Coral diversity and coral reef environment in Brunei Darussalam
This article reviews the coral diversity and coral reef environment in Brunei Darussalam, in comparison with the other regions in the South China Sea (SCS). Extensive surveys on corals had not been conducted in Brunei Darussalam for a long time but the recent efforts of coral identification have revealed that approximately 400 species of scleractinian corals inhabit in Brunei seawaters, which is close to the highest diversity in the SCS. The most dominant coral family in species number was Acroporidae, which accounted for 30% of the whole coral species. Using the published data on coral diversity in the SCS, multivariate analyses showed that the number of coral species in any tested coral familiy (Acroporidae, Agariciidae, Fungiidae, Lobophylliidae, Merulinidae, and Poritidae) in a region was significantly correlated with the total number of coral species in the region, indicating that the coral diversity in any family reflects the coral diversity in the whole ecosystem. Although the high coral diversity was confirmed in Brunei Darussalam, several threats to corals have also been reported. Regular monitoring of the coral reef status is required to promptly detect undesirable environmental changes in the future.
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