Community level monitoring programs remain as an important source of primary data that help researchers elucidate important processes in complex systems. The two-year community monitoring effort conducted in Apo Reef Natural Park have shown the important role of large reef fishes in sustaining the recovery of the hard coral community after consecutive disturbances. The study showed the importance of facultative piscivores and Crown of Thorns feeding adult invertivores in hard coral recovery of ARNP. The study have also provided us an important insight on the potential adverse effects of an increasing herbivore biomass on hard coral recovery in the reef complex. These results provide us with management perspectives that are important to consider in implementing adaptive strategies to enhance hard coral recovery in ARNP. The study also highlights the importance of large piscivores and invertivores in sustaining resilience of oceanic reefs in the face of frequent and intense climate driven disturbance.
(SMART Corals Project, Dr. Victor S. Ticzon/UPLB)