WorldWideScience

Sample records for coral biodiversity resilience

  1. Coral reef resilience through biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2013-01-01

    Irrefutable evidence of coral reef degradation worldwide and increasing pressure from rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification associated with climate change have led to a focus on reef resilience and a call to “manage” coral reefs for resilience. Ideally, global action to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be accompanied by local action. Effective management requires reduction of local stressors, identification of the characteristics of resilient reefs, and design of marine protected area networks that include potentially resilient reefs. Future research is needed on how stressors interact, on how climate change will affect corals, fish, and other reef organisms as well as overall biodiversity, and on basic ecological processes such as connectivity. Not all reef species and reefs will respond similarly to local and global stressors. Because reef-building corals and other organisms have some potential to adapt to environmental changes, coral reefs will likely persist in spite of the unprecedented combination of stressors currently affecting them. The biodiversity of coral reefs is the basis for their remarkable beauty and for the benefits they provide to society. The extraordinary complexity of these ecosystems makes it both more difficult to predict their future and more likely they will have a future.

  2. Bikini Atoll coral biodiversity resilience five decades after nuclear testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richards, Zoe T. [Museum of Tropical Queensland, Flinders St, Townsville, QLD 4810 (Australia) and Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811 (Australia) and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811 (Australia); NRAS - Marshall Islands: Natural Resource Assessment Surveys (Australia)], E-mail: zoe.richards@jcu.edu.au; Beger, Maria [Ecology Centre and Commonwealth Research Facility for Applied Environmental Decision Analysis, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 (Australia); NRAS - Marshall Islands: Natural Resource Assessment Surveys (Australia); Pinca, Silvia [College of the Marshall Islands, Majuro, Marshall Islands, NRAS - Marshall Islands: Natural Resource Assessment Surveys (Australia); Wallace, Carden C. [Museum of Tropical Queensland, Flinders St, Townsville, QLD 4810 (Australia)

    2008-03-15

    Five decades after a series of nuclear tests began, we provide evidence that 70% of the Bikini Atoll zooxanthellate coral assemblage is resilient to large-scale anthropogenic disturbance. Species composition in 2002 was assessed and compared to that seen prior to nuclear testing. A total of 183 scleractinian coral species was recorded, compared to 126 species recorded in the previous study (excluding synonomies, 148 including synonomies). We found that 42 coral species may be locally extinct at Bikini. Fourteen of these losses may be pseudo-losses due to inconsistent taxonomy between the two studies or insufficient sampling in the second study, however 28 species appear to represent genuine losses. Of these losses, 16 species are obligate lagoonal specialists and 12 have wider habitat compatibility. Twelve species are recorded from Bikini for the first time. We suggest the highly diverse Rongelap Atoll to the east of Bikini may have contributed larval propagules to facilitate the partial resilience of coral biodiversity in the absence of additional anthropogenic threats.

  3. Local stressors reduce coral resilience to bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carilli, Jessica E; Norris, Richard D; Black, Bryan A; Walsh, Sheila M; McField, Melanie

    2009-07-22

    Coral bleaching, during which corals lose their symbiotic dinoflagellates, typically corresponds with periods of intense heat stress, and appears to be increasing in frequency and geographic extent as the climate warms. A fundamental question in coral reef ecology is whether chronic local stress reduces coral resistance and resilience from episodic stress such as bleaching, or alternatively promotes acclimatization, potentially increasing resistance and resilience. Here we show that following a major bleaching event, Montastraea faveolata coral growth rates at sites with higher local anthropogenic stressors remained suppressed for at least 8 years, while coral growth rates at sites with lower stress recovered in 2-3 years. Instead of promoting acclimatization, our data indicate that background stress reduces coral fitness and resilience to episodic events. We also suggest that reducing chronic stress through local coral reef management efforts may increase coral resilience to global climate change.

  4. Marine protected areas increase resilience among coral reef communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellin, Camille; Aaron MacNeil, M; Cheal, Alistair J; Emslie, Michael J; Julian Caley, M

    2016-06-01

    With marine biodiversity declining globally at accelerating rates, maximising the effectiveness of conservation has become a key goal for local, national and international regulators. Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely advocated for conserving and managing marine biodiversity yet, despite extensive research, their benefits for conserving non-target species and wider ecosystem functions remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that MPAs can increase the resilience of coral reef communities to natural disturbances, including coral bleaching, coral diseases, Acanthaster planci outbreaks and storms. Using a 20-year time series from Australia's Great Barrier Reef, we show that within MPAs, (1) reef community composition was 21-38% more stable; (2) the magnitude of disturbance impacts was 30% lower and (3) subsequent recovery was 20% faster that in adjacent unprotected habitats. Our results demonstrate that MPAs can increase the resilience of marine communities to natural disturbance possibly through herbivory, trophic cascades and portfolio effects.

  5. Ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    1994-01-01

    The article highlights a workshop held in Key West, Florida in November 1993 attended by a group of 35 international scientists where topics of ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs were discussed.

  6. Forest Resilience, Biodiversity, and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    I. Thompson; B. Mackey; S. McNulty; A. Mosseler

    2009-01-01

    This paper reviews the concepts of ecosystem resilience, resistance, and stability in forests and their relationship to biodiversity, with particular reference to climate change. The report is a direct response to a request by the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, in decision IX/51, to explore the links between biodiversity, forest ecosystem...

  7. Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Heard, Matthew S; Isaac, Nick J B; Roy, David B; Procter, Deborah; Eigenbrod, Felix; Freckleton, Rob; Hector, Andy; Orme, C David L; Petchey, Owen L; Proença, Vânia; Raffaelli, David; Suttle, K Blake; Mace, Georgina M; Martín-López, Berta; Woodcock, Ben A; Bullock, James M

    2015-11-01

    Accelerating rates of environmental change and the continued loss of global biodiversity threaten functions and services delivered by ecosystems. Much ecosystem monitoring and management is focused on the provision of ecosystem functions and services under current environmental conditions, yet this could lead to inappropriate management guidance and undervaluation of the importance of biodiversity. The maintenance of ecosystem functions and services under substantial predicted future environmental change (i.e., their 'resilience') is crucial. Here we identify a range of mechanisms underpinning the resilience of ecosystem functions across three ecological scales. Although potentially less important in the short term, biodiversity, encompassing variation from within species to across landscapes, may be crucial for the longer-term resilience of ecosystem functions and the services that they underpin.

  8. A comparison of proxy performance in coral biodiversity monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Zoe T.

    2013-03-01

    The productivity and health of coral reef habitat is diminishing worldwide; however, the effect that habitat declines have on coral reef biodiversity is not known. Logistical and financial constraints mean that surveys of hard coral communities rarely collect data at the species level; hence it is important to know if there are proxy metrics that can reliably predict biodiversity. Here, the performances of six proxy metrics are compared using regression analyses on survey data from a location in the northern Great Barrier Reef. Results suggest generic richness is a strong explanatory variable for spatial patterns in species richness (explaining 82 % of the variation when measured on a belt transect). The most commonly used metric of reef health, percentage live coral cover, is not positively or linearly related to hard coral species richness. This result raises doubt as to whether management actions based on such reefscape information will be effective for the conservation of coral biodiversity.

  9. Making evolutionary history count: biodiversity planning for coral reef fishes and the conservation of evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heyden, Sophie

    2017-03-01

    Anthropogenic activities are having devastating impacts on marine systems with numerous knock-on effects on trophic functioning, species interactions and an accelerated loss of biodiversity. Establishing conservation areas can not only protect biodiversity, but also confer resilience against changes to coral reefs and their inhabitants. Planning for protection and conservation in marine systems is complex, but usually focuses on maintaining levels of biodiversity and protecting special and unique landscape features while avoiding negative impacts to socio-economic benefits. Conversely, the integration of evolutionary processes that have shaped extant species assemblages is rarely taken into account. However, it is as important to protect processes as it is to protect patterns for maintaining the evolutionary trajectories of populations and species. This review focuses on different approaches for integrating genetic analyses, such as phylogenetic diversity, phylogeography and the delineation of management units, temporal and spatial monitoring of genetic diversity and quantification of adaptive variation for protecting evolutionary resilience, into marine spatial planning, specifically for coral reef fishes. Many of these concepts are not yet readily applied to coral reef fish studies, but this synthesis highlights their potential and the importance of including historical processes into systematic biodiversity planning for conserving not only extant, but also future, biodiversity and its evolutionary potential.

  10. Seaweed-coral interactions: variance in seaweed allelopathy, coral susceptibility, and potential effects on coral resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaldo, Roberta M; Hay, Mark E

    2014-01-01

    Tropical reefs are in global decline with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. Negative associations between macroalgae and corals are well documented, but the mechanisms involved, the dynamics of the interactions, and variance in effects of different macroalgal-coral pairings are poorly investigated. We assessed the frequency, magnitude, and dynamics of macroalgal-coral competition involving allelopathic and non-allelopathic macroalgae on three, spatially grouped pairs of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and non-MPAs in Fiji. In non-MPAs, biomass of herbivorous fishes was 70-80% lower, macroalgal cover 4-9 fold higher, macroalgal-coral contacts 5-15 fold more frequent and 23-67 fold more extensive (measured as % of colony margin contacted by macroalgae), and coral cover 51-68% lower than in MPAs. Coral contacts with allelopathic macroalgae occurred less frequently than expected by chance across all sites, while contact with non-allelopathic macroalgae tended to occur more frequently than expected. Transplants of allelopathic macroalgae (Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Galaxaura filamentosa) against coral edges inflicted damage to Acropora aspera and Pocillopora damicornis more rapidly and extensively than to Porites cylindrica and Porites lobata, which appeared more resistant to these macroalgae. Montipora digitata experienced intermediate damage. Extent of damage from macroalgal contact was independent of coral colony size for each of the 10 macroalgal-coral pairings we established. When natural contacts with Galaxaura filamentosa were removed in the field, recovery was rapid for Porites lobata, but Pocillopora damicornis did not recover and damage continued to expand. As macroalgae increase on overfished tropical reefs, allelopathy could produce feedbacks that suppress coral resilience, prevent coral recovery, and promote the stability of algal beds in habitats previously available to corals.

  11. Seaweed-coral interactions: variance in seaweed allelopathy, coral susceptibility, and potential effects on coral resilience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta M Bonaldo

    Full Text Available Tropical reefs are in global decline with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. Negative associations between macroalgae and corals are well documented, but the mechanisms involved, the dynamics of the interactions, and variance in effects of different macroalgal-coral pairings are poorly investigated. We assessed the frequency, magnitude, and dynamics of macroalgal-coral competition involving allelopathic and non-allelopathic macroalgae on three, spatially grouped pairs of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs and non-MPAs in Fiji. In non-MPAs, biomass of herbivorous fishes was 70-80% lower, macroalgal cover 4-9 fold higher, macroalgal-coral contacts 5-15 fold more frequent and 23-67 fold more extensive (measured as % of colony margin contacted by macroalgae, and coral cover 51-68% lower than in MPAs. Coral contacts with allelopathic macroalgae occurred less frequently than expected by chance across all sites, while contact with non-allelopathic macroalgae tended to occur more frequently than expected. Transplants of allelopathic macroalgae (Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Galaxaura filamentosa against coral edges inflicted damage to Acropora aspera and Pocillopora damicornis more rapidly and extensively than to Porites cylindrica and Porites lobata, which appeared more resistant to these macroalgae. Montipora digitata experienced intermediate damage. Extent of damage from macroalgal contact was independent of coral colony size for each of the 10 macroalgal-coral pairings we established. When natural contacts with Galaxaura filamentosa were removed in the field, recovery was rapid for Porites lobata, but Pocillopora damicornis did not recover and damage continued to expand. As macroalgae increase on overfished tropical reefs, allelopathy could produce feedbacks that suppress coral resilience, prevent coral recovery, and promote the stability of algal beds in habitats previously available to corals.

  12. Thresholds and the resilience of Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Peter J; Hastings, Alan; Edwards, Helen J

    2007-11-01

    The deteriorating health of the world's coral reefs threatens global biodiversity, ecosystem function, and the livelihoods of millions of people living in tropical coastal regions. Reefs in the Caribbean are among the most heavily affected, having experienced mass disease-induced mortality of the herbivorous urchin Diadema antillarum in 1983 and two framework-building species of coral. Declining reef health is characterized by increases in macroalgae. A critical question is whether the observed macroalgal bloom on Caribbean reefs is easily reversible. To answer this question, we must resolve whether algal-dominated reefs are an alternative stable state of the ecosystem or simply the readily reversible result of a phase change along a gradient of some environmental or ecological parameter. Here, using a fully parameterized simulation model in combination with a simple analytical model, we show that Caribbean reefs became susceptible to alternative stable states once the urchin mortality event of 1983 confined the majority of grazing to parrotfishes. We reveal dramatic hysteresis in a natural system and define critical thresholds of grazing and coral cover beyond which resilience is lost. Most grazing thresholds lie near the upper level observed for parrotfishes in nature, suggesting that reefs are highly sensitive to parrotfish exploitation. Ecosystem thresholds can be combined with stochastic models of disturbance to identify targets for the restoration of ecosystem processes. We illustrate this principle by estimating the relationship between current reef state (coral cover and grazing) and the probability that the reef will withstand moderate hurricane intensity for two decades without becoming entrained in a shift towards a stable macroalgal-dominated state. Such targets may help reef managers face the challenge of addressing global disturbance at local scales.

  13. Coral benchmarks in the center of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Licuanan, W Y; Robles, R; Dygico, M; Songco, A; van Woesik, R

    2017-01-30

    There is an urgent need to quantify coral reef benchmarks that assess changes and recovery rates through time and serve as goals for management. Yet, few studies have identified benchmarks for hard coral cover and diversity in the center of marine diversity. In this study, we estimated coral cover and generic diversity benchmarks on the Tubbataha reefs, the largest and best-enforced no-take marine protected area in the Philippines. The shallow (2-6m) reef slopes of Tubbataha were monitored annually, from 2012 to 2015, using hierarchical sampling. Mean coral cover was 34% (σ±1.7) and generic diversity was 18 (σ±0.9) per 75m by 25m station. The southeastern leeward slopes supported on average 56% coral cover, whereas the northeastern windward slopes supported 30%, and the western slopes supported 18% coral cover. Generic diversity was more spatially homogeneous than coral cover. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Coral Ecosystem Resilience, Conservation and Management on the Reefs of Jamaica in the Face of Anthropogenic Activities and Climate Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. James C. Crabbe

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of factors that are important in reef resilience and integrity help us understand how reef ecosystems react following major anthropogenic and environmental disturbances. The North Jamaican fringing reefs have shown some recent resilience to acute disturbances from hurricanes and bleaching, in addition to the recurring chronic stressors of over-fishing and land development. Factors that can improve coral reef resilience are reviewed, and reef rugosity is shown to correlate with coral cover and growth, particularly for branching Acropora species. The biodiversity index for the Jamaican reefs was lowered after the 2005 mass bleaching event, as were the numbers of coral colonies, but both had recovered by 2009. The importance of coastal zone reef management strategies and the economic value of reefs are discussed, and a protocol is suggested for future management of Jamaican reefs.

  15. RESISTANCE AND RESILIENCE TO CORAL BLEACHING: IMPLICATIONS FOR CORAL REEF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The massive scale of the 1997-1998 El Nino-associated coral bleaching event underscores the need for strategies to mitigate biodiversity losses resulting from temperature-induced coral mortality. As baseline sea surface temperatures continue to rise, climate change may represent ...

  16. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  17. Changes in Biodiversity and Functioning of Reef Fish Assemblages following Coral Bleaching and Coral Loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A.J. Graham

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60% coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  18. Climate Change, Human Impacts, and the Resilience of Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, T. P.; Baird, A. H.; Bellwood, D. R.; Card, M.; Connolly, S. R.; Folke, C.; Grosberg, R.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; Jackson, J. B. C.; Kleypas, J.; Lough, J. M.; Marshall, P.; Nyström, M.; Palumbi, S. R.; Pandolfi, J. M.; Rosen, B.; Roughgarden, J.

    2003-08-01

    The diversity, frequency, and scale of human impacts on coral reefs are increasing to the extent that reefs are threatened globally. Projected increases in carbon dioxide and temperature over the next 50 years exceed the conditions under which coral reefs have flourished over the past half-million years. However, reefs will change rather than disappear entirely, with some species already showing far greater tolerance to climate change and coral bleaching than others. International integration of management strategies that support reef resilience need to be vigorously implemented, and complemented by strong policy decisions to reduce the rate of global warming.

  19. Tradeoffs between fisheries harvest and the resilience of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozec, Yves-Marie; O'Farrell, Shay; Bruggemann, J Henrich; Luckhurst, Brian E; Mumby, Peter J

    2016-04-19

    Many countries are legally obliged to embrace ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. Reductions in bycatch and physical habitat damage are now commonplace, but mitigating more sophisticated impacts associated with the ecological functions of target fisheries species are in their infancy. Here we model the impacts of a parrotfish fishery on the future state and resilience of Caribbean coral reefs, enabling us to view the tradeoff between harvest and ecosystem health. We find that the implementation of a simple and enforceable size restriction of >30 cm provides a win:win outcome in the short term, delivering both ecological and fisheries benefits and leading to increased yield and greater coral recovery rate for a given harvest rate. However, maintaining resilient coral reefs even until 2030 requires the addition of harvest limitations (fisheries.

  20. Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMC): Proposed Mechanisms for Coral Health and Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peixoto, Raquel S.; Rosado, Phillipe M.; Leite, Deborah Catharine de Assis; Rosado, Alexandre S.; Bourne, David G.

    2017-01-01

    The symbiotic association between the coral animal and its endosymbiotic dinoflagellate partner Symbiodinium is central to the success of corals. However, an array of other microorganisms associated with coral (i.e., Bacteria, Archaea, Fungi, and viruses) have a complex and intricate role in maintaining homeostasis between corals and Symbiodinium. Corals are sensitive to shifts in the surrounding environmental conditions. One of the most widely reported responses of coral to stressful environmental conditions is bleaching. During this event, corals expel Symbiodinium cells from their gastrodermal tissues upon experiencing extended seawater temperatures above their thermal threshold. An array of other environmental stressors can also destabilize the coral microbiome, resulting in compromised health of the host, which may include disease and mortality in the worst scenario. However, the exact mechanisms by which the coral microbiome supports coral health and increases resilience are poorly understood. Earlier studies of coral microbiology proposed a coral probiotic hypothesis, wherein a dynamic relationship exists between corals and their symbiotic microorganisms, selecting for the coral holobiont that is best suited for the prevailing environmental conditions. Here, we discuss the microbial-host relationships within the coral holobiont, along with their potential roles in maintaining coral health. We propose the term BMC (Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals) to define (specific) symbionts that promote coral health. This term and concept are analogous to the term Plant Growth Promoting Rhizosphere (PGPR), which has been widely explored and manipulated in the agricultural industry for microorganisms that inhabit the rhizosphere and directly or indirectly promote plant growth and development through the production of regulatory signals, antibiotics and nutrients. Additionally, we propose and discuss the potential mechanisms of the effects of BMC on corals, suggesting

  1. Response diversity can increase ecological resilience to disturbance in coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskett, Marissa L; Fabina, Nicholas S; Gross, Kevin

    2014-08-01

    Community-level resilience depends on the interaction between multiple populations that vary in individual responses to disturbance. For example, in tropical reefs, some corals can survive higher stress (resistance) while others exhibit faster recovery (engineering resilience) following disturbances such as thermal stress. While each type will negatively affect the other through competition, each might also benefit the other by reducing the potential for an additional competitor such as macroalgae to invade after a disturbance. To determine how community composition affects ecological resilience, we modeled coral-macroalgae interactions given either a resistant coral, a resilient coral, or both together. Having both coral types (i.e., response diversity) can lead to observable enhanced ecological resilience if (1) the resilient coral is not a superior competitor and (2) disturbance levels are high enough such that the resilient coral would collapse when considered alone. This enhanced resilience occurs through competitor-enabled rescue where each coral increases the potential for the other to recover from disturbance through external recruitment, such that both corals benefit from the presence of each other in terms of total cover and resilience. Therefore, conservation management aimed at protecting resilience under global change requires consideration of both diversity and connectivity between sites experiencing differential disturbance.

