have been broken off at the base. Retrieved September 27, South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission.
Xinhua General News Service. March 12, Pacific Magazine Corporation. The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia.
January 20, Retrieved February 15, The Associated Press. January 19, Archived from the original on February 14, Retrieved February 14, October 18, Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Data. United States Weather Prediction Center. Retrieved November 26, January 18, Federal Emergency Management Agency. January 24, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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The Courier. United Press International. The Age. Australian Associated Press. Retired South Pacific cyclone names.