Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (3): 258-265.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017312

• Original Papers: Ecosystem Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ecosystem status and health assessment of Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve

Sun Youfang1,2,3,4, Lei Xinming1,2,*(), Lian Jiansheng1,2, Yang Jianhui1,2, Wu Yingying1,3,5, Huang Hui1,2,4,*()   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301
    2 Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Applied Marine Biology, Guangzhou 510301
    3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    4 Tropical Marine Biological Research Station in Hainan, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sanya, Hainan 572000
    5 Beijing Advanced Sciences and Innovation Centre, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 101407
  • Received:2017-11-21 Accepted:2018-01-10 Online:2018-03-20 Published:2018-05-05
  • Contact: Lei Xinming,Huang Hui


To assess the health of Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve (SCRNNR), we surveyed corals, reef fish, and macrobenthos at three stations (Dongdao, Luhuitou, Dadonghai). We compared these data with historical data together with expert consultations, and identified first and second class indices of coral reef ecosystem health and their weights (coral reef ecosystem health assessment comprehensive index method). We recorded 37 species of hermatypic corals, and three species of soft corals, averaging 14.31% and 0.19% of the benthic cover, respectively. The highest cover of hermatypic corals was 21.58% at Luhuitou. Thirty-six species of coral reef fishes belonging to 14 families and 28 genera were recorded, of which Pomacentridae was the dominant family. Density of reef fishes was highest at 4 m depth on Luhuitou reef reaching up to 154/300 m2. Corallivorous snail and lobsters were rarely observed while corallivorous snails, Drupella, were common at all sites. Our results indicate that the health status of Dongdao, Luhuitou, Dadonghai coral reef ecosystems are “general”. We conclude that this survey approach provides a feasible and practical method for scientific research and management departments to assess the health status of coral reef ecosystems.

Key words: coral reef ecosystem, health assessment, ecological status, Sanya