  2. Static measurements of the resilience of Caribbean coral populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew W. Bruckner

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The progressive downward shift in dominance of key reef building corals, coupled with dramatic increases in macroalgae and other nuisance species, fields of unstable coral rubble ,loss of structural relief, and declines of major functional groups of fishes is a common occurrence throughout the Caribbean today. The incorporation of resilience principles into management is a proposed strategy to reverse this trend and ensure proper functioning of coral reefs under predicted scenarios of climate change, yet ecosystem processes and functions that underlie reef resilience are not fully understood. Rapid assessments using the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA and the IUCN Resilience Assessment protocol can provide baseline information on reef resilience. A key aspect of these surveys focuses on coral population dynamics, including measures of coral cover, size, partial and whole-colony mortality, condition, and recruitment. One challenge is that these represent static measures involving a single assessment. Without following individual corals over time, it is difficult to determine rates of survival and growth of recruits and adult colonies, and differentiation of juveniles from small remnants of older colonies may not be possible, especially when macroalgal cover is high. To address this limitation, corals assessed in Bonaire in July 2010 were subdivided into two categories: 1 colonies on the reef substrate; and 2 colonies colonizing dead corals and exposed skeletal surfaces of living corals. Coral populations in Bonaire exhibited many features indicative of high resilience, including high coral cover (often 30-50%, high levels of recruitment, and a large number of corals that settled on dead corals and survived to larger size-classes. Overall, the skeletal surfaces of 12 species of corals were colonized by 16 species of corals, with up to 12 settlers on each colony, most (67% on M. annularis (complex skeletons. Nevertheless, completely

  3. Satellite imaging coral reef resilience at regional scale. A case-study from Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowlands, Gwilym; Purkis, Sam; Riegl, Bernhard; Metsamaa, Liisa; Bruckner, Andrew; Renaud, Philip

    2012-06-01

    We propose a framework for spatially estimating a proxy for coral reef resilience using remote sensing. Data spanning large areas of coral reef habitat were obtained using the commercial QuickBird satellite, and freely available imagery (NASA, Google Earth). Principles of coral reef ecology, field observation, and remote observations, were combined to devise mapped indices. These capture important and accessible components of coral reef resilience. Indices are divided between factors known to stress corals, and factors incorporating properties of the reef landscape that resist stress or promote coral growth. The first-basis for a remote sensed resilience index (RSRI), an estimate of expected reef resilience, is proposed. Developed for the Red Sea, the framework of our analysis is flexible and with minimal adaptation, could be extended to other reef regions. We aim to stimulate discussion as to use of remote sensing to do more than simply deliver habitat maps of coral reefs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Mapping Coral Reef Resilience Indicators Using Field and Remotely Sensed Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart Phinn

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available In the face of increasing climate-related impacts on coral reefs, the integration of ecosystem resilience into marine conservation planning has become a priority. One strategy, including resilient areas in marine protected area (MPA networks, relies on information on the spatial distribution of resilience. We assess the ability to model and map six indicators of coral reef resilience—stress-tolerant coral taxa, coral generic diversity, fish herbivore biomass, fish herbivore functional group richness, density of juvenile corals and the cover of live coral and crustose coralline algae. We use high spatial resolution satellite data to derive environmental predictors and use these in random forest models, with field observations, to predict resilience indicator values at unsampled locations. Predictions are compared with those obtained from universal kriging and from a baseline model. Prediction errors are estimated using cross-validation, and the ability to map each resilience indicator is quantified as the percentage reduction in prediction error compared to the baseline model. Results are most promising (percentage reduction = 18.3% for mapping the cover of live coral and crustose coralline algae and least promising (percentage reduction = 0% for coral diversity. Our study has demonstrated one approach to map indicators of coral reef resilience. In the context of MPA network planning, the potential to consider reef resilience in addition to habitat and feature representation in decision-support software now exists, allowing planners to integrate aspects of reef resilience in MPA network development.

  5. The DNA of coral reef biodiversity: predicting and protecting genetic diversity of reef assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selkoe, Kimberly A; Gaggiotti, Oscar E; Treml, Eric A; Wren, Johanna L K; Donovan, Mary K; Toonen, Robert J

    2016-04-27

    Conservation of ecological communities requires deepening our understanding of genetic diversity patterns and drivers at community-wide scales. Here, we use seascape genetic analysis of a diversity metric, allelic richness (AR), for 47 reef species sampled across 13 Hawaiian Islands to empirically demonstrate that large reefs high in coral cover harbour the greatest genetic diversity on average. We found that a species's life history (e.g. depth range and herbivory) mediates response of genetic diversity to seascape drivers in logical ways. Furthermore, a metric of combined multi-species AR showed strong coupling to species richness and habitat area, quality and stability that few species showed individually. We hypothesize that macro-ecological forces and species interactions, by mediating species turnover and occupancy (and thus a site's mean effective population size), influence the aggregate genetic diversity of a site, potentially allowing it to behave as an apparent emergent trait that is shaped by the dominant seascape drivers. The results highlight inherent feedbacks between ecology and genetics, raise concern that genetic resilience of entire reef communities is compromised by factors that reduce coral cover or available habitat, including thermal stress, and provide a foundation for new strategies for monitoring and preserving biodiversity of entire reef ecosystems.

  6. Ecological States and the Resilience of Coral Reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim McClanahan

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available We review the evidence for multiple ecological states and the factors that create ecological resilience in coral reef ecosystems. There are natural differences among benthic communities along gradients of water temperature, light, nutrients, and organic matter associated with upwelling-downwelling and onshore-offshore systems. Along gradients from oligotrophy to eutrophy, plant-animal symbioses tend to decrease, and the abundance of algae and heterotrophic suspension feeders and the ratio of organic to inorganic carbon production tend to increase. Human influences such as fishing, increased organic matter and nutrients, sediments, warm water, and transportation of xenobiotics and diseases are common causes of a large number of recently reported ecological shifts. It is often the interaction of persistent and multiple synergistic disturbances that causes permanent ecological transitions, rather than the succession of individual short-term disturbances. For example, fishing can remove top-level predators, resulting in the ecological release of prey such as sea urchins and coral-eating invertebrates. When sea urchins are not common because of unsuitable habitat, recruitment limitations, and diseases, and when overfishing removes herbivorous fish, frondose brown algae can dominate. Terrigenous sediments carried onto reefs as a result of increased soil erosion largely promote the dominance of turf or articulated green algae. Elevated nutrients and organic matter can increase internal eroders of reef substratum and a mixture of filamentous algae. Local conservation actions that attempt to reduce fishing and terrestrial influences promote the high production of inorganic carbon that is necessary for reef growth. However, global climate change threatens to undermine such actions because of increased bleaching and mortality caused by warm-water anomalies, weakened coral skeletons caused by reduced aragonite availability in reef waters, and increased

  7. Connectivity, biodiversity conservation and the design of marine reserve networks for coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almany, G. R.; Connolly, S. R.; Heath, D. D.; Hogan, J. D.; Jones, G. P.; McCook, L. J.; Mills, M.; Pressey, R. L.; Williamson, D. H.

    2009-06-01

    Networks of no-take reserves are important for protecting coral reef biodiversity from climate change and other human impacts. Ensuring that reserve populations are connected to each other and non-reserve populations by larval dispersal allows for recovery from disturbance and is a key aspect of resilience. In general, connectivity between reserves should increase as the distance between them decreases. However, enhancing connectivity may often tradeoff against a network’s ability to representatively sample the system’s natural variability. This “representation” objective is typically measured in terms of species richness or diversity of habitats, but has other important elements (e.g., minimizing the risk that multiple reserves will be impacted by catastrophic events). Such representation objectives tend to be better achieved as reserves become more widely spaced. Thus, optimizing the location, size and spacing of reserves requires both an understanding of larval dispersal and explicit consideration of how well the network represents the broader system; indeed the lack of an integrated theory for optimizing tradeoffs between connectivity and representation objectives has inhibited the incorporation of connectivity into reserve selection algorithms. This article addresses these issues by (1) updating general recommendations for the location, size and spacing of reserves based on emerging data on larval dispersal in corals and reef fishes, and on considerations for maintaining genetic diversity; (2) using a spatial analysis of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to examine potential tradeoffs between connectivity and representation of biodiversity and (3) describing a framework for incorporating environmental fluctuations into the conceptualization of the tradeoff between connectivity and representation, and that expresses both in a common, demographically meaningful currency, thus making optimization possible.

  8. High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew S Hoey

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32'S, 159°04'E, the worlds' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment, and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4% and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%. Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m(-2, however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha(-1, and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1% with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances.

  9. High macroalgal cover and low coral recruitment undermines the potential resilience of the world's southernmost coral reef assemblages

    KAUST Repository

    Hoey, Andrew

    2011-10-03

    Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic and climate-induced stressors. The ability of reefs to reassemble and regenerate after disturbances (i.e., resilience) is largely dependent on the capacity of herbivores to prevent macroalgal expansion, and the replenishment of coral populations through larval recruitment. Currently there is a paucity of this information for higher latitude, subtropical reefs. To assess the potential resilience of the benthic reef assemblages of Lord Howe Island (31°32?S, 159°04?E), the worlds\\' southernmost coral reef, we quantified the benthic composition, densities of juvenile corals (as a proxy for coral recruitment), and herbivorous fish communities. Despite some variation among habitats and sites, benthic communities were dominated by live scleractinian corals (mean cover 37.4%) and fleshy macroalgae (20.9%). Live coral cover was higher than in most other subtropical reefs and directly comparable to lower latitude tropical reefs. Juvenile coral densities (0.8 ind.m -2), however, were 5-200 times lower than those reported for tropical reefs. Overall, macroalgal cover was negatively related to the cover of live coral and the density of juvenile corals, but displayed no relationship with herbivorous fish biomass. The biomass of herbivorous fishes was relatively low (204 kg.ha -1), and in marked contrast to tropical reefs was dominated by macroalgal browsing species (84.1%) with relatively few grazing species. Despite their extremely low biomass, grazing fishes were positively related to both the density of juvenile corals and the cover of bare substrata, suggesting that they may enhance the recruitment of corals through the provision of suitable settlement sites. Although Lord Howe Islands\\' reefs are currently coral-dominated, the high macroalgal cover, coupled with limited coral recruitment and low coral growth rates suggest these reefs may be extremely susceptible to future disturbances. © 2011 Hoey et al.

  10. Doom and boom on a resilient reef: climate change, algal overgrowth and coral recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo; McCook, Laurence J; Dove, Sophie; Berkelmans, Ray; Roff, George; Kline, David I; Weeks, Scarla; Evans, Richard D; Williamson, David H; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2009-01-01

    Coral reefs around the world are experiencing large-scale degradation, largely due to global climate change, overfishing, diseases and eutrophication. Climate change models suggest increasing frequency and severity of warming-induced coral bleaching events, with consequent increases in coral mortality and algal overgrowth. Critically, the recovery of damaged reefs will depend on the reversibility of seaweed blooms, generally considered to depend on grazing of the seaweed, and replenishment of corals by larvae that successfully recruit to damaged reefs. These processes usually take years to decades to bring a reef back to coral dominance. In 2006, mass bleaching of corals on inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef caused high coral mortality. Here we show that this coral mortality was followed by an unprecedented bloom of a single species of unpalatable seaweed (Lobophora variegata), colonizing dead coral skeletons, but that corals on these reefs recovered dramatically, in less than a year. Unexpectedly, this rapid reversal did not involve reestablishment of corals by recruitment of coral larvae, as often assumed, but depended on several ecological mechanisms previously underestimated. These mechanisms of ecological recovery included rapid regeneration rates of remnant coral tissue, very high competitive ability of the corals allowing them to out-compete the seaweed, a natural seasonal decline in the particular species of dominant seaweed, and an effective marine protected area system. Our study provides a key example of the doom and boom of a highly resilient reef, and new insights into the variability and mechanisms of reef resilience under rapid climate change.

  11. Positive Feedbacks Enhance Macroalgal Resilience on Degraded Coral Reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire L A Dell

    Full Text Available Many reefs have shifted from coral and fish dominated habitats to less productive macroalgal dominated habitats, and current research is investigating means of reversing this phase shift. In the tropical Pacific, overfished reefs with inadequate herbivory can become dominated by the brown alga Sargassum polycystum. This alga suppresses recruitment and survival of corals and fishes, thus limiting the potential for reef recovery. Here we investigate the mechanisms that reinforce S. polycystum dominance and show that in addition to negatively affecting other species, this species acts in a self-reinforcing manner, positively promoting survival and growth of conspecifics. We found that survival and growth of both recruit-sized and mature S. polycystum fronds were higher within Sargassum beds than outside the beds and these results were found in both protected and fished reefs. Much of this benefit resulted from reduced herbivory within the Sargassum beds, but adult fronds also grew ~50% more within the beds even when herbivory did not appear to be occurring, suggesting some physiological advantage despite the intraspecific crowding. Thus via positive feedbacks, S. polycystum enhances its own growth and resistance to herbivores, facilitating its dominance (perhaps also expansion and thus its resilience on degraded reefs. This may be a key feedback mechanism suppressing the recovery of coral communities in reefs dominated by macroalgal beds.

  12. Operationalizing resilience for adaptive coral reef management under global environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Kenneth R N; Marshall, Paul A; Abdulla, Ameer; Beeden, Roger; Bergh, Chris; Black, Ryan; Eakin, C Mark; Game, Edward T; Gooch, Margaret; Graham, Nicholas A J; Green, Alison; Heron, Scott F; van Hooidonk, Ruben; Knowland, Cheryl; Mangubhai, Sangeeta; Marshall, Nadine; Maynard, Jeffrey A; McGinnity, Peter; McLeod, Elizabeth; Mumby, Peter J; Nyström, Magnus; Obura, David; Oliver, Jamie; Possingham, Hugh P; Pressey, Robert L; Rowlands, Gwilym P; Tamelander, Jerker; Wachenfeld, David; Wear, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    Cumulative pressures from global climate and ocean change combined with multiple regional and local-scale stressors pose fundamental challenges to coral reef managers worldwide. Understanding how cumulative stressors affect coral reef vulnerability is critical for successful reef conservation now and in the future. In this review, we present the case that strategically managing for increased ecological resilience (capacity for stress resistance and recovery) can reduce coral reef vulnerability (risk of net decline) up to a point. Specifically, we propose an operational framework for identifying effective management levers to enhance resilience and support management decisions that reduce reef vulnerability. Building on a system understanding of biological and ecological processes that drive resilience of coral reefs in different environmental and socio-economic settings, we present an Adaptive Resilience-Based management (ARBM) framework and suggest a set of guidelines for how and where resilience can be enhanced via management interventions. We argue that press-type stressors (pollution, sedimentation, overfishing, ocean warming and acidification) are key threats to coral reef resilience by affecting processes underpinning resistance and recovery, while pulse-type (acute) stressors (e.g. storms, bleaching events, crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks) increase the demand for resilience. We apply the framework to a set of example problems for Caribbean and Indo-Pacific reefs. A combined strategy of active risk reduction and resilience support is needed, informed by key management objectives, knowledge of reef ecosystem processes and consideration of environmental and social drivers. As climate change and ocean acidification erode the resilience and increase the vulnerability of coral reefs globally, successful adaptive management of coral reefs will become increasingly difficult. Given limited resources, on-the-ground solutions are likely to focus increasingly on

  13. Operationalizing resilience for adaptive coral reef management under global environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Kenneth RN; Marshall, Paul A; Abdulla, Ameer; Beeden, Roger; Bergh, Chris; Black, Ryan; Eakin, C Mark; Game, Edward T; Gooch, Margaret; Graham, Nicholas AJ; Green, Alison; Heron, Scott F; van Hooidonk, Ruben; Knowland, Cheryl; Mangubhai, Sangeeta; Marshall, Nadine; Maynard, Jeffrey A; McGinnity, Peter; McLeod, Elizabeth; Mumby, Peter J; Nyström, Magnus; Obura, David; Oliver, Jamie; Possingham, Hugh P; Pressey, Robert L; Rowlands, Gwilym P; Tamelander, Jerker; Wachenfeld, David; Wear, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    Cumulative pressures from global climate and ocean change combined with multiple regional and local-scale stressors pose fundamental challenges to coral reef managers worldwide. Understanding how cumulative stressors affect coral reef vulnerability is critical for successful reef conservation now and in the future. In this review, we present the case that strategically managing for increased ecological resilience (capacity for stress resistance and recovery) can reduce coral reef vulnerability (risk of net decline) up to a point. Specifically, we propose an operational framework for identifying effective management levers to enhance resilience and support management decisions that reduce reef vulnerability. Building on a system understanding of biological and ecological processes that drive resilience of coral reefs in different environmental and socio-economic settings, we present an Adaptive Resilience-Based management (ARBM) framework and suggest a set of guidelines for how and where resilience can be enhanced via management interventions. We argue that press-type stressors (pollution, sedimentation, overfishing, ocean warming and acidification) are key threats to coral reef resilience by affecting processes underpinning resistance and recovery, while pulse-type (acute) stressors (e.g. storms, bleaching events, crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks) increase the demand for resilience. We apply the framework to a set of example problems for Caribbean and Indo-Pacific reefs. A combined strategy of active risk reduction and resilience support is needed, informed by key management objectives, knowledge of reef ecosystem processes and consideration of environmental and social drivers. As climate change and ocean acidification erode the resilience and increase the vulnerability of coral reefs globally, successful adaptive management of coral reefs will become increasingly difficult. Given limited resources, on-the-ground solutions are likely to focus increasingly on

  14. Reefs for the future: Resilience of coral reefs in the main Hawaiian Islands

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Declining health of coral reef ecosystems led scientists to search for factors that support reef resilience: the ability of reefs to resist and recover from...

  15. Resilience of coral reefs in the main Hawaiian Islands from 2013 to 2014 (NCEI Accession 0128219)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Declining health of coral reef ecosystems led scientists to search for factors that support reef resilience: the ability of reefs to resist and recover from...

  16. Hydrodynamic Regimes Affect Coral Reef Resilience to Ocean Acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teneva, L. T.; Dunbar, R. B.; Koseff, J. R.; Fleischfresser, J. D.; Koweek, D.

    2013-05-01

    Caribbean reefs hold tremendous value as sources of food, income, coastal protection, in addition to their cultural significance. Recently, studies showed that Caribbean reef growth has been surpassed in places by excessive rates of erosion due to climate change. The rates of coral reef response to ocean pH changes and warming and the implications for ecosystem resilience remain largely unknown. One way to investigate the potential structural resilience of reefs to climate change is to measure the physical oceanographic conditions in the area. Determining the hydrodynamic regimes and residence time of water in a particular reef environment is crucial to understanding the rates of future warming and acidification a reef site would experience. Our work on Pacific Islands' hydrodynamics - Central Equatorial Pacific, Great Barrier Reef, and Western Pacific -- would be of interest to Caribbean physical oceanographers and coral reef scientists. We use a combination of Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers, Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters, temperature and salinity sensors, and pressure sensors to characterize reef hydrodynamic regimes. Our work indicates that shallower, more protected reef habitats are characterized by longer residence times, their biological signals are strongly tidally modulated, essentially subjecting such habitats to higher rates of warming and acidification in the future. Reef crest environments and fore reef habitats, on the other hand, are well-mixed with open-ocean water. The hydrodynamic regimes there condition such reef sites to more attenuated temperature and pH ranges, conditions more typical of the open ocean. Our work suggests that investigating the geomorphology and resulting localized hydrodynamics in a reef area can provide insights into the relative rates at which a reef could resist or succumb to impacts of ocean acidification. Such information for different reef islands, in the Pacific or Caribbean basins, could provide helpful insights

  17. Insights into the Coral Microbiome: Underpinning the Health and Resilience of Reef Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, David G; Morrow, Kathleen M; Webster, Nicole S

    2016-09-01

    Corals are fundamental ecosystem engineers, creating large, intricate reefs that support diverse and abundant marine life. At the core of a healthy coral animal is a dynamic relationship with microorganisms, including a mutually beneficial symbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.) and enduring partnerships with an array of bacterial, archaeal, fungal, protistan, and viral associates, collectively termed the coral holobiont. The combined genomes of this coral holobiont form a coral hologenome, and genomic interactions within the hologenome ultimately define the coral phenotype. Here we integrate contemporary scientific knowledge regarding the ecological, host-specific, and environmental forces shaping the diversity, specificity, and distribution of microbial symbionts within the coral holobiont, explore physiological pathways that contribute to holobiont fitness, and describe potential mechanisms for holobiont homeostasis. Understanding the role of the microbiome in coral resilience, acclimation, and environmental adaptation is a new frontier in reef science that will require large-scale collaborative research efforts.

  18. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Messmer, Vanessa; Brooks, Andrew J; Srinivasan, Maya; Munday, Philip L; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2015-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia). Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity) in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  19. Reef fishes in biodiversity hotspots are at greatest risk from loss of coral species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally J Holbrook

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are under a variety of threats from global change and anthropogenic disturbances that are reducing the number and type of coral species on reefs. Coral reefs support upwards of one third of all marine species of fish, so the loss of coral habitat may have substantial consequences to local fish diversity. We posit that the effects of habitat degradation will be most severe in coral regions with highest biodiversity of fishes due to greater specialization by fishes for particular coral habitats. Our novel approach to this important but untested hypothesis was to conduct the same field experiment at three geographic locations across the Indo-Pacific biodiversity gradient (Papua New Guinea; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; French Polynesia. Specifically, we experimentally explored whether the response of local fish communities to identical changes in diversity of habitat-providing corals was independent of the size of the regional species pool of fishes. We found that the proportional reduction (sensitivity in fish biodiversity to loss of coral diversity was greater for regions with larger background species pools, reflecting variation in the degree of habitat specialization of fishes across the Indo-Pacific diversity gradient. This result implies that habitat-associated fish in diversity hotspots are at greater risk of local extinction to a given loss of habitat diversity compared to regions with lower species richness. This mechanism, related to the positive relationship between habitat specialization and regional biodiversity, and the elevated extinction risk this poses for biodiversity hotspots, may apply to species in other types of ecosystems.

  20. Recruitment, mortality, and resilience potential of scleractinian corals at Eilat, Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shlesinger, Tom; Loya, Yossi

    2016-12-01

    Events of mass coral bleaching and mortality have increased in recent decades worldwide, making coral recruitment more important than ever in sustaining coral-reef ecosystems and ensuring their resilience. During the last four decades, the coral reefs of Eilat have undergone severe deterioration due to both anthropogenic and natural causes. Recruitment failure has been frequently suggested as one of the main mechanisms underlying this deterioration. Here we assess the demographic replenishment and resilience potential of the local reefs, i.e., the potential for new sexually derived corals to recruit and exceed the community's mortality rate. We present a detailed analysis of coral community demography, obtained by means of high-resolution photographic monitoring of permanently marked plots. Coral spats as small as 1 mm were documented and the detailed dynamics of coral recruitment and mortality were recorded, in addition to other common ecological measurements. The cumulative quantity of recruited individuals was twofold to fivefold higher than total mortality. The most significant predictor variable for coral recruitment among all ecological parameters measured was the available substrate for settlement, and the survival of recruited corals was correlated with reef structural complexity. Two consecutive annual reproductive seasons (June-September of each year) with high recruitment rates were monitored. Combined with the high survival of recruits and the increase in coral live cover and abundance, the findings from this study indicate an encouraging potential for recovery of these reefs.

