Coral reefs in the northeastern Saudi Arabian Red Sea are resilient to mass coral mortality events

Yu Jia Lin*, Moritz J. Heinle, Ali Al-Musabeh, Jinoy Gopalan, Thiyagarajan D. Vasanthi, Premlal Panickan, Tarek Hamade, Bruno Pulido, Thadickal V. Joydas*, Barry Shepherd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We conducted an integrated survey combining visual census and baited remote underwater video survey on the coral reefs in the northeastern Red Sea and examined their health by comparing the baseline information from two decades ago. The mean coverage of the corals of all stations was 36 %, including 32 % stony corals and 4.0 % soft corals, significantly higher and lower to previous baseline. Observed high proportion of dead corals indicated the occurrence of the events of mass mortality, and the heating events were the most likely cause. Similar levels of coral coverage compared to two decades ago indicated their resilience to past events with mass coral mortality. Small proportions of macroalgae and sea urchins indicated that they might be controlled by their predators frequently observed in both visual census and underwater video survey. Regular monitoring and careful development plans are needed to safeguard these invaluable reefs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115693
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Baited remote underwater video
  • Coral reef
  • Mass mortality
  • Red Sea
  • Resilience
  • Visual census

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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