Practical Resilience Index for Coral Reef Assessment

  • Imam BachtiarEmail author
  • Suharsono
  • Ario Damar
  • Neviaty P. Zamani


Assessing coral reef resilience is an increasingly important component of coral reef management. Existing coral reef resilience assessments are not practical, especially for developing countries. South-east Asian countries have been using line-intercept-transect (LIT) in coral reef monitoring for a long time. The present study proposes an index for assessing coral reef resilience based on data collected from the LIT method. The resilience index formula was modified from an existing resilience index for soil communities developed by Orwin and Wardle. We used an ideal resilient coral reef community as a reference point for the index. The ideal coral reef was defined from data collected from 1992 to 2009. Six variables were statistically selected for the resilience indicators: coral functional group (CFG), coral habitat quality (CHQ), sand-silt cover (SSC), coral cover (COC), coral small-size number (CSN), and algae-other-fauna (AOF) cover. Maximum values of five variables were determined as the best state, while the maximum value of CSN was determined from 1240 data-sets of Indonesian reefs. The resilience index performed well in relation to changes in COC, AOF, and SSC variables. Managers can use this tool to compare coral reef resilience levels among locations and times. This index would be applicable for global coral reef resilience assessment.


recovery food security reef health indicators monitoring 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Babcock R, Davies P (1991) Effects of sedimentation on settlement of Acropora millepora. Coral Reefs 9:205–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bachtiar I (2002) Promoting recruitment of scieractinian corals using artificial substrate in the Gill Indah, Lombok Barat, Indonesia. In: Moosa MK, Soemodihardjo S, Soegiarto A, Romimohtarto K, Nontji A, Soekarno, Suharsono (eds) Proceedings 9th International Coral Reefs Symposium, Bali, 23–27 Oct 2000, pp 425–430Google Scholar
  3. Bachtiar I, Prayogo W (2010) Coral recruitment on reef ball modules at the Benete Bay, Sumbawa island, Indonesia. J Coast Dev 13:119–125Google Scholar
  4. Bahartan K, Zibdah M, Ahmed Y, Israel A, Bricker I, Abelson A (2010) Macroalgae in the coral reefs of Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea) as a possible indicator of reef degradation. Mar Pollut Bull 60:759–764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellwood DR, Hughes TP, Folke C, Nyström M (2004) Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature 429:827–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bellwood DR, Hughes TP, Hoey AS (2006) Sleeping fractional group drives reef recovery. Curr Biol 16:2434–2439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown B, Suharsono (1990) Damage and recovery of coral reefs affected by El Nino related seawater warming in the Thousand Islands, Indonesia. Coral Reefs 8:163–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carpenter RC (1990) Mass mortality of Diadema antillarum: II. effects on population densities and grazing intensity of parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. Mar Biol 104:79–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carpenter C, Walker B, Anderies JM, Abel N (2001) From metaphor to measurement: resilience of what to what? Ecosystems 4:765–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cheal AJ, McNeil MA, Cripps E, Emslie MJ, Jonker M, Schaffelke B, Sweatman H (2010) Coral-macroalgal phase shifts or reef resilience: links with diversity and functional roles of herbivorous fishes on the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 29:1005–1015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clarke KR, Somerfield PJ, Gorley RN (2008) Testing of null hypotheses in exploratory community analyses: similarity profiles and biota-environment linkage. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 366:56–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cumming GS, Morrison TH, Hughes TP (2016) New directions for understanding the spatial resilience of social–ecological systems. Ecosystems 20(4):649–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cruz ICS, Meira VH, de Kikuchi RKP, Creed JC (2016) The role of competition in the phase shift to dominance of the zoanthid Palythoa cf. variabilis on coral reefs. Mar Environ Res 115:28–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Done TJ (1982) Patterns in the distribution of coral communities across the Central Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 1:95–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Done TJ (1992) Phase shifts in coral reef communities and their ecological significance. Hydrobiologia 247:121–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Done TJ, Dayton PK, Dayton AE, Steger R (1991) Regional and local variability in recovery of shallow coral communities: Moorea, French Polynesia and central Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 9:183–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. English S, Wilkinson C, Baker V (1994) Survey manual for tropical marine resources. Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, Townsville, 368 pGoogle Scholar