  1. Review: Current trends in coral transplantation – an approach to preserve biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ABDELNABY ORABI

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Ammar MSA,El-Gammal F, Nassar M, Belal A, Farag W, El-Mesiry G, El-Haddad K, Orabi A, Abdelreheem A, Shaaban A. 2013. Review: Current trends in coral transplantation – an approach to preserve biodiversity. Biodiversitas 14: 43-53. The increasing rates of coral mortality associated with the rise in stress factors and the lack of adequate recovery worldwide have urged recent calls for actions by the scientific, conservation, and reef management communities. This work reviews the current trends in coral transplantation. Transplantation of coral colonies or fragments, whether from aqua-, mariculture or harvesting from a healthy colony, has been the most frequently recommended action for increasing coral abundance on damaged or degraded reefs and for conserving listed or “at-risk” species. Phytoplanktons are important for providing transplanted corals with complex organic compounds through photosynthesis. Artificial surfaces like concrete blocks, wrecks or other purpose-designed structures can be introduced for larval settlement. New surfaces can also be created through electrolysis. Molecular biological tools can be used to select sites for rehabilitation by asexual recruits. Surface chemistry and possible inputs of toxic leachate from artificial substrates are considered as important factors affecting natural recruitment. Transplants should be carefully maintained , revisited and reattached at least weekly in the first month and at least fortnightly in the next three months. Studies on survivorship and the reproductive ability of transplanted coral fragments are important for coral reef restoration. A coral nursery may be considered as a pool for local species that supplies reef-managers with unlimited coral colonies for sustainable management. Transplanting corals for making artificial reefs can be useful for increasing biodiversity, providing tourist diving, fishing and surfing; creating new artisanal and commercial fishing opportunities

  2. Synergistic impacts of global warming on the resilience of coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozec, Yves-Marie; Mumby, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Recent epizootics have removed important functional species from Caribbean coral reefs and left communities vulnerable to alternative attractors. Global warming will impact reefs further through two mechanisms. A chronic mechanism reduces coral calcification, which can result in depressed somatic growth. An acute mechanism, coral bleaching, causes extreme mortality when sea temperatures become anomalously high. We ask how these two mechanisms interact in driving future reef state (coral cover) and resilience (the probability of a reef remaining within a coral attractor). We find that acute mechanisms have the greatest impact overall, but the nature of the interaction with chronic stress depends on the metric considered. Chronic and acute stress act additively on reef state but form a strong synergy when influencing resilience by intensifying a regime shift. Chronic stress increases the size of the algal basin of attraction (at the expense of the coral basin), whereas coral bleaching pushes the system closer to the algal attractor. Resilience can change faster—and earlier—than a change in reef state. Therefore, we caution against basing management solely on measures of reef state because a loss of resilience can go unnoticed for many years and then become disproportionately more difficult to restore.

  3. Doom and boom on a resilient reef: climate change, algal overgrowth and coral recovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Diaz-Pulido

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs around the world are experiencing large-scale degradation, largely due to global climate change, overfishing, diseases and eutrophication. Climate change models suggest increasing frequency and severity of warming-induced coral bleaching events, with consequent increases in coral mortality and algal overgrowth. Critically, the recovery of damaged reefs will depend on the reversibility of seaweed blooms, generally considered to depend on grazing of the seaweed, and replenishment of corals by larvae that successfully recruit to damaged reefs. These processes usually take years to decades to bring a reef back to coral dominance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In 2006, mass bleaching of corals on inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef caused high coral mortality. Here we show that this coral mortality was followed by an unprecedented bloom of a single species of unpalatable seaweed (Lobophora variegata, colonizing dead coral skeletons, but that corals on these reefs recovered dramatically, in less than a year. Unexpectedly, this rapid reversal did not involve reestablishment of corals by recruitment of coral larvae, as often assumed, but depended on several ecological mechanisms previously underestimated. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These mechanisms of ecological recovery included rapid regeneration rates of remnant coral tissue, very high competitive ability of the corals allowing them to out-compete the seaweed, a natural seasonal decline in the particular species of dominant seaweed, and an effective marine protected area system. Our study provides a key example of the doom and boom of a highly resilient reef, and new insights into the variability and mechanisms of reef resilience under rapid climate change.

  4. Resilience of Florida Keys Coral Communities Following Large-Scale Disturbances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauri MacLaughlin

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The decline of coral reefs in the Caribbean over the last 40 years has been attributed to multiple chronic stressors and episodic large-scale disturbances. This study assessed the resilience of coral communities in two different regions of the Florida Keys reef system between 1998 and 2002 following hurricane impacts and coral bleaching in 1998. Resilience was assessed from changes in coral abundance, diversity, disease, and bleaching prevalence in reefs near the remote off-shore islands of the Dry Tortugas compared to reefs near Key West, a center of high population density and anthropogenic influences. During the first assessment in spring 1998, Key West and Dry Tortugas coral communities had similar abundance, species diversity, and disease prevalence. Bleaching and disease significantly increased in all reef areas during the summer 1998 El Niño event, with Key West reefs exhibiting higher bleaching and disease prevalence and severity compared to Dry Tortugas. Acroporids and total coral abundance significantly declined in both regions during 1998 following mass-coral bleaching and hurricane impact, but remained reduced only on Key West reefs during the 5-year assessment. These results provide additional evidence that coral reef systems distant from anthropogenic influences may have greater resilience to large-scale disturbances.

  5. Chemically cued suppression of coral reef resilience: Where is the tipping point?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rohan M.; Hay, Mark E.; Dixson, Danielle L.

    2016-12-01

    Coral reefs worldwide are shifting from high-diversity, coral-dominated communities to low-diversity systems dominated by seaweeds. This shift can impact essential recovery processes such as larval recruitment and ecosystem resilience. Recent evidence suggests that chemical cues from certain corals attract, and from certain seaweeds suppress, recruitment of juvenile fishes, with loss of coral cover and increases in seaweed cover creating negative feedbacks that prevent reef recovery and sustain seaweed dominance. Unfortunately, the level of seaweed increase and coral decline that creates this chemically cued tipping point remains unknown, depriving managers of data-based targets to prevent damaging feedbacks. We conducted flume and field assays that suggest juvenile fishes sense and respond to cues produced by low levels of seaweed cover. However, the herbivore species we tested was more tolerant of degraded reef cues than non-herbivores, possibly providing some degree of resilience if these fishes recruit, consume macroalgae, and diminish negative cues.

  6. Reefs of tomorrow: eutrophication reduces coral biodiversity in an urbanized seascape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duprey, Nicolas N; Yasuhara, Moriaki; Baker, David M

    2016-11-01

    Although the impacts of nutrient pollution on coral reefs are well known, surprisingly, no statistical relationships have ever been established between water quality parameters, coral biodiversity and coral cover. Hong Kong provides a unique opportunity to assess this relationship. Here, coastal waters have been monitored monthly since 1986, at 76 stations, providing a highly spatially resolved water quality dataset including 68 903 data points. Moreover, a robust coral species richness (S) dataset is available from more than 100 surveyed locations, composed of 3453 individual colonies' observations, as well as a coral cover (CC) dataset including 85 sites. This wealth of data provides a unique opportunity to test the hypothesis that water quality, and in particular nutrients, drives coral biodiversity. The influence of water quality on S and CC was analyzed using GIS and multiple regression modeling. Eutrophication (as chlorophyll-a concentration; CHLA) was negatively correlated with S and CC, whereas physicochemical parameters (DO and salinity) had no significant effect. The modeling further illustrated that particulate suspended matter, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) had a negative effect on S and on CC; however, the effect of nutrients was 1.5-fold to twofold greater. The highest S and CC occurred where CHLA  15 μg L(-1) , DIN > 9 μm and DIP > 0.33 μm. This study demonstrates the importance of nutrients over other water quality parameters in coral biodiversity loss and highlights the key role of eutrophication in shaping coastal coral reef ecosystems. This work also provides ecological thresholds that may be useful for water quality guidelines and nutrient mitigation policies. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Regional Conservation Status of Scleractinian Coral Biodiversity in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe Richards

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Preventing the loss of biodiversity is a major challenge in mega-diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs where there is a critical shortage of baseline demographic data. Threatened species assessments play a valuable role in guiding conservation action to manage and mitigate biodiversity loss, but they must be undertaken with precise information at an appropriate spatial scale to provide accurate classifications. Here we explore the regional conservation status of scleractinian corals on isolated Pacific Ocean atolls in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. We compile an integrated regional species list based upon new and historical records, and compare how well the regional threat classifications reflect species level priorities at a global scale. A similar proportion of the 240 species of hard coral recorded in the current survey are classified as Vulnerable at the regional scale as the global scale using the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List criteria (23% and 20% respectively, however there are distinct differences in the composition of species. When local abundance data is taken into account, a far greater proportion of the regional diversity (up to 80% may face an elevated risk of local extinction. These results suggest coral communities on isolated Pacific coral reefs, which are often predicted to be at low risk, are still vulnerable due to the small and fragmented nature of their populations. This reinforces that to adequately protect biodiversity, ongoing threatened species monitoring and the documentation of species-level changes in abundance and distribution is imperative.

  8. Prioritizing key resilience indicators to support coral reef management in a changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, Tim R; Donner, Simon D; Maynard, Jeffrey A; MacNeil, M Aaron; Graham, Nicholas A J; Maina, Joseph; Baker, Andrew C; Alemu I, Jahson B; Beger, Maria; Campbell, Stuart J; Darling, Emily S; Eakin, C Mark; Heron, Scott F; Jupiter, Stacy D; Lundquist, Carolyn J; McLeod, Elizabeth; Mumby, Peter J; Paddack, Michelle J; Selig, Elizabeth R; van Woesik, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Managing coral reefs for resilience to climate change is a popular concept but has been difficult to implement because the empirical scientific evidence has either not been evaluated or is sometimes unsupportive of theory, which leads to uncertainty when considering methods and identifying priority reefs. We asked experts and reviewed the scientific literature for guidance on the multiple physical and biological factors that affect the ability of coral reefs to resist and recover from climate disturbance. Eleven key factors to inform decisions based on scaling scientific evidence and the achievability of quantifying the factors were identified. Factors important to resistance and recovery, which are important components of resilience, were not strongly related, and should be assessed independently. The abundance of resistant (heat-tolerant) coral species and past temperature variability were perceived to provide the greatest resistance to climate change, while coral recruitment rates, and macroalgae abundance were most influential in the recovery process. Based on the 11 key factors, we tested an evidence-based framework for climate change resilience in an Indonesian marine protected area. The results suggest our evidence-weighted framework improved upon existing un-weighted methods in terms of characterizing resilience and distinguishing priority sites. The evaluation supports the concept that, despite high ecological complexity, relatively few strong variables can be important in influencing ecosystem dynamics. This is the first rigorous assessment of factors promoting coral reef resilience based on their perceived importance, empirical evidence, and feasibility of measurement. There were few differences between scientists' perceptions of factor importance and the scientific evidence found in journal publications but more before and after impact studies will be required to fully test the validity of all the factors. The methods here will increase the feasibility

  9. Prioritizing key resilience indicators to support coral reef management in a changing climate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim R McClanahan

    Full Text Available Managing coral reefs for resilience to climate change is a popular concept but has been difficult to implement because the empirical scientific evidence has either not been evaluated or is sometimes unsupportive of theory, which leads to uncertainty when considering methods and identifying priority reefs. We asked experts and reviewed the scientific literature for guidance on the multiple physical and biological factors that affect the ability of coral reefs to resist and recover from climate disturbance. Eleven key factors to inform decisions based on scaling scientific evidence and the achievability of quantifying the factors were identified. Factors important to resistance and recovery, which are important components of resilience, were not strongly related, and should be assessed independently. The abundance of resistant (heat-tolerant coral species and past temperature variability were perceived to provide the greatest resistance to climate change, while coral recruitment rates, and macroalgae abundance were most influential in the recovery process. Based on the 11 key factors, we tested an evidence-based framework for climate change resilience in an Indonesian marine protected area. The results suggest our evidence-weighted framework improved upon existing un-weighted methods in terms of characterizing resilience and distinguishing priority sites. The evaluation supports the concept that, despite high ecological complexity, relatively few strong variables can be important in influencing ecosystem dynamics. This is the first rigorous assessment of factors promoting coral reef resilience based on their perceived importance, empirical evidence, and feasibility of measurement. There were few differences between scientists' perceptions of factor importance and the scientific evidence found in journal publications but more before and after impact studies will be required to fully test the validity of all the factors. The methods here will

  10. Biodiversity increases functional and compositional resistance, but decreases resilience in phytoplankton communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baert, Jan M; De Laender, Frederik; Sabbe, Koen; Janssen, Colin R

    2016-12-01

    There is now ample evidence that biodiversity stabilizes aggregated ecosystem functions, such as primary production, in changing environments. In primary producer systems, this stabilizing effect is found to be driven by higher functional resistance (i.e., reduced changes in functions by environmental changes) rather than through higher functional resilience (i.e., rapid recovery following environmental changes) in more diverse systems. The stability of aggregated ecosystem functions directly depends on changes in species composition and by consequence their functional contributions to ecosystem functions. Still, it remains only theoretically explored how biodiversity can stabilize ecosystem functions by affecting compositional stability. Here, we demonstrate how biodiversity effects on compositional stability drive biodiversity effects on functional stability in diatom communities. In a microcosm experiment, we exposed 39 communities of five different levels of species richness (1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 species) to three concentrations of a chemical stressor (0, 25, and 250 μg/L atrazine) for four weeks, after which all communities were transferred to atrazine-free medium for three more weeks. Biodiversity simultaneously increased, increasing functional and compositional resistance, but decreased functional and compositional resilience. These results confirm the theoretically proposed link between biodiversity effects on functional and compositional stability in primary producer systems, and provide a mechanistic underpinning for observed biodiversity-stability relationships. Finally, we discuss how higher compositional stability can be expected to become increasingly important in stabilizing ecosystem functions under field conditions when multiple environmental stressors fluctuate simultaneously. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Resilience of coral-associated bacterial communities exposed to fish farm effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garren, Melissa; Raymundo, Laurie; Guest, James; Harvell, C Drew; Azam, Farooq

    2009-10-06

    The coral holobiont includes the coral animal, algal symbionts, and associated microbial community. These microbes help maintain the holobiont homeostasis; thus, sustaining robust mutualistic microbial communities is a fundamental part of long-term coral reef survival. Coastal pollution is one major threat to reefs, and intensive fish farming is a rapidly growing source of this pollution. We investigated the susceptibility and resilience of the bacterial communities associated with a common reef-building coral, Porites cylindrica, to coastal pollution by performing a clonally replicated transplantation experiment in Bolinao, Philippines adjacent to intensive fish farming. Ten fragments from each of four colonies (total of 40 fragments) were followed for 22 days across five sites: a well-flushed reference site (the original fragment source); two sites with low exposure to milkfish (Chanos chanos) aquaculture effluent; and two sites with high exposure. Elevated levels of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), chlorophyll a, total heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria abundance, virus like particle (VLP) abundances, and culturable Vibrio abundance characterized the high effluent sites. Based on 16S rRNA clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis, we observed rapid, dramatic changes in the coral-associated bacterial communities within five days of high effluent exposure. The community composition on fragments at these high effluent sites shifted towards known human and coral pathogens (i.e. Arcobacter, Fusobacterium, and Desulfovibrio) without the host corals showing signs of disease. The communities shifted back towards their original composition by day 22 without reduction in effluent levels. This study reveals fish farms as a likely source of pathogens with the potential to proliferate on corals and an unexpected short-term resilience of coral-associated bacterial communities to eutrophication pressure. These data highlight a need for

  12. Resilience of coral-associated bacterial communities exposed to fish farm effluent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Garren

    Full Text Available The coral holobiont includes the coral animal, algal symbionts, and associated microbial community. These microbes help maintain the holobiont homeostasis; thus, sustaining robust mutualistic microbial communities is a fundamental part of long-term coral reef survival. Coastal pollution is one major threat to reefs, and intensive fish farming is a rapidly growing source of this pollution.We investigated the susceptibility and resilience of the bacterial communities associated with a common reef-building coral, Porites cylindrica, to coastal pollution by performing a clonally replicated transplantation experiment in Bolinao, Philippines adjacent to intensive fish farming. Ten fragments from each of four colonies (total of 40 fragments were followed for 22 days across five sites: a well-flushed reference site (the original fragment source; two sites with low exposure to milkfish (Chanos chanos aquaculture effluent; and two sites with high exposure. Elevated levels of dissolved organic carbon (DOC, chlorophyll a, total heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria abundance, virus like particle (VLP abundances, and culturable Vibrio abundance characterized the high effluent sites. Based on 16S rRNA clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE analysis, we observed rapid, dramatic changes in the coral-associated bacterial communities within five days of high effluent exposure. The community composition on fragments at these high effluent sites shifted towards known human and coral pathogens (i.e. Arcobacter, Fusobacterium, and Desulfovibrio without the host corals showing signs of disease. The communities shifted back towards their original composition by day 22 without reduction in effluent levels.This study reveals fish farms as a likely source of pathogens with the potential to proliferate on corals and an unexpected short-term resilience of coral-associated bacterial communities to eutrophication pressure. These data highlight a

  13. Resilience and climate change: lessons from coral reefs and bleaching in the Western Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obura, David O.

    2005-05-01

    The impact of climate change through thermal stress-related coral bleaching on coral reefs of the Western Indian Ocean has been well documented and is caused by rising sea water temperatures associated with background warming trends and extreme climate events. Recent studies have identified a number of factors that may reduce the impact of coral bleaching and mortality at a reef or sub-reef level. However, there is little scientific consensus as yet, and it is unclear how well current science supports the immediate needs of management responses to climate change. This paper provides evidence from the Western Indian Ocean in support of recent hypotheses on coral and reef vulnerability to thermal stress that have been loosely termed 'resistance and resilience to bleaching'. The paper argues for a more explicit definition of terms, and identifies three concepts affecting coral-zooxanthellae holobiont and reef vulnerability to thermal stress previously termed 'resistance to bleaching': 'thermal protection', where some reefs are protected from the thermal conditions that induce bleaching and/or where local physical conditions reduce bleaching and mortality levels; 'thermal resistance', where individual corals bleach to differing degrees to the same thermal stress; and 'thermal tolerance', where individual corals suffer differing levels of mortality when exposed to the same thermal stress. 'Resilience to bleaching' is a special case of ecological resilience, where recovery following large-scale bleaching mortality varies according to ecological and other processes. These concepts apply across multiple levels of biological organization and temporal and spatial scales. Thermal resistance and tolerance are genetic properties and may interact with environmental protection properties resulting in phenotypic variation in bleaching and mortality of corals. The presence or absence of human threats and varying levels of reef management may alter the influence of the above factors

  14. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Isaac, Nick J B; August, Tom A; Woodcock, Ben A; Roy, David B; Bullock, James M

    2015-12-08

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions--specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience.

  15. Building evolutionary resilience for conserving biodiversity under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgrò, Carla M; Lowe, Andrew J; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2011-03-01

    Evolution occurs rapidly and is an ongoing process in our environments. Evolutionary principles need to be built into conservation efforts, particularly given the stressful conditions organisms are increasingly likely to experience because of climate change and ongoing habitat fragmentation. The concept of evolutionary resilience is a way of emphasizing evolutionary processes in conservation and landscape planning. From an evolutionary perspective, landscapes need to allow in situ selection and capture high levels of genetic variation essential for responding to the direct and indirect effects of climate change. We summarize ideas that need to be considered in planning for evolutionary resilience and suggest how they might be incorporated into policy and management to ensure that resilience is maintained in the face of environmental degradation.

  16. Differential responses of emergent intertidal coral reef fauna to a large-scale El-Niño southern oscillation event: sponge and coral resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelmo, Francisco; Bell, James J; Moraes, Simone Souza; Gomes, Rilza da Costa Tourinho; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; Attrill, Martin J

    2014-01-01

    There is a paucity of information on the impacts of the 1997-8 El Niño event and subsequent climatic episodes on emergent intertidal coral reef assemblages. Given the environmental variability intertidal reefs experience, such reefs may potentially be more resilient to climatic events and provide important insights into the adaptation of reef fauna to future ocean warming. Here we report the results of a 17-year (1995-2011) biodiversity survey of four emergent coral reef ecosystems in Bahia, Brazil, to assess the impact of a major El Niño event on the reef fauna, and determine any subsequent recovery. The densities of two species of coral, Favia gravida and Siderastrea stellata, did not vary significantly across the survey period, indicating a high degree of tolerance to the El Niño associated stress. However, there were marked decreases in the diversity of other taxa. Molluscs, bryozoans and ascidians suffered severe declines in diversity and abundance and had not recovered to pre-El Niño levels by the end of the study. Echinoderms were reduced to a single species in 1999, Echinometra lucunter, although diversity levels had recovered by 2002. Sponge assemblages were not impacted by the 1997-8 event and their densities had increased by the study end. Multivariate analysis indicated that a stable invertebrate community had re-established on the reefs after the El Niño event, but it has a different overall composition to the pre-El Niño community. It is unclear if community recovery will continue given more time, but our study highlights that any increase in the frequency of large-scale climatic events to more than one a decade is likely to result in a persistent lower-diversity state. Our results also suggest some coral and sponge species are particularly resilient to the El Niño-associated stress and therefore represent suitable models to investigate temperature adaptation in reef organisms.

  17. Phase shifts, herbivory, and the resilience of coral reefs to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Terence P; Rodrigues, Maria J; Bellwood, David R; Ceccarelli, Daniela; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; McCook, Laurence; Moltschaniwskyj, Natalie; Pratchett, Morgan S; Steneck, Robert S; Willis, Bette

    2007-02-20

    Many coral reefs worldwide have undergone phase shifts to alternate, degraded assemblages because of the combined effects of over-fishing, declining water quality, and the direct and indirect impacts of climate change. Here, we experimentally manipulated the density of large herbivorous fishes to test their influence on the resilience of coral assemblages in the aftermath of regional-scale bleaching in 1998, the largest coral mortality event recorded to date. The experiment was undertaken on the Great Barrier Reef, within a no-fishing reserve where coral abundances and diversity had been sharply reduced by bleaching. In control areas, where fishes were abundant, algal abundance remained low, whereas coral cover almost doubled (to 20%) over a 3 year period, primarily because of recruitment of species that had been locally extirpated by bleaching. In contrast, exclusion of large herbivorous fishes caused a dramatic explosion of macroalgae, which suppressed the fecundity, recruitment, and survival of corals. Consequently, management of fish stocks is a key component in preventing phase shifts and managing reef resilience. Importantly, local stewardship of fishing effort is a tractable goal for conservation of reefs, and this local action can also provide some insurance against larger-scale disturbances such as mass bleaching, which are impractical to manage directly.

