Natural Coral Reef Geographical Locations

Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands consists of a double chain of elongated islands. The six larger islands have a central mountain range with peaks rising up to 2450 m in height. Guadacanal has the only coastal plains, while the remaining islands consist of mountains rising directly from the sea. Rivers and creeks are numerous on many of the islands which are largely covered with tropical forest. The mean annual rainfall is generally well above 2540 mm with occasional small tropical cyclones. These cyclones have caused damage to reefs in the area. Reef flats have suffered mortality due to a general lowering of mean sea level in the southwest Pacific during 1983. This was a consequence of the abnormal El Nino event of that year. Some reefs have been buried by sediments from eroding volcanic cones. Crustose coralline algae are dominant under strong surf conditions. Porolithon onkodes is found on the reef rim under surf conditions and Lithophyllum moluccense is found with corals under moderate wave action. Marovo Lagoon off the Island of New Georgia, has a double fringing barrier reef that is in part a triple barrier. On the north coast of Kohinggo Island, in Blackett Strait, another double barrier reef is found. These are considered to be the best defined double barriers in the world. It is now believed that up to 300 species of stony corals may inhabit these islands. Reef building stony corals imported from this region in the past were typically very small young colonies which could survive stress from exportation. There have been many rare and exotic corals imported from this region. Pink colored Acropora millepora can be found here. The Solomons Islands is actively farming reef building stony corals. These cultured corals are fragments that have been tied to cement disks and have grown onto the disk. Unfortunately, the Solomon Islands experienced a civil war and cultured corals were not exported at all for a few years. They have only recently begun to culture and export corals once again.
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