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ReefBudget is an online resource and methodology designed to support both research and management applications focused on quantifying and monitoring the carbonate budgets of tropical coral reefs. The method employs field-based census methodologies to determine the abundance of key carbonate producing and eroding taxa. It then generates estimates of the rates at which these processes operate and their contributions to net carbonate budgets.

About ReefBudget

This site provides details of the ReefBudget methodology, copies of the field survey sheets and links to the relevant Excel data entry spreadsheets required to calculate rates of carbonate production and erosion. The spreadsheets are pre-set with relevant regional metrics on calcification and erosion rates for different taxa, but these can be modified as necessary by the user where local or other relevant datasets exist. Compilations of currently available supporting data on growth and erosion rates are provided and regularly updated.

Development of the methodology was originally funded by The Leverhulme Trust, with subsequent modifications supported through funding from the Royal Society and the Bertarelli Programme in Marine Science.

To read more about the project, download the background to project (.pdf).


Please acknowledge ReefBudget in any publications resulting from the use of this methodology as follows:

Caribbean method

Perry CT and Lange ID (2019) ReefBudget Caribbean v2: online resource and methodology. Retrieved from

Indo-Pacific method

Perry CT, Lange I, Januchowski-Hartley FA (2018) ReefBudget Indo Pacific: online resource and methodology. Retrieved from


For further details about ReefBudget or to contribute/notify us of additional available datasets please contact Chris Perry (E-mail: or Ines Lange (E-mail:

Relevant Publications

Lange I.D., Perry C.T., Stuhr M. (2022). Recovery trends of reef carbonate budgets at remote coral atolls 6 years post-bleaching. Limnology & Oceanography. doi: 10.1002/lno.12066.

Molina-Hernández, A., González-Barrios, F., Perry C.T., Álvarez-Filip, L. (2020) Two decades of carbonate budget change on shifted coral reef assemblages: are these reefs being locked into low net budget states? Proceedings Royal Society B. 287: 20202305.

Lange I.D., Perry C.T., Morgan K.M., Roche R., Benkwitt C.E., Graham N.A. (2020). Site-level variation in parrotfish grazing and bioerosion as a function of species-specific feeding metrics. Diversity 12(10):379. doi: 10.3390/d12100379

Perry, C.T., Morgan, K.M., Lange, I.D., & Yarlett, R.T. (2020). Bleaching-driven reef community shifts drive pulses of increased reef sediment generation. Royal Society Open Science, 7(4), 192153. doi: 10.1098/rsos.192153

Lange, I. D., Perry, C. T., & Alvarez-Filip, L. (2020). Carbonate budgets as indicators of functional reef “health”: A critical review of data underpinning census-based methods and current knowledge gaps. Ecological Indicators, 110, 105857. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105857

Lange, I. D., & Perry, C. T. (2019). Bleaching impacts on carbonate production in the Chagos Archipelago: influence of functional coral groups on carbonate budget trajectories. Coral Reefs, 38(4), 619-624. doi: 10.1007/s00338-019-01784-x

Perry C.T., Alvarez-Filip L., Graham N.A., Mumby P.J., Wilson S.K., Kench P.S., Manzello D.P., Morgan K.M., Slangen A.B., Thomson D.P., Januchowski-Hartley F., et al. (2018) Loss of coral reef growth capacity to track future increases in sea level. Nature 558, 396-400; doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0194-z

Perry C.T., Morgan K.M. (2017) Bleaching drives collapse in reef carbonate budgets and reef growth potential on southern Maldives reefs. Scientific reports 13, 40581; doi: 10.1038/srep40581

Perry C.T., Murphy G.N., Graham N.A.J., Wilson S.K., Januchowski-Hartley F.A., East H. (2015) Remote coral reefs can sustain high growth potential and may match future sea-level trends. Scientific Reports 5, 18289; doi: 10.1038/srep18289.

Perry C.T., Steneck R.S., Murphy G.N., Kench P.S., Edinger E.N., Smithers S.G., Mumby P.J. (2015) Regional-scale dominance of non-framework building corals on Caribbean reefs affects carbonate production and future reef growth. Global Change Biology 21: 1153-1164; doi: 10.1111/gcb.12792

Perry C.T., Murphy G.N., Kench P.S., Edinger E.N., Smithers S.G., Steneck R.S., Mumby P.J. (2014) Changing dynamics of Caribbean reef carbonate budgets: emergence of reef bioeroders as critical controls on present and future reef growth potential. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 281: 20142018; doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2018

Perry C.T., Murphy G.N., Kench P.S., Smithers S.G., Edinger E.N., Steneck R.S. and Mumby P.J. (2013) Caribbean-wide decline in carbonate production threatens coral reef growth. Nature Communications 4: 1402; doi: 10.1038/ncomms2409

Perry C.T., Edinger E.N., Kench, P.S., Mumby P.J., Murphy G., Steneck, R.S. and Smithers S.G. (2012) Estimating rates of biologically driven coral reef framework production and erosion: a new census-based carbonate budget methodology and applications to the reefs of Bonaire. Coral Reefs. 31: 853-868; doi: 10.1007/s00338-012-0901-4

Eastern Tropical Pacific Resources

Eastern Tropical Pacific Data Entry Spreadsheets

Eastern Tropical Pacific Supporting Datasets