  18. Biodiversity of the white coral bank off Cape Santa Maria di Leuca (Mediterranean Sea): An update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrototaro, F.; D'Onghia, G.; Corriero, G.; Matarrese, A.; Maiorano, P.; Panetta, P.; Gherardi, M.; Longo, C.; Rosso, A.; Sciuto, F.; Sanfilippo, R.; Gravili, C.; Boero, F.; Taviani, M.; Tursi, A.

    2010-03-01

    The biodiversity of the Santa Maria di Leuca (SML) coral bank is summarized and its description is updated using data collected by means of underwater video systems, benthic samplers and fishing gears. A total of 222 living species have been recorded within the coral bank area in the depth range 280-1121 m. The most abundant benthic taxa recorded are Porifera (36 species) followed by Mollusca (35) and Cnidaria (31). The scleractinian corals Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa are the main colonial species in the structure of the SML bank. Annelida, Crustacea and Bryozoa have been found with 24, 23 and 19 species, respectively. A total of 40 species of demersal fish have been recorded. Other faunal taxa were found with small numbers of species. One hundred and thirty-five species are new for the SML bank, 31 of which represent new records for the north-western Ionian Sea (2 Porifera, 17 Cnidaria, 1 Mollusca, 3 Annelida, 2 Crustacea, 4 Bryozoa and 4 Echinodermata). The finding of the annelid Harmothoë vesiculosa represents the first record for the Mediterranean Sea. The SML coral bank represents a biodiversity "hot-spot" on the bathyal bottoms of the Mediterranean Sea.

  19. Missing "Links" in Bioinformatics Education: Expanding Students' Conceptions of Bioinformatics Using a Biodiversity Database of Living and Fossil Reef Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Budd, Ann F.

    2006-01-01

    NMITA is a reef coral biodiversity database that we use to introduce students to the expansive realm of bioinformatics beyond genetics. We introduce a series of lessons that have students use this database, thereby accessing real data that can be used to test hypotheses about biodiversity and evolution while targeting the "National Science …

  20. Missing "Links" in Bioinformatics Education: Expanding Students' Conceptions of Bioinformatics Using a Biodiversity Database of Living and Fossil Reef Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehm, Ross H.; Budd, Ann F.

    2006-01-01

    NMITA is a reef coral biodiversity database that we use to introduce students to the expansive realm of bioinformatics beyond genetics. We introduce a series of lessons that have students use this database, thereby accessing real data that can be used to test hypotheses about biodiversity and evolution while targeting the "National Science …

  1. Coral biodiversity and bioconstruction in the northern sector of the Mesoamerican Reef system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian Alejandro Rodriguez-Zaragoza

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available As the impact of anthropogenic activity and climate change continue to accelerate rates of degradation on Caribbean coral reefs, conservation and restoration faces greater challenges. At at this stage, of particular importance in coral reefs, is to recognize and to understand the structural spatial patterns of benthic assemblages. We developed a field-based framework of a Caribbean reefscape benthic structure by using hermatypic corals as an indicator group of global biodiversity and bio-construction patterns in eleven reefs of the northern sector of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (nsMBRS. Four hundred and seventy four video-transects (50 m long by 0.4 m wide were performed throughout a gradient of reef complexity from north to south (∼400 km to identify coral species, families and ensembles of corals. Composition and abundance of species, families and ensembles showed differences among reefs. In the northern zone, the reefs had shallow, partial reef developments with low diversities, dominated by Acropora palmata, Siderastrea spp., Pseudodiploria strigosa and Agaricia tenuifolia. In the central and southern zones, reefs presented extensive developments, high habitat heterogeneity, and the greatest diversity and dominance of Orbicella annularis and Orbicella faveolata. These two species determined the structure and diversity of corals in the central and southern zones of the nsMBRS and their bio-construction in these zones is unique in the Caribbean. Their abundance and distribution depended on the reef habitat area, topographic complexity and species richness. Orbicella species complex were crucial for maintaining the biodiversity and bio-construction of the central and southern zones while A. palmata in the northern zones of the nsMBRS.

  2. Ecological limitations to the resilience of coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Nyström, Magnus

    2016-12-01

    The decline of coral reefs has been broadly attributed to human stressors being too strong and pervasive, whereas biological processes that may render coral reefs fragile have been sparsely considered. Here we review several ecological factors that can limit the ability of coral reefs to withstand disturbance. These include: (1) Many species lack the adaptive capacity to cope with the unprecedented disturbances they currently face; (2) human disturbances impact vulnerable life history stages, reducing reproductive output and the supply of recruits essential for recovery; (3) reefs can be vulnerable to the loss of few species, as niche specialization or temporal and spatial segregation makes each species unique (i.e., narrow ecological redundancy); in addition, many foundation species have similar sensitivity to disturbances, suggesting that entire functions can be lost to single disturbances; and (4) feedback loops and extinction vortices may stabilize degraded states or accelerate collapses even if stressors are removed. This review suggests that the degradation of coral reefs is due to not only the severity of human stressors but also the "fragility" of coral reefs. As such, appropriate governance is essential to manage stressors while being inclusive of ecological process and human uses across transnational scales. This is a considerable but necessary upgrade in current management if the integrity, and delivery of goods and services, of coral reefs is to be preserved.

  3. Resilience potential of an Indian Ocean reef: an assessment through coral recruitment pattern and survivability of juvenile corals to recurrent stress events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manikandan, Balakrishnan; Ravindran, Jeyaraman; Vidya, Pottekkatt Jayabalan; Shrinivasu, Selvaraju; Manimurali, Rajagopal; Paramasivam, Kaliyaperumal

    2017-05-01

    Coral reefs are degraded by the synergistic action of climate and anthropogenic stressors. Coral cover in the Palk Bay reef at the northern Indian Ocean largely declined in the past decade due to frequent bleaching events, tsunami and increased fishing activities. In this study, we carried out a comparative assessment to assess the differences in the recovery and resilience of three spatially distant reefs viz. Vedhalai, Mandapam and Pamban along Palk Bay affected by moderate, severe and low fishing pressure respectively. The assessment was based on the juvenile coral recruitment pattern and its survivability combined with availability of hard substratum, live coral cover and herbivore reef fish stock. The Vedhalai reef has the highest coral cover (14.6 ± 6.3%), and ≥90% of the live corals in Vedhalai and Mandapam were affected by turf algal overgrowth. The density of herbivore reef fish was low in Vedhalai and Mandapam reefs compared to the Pamban reef with relatively few grazing species. The juvenile coral diversity and density were high in the Pamban reef and low in Vedhalai and Mandapam reefs despite high hard substratum cover. In total, 22 species of juvenile corals of 10 genera were recorded in Palk Bay. Comparison of the species diversity of juvenile corals with adult ones suggested that the Pamban reef is connected with other distant reefs whereas Vedhalai and Mandapam reefs were self-seeded. There was no statistically significant difference in the survivability of juvenile corals between the study sites, and in total, ≥90% of the juvenile corals survived the high sedimentation stress triggered by the northeast monsoon and bleaching stress that occurred recurrently. Our results indicated that the human activities indirectly affected the juvenile coral recruitment by degrading the live coral cover and contributed to the spatial variation in the recovery and resilience of the Palk Bay reef. Low species diversity of the juvenile corals will increase the

  4. Evolution of body size, vision, and biodiversity of coral-associated organisms: evidence from fossil crustaceans in cold-water coral and tropical coral ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Jakobsen, Sten L; Lauridsen, Bodil W

    2016-06-16

    Modern cold-water coral and tropical coral environments harbor a highly diverse and ecologically important macrofauna of crustaceans that face elevated extinction risks due to reef decline. The effect of environmental conditions acting on decapod crustaceans comparing these two habitats is poorly understood today and in deep time. Here, we compare the biodiversity, eye socket height as a proxy for eye size, and body size of decapods in fossil cold-water and tropical reefs that formed prior to human disturbance. We show that decapod biodiversity is higher in fossil tropical reefs from The Netherlands, Italy, and Spain compared to that of the exceptionally well-preserved Paleocene (Danian) cold-water reef/mound ecosystem from Faxe (Denmark), where decapod diversity is highest in a more heterogeneous, mixed bryozoan-coral habitat instead of in coral and bryozoan-dominated facies. The relatively low diversity at Faxe was not influenced substantially by the preceding Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event that is not apparent in the standing diversity of decapods in our analyses, or by sampling, preservation, and/or a latitudinal diversity gradient. Instead, the lower availability of food and fewer hiding places for decapods may explain this low diversity. Furthermore, decapods from Faxe are larger than those from tropical waters for half of the comparisons, which may be caused by a lower number of predators, the delayed maturity, and the increased life span of crustaceans in deeper, colder waters. Finally, deep-water specimens of the benthic crab Caloxanthus from Faxe exhibit a larger eye socket size compared to congeneric specimens from tropical reefs, suggesting that dim light conditions favored the evolution of relatively large eyes. The results suggest a strong habitat control on the biodiversity of crustaceans in coral-associated environments and that the diversity difference between deep, cold-water reefs and tropical reefs evolved at least ~63 million years ago

  5. Biodiversity and resilience of arthropod communities after fire disturbance in temperate forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moretti, Marco; Duelli, Peter; Obrist, Martin K

    2006-08-01

    Changes in ecosystem functions following disturbances are of central concern in ecology and a challenge for ecologists is to understand the factors that affect the resilience of community structures and ecosystem functions. In many forest ecosystems, one such important natural disturbance is fire. The aim of this study was to understand the variation of resilience in six functional groups of invertebrates in response to different fire frequencies in southern Switzerland. We measured resilience by analysing arthropod species composition, abundance and diversity in plots where the elapsed time after single or repeated fires, as determined by dendrochronology, varied. We compared data from these plots with data from plots that had not burned recently and defined high resilience as the rapid recovery of the species composition to that prior to fire. Pooling all functional groups showed that they were more resilient to single fires than to repeated events, recovering 6-14 years after a single fire, but only 17-24 years after the last of several fires. Flying zoophagous and phytophagous arthropods were the most resilient groups. Pollinophagous and epigaeic zoophagous species showed intermediate resilience, while ground-litter saprophagous and saproxylophagous arthropods clearly displayed the lowest resilience to fire. Their species composition 17-24 years post-burn still differed markedly from that of the unburned control plots. Depending on the fire history of a forest plot, we found significant differences in the dominance hierarchy among invertebrate species. Any attempt to imitate natural disturbances, such as fire, through forest management must take into account the recovery times of biodiversity, including functional group composition, to ensure the conservation of multiple taxa and ecosystem functions in a sustainable manner.

  6. The influence of resilience-based management on coral reef monitoring: A systematic review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doropoulos, Christopher; Mumby, Peter J.

    2017-01-01

    With rapid changes taking place on coral reefs, managers and scientists are faced with prioritising interventions that might avoid undesirable losses in ecosystem health. The property of resilience captures how reefs react and respond to stressors and environmental changes. Therefore, in principle, management goals are more likely to be realised if resilience theory is used to inform decision making and help set realistic expectations for reef outcomes. Indeed, a new approach to reef management has been termed ‘resilience-based management’ (RBM). Yet, resilience concepts have often been criticised for being vague, difficult to operationalise, and beset by multiple definitions. Here, we evaluate how the advent of RBM has changed one aspect of reef management: assessment and monitoring. We compare the metrics used in conventional monitoring programs with those developed through resilience assessments and find that the latter have a stronger focus on ecological processes and exposure to environmental drivers. In contrast, monitoring tends to focus on metrics of reef state and has greater taxonomic resolution, which provides comprehensive information on the nature of changes but does not predict the future responses of reefs in part because it is difficult to extrapolate statistical trends of complex ecological systems. In addition, metrics measured by resilience studies are more diverse, owing in part to the reliance of state metrics as proxies of processes given the difficulty in quantifying key ecological processes directly. We conclude by describing practical ways of improving resilience assessments, and avenues for future research. PMID:28187165

  7. Herbivory, connectivity, and ecosystem resilience: response of a coral reef to a large-scale perturbation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas C Adam

    Full Text Available Coral reefs world-wide are threatened by escalating local and global impacts, and some impacted reefs have shifted from coral dominance to a state dominated by macroalgae. Therefore, there is a growing need to understand the processes that affect the capacity of these ecosystems to return to coral dominance following disturbances, including those that prevent the establishment of persistent stands of macroalgae. Unlike many reefs in the Caribbean, over the last several decades, reefs around the Indo-Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia have consistently returned to coral dominance following major perturbations without shifting to a macroalgae-dominated state. Here, we present evidence of a rapid increase in populations of herbivorous fishes following the most recent perturbation, and show that grazing by these herbivores has prevented the establishment of macroalgae following near complete loss of coral on offshore reefs. Importantly, we found the positive response of herbivorous fishes to increased benthic primary productivity associated with coral loss was driven largely by parrotfishes that initially recruit to stable nursery habitat within the lagoons before moving to offshore reefs later in life. These results underscore the importance of connectivity between the lagoon and offshore reefs for preventing the establishment of macroalgae following disturbances, and indicate that protecting nearshore nursery habitat of herbivorous fishes is critical for maintaining reef resilience.

  8. Herbivory, connectivity, and ecosystem resilience: response of a coral reef to a large-scale perturbation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Thomas C; Schmitt, Russell J; Holbrook, Sally J; Brooks, Andrew J; Edmunds, Peter J; Carpenter, Robert C; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2011-01-01

    Coral reefs world-wide are threatened by escalating local and global impacts, and some impacted reefs have shifted from coral dominance to a state dominated by macroalgae. Therefore, there is a growing need to understand the processes that affect the capacity of these ecosystems to return to coral dominance following disturbances, including those that prevent the establishment of persistent stands of macroalgae. Unlike many reefs in the Caribbean, over the last several decades, reefs around the Indo-Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia have consistently returned to coral dominance following major perturbations without shifting to a macroalgae-dominated state. Here, we present evidence of a rapid increase in populations of herbivorous fishes following the most recent perturbation, and show that grazing by these herbivores has prevented the establishment of macroalgae following near complete loss of coral on offshore reefs. Importantly, we found the positive response of herbivorous fishes to increased benthic primary productivity associated with coral loss was driven largely by parrotfishes that initially recruit to stable nursery habitat within the lagoons before moving to offshore reefs later in life. These results underscore the importance of connectivity between the lagoon and offshore reefs for preventing the establishment of macroalgae following disturbances, and indicate that protecting nearshore nursery habitat of herbivorous fishes is critical for maintaining reef resilience.

  9. Tight coupling between coral reef morphology and mapped resilience in the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowlands, Gwilym; Purkis, Sam; Bruckner, Andrew

    2016-04-30

    Lack of knowledge on the conservation value of different reef types can stymie decision making, and result in less optimal management solutions. Addressing the information gap of coral reef resilience, we produce a map-based Remote Sensed Resilience Index (RSRI) from data describing the spatial distribution of stressors, and properties of reef habitats on the Farasan Banks, Saudi Arabia. We contrast the distribution of this index among fourteen reef types, categorized on a scale of maturity that includes juvenile (poorly aggraded), mature (partially aggraded), and senile (fully aggraded) reefs. Sites with high reef resilience can be found in most detached reef types; however they are most common in mature reefs. We aim to stimulate debate on the coupling that exists between geomorphology and conservation biology, and consider how such information can be used to inform management decisions.

  10. Water quality as a regional driver of coral biodiversity and macroalgae on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De'ath, Glenn; Fabricius, Katharina

    2010-04-01

    Degradation of inshore coral reefs due to poor water quality is a major issue, yet it has proved difficult to demonstrate this linkage at other than local scales. This study modeled the relationships between large-scale data on water clarity and chlorophyll and four measures of reef status along the whole Great Barrier Reef, Australia (GBR; 12-24 degrees S). Four biotic groups with different trophic requirements, namely, the cover of macroalgae and the taxonomic richness of hard corals and phototrophic and heterotrophic octocorals, were predicted from water quality and spatial location. Water clarity and chlorophyll showed strong spatial patterns, with water clarity increasing more than threefold from inshore to offshore waters and chlorophyll decreasing approximately twofold from inshore to offshore and approximately twofold from south to north. Richness of hard corals and phototrophic octocorals declined with increasing turbidity and chlorophyll, whereas macroalgae and the richness of heterotrophic octocorals increased. Macroalgal cover experienced the largest water quality effects, increasing fivefold with decreasing water clarity and 1.4-fold with increasing chlorophyll. For each of the four biota, -45% of variation was predictable, with water quality effects accounting for 18-46% of that variation and spatial effects accounting for the remainder. Effects were consistent with the trophic requirements of the biota, suggesting that both macroalgal cover and coral biodiversity are partially controlled by energy supply limitation. Throughout the GBR, mean annual values of >10 m Secchi disk depth (a measure of water clarity) and coral richness, indicating these values to be potentially useful water quality guidelines. The models predict that on the 22.8% of GBR reefs where guideline values are currently exceeded, water quality improvement, e.g., by minimizing agricultural runoff, should reduce macroalgal cover on average by 39% and increase the richness of hard

  11. Physiological and biogeochemical traits of bleaching and recovery in the mounding species of coral Porites lobata: implications for resilience in mounding corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J Levas

    Full Text Available Mounding corals survive bleaching events in greater numbers than branching corals. However, no study to date has determined the underlying physiological and biogeochemical trait(s that are responsible for mounding coral holobiont resilience to bleaching. Furthermore, the potential of dissolved organic carbon (DOC as a source of fixed carbon to bleached corals has never been determined. Here, Porites lobata corals were experimentally bleached for 23 days and then allowed to recover for 0, 1, 5, and 11 months. At each recovery interval a suite of analyses were performed to assess their recovery (photosynthesis, respiration, chlorophyll a, energy reserves, tissue biomass, calcification, δ(13C of the skeletal, δ(13C, and δ(15N of the animal host and endosymbiont fractions. Furthermore, at 0 months of recovery, the assimilation of photosynthetically acquired and zooplankton-feeding acquired carbon into the animal host, endosymbiont, skeleton, and coral-mediated DOC were measured via (13C-pulse-chase labeling. During the first month of recovery, energy reserves and tissue biomass in bleached corals were maintained despite reductions in chlorophyll a, photosynthesis, and the assimilation of photosynthetically fixed carbon. At the same time, P. lobata corals catabolized carbon acquired from zooplankton and seemed to take up DOC as a source of fixed carbon. All variables that were negatively affected by bleaching recovered within 5 to 11 months. Thus, bleaching resilience in the mounding coral P. lobata is driven by its ability to actively catabolize zooplankton-acquired carbon and seemingly utilize DOC as a significant fixed carbon source, facilitating the maintenance of energy reserves and tissue biomass. With the frequency and intensity of bleaching events expected to increase over the next century, coral diversity on future reefs may favor not only mounding morphologies but species like P. lobata, which have the ability to utilize heterotrophic

  12. Resilience-based assessment for targeting coral reef management strategies in Koh Tao, Thailand

    OpenAIRE

    Cabral, Madalena Mesquitela Pereira, 1983-

    2014-01-01

    Tese de mestrado. Biologia (Ecologia e Gestão Ambiental). Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências, 2014 ste trabalho surge no âmbito do Mestrado em Ecologia e Gestão do Ambiente para o qual foi realizado um estágio de cinco meses na ilha de Koh Tao, Tailândia, visando o estudo da resiliência, sua avaliação e aplicação nas estratégias de gestão dos recifes de coral de Koh Tao. Os recifes de coral são dos ecossistemas mais ricos e produtivos da Terra. Providenciam benefícios de ecossis...

  13. Monitoring herbivorous fishes as indicators of coral reef resilience in American Samoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adel Heenan

    Full Text Available Resilience-based management aims to promote or protect processes and species that underpin an ecosystem's capacity to withstand and recover from disturbance. The management of ecological processes is a developing field that requires reliable indicators that can be monitored over time. Herbivory is a key ecological process on coral reefs, and pooling herbivorous fishes into functional groups based on their feeding mode is increasingly used as it may quantify herbivory in ways that indicate resilience. Here we evaluate whether the biomass estimates of these herbivore functional groups are good predictors of reef benthic assemblages, using data from 240 sites from five island groups in American Samoa. Using an information theoretic approach, we assembled a candidate set of linear and nonlinear models to identify the relations between benthic cover and total herbivore and non-herbivore biomass and the biomass of the aforementioned functional groups. For each benthic substrate type considered (encrusting algae, fleshy macroalgae, hard coral and turf algae, the biomass of herbivorous fishes were important explanatory variables in predicting benthic cover, whereas biomass of all fishes combined generally was not. Also, in all four cases, variation in cover was best explained by the biomass of specific functional groups rather than by all herbivores combined. Specifically: 1 macroalgal and turf algal cover decreased with increasing biomass of 'grazers/detritivores'; and 2 cover of encrusting algae increased with increasing biomass of 'grazers/detritivores' and browsers. Furthermore, hard coral cover increased with the biomass of large excavators/bio-eroders (made up of large-bodied parrotfishes. Collectively, these findings emphasize the link between herbivorous fishes and the benthic community and demonstrate support for the use of functional groups of herbivores as indicators for resilience-based monitoring.