  18. Erdinger EN, Risk MJ (2000) Reef classification by coral morphology predicts coral reef conservation value. Biol Conserv 92:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fox HE, Pet JS, Dahuri R, Caldwell RL (2003) Recovery in rubble fields: long-term impacts of blast fishing. Mar Pollut Bull 46:1024–1031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fox RJ, Bellwood DR (2008) Remote video bioassays reveal the potential feeding impact of the rabbitfish Siganus canaliculatus (f: Siganidae) on an inner-shelf reef of the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 27:605–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gilmour JP, Smith LD, Heyward AJ, Baird AH, Pratchett MS (2013) Recovery of an isolated coral reef system following severe disturbance. Science 340:69–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Golbuu Y, Victor S, Penland L, Idip Jr D, Emaurois C, Okaji K, Yukihira H, Iwase A, van Woesik R (2007) Palau’s coral reefs show differential habitat recovery following the 1998-bleaching event. Coral Reefs 26:319–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Graham NAJ, Jennings S, MacNeil A, Mouillot D, Wilson SK (2015) Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs. Nature 518:94–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Guest JR, Low J, Tun K, Wilson B, Ng C, Raingeard D, Ulstrup KE, Tanzil JTI, Todd PA, Toh PA, McDaugald D, Chou LM, Steinberg PD (2016) Coral community response to bleaching on a highly disturbed reef. Sci Rep-UK 15(6):385. doi:10.1038/srep20717Google Scholar
  25. Hodgson G (1990) Sediment and the settlement of larvae of the reef coral Pocillopora damicornis. Coral Reefs 9:41–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hoegh-Guldberg O, Mumby PJ, Hooten AJ, Steneck RS, Greenfield P, Gomez E, Harvell CD, Sale PF, Edwards AJ, Caldeira K, Knowlton N, Eakin CM, Iglesias-Prieto R, Muthiga N, Bradbury RH, Dubi A, Hatziolos ME (2007) Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification. Science 318:1737–1742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hoey AS, Bellwood DR (2008) Cross-shelf variation in the role of parrot fishes on the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 27:37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Holling CS (1973) Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 4:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hughes TP (1994) Catastrophes, phase shifts and large-scale degradation of Caribbean coral reef. Science 65:1547–1551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hughes TP, Rodrigues MJ, Bellwood DR, Ceccarelli D, Hoegh- Guldberg O, McCook L, Moltschaniwsky N, Pratchett MS, Steneck RS, Willis B (2007) Phase shifts, herbivory, and the resilience of coral reefs to climate change. Curr Biol 17:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jackson JBC (1997) Reefs since Columbus. Coral Reefs 16(Suppl): S23–S32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jackson JBC, Kirby MX, Berger WH, Bjomdal KA, Botsford LW, Bourque BJ, Bradbury RH, Cooke R, Erlandson J, Estes JA, Hughes TP, Kidwell S, Lange CB, Lenihan HS, Pandolfi JM, Peterson CH, Stenneck RS, Tegner MJ, Warner RR (2001) Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems. Science 293:629–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kleypas JA, Buddemeier RW, Archer D, Gattuso J-P, Langdon C, Opdyke BN (1999) Geochemical consequences of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide on coral reefs. Science 284:118–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lam VYY, Doropoulus C, Mumby PJ (2017) The influence of resilience-based management on coral reef monitoring: a systematic review. PLoS One 12(2):e0172064. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0172064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ledlie MH, Graham NAJ, Bythell JC, Wilson SK, Jennings S, Polunin NVC, Hardcastle J (2007) Phase shifts and the role of herbivory in the resilience of coral reefs. Coral Reefs 26:641–653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Littler MM, Littler DS, Brooks BL (2006) Harmful algae on tropical coral reefs: bottom-up eutrophication and top-down herbivory. Harmful Algae 5:565–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lundberg J, Moberg F (2003) Mobile link organisms and ecosystem functioning: implications for ecosystem resilience and management. Ecosystems 6:87–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Marsh LM, Bradbury RH, Reichelt RE (1984) Determination of the physical parameters of coral distributions using line transect data. Coral Reefs 2:175–180Google Scholar
