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Dongsha Atoll recovering from typhoon devastation: MNPH

2018/11/30 16:34:50

Photo courtesy of Marine National Park Headquarters

Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) The coral reefs in Dongsha Atoll National Park are in a stable condition but need time to recover fully from the damage caused by a typhoon, according to a press release from the Marine National Park Headquarters (MNPH) Nov. 28.

MNPH said it and the Dongsha Atoll Research Station at National Sun Yat-sen University undertook an annual coral health survey in October, which showed that average coral cover is 62.3 percent around the atoll and 51 percent in the lagoon, with 50 percent cover considered healthy.

MNPH said that part of the survey was conducted two weeks after Super Typhoon Mangkhut passed over Dongsha Atoll on its way to Hong Kong from the Philippines.

The timing enabled MNPH to learn more about how typhoons affect coral reefs, with coral cover on the atoll's windward side drastically decreased from more than 70 percent to around 40 percent.

Citing survey results in recent years, MNPH said that although typhoons can devastate coral habitats, they also bring cooler seawater into the lagoon and balance its ecosystem in summer, when the water temperature is higher and can cause coral bleaching.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Chi Jo-yao)
Enditem/AW