  14. Heterotrophic compensation: a possible mechanism for resilience of coral reefs to global warming or a sign of prolonged stress?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam D Hughes

    Full Text Available Thermally induced bleaching has caused a global decline in corals and the frequency of such bleaching events will increase. Thermal bleaching severely disrupts the trophic behaviour of the coral holobiont, reducing the photosynthetically derived energy available to the coral host. In the short term this reduction in energy transfer from endosymbiotic algae results in an energy deficit for the coral host. If the bleaching event is short-lived then the coral may survive this energy deficit by depleting its lipid reserves, or by increasing heterotrophic energy acquisition. We show for the first time that the coral animal is capable of increasing the amount of heterotrophic carbon incorporated into its tissues for almost a year following bleaching. This prolonged heterotrophic compensation could be a sign of resilience or prolonged stress. If the heterotrophic compensation is in fact an acclimatization response, then this physiological response could act as a buffer from future bleaching by providing sufficient heterotrophic energy to compensate for photoautotrophic energy losses during bleaching, and potentially minimizing the effect of subsequent elevated temperature stresses. However, if the elevated incorporation of zooplankton is a sign that the effects of bleaching continue to be stressful on the holobiont, even after 11 months of recovery, then this physiological response would indicate that complete coral recovery requires more than 11 months to achieve. If coral bleaching becomes an annual global phenomenon by mid-century, then present temporal refugia will not be sufficient to allow coral colonies to recover between bleaching events and coral reefs will become increasingly less resilient to future climate change. If, however, increasing their sequestration of zooplankton-derived nutrition into their tissues over prolonged periods of time is a compensating mechanism, the impacts of annual bleaching may be reduced. Thus, some coral species

  15. Heterotrophic Compensation: A Possible Mechanism for Resilience of Coral Reefs to Global Warming or a Sign of Prolonged Stress?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Adam D.; Grottoli, Andréa G.

    2013-01-01

    Thermally induced bleaching has caused a global decline in corals and the frequency of such bleaching events will increase. Thermal bleaching severely disrupts the trophic behaviour of the coral holobiont, reducing the photosynthetically derived energy available to the coral host. In the short term this reduction in energy transfer from endosymbiotic algae results in an energy deficit for the coral host. If the bleaching event is short-lived then the coral may survive this energy deficit by depleting its lipid reserves, or by increasing heterotrophic energy acquisition. We show for the first time that the coral animal is capable of increasing the amount of heterotrophic carbon incorporated into its tissues for almost a year following bleaching. This prolonged heterotrophic compensation could be a sign of resilience or prolonged stress. If the heterotrophic compensation is in fact an acclimatization response, then this physiological response could act as a buffer from future bleaching by providing sufficient heterotrophic energy to compensate for photoautotrophic energy losses during bleaching, and potentially minimizing the effect of subsequent elevated temperature stresses. However, if the elevated incorporation of zooplankton is a sign that the effects of bleaching continue to be stressful on the holobiont, even after 11 months of recovery, then this physiological response would indicate that complete coral recovery requires more than 11 months to achieve. If coral bleaching becomes an annual global phenomenon by mid-century, then present temporal refugia will not be sufficient to allow coral colonies to recover between bleaching events and coral reefs will become increasingly less resilient to future climate change. If, however, increasing their sequestration of zooplankton-derived nutrition into their tissues over prolonged periods of time is a compensating mechanism, the impacts of annual bleaching may be reduced. Thus, some coral species may be better

  16. Lichen Monitoring Delineates Biodiversity on a Great Barrier Reef Coral Cay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C. Rogers

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Coral islands around the world are threatened by changing climates. Rising seas, drought, and increased tropical storms are already impacting island ecosystems. We aim to better understand lichen community ecology of coral island forests. We used an epiphytic lichen community survey to gauge Pisonia (Pisonia grandis R.BR., which dominates forest conditions on Heron Island, Australia. Nine survey plots were sampled for lichen species presence and abundance, all tree diameters and species, GPS location, distance to forest-beach edge, and dominant forest type. Results found only six unique lichens and two lichen associates. A Multi-Response Permutation Procedures (MRPP test found statistically distinct lichen communities among forest types. The greatest group differences were between interior Pisonia and perimeter forest types. Ordinations were performed to further understand causes for distinctions in lichen communities. Significant explanatory gradients were distance to forest edge, tree density (shading, and Pisonia basal area. Each of these variables was negatively correlated with lichen diversity and abundance, suggesting that interior, successionally advanced, Pisonia forests support fewer lichens. Island edge and presumably younger forests—often those with greater tree diversity and sunlight penetration—supported the highest lichen diversity. Heron Island’s Pisonia-dominated forests support low lichen diversity which mirrors overall biodiversity patterns. Lichen biomonitoring may provide a valuable indicator for assessing island ecosystems for conservation purposes regionally.

  17. Please mind the gap - Visual census and cryptic biodiversity assessment at central Red Sea coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearman, John K; Anlauf, Holger; Irigoien, Xabier; Carvalho, Susana

    2016-07-01

    Coral reefs harbor the most diverse assemblages in the ocean, however, a large proportion of the diversity is cryptic and, therefore, undetected by standard visual census techniques. Cryptic and exposed communities differ considerably in species composition and ecological function. This study compares three different coral reef assessment protocols: i) visual benthic reef surveys: ii) visual census of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) plates; and iii) metabarcoding techniques of the ARMS (including sessile, 106-500 μm and 500-2000 μm size fractions), that target the cryptic and exposed communities of three reefs in the central Red Sea. Visual census showed a dominance of Cnidaria (Anthozoa) and Rhodophyta on the reef substrate, while Porifera, Bryozoa and Rhodophyta were the most abundant groups on the ARMS plates. Metabarcoding, targeting the 18S rRNA gene, significantly increased estimates of the species diversity (p reefs. Furthermore, metabarcoding detected microbial eukaryotic groups such as Syndiniophyceae, Mamiellophyceae and Bacillariophyceae as relevant components of the sessile fraction. ANOSIM analysis showed that the three reef sites showed no differences based on the visual census data. Metabarcoding showed a higher sensitivity for identifying differences between reef communities at smaller geographic scales than standard visual census techniques as significant differences in the assemblages were observed amongst the reefs. Comparison of the techniques showed no similar patterns for the visual techniques while the metabarcoding of the ARMS showed similar patterns amongst fractions. Establishing ARMS as a standard tool in reef monitoring will not only advance our understanding of local processes and ecological community response to environmental changes, as different faunal components will provide complementary information but also improve the estimates of biodiversity in coral reef benthic communities. This study lays the foundations

  18. The northern limit of corals of the genus Acropora in temperate zones is determined by their resilience to cold bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higuchi, Tomihiko; Agostini, Sylvain; Casareto, Beatriz Estela; Suzuki, Yoshimi; Yuyama, Ikuko

    2015-12-18

    The distribution of corals in Japan covers a wide range of latitudes, encompassing tropical to temperate zones. However, coral communities in temperate zones contain only a small subset of species. Among the parameters that determine the distribution of corals, temperature plays an important role. We tested the resilience to cold stress of three coral species belonging to the genus Acropora in incubation experiments. Acropora pruinosa, which is the northernmost of the three species, bleached at 13 °C, but recovered once temperatures were increased. The two other species, A. hyacinthus and A. solitaryensis, which has a more southerly range than A. pruinosa, died rapidly after bleaching at 13 °C. The physiological effects of cold bleaching on the corals included decreased rates of photosynthesis, respiration, and calcification, similar to the physiological effects observed with bleaching due to high temperature stress. Contrasting hot bleaching, no increases in antioxidant enzyme activities were observed, suggesting that reactive oxygen species play a less important role in bleaching under cold stress. These results confirmed the importance of resilience to cold stress in determining the distribution and northern limits of coral species, as cold events causing coral bleaching and high mortality occur regularly in temperate zones.

  19. The role of transcriptome resilience in resistance of corals to bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seneca, Francois O; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2015-04-01

    Wild populations increasingly experience extreme conditions as climate change amplifies environmental variability. How individuals respond to environmental extremes determines the impact of climate change overall. The variability of response from individual to individual can represent the opportunity for natural selection to occur as a result of extreme conditions. Here, we experimentally replicated the natural exposure to extreme temperatures of the reef lagoon at Ofu Island (American Samoa), where corals can experience severe heat stress during midday low tide. We investigated the bleaching and transcriptome response of 20 Acropora hyacinthus colonies 5 and 20 h after exposure to control (29 °C) or heated (35 °C) conditions. We found a highly dynamic transcriptome response: 27% of the coral transcriptome was significantly regulated 1 h postheat exposure. Yet 15 h later, when heat-induced coral bleaching became apparent, only 12% of the transcriptome was differentially regulated. A large proportion of responsive genes at the first time point returned to control levels, others remained differentially expressed over time, while an entirely different subset of genes was successively regulated at the second time point. However, a noteworthy variability in gene expression was observed among individual coral colonies. Among the genes of which expression lingered over time, fast return to normal levels was associated with low bleaching. Colonies that maintained higher expression levels of these genes bleached severely. Return to normal levels of gene expression after stress has been termed transcriptome resilience, and in the case of some specific genes may signal the physiological health and response ability of individuals to environmental stress.

  20. Confronting the coral reef crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellwood, D. R.; Hughes, T. P.; Folke, C.; Nyström, M.

    2004-06-01

    The worldwide decline of coral reefs calls for an urgent reassessment of current management practices. Confronting large-scale crises requires a major scaling-up of management efforts based on an improved understanding of the ecological processes that underlie reef resilience. Managing for improved resilience, incorporating the role of human activity in shaping ecosystems, provides a basis for coping with uncertainty, future changes and ecological surprises. Here we review the ecological roles of critical functional groups (for both corals and reef fishes) that are fundamental to understanding resilience and avoiding phase shifts from coral dominance to less desirable, degraded ecosystems. We identify striking biogeographic differences in the species richness and composition of functional groups, which highlight the vulnerability of Caribbean reef ecosystems. These findings have profound implications for restoration of degraded reefs, management of fisheries, and the focus on marine protected areas and biodiversity hotspots as priorities for conservation.

  1. Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management

    OpenAIRE

    Angela Dikou

    2010-01-01

    Top-down controls of complex foodwebs maintain the balance among the critical groups of corals, algae, and herbivores, thus allowing the persistence of corals reefs as three-dimensional, biogenic structures with high biodiversity, heterogeneity, resistance, resilience and connectivity, and the delivery of essential goods and services to societies. On contemporary reefs world-wide, however, top-down controls have been weakened due to reduction in herbivory levels (overfishing or disease outbre...

  2. Does herbivorous fish protection really improve coral reef resilience? A case study from new caledonia (South Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laure Carassou

    Full Text Available Parts of coral reefs from New Caledonia (South Pacific were registered at the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008. Management strategies aiming at preserving the exceptional ecological value of these reefs in the context of climate change are currently being considered. This study evaluates the appropriateness of an exclusive fishing ban of herbivorous fish as a strategy to enhance coral reef resilience to hurricanes and bleaching in the UNESCO-registered areas of New Caledonia. A two-phase approach was developed: 1 coral, macroalgal, and herbivorous fish communities were examined in four biotopes from 14 reefs submitted to different fishing pressures in New Caledonia, and 2 results from these analyses were challenged in the context of a global synthesis of the relationship between herbivorous fish protection, coral recovery and relative macroalgal development after hurricanes and bleaching. Analyses of New Caledonia data indicated that 1 current fishing pressure only slightly affected herbivorous fish communities in the country, and 2 coral and macroalgal covers remained unrelated, and macroalgal cover was not related to the biomass, density or diversity of macroalgae feeders, whatever the biotope or level of fishing pressure considered. At a global scale, we found no relationship between reef protection status, coral recovery and relative macroalgal development after major climatic events. These results suggest that an exclusive protection of herbivorous fish in New Caledonia is unlikely to improve coral reef resilience to large-scale climatic disturbances, especially in the lightly fished UNESCO-registered areas. More efforts towards the survey and regulation of major chronic stress factors such as mining are rather recommended. In the most heavily fished areas of the country, carnivorous fish and large targeted herbivores may however be monitored as part of a precautionary approach.

  3. Shifting base-lines, declining coral cover, and the erosion of reef resilience: comment on Sweatman et al. (2011)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, T. P.; Bellwood, D. R.; Baird, A. H.; Brodie, J.; Bruno, J. F.; Pandolfi, J. M.

    2011-09-01

    Formal monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef was initiated in 1986 in response to the clear scientific evidence (and growing public concern) over the loss of corals caused by two protracted outbreaks of crown-of thorns starfish, which began in 1962 and 1979. Using monitoring data from manta tows along and across the Great Barrier Reef, Sweatman et al. (Coral Reefs 30:521-531, 2011) show that coral cover after these outbreaks declined further from 28 to 22% between 1986 and 2004. Pointing to the current levels of protection of the Great Barrier Reef, they state that earlier estimates of losses of coral cover since the early 1960s have been exaggerated. However, the loss of close to one-quarter of the coral cover over the past two decades represents an average loss of 0.34% cover per year across the whole GBR after 1986, which is very similar to previously reported rates of annual loss measured over a longer timeframe. The heaviest recent losses have occurred on inshore and mid-shelf reefs, which Sweatman et al. (Coral Reefs 30:521-531, 2011) attribute to a natural cycle of disturbance and recovery. But there has been very limited recovery. While coral cover has increased for short periods on some individual reefs, it has declined sharply on many more to produce the observed system-wide trend of declining cover. Close to 40% of coral cover on inner reefs has been lost since 1986. Of particular significance is the new evidence that coral cover has remained unchanged or declined further from a low 1986 baseline in 28 out of 29 sub-regions of the Great Barrier Reef, indicating a gradual erosion of resilience that is impeding the capacity of this huge reef system to return towards its earlier condition. This result, and other clear evidence of widespread incremental degradation from overfishing, pollution, and climate change, calls for action rather than complacency or denial.

  4. Coral-macroalgal phase shifts or reef resilience: links with diversity and functional roles of herbivorous fishes on the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheal, A. J.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; Cripps, E.; Emslie, M. J.; Jonker, M.; Schaffelke, B.; Sweatman, H.

    2010-12-01

    Changes from coral to macroalgal dominance following disturbances to corals symbolize the global degradation of coral reefs. The development of effective conservation measures depends on understanding the causes of such phase shifts. The prevailing view that coral-macroalgal phase shifts commonly occur due to insufficient grazing by fishes is based on correlation with overfishing and inferences from models and small-scale experiments rather than on long-term quantitative field studies of fish communities at affected and resilient sites. Consequently, the specific characteristics of herbivorous fish communities that most promote reef resilience under natural conditions are not known, though this information is critical for identifying vulnerable ecosystems. In this study, 11 years of field surveys recorded the development of the most persistent coral-macroalgal phase shift (>7 years) yet observed on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This shift followed extensive coral mortality caused by thermal stress (coral bleaching) and damaging storms. Comparisons with two similar reefs that suffered similar disturbances but recovered relatively rapidly demonstrated that the phase shift occurred despite high abundances of one herbivore functional group (scraping/excavating parrotfishes: Labridae). However, the shift was strongly associated with low fish herbivore diversity and low abundances of algal browsers (predominantly Siganidae) and grazers/detritivores (Acanthuridae), suggesting that one or more of these factors underpin reef resilience and so deserve particular protection. Herbivorous fishes are not harvested on the GBR, and the phase shift was not enhanced by unusually high nutrient levels. This shows that unexploited populations of herbivorous fishes cannot ensure reef resilience even under benign conditions and suggests that reefs could lose resilience under relatively low fishing pressure. Predictions of more severe and widespread coral mortality due to global

  5. Biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available is well endowed with both variety and abundance of living things, together referred to as biological diversity, or biodiversity. That biodiversity, with some exceptions, is currently in a better condition than in many parts of the world. Biodiversity... Africa and the southern Cape (Cowling and others 1996). In between are the subtropical deserts, which are generally a zone of lower diversity: for example, a vast part of the Sahara, the Ténéré, is home to only 20 plant species in an area of about...

  6. Decadal changes in turbid-water coral communities at Pandora Reef: loss of resilience or too soon to tell?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Done, Terry; Turak, Emre; Wakeford, Mary; Devantier, Lyndon; McDonald, Abbi; Fisk, David

    2007-12-01

    Coral communities were monitored at Pandora Reef, nearshore Great Barrier Reef from 1981 to 2005 using photography and videography. In the 1980s, regional elevation of land-based nutrients in coastal waters (ca. 2-6 times pre-European levels of early 1800s) did not prevent overall recovery of coral cover and diversity following a sequence of environmental disturbances in the 1970s. However, prospects for a repeat of such resilience following catastrophic mortality from high-temperature bleaching in 1998 and a cyclone in 2000 are not clear. Different coral communities around the reef varied greatly in relation to impacts and recovery. Fore-reef communities dominated by acroporids (fast growing branching and tabular Acropora and foliose Montipora) recovered strongly in the 1980s following apparently severe impacts by cyclone, flood and heat wave disturbances in the 1970s, attaining 60-90% cover by stabilizing rubble and outgrowing macro-algae in reef, by contrast, poritid-dominated communities (massive and finger Porites and columnar Goniopora and Alveopora) had more stable trajectories and smaller impact from recent disturbances: recovery was well underway in 2005. The contrasting trajectories of different parts of the reef reflect differential survival of more persistent versus more ephemeral taxa, notably poritids and acroporids, respectively, both major contributors to framework and cover on reefs globally. A repeat of earlier resilience appears possible in the shallow fore-reef, but unlikely in the deeper fore-reef, which had few viable fragments or recruits in 2005. The main limits on recovery may be (1) reduced supply of coral larvae due to widespread regional losses of coral brood stock and (2) the reduced intervals between disturbances associated with global climate change. The presence of a high abundance of Acroporidae is a major pre-disposing risk factor for climate change impacts.

  7. Substratum stability and coral reef resilience: insights from 90 years of disturbances on a reef in American Samoa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Squair, C.

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available n 1917, Alfred Mayor recorded rich coral communities in distinct zones on the reef flat along a permanent transect at Aua village in Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa. In the 1950s-1980s, this area was seriously degraded by chronic pollution from two tuna canneries and fuel spills in the inner harbor and by coastal development. By the 1970s, coral communities had declined substantially. Mayor provided a map and photographs of the transect in his 1924 report and so we were able to repeat surveys along the same transect in 1973, 1980, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2007. In 1992, a large pipe was installed to export wastewater from the tuna canneries to the harbor mouth. Management of coastal development and fuel spills had improved by the early 1990s. We found that since then, there has been a significant recovery of coral communities on the reef crest and outer reef flat where there is consolidated reef substratum (up to 30 m back from the reef crest. In contrast, we found that recovery has been substantially slower or absent behind the reef crest, where the substratum is primarily loose rubble. In particular, the Acropora zone recorded on the outer reef flat in 1917 (120–140 m behind the reef crest had disappeared completely by the 1990s. Recovery is now proceeding in this zone by the slow accumulation of Acropora muricata colonies that are large enough to become established on the loose substratum. The recovery of coral communities on a few large stable blocks of reef rock scattered across the zone of loose rubble was similar to the recovery on the solid reef crest. The large stable blocks provided a natural experiment that demonstrated resilience (rates of recovery of the coral communities after chronic or acute disturbance was determined largely by stability of the substratum.

  8. Please mind the gap – Visual census and cryptic biodiversity assessment at central Red Sea coral reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Pearman, John K.

    2016-04-26

    also improve the estimates of biodiversity in coral reef benthic communities. This study lays the foundations for further studies looking at integrating traditional reef survey methodologies with complementary approaches, such as metabarcoding, which investigate other components of the reef community.

  9. Mingulay reef complex: An interdisciplinary study of cold-water coral habitat, hydrography and biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roberts, J.M.; Davies, A.J.; Henry, L.A.; Dodds, L.A.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; Lavaleye, M.S.S.; Maier, C.; van Soest, R.W.M.; Bergman, M.J.N.; Hühnerbach, V.; Huvenne, V.A.I.; Sinclair, D.J.; Watmough, T.; Long, D.; Green, S.L.; van Haren, H.

    2009-01-01

    The Mingulay reef complex in the Sea of the Hebrides west of Scotland was first mapped in 2003 with a further survey in 2006 revealing previously unknown live coral reef areas at 120 to 190 m depth. Habitat mapping confirmed that distinctive mounded bathymetry was formed by reefs of Lophelia pertusa

  10. Biodiversity on the marginal coral reefs of South Africa: What does the future hold?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schleyer, M.H.; Celliers, L.

    2003-01-01

    Southern African coral communities form a continuum from the more typical, accretive reefs in the tropics of Mozambique to the marginal, southernmost African distribution of this fauna in KwaZulu- Natal. While the latter are limited in size, they are gaining increasing attention as they provide a

  11. Biodiversity on the marginal coral reefs of South Africa: What does the future hold?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schleyer, M.H.; Celliers, L.

    2003-01-01

    Southern African coral communities form a continuum from the more typical, accretive reefs in the tropics of Mozambique to the marginal, southernmost African distribution of this fauna in KwaZulu- Natal. While the latter are limited in size, they are gaining increasing attention as they provide a mo

  12. Watershed restoration as a tool for improving coral reef resilience against climate change and other human impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelton, Austin J.; Richmond, Robert H.

    2016-12-01

    Environmental stressors in coastal areas threaten the sustainability of marine resources and reduce their resilience to climate change impacts. Accelerated land erosion is a major stressor that leads to increased turbidity and sedimentation on downstream coral reefs and the degradation of ecosystem functions. Volunteers from a community-based initiative in Guam installed 130 tree seedlings and 54 m of sediment filter socks in eroding hillsides above Fouha Bay, to reduce erosion. A soil probing method for measuring soil depth was developed and used to evaluate the effectiveness of the watershed restoration tools. The trees and socks trapped 111.8 tons of sediment on land after 21 months. In heavily eroding portions of the restoration plot, where socks and trees were used in combination, the mean sediment trapping efficiency was 44 kg m-2 yr-1. Previous studies indicate a 75% reduction in sedimentation rate is required to bring Fouha Bay below severe-catastrophic sedimentation stress (>50 mg cm-2 day-1). Based on the observed sediment trapping efficiency of restoration tools in this study, an estimated 0.05 km2 of severely eroding hillsides must be treated with 19 km of socks and 11,000 trees to trap 2121 tons of sediment and achieve the necessary reduction. If sediment input into the bay is controlled, existing sediment will clear out with storm-driven swells. As shown in other high islands, coral reefs are resilient and can recover after sedimentation stress is reduced. Data generated on the efficiency of watershed restoration tools in this study can be used in watershed management plans to promote the sustainability and resilience of coastal areas in other tropical islands.

