Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Coral reefs, vital marine ecosystems, face unprecedented threats from anthropogenic activities and environmental stressors. Understanding the health dynamics of key reef-building organisms like Acropora palmata is crucial for effective conservation. This study assesses A. palmata populations in the Bocas archipelago, Panama, examining tissue abundances, colony structure, and species diversity across twelve sites to get a general understanding of the health of this species in this area. Variations in tissue abundances and colony structure between sites were found, highlighting localized impacts of environmental stressors. Factors such as depth and proximity to human development influence health status. Additionally, the presence of A. palmata correlates with reduced diversity and abundance of other hard coralline species. This study emphasizes the need for targeted conservation efforts to safeguard A. palmata populations and coral reef ecosystems in the Bocas archipelago. Understanding health dynamics and ecological interactions provides insights for informing conservation strategies and promoting resilience in the face of environmental challenges.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Bates Community After Expiration]

First Advisor

Holly Ewing

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


Available to Bates Community via local IP address or Bates login on Saturday, April 21, 2029.