Storm impacts on benthic community structure on Kiritimati atoll




Szostek, Lisa
Osgood, Geoffrey J.
Claar, Danielle C.
Baum, Julia K.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Kiritimati, Kiribati is a remote Pacific atoll whose citizens are faced with challenges such as climate change and overfishing which threaten the local fish stocks that most residents rely on for subsistence fishing. In addition to these stressors, a storm unprecedented in size and vigour hit the atoll in January 2015. My research project aims to understand how this storm affected coral reef benthos communities on Kiritimati. As extreme weather events are becoming more common, this research could provide essential information for island and coastal nations that have or will experience large storms. This project will be done by analyzing the coral reef composition and cover in photos taken of the coral reef benthos before (August 2014), during (January 2015) and after (May and July 2015) the storm at various sites around the atoll. Subsequent steps include statistical analysis and formal reporting of the findings.



Kiritimati, Kiribati, Pacific atoll, coral reef benthos communities