  13. Aquatic biodiversity in forests: A weak link in ecosystem services resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penaluna, Brooke E.; Olson, Deanna H.; Flitcroft, Rebecca L; Weber, Matthew A.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Wondzell, Steven M.; Dunham, Jason; Johnson, Sherri L.; Reeves, Gordon H.

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of aquatic ecosystems is being quickly reduced on many continents, warranting a closer examination of the consequences for ecological integrity and ecosystem services. Here we describe intermediate and final ecosystem services derived from aquatic biodiversity in forests. We include a summary of the factors framing the assembly of aquatic biodiversity in forests in natural systems and how they change with a variety of natural disturbances and human-derived stressors. We consider forested aquatic ecosystems as a multi-state portfolio, with diverse assemblages and life-history strategies occurring at local scales as a consequence of a mosaic of habitat conditions and past disturbances and stressors. Maintaining this multi-state portfolio of assemblages requires a broad perspective of ecosystem structure, various functions, services, and management implications relative to contemporary stressors. Because aquatic biodiversity provides multiple ecosystem services to forests, activities that compromise aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity could be an issue for maintaining forest ecosystem integrity. We illustrate these concepts with examples of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services in forests of northwestern North America, also known as Northeast Pacific Rim. Encouraging management planning at broad as well as local spatial scales to recognize multi-state ecosystem management goals has promise for maintaining valuable ecosystem services. Ultimately, integration of information from socio-ecological ecosystems will be needed to maintain ecosystem services derived directly and indirectly from forest aquatic biota.

  14. Phase shifts and the role of herbivory in the resilience of coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledlie, M. H.; Graham, N. A. J.; Bythell, J. C.; Wilson, S. K.; Jennings, S.; Polunin, N. V. C.; Hardcastle, J.

    2007-09-01

    Cousin Island marine reserve (Seychelles) has been an effectively protected no-take marine protected area (MPA) since 1968 and was shown in 1994 to support a healthy herbivorous fish assemblage. In 1998 Cousin Island reefs suffered extensive coral mortality following a coral bleaching event, and a phase shift from coral to algal dominance ensued. By 2005 mean coral cover was habits of six abundant and representative herbivorous fish species around Cousin Island in 2006 demonstrated that epilithic algae were the preferred food resource of all species and that macroalgae were avoided. Given the current dominance of macroalgae and the apparent absence of macroalgal consumers, it is suggested that the increasing abundance of macroalgae is reducing the probability of the system reverting to a coral dominated state.

  15. The ReFuGe 2020 Consortium—using “omics” approaches to explore the adaptability and resilience of coral holobionts to environmental change

    KAUST Repository

    Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-07-06

    Human-induced environmental changes have been linked directly with loss of biodiversity. Coral reefs, which have been severely impacted by anthropogenic activities over the last few decades, exemplify this global problem and provide an opportunity to develop research addressing key knowledge gaps through

  16. Patterns of biodiversity and endemism on Indo-West Pacific coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Reaka, Marjorie L.; Rodgers, Paula J.; Kudla, Alexei U.

    2008-01-01

    Diversity of the primary groups of contemporary Indo-West Pacific coral reef organisms, including mantis shrimps (stomatopod crustaceans), peaks in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA), reaches a lower peak in East Africa and Madagascar [Indian Ocean continental (IOC)], and declines in the central Indian Ocean (IO) and Central Pacific (CP). Percent endemism in stomatopods (highest in the IAA, high in the IOC, lower in regions adjacent to centers, and moderate in the CP) correlates positively...

  17. Biodiversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dobson, A. (Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)); Carper, R. (John Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States))

    1993-10-30

    Traditional herbalists act as a first-level screen for plants which may contain chemicals with significant pharmaceutical potential. Unfortunately, the destruction of rain forests is likely to lead to the extinction of many plant species before their potential can be explored. 165,000 km[sup 2] of tropical forest and 90,000 km[sup 2] of range land are destroyed or degraded each year, an annual attrition rate of about 1% for tropical forest. If these losses continue until only land set aside in parks is left, 66% of plant and 69% of animal species may be lost. The burning of forests to clear land for human settlement also makes a significant contribution to the greenhouse gases that are raising global mean temperatures. There are synergisms--here between rainforest destruction, loss of biodiversity, and global climate change--with potential impacts on health. Some aspects will be explored more fully in the contributions on vector-borne diseases and direct impacts and in the collaborative review of monitoring with which the series ends.

  18. Social-ecological Resilience and Biodiversity Conservation in a 900-year-old Protected Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian C. Newton

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Protected areas are increasingly being recognized as coupled social-ecological systems, whose effectiveness depends on their resilience. Here I present a historical profile of an individual case study, the New Forest (England, which was first designated as a protected area more than 900 years ago. Uniquely, a traditional pattern of land use has been maintained ever since, providing a rare opportunity to examine the resilience of an integrated social-ecological system over nine centuries. The New Forest demonstrates that over the long term, coupled social-ecological systems can be resilient to major internal and external shocks, including climate change, mass human mortality and war. Changes in governance had the greatest impact on the reserve itself, with two major crises identified in the mid-19th and 20th centuries. Resolution of these crises depended on the formation of alliances between local people and external partners, including the general public, a process that was supported by improvements in visitor access. Over a timescale of centuries, this social-ecological system has been highly dynamic in disturbance regimes but relatively stable in land use patterns. However, the factors underpinning resilience have changed over time. This case study suggests that for protected areas to be effective over the long term, social structures and institutions as well as environmental processes require adaptive capacity.

  19. Biological soil quality from biomass to biodiversity - importance and resilience to management stress and disturbance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brussaard, L.; Kuyper, T.W.; Didden, W.A.M.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Bloem, J.

    2004-01-01

    Various aspects of the soil biota react sensitively to changes in the environment, including agricultural management. Changes in soil biodiversity cannot easily observed directly (measured in terms of community structure of microbes and nematodes, giving early warnings of long-term changes in organi

  20. Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resilience is an important framework for understanding and managing complex systems of people and nature that are subject to abrupt and nonlinear change. The idea of ecological resilience was slow to gain acceptance in the scientific community, taking thirty years to become widel...

  1. The ReFuGe 2020 consortium - Using ‘omics’ approaches to explore the adaptability and resilience of coral holobionts to environmental change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Robert Voolstra

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Human-induced environmental changes have been linked directly with loss of biodiversity. Coral reefs, which have been severely impacted by anthropogenic activities over the last few decades, exemplify this global problem and provide an opportunity to develop research addressing key knowledge gaps through ‘omics’-based approaches. While many stressors, e.g. global warming, ocean acidification, overfishing and coastal development have been identified, there is an urgent need to understand how corals function at a basic level in order to conceive strategies for mitigating future reef loss. In this regard, availability of fully sequenced genomes has been immensely valuable in providing answers to questions of organismal biology. Given that corals are metaorganisms comprised of the coral animal host, its intracellular photosynthetic algae, and associated microbiota (i.e. bacteria, archaea, fungi, viruses, these efforts must focus on entire coral holobionts. The Reef Future Genomics 2020 (ReFuGe 2020 consortium has formed to sequence hologenomes of ten coral species representing different physiological or functional groups to provide foundation data for coral reef adaptation research that is freely available to the research community.

  2. Is coral richness related to community resistance to and recovery from disturbance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacy Y. Zhang

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available More diverse communities are thought to be more stable—the diversity–stability hypothesis—due to increased resistance to and recovery from disturbances. For example, high diversity can make the presence of resilient or fast growing species and key facilitations among species more likely. How natural, geographic biodiversity patterns and changes in biodiversity due to human activities mediate community-level disturbance dynamics is largely unknown, especially in diverse systems. For example, few studies have explored the role of diversity in tropical marine communities, especially at large scales. We tested the diversity–stability hypothesis by asking whether coral richness is related to resistance to and recovery from disturbances including storms, predator outbreaks, and coral bleaching on tropical coral reefs. We synthesized the results of 41 field studies conducted on 82 reefs, documenting changes in coral cover due to disturbance, across a global gradient of coral richness. Our results indicate that coral reefs in more species-rich regions were marginally less resistant to disturbance and did not recover more quickly. Coral community resistance was also highly dependent on pre-disturbance coral cover, probably due in part to the sensitivity of fast-growing and often dominant plating acroporid corals to disturbance. Our results suggest that coral communities in biodiverse regions, such as the western Pacific, may not be more resistant and resilient to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Further analyses controlling for disturbance intensity and other drivers of coral loss and recovery could improve our understanding of the influence of diversity on community stability in coral reef ecosystems.

  3. The Power of Three: Coral Reefs, Seagrasses and Mangroves Protect Coastal Regions and Increase Their Resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guannel, Greg; Arkema, Katie; Ruggiero, Peter; Verutes, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Natural habitats have the ability to protect coastal communities against the impacts of waves and storms, yet it is unclear how different habitats complement each other to reduce those impacts. Here, we investigate the individual and combined coastal protection services supplied by live corals on reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests during both non-storm and storm conditions, and under present and future sea-level conditions. Using idealized profiles of fringing and barrier reefs, we quantify the services supplied by these habitats using various metrics of inundation and erosion. We find that, together, live corals, seagrasses, and mangroves supply more protection services than any individual habitat or any combination of two habitats. Specifically, we find that, while mangroves are the most effective at protecting the coast under non-storm and storm conditions, live corals and seagrasses also moderate the impact of waves and storms, thereby further reducing the vulnerability of coastal regions. Also, in addition to structural differences, the amount of service supplied by habitats in our analysis is highly dependent on the geomorphic setting, habitat location and forcing conditions: live corals in the fringing reef profile supply more protection services than seagrasses; seagrasses in the barrier reef profile supply more protection services than live corals; and seagrasses, in our simulations, can even compensate for the long-term degradation of the barrier reef. Results of this study demonstrate the importance of taking integrated and place-based approaches when quantifying and managing for the coastal protection services supplied by ecosystems.

  4. Bleaching and recovery patterns of corals in Palk Bay, India: An indication of bleaching resilient reef

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Manikandan, B.; Ravindran, J.; Vidya, P.J.; ManiMurali, R.

    to the annual bleaching events in 2013 and 2014. Recovery and mortality of corals after the bleaching event were documented as well the relationship between SST, PAR and severity of bleaching at the study sites were examined. While observing the coral... in Palk Bay are well documented [23, 24]. Palk Bay reef also serves as an important fishing ground for small scale fishermen. Two sites were identified for this study namely Vedhalai and Mandapam as a representative site of Palk Bay to study the overall...

  5. Opportunities for increasing resilience and sustainability of urban social-ecological systems: insights from the URBES and the cities and biodiversity outlook projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schewenius, Maria; McPhearson, Timon; Elmqvist, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Urban futures that are more resilient and sustainable require an integrated social-ecological system approach to urban policymaking, planning, management, and governance. In this article, we introduce the Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (URBES) and the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook (CBO) Projects as new social-ecological contributions to research and practice on emerging urban resilience and ecosystem services. We provide an overview of the projects and present global urbanization trends and their effects on ecosystems and biodiversity, as a context for new knowledge generated in the URBES case-study cities, including Berlin, New York, Rotterdam, Barcelona, and Stockholm. The cities represent contrasting urbanization trends and examples of emerging science-policy linkages for improving urban landscapes for human health and well-being. In addition, we highlight 10 key messages of the global CBO assessment as a knowledge platform for urban leaders to incorporate state-of-the-art science on URBES into decision-making for sustainable and resilient urban development.

  6. The unnatural history of Kāne‘ohe Bay: coral reef resilience in the face of centuries of anthropogenic impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokiel, Paul L.; Toonen, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    reefs of Kāneʻohe Bay developed under estuarine conditions and thus have been subjected to multiple natural stresses. These include storm floods, a more extreme temperature range than more oceanic reefs, high rates of sedimentation, and exposure at extreme low tides. Deposition and degradation of organic materials carried into the bay from the watershed results in low pH conditions such that according to some ocean acidification projections the rich coral reefs in the bay should not exist. Increased global temperature due to anthropogenic fossil fuel emmisions is now impacting these reefs with the first “bleaching event” in 1996 and a second more severe event in 2014. The reefs of Kāneʻohe Bay have developed and persist under rather severe natural and anthropogenic perturbations. To date, these reefs have proved to be very resilient once the stressor has been removed. A major question remains to be answered concerning the limits of Kāneʻohe Bay reef resilience in the face of global climate change. PMID:26020007

  7. The unnatural history of Kāne'ohe Bay: coral reef resilience in the face of centuries of anthropogenic impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, Keisha D; Jokiel, Paul L; Toonen, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    ne'ohe Bay developed under estuarine conditions and thus have been subjected to multiple natural stresses. These include storm floods, a more extreme temperature range than more oceanic reefs, high rates of sedimentation, and exposure at extreme low tides. Deposition and degradation of organic materials carried into the bay from the watershed results in low pH conditions such that according to some ocean acidification projections the rich coral reefs in the bay should not exist. Increased global temperature due to anthropogenic fossil fuel emmisions is now impacting these reefs with the first "bleaching event" in 1996 and a second more severe event in 2014. The reefs of Kāne'ohe Bay have developed and persist under rather severe natural and anthropogenic perturbations. To date, these reefs have proved to be very resilient once the stressor has been removed. A major question remains to be answered concerning the limits of Kāne'ohe Bay reef resilience in the face of global climate change.

  8. The unnatural history of Kāne‘ohe Bay: coral reef resilience in the face of centuries of anthropogenic impacts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keisha D. Bahr

    2015-05-01

    coral cover. The reefs of Kāneʻohe Bay developed under estuarine conditions and thus have been subjected to multiple natural stresses. These include storm floods, a more extreme temperature range than more oceanic reefs, high rates of sedimentation, and exposure at extreme low tides. Deposition and degradation of organic materials carried into the bay from the watershed results in low pH conditions such that according to some ocean acidification projections the rich coral reefs in the bay should not exist. Increased global temperature due to anthropogenic fossil fuel emmisions is now impacting these reefs with the first “bleaching event” in 1996 and a second more severe event in 2014. The reefs of Kāneʻohe Bay have developed and persist under rather severe natural and anthropogenic perturbations. To date, these reefs have proved to be very resilient once the stressor has been removed. A major question remains to be answered concerning the limits of Kāneʻohe Bay reef resilience in the face of global climate change.

  9. Colloquium paper: patterns of biodiversity and endemism on Indo-West Pacific coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaka, Marjorie L; Rodgers, Paula J; Kudla, Alexei U

    2008-08-12

    Diversity of the primary groups of contemporary Indo-West Pacific coral reef organisms, including mantis shrimps (stomatopod crustaceans), peaks in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA), reaches a lower peak in East Africa and Madagascar [Indian Ocean continental (IOC)], and declines in the central Indian Ocean (IO) and Central Pacific (CP). Percent endemism in stomatopods (highest in the IAA, high in the IOC, lower in regions adjacent to centers, and moderate in the CP) correlates positively with species diversity (this varies with scale) and inversely with species body size. Because it constrains reproductive traits and dispersal, body size is a reliable indicator of speciation and extinction potential in reef stomatopods and probably most marine organisms. Assemblages are dominated by small-sized species in the IAA and IOC. Both speciation and extinction likely are high, resulting in especially high endemism (small ranges reflect both originating and disappearing species) in these regions. Rates of speciation exceed extinction, yielding centers of diversity (especially in the IAA). Dispersal slows speciation and extinction in areas adjacent to these centers. Body size declines toward the CP, especially in atoll environments. Here the wheels of speciation and extinction again spin rapidly but in the opposite direction (extinction > speciation), yielding low diversity and moderate endemism. We conclude that life histories, dispersal, and speciation/extinction dynamics are primary agents that mold patterns of diversity and endemism. Historical factors, currents, productivity, and species diversity itself (through ecological interactions) also influence these patterns, in some cases by altering body size.

  10. Patterns of biodiversity and endemism on Indo-West Pacific coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaka, Marjorie L.; Rodgers, Paula J.; Kudla, Alexei U.

    2008-01-01

    Diversity of the primary groups of contemporary Indo-West Pacific coral reef organisms, including mantis shrimps (stomatopod crustaceans), peaks in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA), reaches a lower peak in East Africa and Madagascar [Indian Ocean continental (IOC)], and declines in the central Indian Ocean (IO) and Central Pacific (CP). Percent endemism in stomatopods (highest in the IAA, high in the IOC, lower in regions adjacent to centers, and moderate in the CP) correlates positively with species diversity (this varies with scale) and inversely with species body size. Because it constrains reproductive traits and dispersal, body size is a reliable indicator of speciation and extinction potential in reef stomatopods and probably most marine organisms. Assemblages are dominated by small-sized species in the IAA and IOC. Both speciation and extinction likely are high, resulting in especially high endemism (small ranges reflect both originating and disappearing species) in these regions. Rates of speciation exceed extinction, yielding centers of diversity (especially in the IAA). Dispersal slows speciation and extinction in areas adjacent to these centers. Body size declines toward the CP, especially in atoll environments. Here the wheels of speciation and extinction again spin rapidly but in the opposite direction (extinction > speciation), yielding low diversity and moderate endemism. We conclude that life histories, dispersal, and speciation/extinction dynamics are primary agents that mold patterns of diversity and endemism. Historical factors, currents, productivity, and species diversity itself (through ecological interactions) also influence these patterns, in some cases by altering body size. PMID:18695226

  11. Coral cover as a proxy of disturbance: A case study of the biodiversity of the hermatypic corals in Yongxing Island, Xisha Islands in the South China Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Hui; LIAN Jiansheng; HUANG Xiaoping; HUANG Liangmin; ZOU Renlin; WANG Daoru

    2006-01-01

    The Yongxing Island is the biggest island of Xisha Islands in the middle part of the South China Sea. It occupies 1.8 square kilometers of land area and has permanent residence on it. There are only a few papers on the coral community of the Xisha Islands, reporting the species composition,structure and zonations of the hermatypic coral community in 1970s. The present study describes the hermatypic coral community based on the quadrat survey after almost 30 years in Yongxing Island in August 2002. It was the first time to present the percent cover data of live corals of Yongxing Island via a systematic scheme of quantitative quadrat sampling.The average total percent cover of the live coral is 68.4%. We found the total percent cover (TPC) could be an idea proxy of the overall disturbance regime impinging on the coral community. TPC can be used as an integrated measure of disturbance to coral reef.Using this surrogate, the best fit relation between TPC of the live corals and species richness, species diversity, or the species evenness is the unimodal second-order polymorphic parabola equation. This result is expected by the intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH). From the fitted parabola equations,we calculated the best TPCs corresponding to the maximal species richness, the highest species diversity, or the most evenness respectively. They are surprisingly stabilized between 55% and 58%. Coral cover is the basic parameter widely available for most observation, research or monitoring programs.The good qualitative characteristics of percent cover provide powerful tool for the experimental, theoretical and modeling studies of coral reef in response to the disturbance.

  12. Biodiversity and ecological composition of macrobenthos on cold-water coral mounds and adjacent off-mound habitat in the bathyal Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lea-Anne; Roberts, J. Murray

    2007-04-01

    The cold-water scleractinian corals Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata form mound structures on the continental shelf and slope in the NE Atlantic. This study is the first to compare the taxonomic biodiversity and ecological composition of the macrobenthos between on- and off-mound habitats. Seven box cores from the summits of three mounds and four cores from an adjacent off-mound area in the Belgica Mound Province in the Porcupine Seabight yielded 349 species, including 10 undescribed species. On-mound habitat was three times more speciose, and was richer with higher evenness and significantly greater Shannon's diversity than off-mound. Species composition differed significantly between habitats and the four best discriminating species were Pliobothrus symmetricus (more frequent off-mound), Crisia nov. sp, Aphrocallistes bocagei and Lophelia pertusa (all more frequent on-mound). Filter/suspension feeders were significantly more abundant on-mound, while deposit feeders were significantly more abundant off-mound. Species composition did not significantly differ between mounds, but similarity within replicates decreased from Galway Moundbiodiversity, coral mounds have a characteristic "reef fauna" linked to species' biology that contrasts with the higher horizontal habitat heterogeneity conferred by the action of deposit feeders and a varied seabed sedimentary facies off-mound. Standardisation of equipment and restriction of analyses to higher taxonomic levels would facilitate prospective comparative analyses of cold-water coral biodiversity across larger spatio-temporal scales.

  13. Land-Use and Socioeconomic Change, Medicinal Plant Selection and Biodiversity Resilience in Far Western Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baral, Kedar; Paudel, Prashant; Acharya, Ram P.; Thapa-Magar, Khum B.; Cameron, Mary; Bussmann, Rainer W.

    2016-01-01

    Indigenous plant use-systems have evolved under, and constantly adapted to human and non-human impacts. In the last decades however, increasing socioeconomic and cultural transformations, including land-use change, outmigration, globalized markets, the introduction of new species, and climate change have led to a decreasing availability of indigenous resources, and are ultimately leading to a reduction of local use-knowledge. Participant observations, discussions, walks-in-the-woods, semi-structured interviews and informal meetings were carried out in 12 villages of far western Nepal between 2011 and 2015 to assess how sociocultural changes have affected the sustenance of indigenous systems and local biodiversity, when compared to studies carried out in the previous decades. Our findings show that there were no statistically significant differences in subject variable means, but differences were relatively important to plant parts-use and plant growth-forms (p = 0.183 and 0.088 respectively). Cissampelos pareira, Acorus calamus, Calotropis gigantea were found to have the greatest relative importance, whereas Ageratina adenophora, Melia azedarach, Carum carvi were most important based on use values. Among them, C. pareira and A. adenophora were introduced. The spatial distribution of species collected for medicine showed that all habitats were important for collection however, habitats close to villages were more favored. The use of non-indigenous and easily available species and more accessible habitats is becoming more prevalent as primary forests become increasingly overexploited, indigenous species become limited, and sociocultural cause of land use change expand. The utilization of indigenous and non-indigenous species and nearby habitats, although possibly affecting the quality of medicinal species, nonetheless reveals the dynamism of indigenous medicines as an adaptive asset mitigating human and non-human environmental changes. PMID:27936247

  14. New perspectives on ecological mechanisms affecting coral recruitment on reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ritson-Williams, R.; Arnold, S.N.; Fogarty, N.D.; Steneck, R.S.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Paul, V.J.

