Natural Coral Reef Geographical Locations
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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