Spatio-temporal changes in Red Sea benthic coral reef communities

  • Karla Paola Gonzalez-Martinez

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Understanding how coral reefs respond to natural disturbances is fundamental to assess their resistance and resilience, particularly in a context of climate change. Therefore, and given the escalating frequency and intensity of bleaching events, it is essential to evaluate responses of communities in space and time to disentangle the mechanisms underlying ecological changes. Here, I analyzed a dataset comprising 59 reefs, resulting from 6 years (2014-2016) of a coral reef benthic monitoring program in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. It encompasses the 2015/2016 mass bleaching event and spans three different geographic regions: north (Duba and Al Wajh), central (Jeddah and Thuwal), and south (Al Lith, Farasan Islands and Farasan Banks). The results indicate significant differences between regions and through time. Coral assemblages from the southern region were the most affected by the 2015 bleaching event, where in some reefs, hard and soft corals cover dropped to
Date of AwardApr 2021
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorMichael Berumen (Supervisor)


  • Coral reef
  • Red Sea
  • Bleaching events
  • Benthic communities
  • Community structure

Cite this