    2009-01-01

    Coral mortality has increased in recent decades, making coral recruitment more important than ever in sustaining coral reef ecosystems and contributing to their resilience. This review summarizes existing information on ecological factors affecting scleractinian coral recruitment. Successful recruit

  15. New perspectives on ecological mechanisms affecting coral recruitment on reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ritson-Williams, R.; Arnold, S.N.; Fogarty, N.D.; Steneck, R.S.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Paul, V.J.

    2009-01-01

    Coral mortality has increased in recent decades, making coral recruitment more important than ever in sustaining coral reef ecosystems and contributing to their resilience. This review summarizes existing information on ecological factors affecting scleractinian coral recruitment. Successful

  16. Calcification, storm damage and population resilience of tabular corals under climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua S Madin

    Full Text Available Two facets of climate change--increased tropical storm intensity and ocean acidification--are expected to detrimentally affect reef-building organisms by increasing their mortality rates and decreasing their calcification rates. Our current understanding of these effects is largely based on individual organisms' short-term responses to experimental manipulations. However, predicting the ecologically-relevant effects of climate change requires understanding the long-term demographic implications of these organism-level responses. In this study, we investigate how storm intensity and calcification rate interact to affect population dynamics of the table coral Acropora hyacinthus, a dominant and geographically widespread ecosystem engineer on wave-exposed Indo-Pacific reefs. We develop a mechanistic framework based on the responses of individual-level demographic rates to changes in the physical and chemical environment, using a size-structured population model that enables us to rigorously incorporate uncertainty. We find that table coral populations are vulnerable to future collapse, placing in jeopardy many other reef organisms that are dependent upon them for shelter and food. Resistance to collapse is largely insensitive to predicted changes in storm intensity, but is highly dependent on the extent to which calcification influences both the mechanical properties of reef substrate and the colony-level trade-off between growth rate and skeletal strength. This study provides the first rigorous quantitative accounting of the demographic implications of the effects of ocean acidification and changes in storm intensity, and provides a template for further studies of climate-induced shifts in ecosystems, including coral reefs.

  17. Resilience of coral calcification to extreme temperature variations in the Kimberley region, northwest Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dandan, S. S.; Falter, J. L.; Lowe, R. J.; McCulloch, M. T.

    2015-12-01

    We report seasonal changes in coral calcification within the highly dynamic intertidal and subtidal zones of Cygnet Bay (16.5°S, 123.0°E) in the Kimberley region of northwest Australia, where the tidal range can reach nearly 8 m and the temperature of nearshore waters ranges seasonally by ~9 °C from a minimum monthly mean of ~22 °C to a maximum of over 31 °C. Corals growing within the more isolated intertidal sites experienced maximum temperatures of up to ~35 °C during spring low tides in addition to being routinely subjected to high levels of irradiance (>1500 µmol m-2 s-1) under near stagnant conditions. Mixed model analysis revealed a significant effect of tidal exposure on the growth of Acropora aspera, Dipsastraea favus, and Trachyphyllia geoffroyi ( p ≤ 0.04), as well as a significant effect of season on A. aspera and T. geoffroyi ( p ≤ 0.01, no effect on D. favus); however, the growth of both D. favus and T. geoffroyi appeared to be better suited to the warm summer conditions of the intertidal compared to A. aspera. Through an additional comparative study, we found that Acropora from Cygnet Bay calcified at a rate 69 % faster than a species from the same genus living in a backreef environment of a more typical tropical reef located 1200 km southwest of Cygnet Bay (0.59 ± 0.02 vs. 0.34 ± 0.02 g cm-2 yr-1 for A. muricata from Coral Bay, Ningaloo Reef; p < 0.001, df = 28.9). The opposite behaviour was found for D. favus from the same environments, with colonies from Cygnet Bay calcifying at rates that were 33 % slower than the same species from Ningaloo Reef (0.29 ± 0.02 vs. 0.44 ± 0.03 g cm-2 yr-1, p < 0.001, df = 37.9). Our findings suggest that adaption and/or acclimatization of coral to the more thermally extreme environments at Cygnet Bay is strongly taxon dependent.

  18. Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Dikou

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Top-down controls of complex foodwebs maintain the balance among the critical groups of corals, algae, and herbivores, thus allowing the persistence of corals reefs as three-dimensional, biogenic structures with high biodiversity, heterogeneity, resistance, resilience and connectivity, and the delivery of essential goods and services to societies. On contemporary reefs world-wide, however, top-down controls have been weakened due to reduction in herbivory levels (overfishing or disease outbreak while bottom-up controls have increased due to water quality degradation (increase in sediment and nutrient load and climate forcing (seawater warming and acidification leading to algal-dominated alternate benthic states of coral reefs, which are indicative of a trajectory towards ecological extinction. Management to reverse common trajectories of degradation for coral reefs necessitates a shift from optimization in marine resource use and conservation towards building socio-economic resilience into coral reef systems while attending to the most manageable human impacts (fishing and water quality and the global-scale causes (climate change.

  19. Global and local threats to coral reef functioning and existence: review and predictions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilkinson, C.R. [Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, Townsville, Qld. (Australia)

    1999-07-01

    Factors causing global degradation of coral reefs are examined briefly as a basis for predicting the likely consequences of increases in these factors. The earlier consensus was that widespread but localized damage from natural factors such as storms, and direct anthropogenic effects such as increased sedimentation, pollution and exploitation, posed the largest immediate threat to coral reefs. Now truly global factors associated with accelerating Global Climate Change are either damaging coral reefs or have the potential to inflict greater damage in the immediate future e.g. increases in coral bleaching and mortality, and reduction in coral calcification due to changes in sea-water chemistry with increasing carbon dioxide concentrations. Rises in sea level will probably disrupt human communities and their cultures by making coral cays uninhabitable, whereas coral reefs will sustain minimal damage from the rise in sea level. The short-term (decades) prognosis is that major reductions are almost certain in the extent and biodiversity of coral reefs, and severe disruptions to cultures and economies dependent on reef resources will occur. The long-term (centuries to millennia) prognosis is more encouraging because coral reefs have remarkable resilience to severe disruption and will probably show this resilience in the future when climate changes either stabilize or reverse.

  20. Physiological and Biogeochemical Traits of Bleaching and Recovery in the Mounding Species of Coral Porites lobata: Implications for Resilience in Mounding Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-02

    Symbiodinium spp.) and/or their algal photosynthetic pigments [1–5]. Mass bleaching events are expected to increase in frequency and intensity in the...associated bacterial community within the coral mucus layer. To date there are no studies that have distinguished between DOC uptake by the coral animal

  1. Review on hard coral recruitment (Cnidaria: Scleractinia in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa F. Dueñas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment, defined and measured as the incorporation of new individuals (i.e. coral juveniles into a population, is a fundamentalprocess for ecologists, evolutionists and conservationists due to its direct effect on population structure and function. Because most coralpopulations are self-feeding, a breakdown in recruitment would lead to local extinction. Recruitment indirectly affects both renewal andmaintenance of existing and future coral communities, coral reef biodiversity (bottom-up effect and therefore coral reef resilience. This process has been used as an indirect measure of individual reproductive success (fitness and is the final stage of larval dispersal leading to population connectivity. As a result, recruitment has been proposed as an indicator of coral-reef health in marine protected areas, as well as a central aspect of the decision-making process concerning management and conservation. The creation of management plans to promote impact mitigation, rehabilitation and conservation of the Colombian coral reefs is a necessity that requires firstly, a review and integration of existing literature on scleractinian coral recruitment in Colombia and secondly, larger scale field studies. This motivated us to summarize and analyze all existing information on coral recruitment to determine the state of knowledge, isolate patterns, identify gaps, and suggest future lines of research.

  2. The Maritime Continent and Coral Triangle: How to make informed measurements in the year of the MC to improve coral protection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodkin, N.; Tanzil, J.; Murty, S. A.; Ramos, R.; Pullen, J. D.

    2016-12-01

    The Maritime Continent (MC) is a region of highly complex oceanography, encompassing a majority of the Coral Triangle, the most important region for coral biodiversity and cover. Intricate coastal processes including water body mixing, resulting from reversing monsoon winds and internal waves, expose corals to a wide variety of physical conditions. However, the pressures of climate change, overfishing, ocean acidification, and coastal development, to name a few, are significant in this region and threaten to challenge reefs over the next several decades. In order to predict and study how to facilitate reef recovery in the MC region, it is crucial to understand the environmental parameters for coral success. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of oceanographic processes on the maritime continent that drive seasonal variability in the waters of the MC, including changes to sea surface temperature, salinity, pH, turbidity, productivity and nutrients. Each of these parameters is known to have impacts on calcification rates and thus coral reef formation. Environmental conditions and currents can combine to facilitate larval dispersion or to exacerbate coral disease and predation, including crown of thorns outbreaks. Internal waves may protect against coral bleaching by lowering temperatures with the delivery of deeper water. Drawing on previously published and unpublished results, we will evaluate the parameters that may be impacting reef growth rates, biodiversity and resilience in a changing world in an effort to help plan for key measurements in the year of the MC.

  3. Use of habitats as surrogates of biodiversity for efficient coral reef conservation planning in Pacific Ocean islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalleau, Mayeul; Andréfouët, Serge; Wabnitz, Colette C C; Payri, Claude; Wantiez, Laurent; Pichon, Michel; Friedman, Kim; Vigliola, Laurent; Benzoni, Francesca

    2010-04-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been highlighted as a means toward effective conservation of coral reefs. New strategies are required to more effectively select MPA locations and increase the pace of their implementation. Many criteria exist to design MPA networks, but generally, it is recommended that networks conserve a diversity of species selected for, among other attributes, their representativeness, rarity, or endemicity. Because knowledge of species' spatial distribution remains scarce, efficient surrogates are urgently needed. We used five different levels of habitat maps and six spatial scales of analysis to identify under which circumstances habitat data used to design MPA networks for Wallis Island provided better representation of species than random choice alone. Protected-area site selections were derived from a rarity-complementarity algorithm. Habitat surrogacy was tested for commercial fish species, all fish species, commercially harvested invertebrates, corals, and algae species. Efficiency of habitat surrogacy varied by species group, type of habitat map, and spatial scale of analysis. Maps with the highest habitat thematic complexity provided better surrogates than simpler maps and were more robust to changes in spatial scales. Surrogates were most efficient for commercial fishes, corals, and algae but not for commercial invertebrates. Conversely, other measurements of species-habitat associations, such as richness congruence and composition similarities provided weak results. We provide, in part, a habitat-mapping methodology for designation of MPAs for Pacific Ocean islands that are characterized by habitat zonations similar to Wallis. Given the increasing availability and affordability of space-borne imagery to map habitats, our approach could appreciably facilitate and improve current approaches to coral reef conservation and enhance MPA implementation.

  4. Rapid fluctuations in flow and water-column properties in Asan Bay, Guam: implications for selective resilience of coral reefs in warming seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storlazzi, C.D.; Field, M.E.; Cheriton, O.M.; Presto, M.K.; Logan, J.B.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrodynamics and water-column properties were investigated off west-central Guam from July 2007 through January 2008. Rapid fluctuations, on time scales of 10s of min, in currents, temperature, salinity, and acoustic backscatter were observed to occur on sub-diurnal frequencies along more than 2 km of the fore reef but not at the reef crest. During periods characterized by higher sea-surface temperatures (SSTs), weaker wind forcing, smaller ocean surface waves, and greater thermal stratification, rapid decreases in temperature and concurrent rapid increases in salinity and acoustic backscatter coincided with onshore-directed near-bed currents and offshore-directed near-surface currents. During the study, these cool-water events, on average, lasted 2.3 h and decreased the water temperature 0.57 °C, increased the salinity 0.25 PSU, and were two orders of magnitude more prevalent during the summer season than the winter. During the summer season when the average satellite-derived SST anomaly was +0.63 °C, these cooling events, on average, lowered the temperature 1.14 °C along the fore reef but only 0.11 °C along the reef crest. The rapid shifts appear to be the result of internal tidal bores pumping cooler, more saline, higher-backscatter oceanic water from depths >50 m over cross-shore distances of 100 s of m into the warmer, less saline waters at depths of 20 m and shallower. Such internal bores appear to have the potential to buffer shallow coral reefs from predicted increases in SSTs by bringing cool, offshore water to shallow coral environments. These cooling internal bores may also provide additional benefits to offset stress such as supplying food to thermally stressed corals, reducing stress due to ultraviolet radiation and/or low salinity, and delivering coral larvae from deeper reefs not impacted by surface thermal stress. Thus, the presence of internal bores might be an important factor locally in the resilience of select coral reefs facing increased

  5. Designing Climate-Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks by Combining Remotely Sensed Coral Reef Habitat with Coastal Multi-Use Maps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph M. Maina

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Decision making for the conservation and management of coral reef biodiversity requires an understanding of spatial variability and distribution of reef habitat types. Despite the existence of very high-resolution remote sensing technology for nearly two decades, comprehensive assessment of coral reef habitats at national to regional spatial scales and at very high spatial resolution is still scarce. Here, we develop benthic habitat maps at a sub-national scale by analyzing large multispectral QuickBird imagery dataset covering ~686 km2 of the main shallow coral fringing reef along the southern border with Tanzania (4.68°S, 39.18°E to the reef end at Malindi, Kenya (3.2°S, 40.1°E. Mapping was conducted with a user approach constrained by ground-truth data, with detailed transect lines from the shore to the fore reef. First, maps were used to evaluate the present management system’s effectiveness at representing habitat diversity. Then, we developed three spatial prioritization scenarios based on differing objectives: (i minimize lost fishing opportunity; (ii redistribute fisheries away from currently overfished reefs; and (iii minimize resource use conflicts. We further constrained the priority area in each prioritization selection scenario based on optionally protecting the least or the most climate exposed locations using a model of exposure to climate stress. We discovered that spatial priorities were very different based on the different objectives and on whether the aim was to protect the least or most climate-exposed habitats. Our analyses provide a spatially explicit foundation for large-scale conservation and management strategies that can account for ecosystem service benefits.

  6. An annotated list of fish parasites (Isopoda, Copepoda, Monogenea, Digenea, Cestoda, Nematoda) collected from Snappers and Bream (Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae, Caesionidae) in New Caledonia confirms high parasite biodiversity on coral reef fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Coral reefs are areas of maximum biodiversity, but the parasites of coral reef fishes, and especially their species richness, are not well known. Over an 8-year period, parasites were collected from 24 species of Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae and Caesionidae off New Caledonia, South Pacific. Results Host-parasite and parasite-host lists are provided, with a total of 207 host-parasite combinations and 58 parasite species identified at the species level, with 27 new host records. Results are presented for isopods, copepods, monogeneans, digeneans, cestodes and nematodes. When results are restricted to well-sampled reef fish species (sample size > 30), the number of host-parasite combinations is 20–25 per fish species, and the number of parasites identified at the species level is 9–13 per fish species. Lutjanids include reef-associated fish and deeper sea fish from the outer slopes of the coral reef: fish from both milieus were compared. Surprisingly, parasite biodiversity was higher in deeper sea fish than in reef fish (host-parasite combinations: 12.50 vs 10.13, number of species per fish 3.75 vs 3.00); however, we identified four biases which diminish the validity of this comparison. Finally, these results and previously published results allow us to propose a generalization of parasite biodiversity for four major families of reef-associated fishes (Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae, Serranidae and Lethrinidae): well-sampled fish have a mean of 20 host-parasite combinations per fish species, and the number of parasites identified at the species level is 10 per fish species. Conclusions Since all precautions have been taken to minimize taxon numbers, it is safe to affirm than the number of fish parasites is at least ten times the number of fish species in coral reefs, for species of similar size or larger than the species in the four families studied; this is a major improvement to our estimate of biodiversity in coral reefs. Our results suggest that

  7. The unnatural history of Kāne‘ohe Bay: coral reef resilience in the face of centuries of anthropogenic impacts

    OpenAIRE

    Keisha D. Bahr; Paul L Jokiel; Toonen, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Kāneʻohe Bay, which is located on the on the NE coast of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, represents one of the most intensively studied estuarine coral reef ecosystems in the world. Despite a long history of anthropogenic disturbance, from early settlement to post European contact, the coral reef ecosystem of Kāneʻohe Bay appears to be in better condition in comparison to other reefs around the world. The island of Moku o Loʻe (Coconut Island) in the southern region of the bay became home to the Hawaiʻi Inst...

  8. Resilience of cold-water scleractinian corals to ocean acidification: Boron isotopic systematics of pH and saturation state up-regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCulloch, Malcolm; Trotter, Julie; Montagna, Paolo; Falter, Jim; Dunbar, Robert; Freiwald, André; Försterra, Günter; López Correa, Matthias; Maier, Cornelia; Rüggeberg, Andres; Taviani, Marco

    2012-06-01

    .5 to ˜13) at the site of calcification by cold-water corals, facilitates calcification at or in some cases below the aragonite saturation horizon, providing a greater ability to adapt to the already low and now decreasing carbonate ion concentrations. Although providing greater resilience to the effects of ocean acidification and enhancing rates of calcification with increasing temperature, the process of internal pHcf up-regulation has an associated energetic cost, and therefore growth-rate cost, of ˜10% per 0.1 pH unit decrease in seawater pHT. Furthermore, as the aragonite saturation horizon shoals with rapidly increasing pCO2 and Ωarag < 1, increased dissolution of the exposed skeleton will ultimately limit their survival in the deep oceans.

  9. The Brookside Farm Wetland Ecosystem Treatment (WET System: A Low-Energy Methodology for Sewage Purification, Biomass Production (Yield, Flood Resilience and Biodiversity Enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian C. Abrahams

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Wastewater from domestic developments, farms and agro-industrial processing can be sources of pollution in the environment; current wastewater management methods are usually machine-based, and thus energy consuming. When Permaculture Principles are used in the creation of water purification and harvesting systems, there can be multiple environmental and economic benefits. In the context of energy descent, it may be considered desirable to treat wastewater using minimal energy. The constructed wetland design presented here is a low-entropy system in which wastewater is harvested and transformed into lush and productive wetland, eliminating the requirement for non-renewable energy in water purification, and also maximising benefits: biodiversity, flood resilience and yield. In permaculture design, the high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds in sewage are viewed as valuable nutrients, resources to be harvested by a constructed wetland ecosystem and converted into useful yield. Similarly, rainwater runoff is not viewed as a problem which can cause flooding, but as a potential resource to be harvested to provide a yield. This paper presents a case study, with both water quality and productivity data, from Brookside Farm UK, where the use of Permaculture Design Principles has created a combined wastewater management and purification system, accepting all site water.

  10. Quantifying resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig R.; Angeler, David G.

    2016-01-01

    The biosphere is under unprecedented pressure, reflected in rapid changes in our global ecological, social, technological and economic systems. In many cases, ecological and social systems can adapt to these changes over time, but when a critical threshold is surpassed, a system under stress can undergo catastrophic change and reorganize into a different state. The concept of resilience, introduced more than 40 years ago in the ecological sciences, captures the behaviour of systems that can occur in alternative states. The original definition of resilience forwarded by Holling (1973) is still the most useful. It defines resilience as the amount of disturbance that a system can withstand before it shifts into an alternative stable state. The idea of alternative stable states has clear and profound implications for ecological management. Coral reefs, for example, are high-diversity systems that provide key ecosystem services such as fisheries and coastal protection. Human impacts are causing significant, ongoing reef degradation, and many reefs have shifted from coral- to algal-dominated states in response to anthropogenic pressures such as elevated water temperatures and overfishing. Understanding and differentiating between the factors that help maintain reefs in coral-dominated states vs. those that facilitate a shift to an undesired algal-dominated state is a critical step towards sound management and conservation of these, and other, important social–ecological systems.

  11. Impact of herbivore identity on algal succession and coral growth on a Caribbean reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deron E Burkepile

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Herbivory is an important top-down force on coral reefs that regulates macroalgal abundance, mediates competitive interactions between macroalgae and corals, and provides resilience following disturbances such as hurricanes and coral bleaching. However, reductions in herbivore diversity and abundance via disease or over-fishing may harm corals directly and may indirectly increase coral susceptibility to other disturbances. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In two experiments over two years, we enclosed equivalent densities and masses of either single-species or mixed-species of herbivorous fishes in replicate, 4 m(2 cages at a depth of 17 m on a reef in the Florida Keys, USA to evaluate the effects of herbivore identity and species richness on colonization and development of macroalgal communities and the cascading effects of algae on coral growth. In Year 1, we used the redband parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum and the ocean surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus; in Year 2, we used the redband parrotfish and the princess parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus. On new substrates, rapid grazing by ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish kept communities in an early successional stage dominated by short, filamentous algae and crustose coralline algae that did not suppress coral growth. In contrast, feeding by redband parrotfish allowed an accumulation of tall filaments and later successional macroalgae that suppressed coral growth. These patterns contrast with patterns from established communities not undergoing primary succession; on established substrates redband parrotfish significantly reduced upright macroalgal cover while ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish allowed significant increases in late successional macroalgae. SIGNIFICANCE: This study further highlights the importance of biodiversity in affecting ecosystem function in that different species of herbivorous fishes had very different impacts on reef communities depending on

  12. Impact of herbivore identity on algal succession and coral growth on a Caribbean reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkepile, Deron E; Hay, Mark E

    2010-01-29

    Herbivory is an important top-down force on coral reefs that regulates macroalgal abundance, mediates competitive interactions between macroalgae and corals, and provides resilience following disturbances such as hurricanes and coral bleaching. However, reductions in herbivore diversity and abundance via disease or over-fishing may harm corals directly and may indirectly increase coral susceptibility to other disturbances. In two experiments over two years, we enclosed equivalent densities and masses of either single-species or mixed-species of herbivorous fishes in replicate, 4 m(2) cages at a depth of 17 m on a reef in the Florida Keys, USA to evaluate the effects of herbivore identity and species richness on colonization and development of macroalgal communities and the cascading effects of algae on coral growth. In Year 1, we used the redband parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum) and the ocean surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus); in Year 2, we used the redband parrotfish and the princess parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus). On new substrates, rapid grazing by ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish kept communities in an early successional stage dominated by short, filamentous algae and crustose coralline algae that did not suppress coral growth. In contrast, feeding by redband parrotfish allowed an accumulation of tall filaments and later successional macroalgae that suppressed coral growth. These patterns contrast with patterns from established communities not undergoing primary succession; on established substrates redband parrotfish significantly reduced upright macroalgal cover while ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish allowed significant increases in late successional macroalgae. This study further highlights the importance of biodiversity in affecting ecosystem function in that different species of herbivorous fishes had very different impacts on reef communities depending on the developmental stage of the community. The species-specific effects of

  13. Environmental characteristics of tropical coral reef-seagrass dominated lagoons (Lakshadweep, India) and implications to resilience to climate change.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nobi, E.P.; DineshKumar, P.K.

    the hydrogen ion concentration by consuming more of the CO2 through photosynthesis (Nobi 2010). The growth of seagrass in turn, largely depends on the sediment characteristics because the roots forming the bulk of their biomass (60-80%), are closely 8...) Climate change impacts on coral reefs: synergies with local effects, possibilities for acclimation, and management implications. Mar Pollut Bull 74: 526-539 Biebl R, McRoy CP (1971) Plasmatic resistance of respiration and photosynthesis of Zostera...

