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Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning ...

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning ...

3.0 Conducting a

3.0 Conducting a Vulnerability Assessmenton algae and have different impacts on its growthand spreading) is measured.6. Resilience indicators are factors that affect theresistance of corals to bleaching and the resilienceor recovery potential of the reef community. Abroad range of indicators in different classes ismeasured, some quantitatively and some by eyeestimates.This methodology has already been applied in 25different areas globally (Obura, 2010), establishinga standardized method for assessing coral reefvulnerability to climate change. It is summarizedfurther in Table 20.A semi-quantitative five-point scale is used forestimating most of the indicators (Obura & Grimsditch,2009; Obura, 2010), except for those (like temperatureand visibility) that could easily be measured orestimated quantitatively. Classification of the five-pointscale is done using local and regional knowledge.How to interpret vulnerabilityWhere adjacent coral reefs are in poor condition,mangroves have reduced sediment supply fromoffshore productivity, reduced protection from waveaction and reduced quality of adjacent habitats used bymangrove species such as fish. Hence, reduced qualityof adjacent coral reefs increases the sensitivity ofmangroves to climate change impacts.Rank vulnerability on the scale at the top of the nextpage, either site by site or calculated as an averagefor the area. The semi-quantitative five-point scale ofObura & Grimsditch (2009) and the resilience scale ofComponent Method/approach Equipment required1 Benthic cover Compatible with standard long-term monitoring approaches.Uses point transects.2 Coral community structure(genera)Visual estimate — relative abundance of genera at the study site,in 5 classes:5 = dominant4 = abundant3 = common2 = uncommon1 = rareGenus guide for coralsData sheets — benthic, fish,invertebrates3 Coral size class distributions(selected genera)*Belt transects (25 x 1 m, four replicates) with sub-sampling usingquadrats for colonies > 10 cm. 15–20 selected genera, in doublingsize classes (0–2.5, 3–5, 6–10, 11–20 cm, etc.)4 Coral condition Incidence of coral bleaching, disease, other conditions andmortality in the size distribution belt transects and in the generalstudy site.5 Fish community structure —herbivoresLong-swim and belt transects (50 x 5 m, three replicates)recording incidence of large indicator fish and main functionalgroups, focusing on herbivore functional groups1 m ruler/stick marked at 10,20, 40 and 80 cm to help guidesize estimates (3/4” PVC tubeideal for this)Benthic data sheet, CoralWatch coral health chart50 m line transect, data sheetwith ID sheet of main groups6 Resistance and resilienceindicatorsVisual estimation (e.g., slope) or 5-point scale of resistance andresilience indicators across multiple factors:• benthic cover• physical site parameters• substrate and reef morphology• cooling and flushing• shading and screening• extreme conditions and acclimatization, coral condition• coral population structure and coral associates• fish functional groups (herbivory)• connectivity and anthropogenic conditionsTable 20. Summary of the resilience assessment for coral reefs (Obura & Grimsditch, 2009; Obura, 2010).68 | Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning for Mangrove Systems

3.0 Conducting a Vulnerability AssessmentRank 1 2 3 4 5 SSensitivity factorsAdjacent coral reef resilience Very high High Moderate Low Very lowObura’s (2010) can be used, but reverse the resiliencescale score so that it refers to vulnerability. Record thescore in the final column (S = score).Strengths/weaknessesIf coral reefs are closely adjacent to the mangrove site,such as a fringing or barrier reef on a small island orlow coastal site, they are important to the mangrovevulnerability assessment.A coral reef resilience survey has the capacity toexpand into a large project, particularly if keen diversand coral scientists become involved. Involvement witha long-term coral reef monitoring project would behelpful for guidance and data sharing.3.7.2 Sea grassSeagrass Watch’s standard methods for baselineassessment and monitoring of sea grass communitystructure and condition are available at to collect dataFollow the guidelines in the Seagrass Watch manuals(McKenzie & Campbell, 2002; McKenzie et al., 2003).These are written for citizens, not specialists, andthis is a good exercise in which to involve the localcommunity.Record characteristics of sea grass habitat adjacent tomangrove areas, including• geographic location• visual estimates of above-ground biomasspercentage cover (4 replicates of a 0.25 m 2quadrat)• species composition• percent algae cover• sediment type• water depthEquipment Required– 4 x 0.25 m 2 quadrats– Sea grass ID guide– Data sheets (3 per transect x 3 transects per site)– 50 m measuring tape– 30 cm ruler– CompassHow to interpret vulnerabilityWhere sea grass communities adjacent to mangrovesare in poor condition, mangroves will havereduced sediment supply from calcareous sea grassproductivity, reduced protection from wave action andreduced quality of adjacent habitats used by mangrovespecies, such as fish. Hence, reduced resilienceof adjacent sea grass increases the sensitivity ofmangroves to climate change impacts.Using the guidance in the Seagrass Watch manualsrank vulnerability on the following scale, either site bysite or calculated as an average for the area. Record thescore in the final column (S = score).Rank 1 2 3 4 5 SSensitivity factorsAdjacent sea grass resilience Very high High Moderate Low Very lowClimate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning for Mangrove Systems | 69

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