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Coral reefs are complex ecosystems and play an important role in the socio-economy of the coastal communities.
However, global climate change and anthropogenic disturbances threatens the existence of these ecosystems.
In order to contribute knowledge towards sustainable management of coral reefs, investigations were conducted: (a) on seasonal patterns of seawater temperature, macroalgal abundance and sedimentation rates; (b) on coral larval settlement patterns on artificial plates and; (c) on the survival and growth of transplanted coral fragments of different species on degraded reef habitats and on artificial substrates.
Seasonal patterns in seawater temperature, macroalgal abundance, sedimentation rate, and coral larval settlement was revealed.
Coral transplantation studies revealed that fragments as small as 0.5-5 cm could be cultured, but survival and growth was higher on larger fragments.
Coral restoration using cemented fragments on artificial structures showed better results than unattached fragments.
The enhancement of the coral reef environment by the use of artificial settlement plates and fragment-support structures in various ways is discussed.
CHRISTOPHER ADRIANO MUHANDO (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS), University of Dar es Salaam.
Muhando is teaching and supervising Postgraduate students researching on coral reef ecology and/or using GIS as a coastal management tool.
He is responsible for IMS GIS Database and Tanzania Coastal Atlas development.
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