  39. Maynard JA, Marshall PA, Johnson JE, Harman S (2010) Building resilience into practical conservation: identifying local management responses to global climate change in the southern Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 29:381–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McClanahan TR, Donner SD, Maynard JA, MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ, Maina J, Baker AC, Alemu I JB, Beger M, Campbell SJ, Darling ES, Eakin CM, Heron SF, Jupiter SD, Lundquist CJ, McLeod E, Mumby PJ, Paddack MJ, Selig ER, van Woesik R (2012) Prioritizing key resilience indicators to support coral reef management in a changing climate. PLoS One 7:e42884. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Miller K, Mundy C (2003) Rapid settlement in broadcast spawning corals: implications for larval dispersal. Coral Reefs 22:99–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mora C, Graham N J, Nystrom M (2016) Ecological limitations to the resilience of coral reefs. Coral Reefs 35(4):1271–1280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ninio R, Meekan MG (2002) Spatial patterns in benthic communities and the dynamics of a mosaic ecosystem on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Coral Reefs 21:95–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nystrom M, Graham AJ, Lokrantz J, Norström AV (2008) Capturing the cornerstones of coral reef resilience: linking theory to practice. Coral Reefs 27:795–809CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Obura DO, Grimsditch G (2009) Resilience assessment of coral reefs - assessment protocol for coral reefs, focusing on coral bleaching and thermal stress. IUCN, Gland, 70 pGoogle Scholar
  46. Orwin KH, Wardle DA (2004) New indices for quantifying the resistance and resilience of soil biota to exogenous disturbances. Soil Biol Biochem 36:1907–1912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Peterson G, Allen CR, Holling CS (1998) Ecological resilience, biodiversity, and scale. Ecosystems 1:6–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Primpas I, Tsirtsis G, Karydis M, Kokkoris GD (2010) Principal component analysis: development of a multivariate index for assessing eutrophication according to the European water framework directive. Ecol Indic 10:178–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Roberts CM, Ormond RFG (1987) Habitat complexity and coral reef fish diversity and abundance on Red Sea fringing reefs. Mar Ecol-Prog Ser 41:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Roff G, Mumby PJ (2012) Global disparity in the resilience of coral reefs. Trends Ecol Evol 27:404–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rogers CS, Gilnack M, Fitz III HC (1983) Monitoring of coral reefs with linear transects: a study of storm damage. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 66:285–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Smith LD, Gilmour JP, Heyward AJ (2008) Resilience of coral communities on an isolated sistem of reefs following catastrophic mass-bleaching. Coral Reefs 27:197–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Starger CJ, Barber PH, Ambariyanto, Baker AC (2010) The recovery of coral genetic diversity in the Sunda Strait following the 1883 eruption of Krakatau. Coral Reefs 29:547–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Suharsono (2008) Managing Indonesian coral reefs: lessons from coral reef rehabilitation and management program. In: Proceedings 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Florida, 7–11 Jul 2008, pp 1159–1161Google Scholar
  55. Timpane-Padgham BL, Beechie T, Klinger T (2017) A systematic review of ecological attributes that confer resilience to climate change in environmental restoration. PLoS One 12(3):e0173812. Scholar
  56. Tkachenko KS, Wu BJ, Fang LS, Fan TY (2007) Dynamics of a coral reef community after mass mortality of branching Acropora corals and an outbreak of anemones. Mar Biol 151:185–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tomascik T, van Woesik R, Mah AJ (1996) Rapid coral colonization of a recent lava flow following a volcanic eruption, Banda Islands, Indonesia. Coral Reefs 15:169–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Van Moorsel GWNM (1985) Disturbance and growth of juvenile corals (Agaricia humilis and Agaricia agaricites, Scleractinia) in natural habitats on the reef of Curacao. Mar Ecol-Prog Ser 24:99–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Veron JEN, Devantier LM, Turak E, Green AL, Kininmonth S, Stafford-Smith M, Peterson N (2009) Delineating the coral triangle. Galaxea 11:91–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Williams DE, Miller MW, Kramer KL (2008) Recruitment failure in Florida Keys Acropora palmata, a threatened Caribbean coral. Coral Reefs 27:697–705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wilson SK, Graham NAJ, Polunin NVC (2007) Appraisal of visual assessments of habitat complexity and benthic composition on coral reefs. Mar Biol 151:1069–1076CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Imam Bachtiar
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Suharsono
    • 3
  • Ario Damar
    • 4
  • Neviaty P. Zamani
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Math and Science Education, Faculty of Teacher Training and EducationUniversity of MataramKota MataramIndonesia
  2. 2.Department of Magister Pendidikan IPA, Program PascasarjanaUniversity of MataramKota MataramIndonesia
  3. 3.Research Center for OceanographyIndonesian Institute of SciencesJakartaIndonesia
  4. 4.Department of Aquatic Resources Management, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine ScienceBogor Agricultural UniversityWest JavaIndonesia
  5. 5.Department of Marine Science and Technology, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine ScienceBogor Agricultural UniversityWest JavaIndonesia

Personalised recommendations