  14. Prioritizing land and sea conservation investments to protect coral reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carissa J Klein

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs have exceptional biodiversity, support the livelihoods of millions of people, and are threatened by multiple human activities on land (e.g. farming and in the sea (e.g. overfishing. Most conservation efforts occur at local scales and, when effective, can increase the resilience of coral reefs to global threats such as climate change (e.g. warming water and ocean acidification. Limited resources for conservation require that we efficiently prioritize where and how to best sustain coral reef ecosystems. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we develop the first prioritization approach that can guide regional-scale conservation investments in land- and sea-based conservation actions that cost-effectively mitigate threats to coral reefs, and apply it to the Coral Triangle, an area of significant global attention and funding. Using information on threats to marine ecosystems, effectiveness of management actions at abating threats, and the management and opportunity costs of actions, we calculate the rate of return on investment in two conservation actions in sixteen ecoregions. We discover that marine conservation almost always trumps terrestrial conservation within any ecoregion, but terrestrial conservation in one ecoregion can be a better investment than marine conservation in another. We show how these results could be used to allocate a limited budget for conservation and compare them to priorities based on individual criteria. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Previous prioritization approaches do not consider both land and sea-based threats or the socioeconomic costs of conserving coral reefs. A simple and transparent approach like ours is essential to support effective coral reef conservation decisions in a large and diverse region like the Coral Triangle, but can be applied at any scale and to other marine ecosystems.

  15. Prioritizing land and sea conservation investments to protect coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Carissa J; Ban, Natalie C; Halpern, Benjamin S; Beger, Maria; Game, Edward T; Grantham, Hedley S; Green, Alison; Klein, Travis J; Kininmonth, Stuart; Treml, Eric; Wilson, Kerrie; Possingham, Hugh P

    2010-08-30

    Coral reefs have exceptional biodiversity, support the livelihoods of millions of people, and are threatened by multiple human activities on land (e.g. farming) and in the sea (e.g. overfishing). Most conservation efforts occur at local scales and, when effective, can increase the resilience of coral reefs to global threats such as climate change (e.g. warming water and ocean acidification). Limited resources for conservation require that we efficiently prioritize where and how to best sustain coral reef ecosystems. Here we develop the first prioritization approach that can guide regional-scale conservation investments in land- and sea-based conservation actions that cost-effectively mitigate threats to coral reefs, and apply it to the Coral Triangle, an area of significant global attention and funding. Using information on threats to marine ecosystems, effectiveness of management actions at abating threats, and the management and opportunity costs of actions, we calculate the rate of return on investment in two conservation actions in sixteen ecoregions. We discover that marine conservation almost always trumps terrestrial conservation within any ecoregion, but terrestrial conservation in one ecoregion can be a better investment than marine conservation in another. We show how these results could be used to allocate a limited budget for conservation and compare them to priorities based on individual criteria. Previous prioritization approaches do not consider both land and sea-based threats or the socioeconomic costs of conserving coral reefs. A simple and transparent approach like ours is essential to support effective coral reef conservation decisions in a large and diverse region like the Coral Triangle, but can be applied at any scale and to other marine ecosystems.

  16. The Value of Tropical Biodiversity in Rural Melanesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Foale

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we discuss differences in the ways transnational conservationists and Melanesian farmers, hunters and fishers value "biodiversity". The money for conservation projects in developing countries originates from people who are embedded in a capitalist system, which allows engagement with nature as an abstract entity. Their western education has given them a scientific/ evolutionary-based worldview, which attributes intrinsic value to all species (and particular arrangements of species, e.g. rainforests and coral reefs, irrespective of economic value or ecosystem function. Because this value system is mostly not shared by the custodians of the biodiversity that conservationists want to save, alternative tactics and arguments are utilised. These inevitably take the form of so-called "win-win" economic rationales for preserving biodiversity, most of which do not work well (e.g. bioprospecting, ecotourism, non-timber forest products, environmental certification schemes, payments for ecosystem services, etc., for reasons which we detail. Agriculture- and aquaculture-based livelihoods appear to enjoy more success than the "win-win" options but do not necessarily obviate or deter further biodiversity loss. Artisanal use of species-poor but productive and resilient pelagic fisheries is increasing. These ecological and economic realities bring into sharp focus the importance of understanding differences in value systems for successful biodiversity conservation in the tropics.

  17. Spectral response of the coral rubble, living corals, and dead corals: study case on the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurdin, Nurjannah; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Yamano, Hiroya; Arafat, Gulam; Rani, Chair; Akbar AS, M.

    2012-10-01

    Coral reefs play important ecological services such as providing foods, biodiversity, nutrient recycling etc. for human society. On the other hand, they are threatened by human impacts such as illegal fishing and environmental changes such as rises of sea water temperature and sea level due to global warming. Thus, it is very important to monitor dynamic spatial distributions of coral reefs and related habitats such as coral rubble, dead coral, bleached corals, seagrass, etc. Hyperspectral data, in particular, offer high potential for characterizing and mapping coral reefs because of their capability to identify individual reef components based on their detailed spectral response. We studied the optical properties by measuring in situ spectra of living corals, dead coral and coral rubble covered with algae. Study site was selected in Spermonde archipelago, South Sulawesi, Indonesia because this area is included in the highest diversity of corals in the world named as Coral Triangle, which is recognized as the global centre of marine biodiversity and a global priority for conservation. Correlation analysis and cluster analysis support that there are distinct differences in reflectance spectra among categories. Common spectral characteristic of living corals, dead corals and coral rubble covered with algae was a reflectance minimum at 674 nm. Healthy corals, dead coral covered with algae and coral rubble covered with algae showed high similarity of spectral reflectance. It is estimated that this is due to photsynthetic pigments.

  18. Sensing coral reef connectivity pathways from space

    KAUST Repository

    Raitsos, Dionysios E.

    2017-08-18

    Coral reefs rely on inter-habitat connectivity to maintain gene flow, biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. Coral reef communities of the Red Sea exhibit remarkable genetic homogeneity across most of the Arabian Peninsula coastline, with a genetic break towards the southern part of the basin. While previous studies have attributed these patterns to environmental heterogeneity, we hypothesize that they may also emerge as a result of dynamic circulation flow; yet, such linkages remain undemonstrated. Here, we integrate satellite-derived biophysical observations, particle dispersion model simulations, genetic population data and ship-borne in situ profiles to assess reef connectivity in the Red Sea. We simulated long-term (>20 yrs.) connectivity patterns driven by remotely-sensed sea surface height and evaluated results against estimates of genetic distance among populations of anemonefish, Amphiprion bicinctus, along the eastern Red Sea coastline. Predicted connectivity was remarkably consistent with genetic population data, demonstrating that circulation features (eddies, surface currents) formulate physical pathways for gene flow. The southern basin has lower physical connectivity than elsewhere, agreeing with known genetic structure of coral reef organisms. The central Red Sea provides key source regions, meriting conservation priority. Our analysis demonstrates a cost-effective tool to estimate biophysical connectivity remotely, supporting coastal management in data-limited regions.

  19. Soil biodiversity for agricultural sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brussaard, L.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Brown, G.G.

    2007-01-01

    We critically highlight some evidence for the importance of soil biodiversity to sustaining (agro-)ecosystem functioning and explore directions for future research. We first deal with resistance and resilience against abiotic disturbance and stress. There is evidence that soil biodiversity does conf

  20. Simulations of long-term community dynamics in coral reefs--how perturbations shape trajectories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Kubicek

    Full Text Available Tropical coral reefs feature extraordinary biodiversity and high productivity rates in oligotrophic waters. Due to increasing frequencies of perturbations--anthropogenic and natural--many reefs are under threat. Such perturbations often have devastating effects on these unique ecosystems and especially if they occur simultaneously and amplify each other's impact, they might trigger a phase shift and create irreversible conditions.We developed a generic, spatially explicit, individual-based model in which competition drives the dynamics of a virtual benthic reef community--comprised of scleractinian corals and algae--under different environmental settings. Higher system properties, like population dynamics or community composition arise through self-organization as emergent properties. The model was parameterized for a typical coral reef site at Zanzibar, Tanzania and features coral bleaching and physical disturbance regimes as major sources of perturbations. Our results show that various types and modes (intensities and frequencies of perturbations create diverse outcomes and that the switch from high diversity to single species dominance can be evoked by small changes in a key parameter. Here we extend the understanding of coral reef resilience and the identification of key processes, drivers and respective thresholds, responsible for changes in local situations. One future goal is to provide a tool which may aid decision making processes in management of coral reefs.

  1. Conservation Narratives and Their Implications in the Coral Triangle Initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha Berdej

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Conserving coral reefs, sustaining fisheries, and ensuring food security are multi-faceted challenges. Six nations in the Southeast Asia Coral Triangle have agreed to a region-wide framework to address these challenges through the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI. Based on a review of documentation, selected discussions and ongoing work in the region, we offer an initial assessment of narratives influencing conservation practice in the CTI. Current efforts in the CTI are framed by a crisis narrative that emphasises the importance of maintaining critical ecosystems and baseline conditions. This narrative has a strong empirical basis but it can also exacerbate a dualistic view of people and nature. However, CTI documentation and programming also reflect a recognition of linked social-ecological change and the historical co-evolution of communities and coastal-marine systems. This emerging narrative places an emphasis on building resilience to change, rather than resisting change. We do not advocate here for a single narrative with which to frame policy responses in the CTI, but rather draw attention to the ways that mainstreaming of certain narratives will have material effects on initiatives and programmes promoted in this region of globally significant marine biodiversity.

  2. Benthic Habitat Mapping and Biodiversity Analysis in the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, L.; Nilsson, M.; Hedley, J.; Shapiro, A.

    2015-04-01

    The Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago Reserve is a recently established marine protected area, the largest in Africa, located in the waters of Northern Mozambique. This protected area is of significant local economic importance and global ecological relevance, containing the southernmost coral reefs in Eastern Africa. However, information related to the marine ecosystem, notably benthic habitat is very scarce. Twelve atolls were mapped in the region using object-based image classification of very-high resolution satellite imagery (IKONOS, Quickbird, and WorldView-2). Geographically referenced data on benthic cover and depth were gathered in the course of three fieldwork expeditions covering a total of four atolls and two shallow reef structures in the Segundas Archipelago. The resulting map allows the estimation of three distinct types of coral cover (field, patches, spurs and grooves); the differentiation of sand, rubble and rock substrate; and the detection of seagrass and brown macroalgae, identifying up to 24 benthic habitats. Average overall accuracy was above 50%. The high variability of the optical properties on the reef systems, in large due to the connectivity with the mainland via plumes, while interesting from an ecological perspective increases the challenges for remote sensing of bottom cover. New information indicates the presence of deep benthic cover extending from the atolls, suggesting the need for further research on Coastal Eastern African corals, namely on their resilience and connectivity, and supporting current knowledge of the existence of an almost continuous coral reef from Kenya to Mozambique. Coral and fish biodiversity data have been analysed together with the satellite-derived maps. Results support the local perception that ecosystems are in decline and uncover new information about biodiversity's spatial patterns. Our work provides a detailed depiction of marine habitats that may aid the management of the protected area, namely in

  3. The importance of standardization for biodiversity comparisons: A case study using autonomous reef monitoring structures (ARMS) and metabarcoding to measure cryptic diversity on Mo'orea coral reefs, French Polynesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ransome, Emma; Geller, Jonathan B; Timmers, Molly; Leray, Matthieu; Mahardini, Angka; Sembiring, Andrianus; Collins, Allen G; Meyer, Christopher P

    2017-01-01

    The advancement of metabarcoding techniques, declining costs of high-throughput sequencing and development of systematic sampling devices, such as autonomous reef monitoring structures (ARMS), have provided the means to gather a vast amount of diversity data from cryptic marine communities. However, such increased capability could also lead to analytical challenges if the methods used to examine these communities across local and global scales are not standardized. Here we compare and assess the underlying biases of four ARMS field processing methods, preservation media, and current bioinformatic pipelines in evaluating diversity from cytochrome c oxidase I metabarcoding data. Illustrating the ability of ARMS-based metabarcoding to capture a wide spectrum of biodiversity, 3,372 OTUs and twenty-eight phyla, including 17 of 33 marine metazoan phyla, were detected from 3 ARMS (2.607 m2 area) collected on coral reefs in Mo'orea, French Polynesia. Significant differences were found between processing and preservation methods, demonstrating the need to standardize methods for biodiversity comparisons. We recommend the use of a standardized protocol (NOAA method) combined with DMSO preservation of tissues for sessile macroorganisms because it gave a more accurate representation of the underlying communities, is cost effective and removes chemical restrictions associated with sample transportation. We found that sequences identified at ≥ 97% similarity increased more than 7-fold (5.1% to 38.6%) using a geographically local barcode inventory, highlighting the importance of local species inventories. Phylogenetic approaches that assign higher taxonomic ranks accrued phylum identification errors (9.7%) due to sparse taxonomic coverage of the understudied cryptic coral reef community in public databases. However, a ≥ 85% sequence identity cut-off provided more accurate results (0.7% errors) and enabled phylum level identifications of 86.3% of the sequence reads. With over

  4. The importance of standardization for biodiversity comparisons: A case study using autonomous reef monitoring structures (ARMS) and metabarcoding to measure cryptic diversity on Mo’orea coral reefs, French Polynesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geller, Jonathan B.; Timmers, Molly; Leray, Matthieu; Mahardini, Angka; Sembiring, Andrianus; Collins, Allen G.; Meyer, Christopher P.

    2017-01-01

    The advancement of metabarcoding techniques, declining costs of high-throughput sequencing and development of systematic sampling devices, such as autonomous reef monitoring structures (ARMS), have provided the means to gather a vast amount of diversity data from cryptic marine communities. However, such increased capability could also lead to analytical challenges if the methods used to examine these communities across local and global scales are not standardized. Here we compare and assess the underlying biases of four ARMS field processing methods, preservation media, and current bioinformatic pipelines in evaluating diversity from cytochrome c oxidase I metabarcoding data. Illustrating the ability of ARMS-based metabarcoding to capture a wide spectrum of biodiversity, 3,372 OTUs and twenty-eight phyla, including 17 of 33 marine metazoan phyla, were detected from 3 ARMS (2.607 m2 area) collected on coral reefs in Mo’orea, French Polynesia. Significant differences were found between processing and preservation methods, demonstrating the need to standardize methods for biodiversity comparisons. We recommend the use of a standardized protocol (NOAA method) combined with DMSO preservation of tissues for sessile macroorganisms because it gave a more accurate representation of the underlying communities, is cost effective and removes chemical restrictions associated with sample transportation. We found that sequences identified at ≥ 97% similarity increased more than 7-fold (5.1% to 38.6%) using a geographically local barcode inventory, highlighting the importance of local species inventories. Phylogenetic approaches that assign higher taxonomic ranks accrued phylum identification errors (9.7%) due to sparse taxonomic coverage of the understudied cryptic coral reef community in public databases. However, a ≥ 85% sequence identity cut-off provided more accurate results (0.7% errors) and enabled phylum level identifications of 86.3% of the sequence reads. With

  5. Revealing the regime of shallow coral reefs at patch scale by continuous spatial modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine eCollin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Reliably translating real-world spatial patterns of ecosystems is critical for understanding processes susceptible to reinforce resilience. However the great majority of studies in spatial ecology use thematic maps to describe habitats and species in a binary scheme. By discretizing the transitional areas and neglecting the gradual replacement across a given space, the thematic approach may suffer from substantial limitations when interpreting patterns created by many continuous variables. Here, local and regional spectral proxies were used to design and spatially map at very fine scale a continuous index dedicated to one of the most complex seascapes, the coral reefscape. Through a groundbreaking merge of bottom-up and top-down approach, we demonstrate that three to seven-habitat continuous indices can be modeled by nine, six, four and three spectral proxies, respectively, at 0.5 m spatial resolution using hand- and spaceborne measurements. We map the seven-habitat continuous index, spanning major Indo-Pacific coral reef habitats through the far red-green normalized difference ratio over the entire lagoon of a low (Tetiaroa atoll and a high volcanic (Moorea island in French Polynesia with 84% and 82% accuracy, respectively. Further examinations of the two resulting spatial models using a customized histoscape (density function of model values distributed on a concentric strip across the reef crest-coastline distance show that Tetiaroa exhibits a greater variety of coral reef habitats than Moorea. By designing such easy-to-implement, transferrable spectral proxies of coral reef regime, this study initiates a framework for spatial ecologists tackling coral reef biodiversity, responses to stresses, perturbations and shifts. We discuss the limitations and contributions of our findings towards the study of worldwide coral reef resilience following stochastic environmental change.

  6. Marine biology: The coral disease triangle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, John F.

    2015-04-01

    The underlying causes of biodiversity loss can be numerous and difficult to identify. Now evidence suggests that disease outbreaks triggered by warming oceans are a primary cause of the disappearance of Caribbean coral reefs.

  7. SoilBioHedge, harnessing hedgerow soil biodiversity for restoration of arable soil quality and resilience to climatic extremes and land use changes: The impacts of arable to ley conversion on soil hydrological properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayson, Richard; Holden, Joseph; Chapman, Pippa; Hunt, Sarah; Leake, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Modern agricultural practices pose a significant threat to soil security. Continuous conventional cultivation has been observed to deplete soil organic matter, degrade soil structure, reduce water drainage and water holding capacity, increase nitrate leaching, damage the ecosystem engineer earthworm and mycorrhiza populations and increase the susceptibility of soil and crops to the impacts of climatic stress through decreased resilience to flood and drought conditions. The SoilBioHedge project aims to determine the effectiveness of using grass-clover leys linking hedgerows to arable fields in restoring functional biodiversity, soil quality and resilience to drought and excess rainfall in arable farming. Paired 70m long ley strips have been inserted in to 4 fields. Within each field one ley is connected to the margin while in the other a small 1m fallow area and a steel mesh barrier inserted to bedrock is being used to disconnect the ley and margin and prevent macrofaunal movement from the margin to the ley. As part of the SoilBioHedge project we are undertaking a range of analyses to establish the impacts of arable to ley conversion on key hydrological properties of agricultural soils. Soil moisture is being continuously monitored at three depths at 48 separate locations, in addition monthly manual measurements are being taken at 1158 locations. Arable-to-ley conversion is expected to increase soil macrofaunal activity especially in locations closer to hedgerows, enhancing macropore development. Therefore the proportion of water percolating into macropores, mesopores and micropores is being measured using tension infiltrometers which also allow the calculation of saturated hydraulic conductivity. Soil cores have been extracted to examine impacts on bulk and particle density and subsequently porosity, with hydraulic conductivity being measured using a lab permeameter. Here we present the results of these analyses over the first 24 months of the project. This

  8. Miocene reef-coral diversity of Indonesia: unlocking the murky origins of the Coral Triangle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santodomingo Aguilar, Nadia

    2014-01-01

    Reefs in the Coral Triangle host the richest marine diversity today. While the biodiversity gradients associated with the Coral Triangle are progressively better documented, the mechanisms responsible for the origins and maintenance of this pattern still remain obscure. Until recently, palaeontologi

  9. Coral microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Eugene; Kellogg, Christina A.; Rohwer, Forest

    2007-01-01

    In the last 30 years, there has been approximately a 30% loss of corals worldwide, largely due to emerging diseases (Harvell et al., 2002, 2007; Hughes et al., 2003). Coral microbiology is a new field, driven largely by a desire to understand the interactions between corals and their symbiotic microorganisms and to use this knowledge to eventually prevent the spread of coral diseases.

  10. Managing Community Resilience to Climate Extremes, Rapid Unsustainable Urbanization, Emergencies of Scarcity, and Biodiversity Crises by Use of a Disaster Risk Reduction Bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canyon, Deon V; Burkle, Frederick M; Speare, Rick

    2015-12-01

    Earth's climate is changing and national and international decision-makers are recognizing that global health security requires urgent attention and a significant investment to protect the future. In most locations, current data are inadequate to conduct a full assessment of the direct and indirect health impacts of climate change. All states require this information to evaluate community-level resilience to climate extremes and climate change. A model that is being used successfully in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand is recommended to generate rapid information to assist decision-makers in the event of a disaster. The model overcomes barriers to success inherent in the traditional ''top-down'' approach to managing crises and recognizes the capacity of capable citizens and community organizers to facilitate response and recovery if provided the opportunity and resources. Local information is a prerequisite for strategic and tactical statewide planning. Time and resources are required to analyze risks within each community and what is required to prevent (mitigate), prepare, respond, recover (rehabilitate), anticipate, and assess any threatening events. Specific requirements at all levels from state to community must emphasize community roles by focusing on how best to maintain, respond, and recover public health protections and the infrastructure necessary for health security.

  11. Climate change and coral reef bleaching: An ecological assessment of long-term impacts, recovery trends and future outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Andrew C.; Glynn, Peter W.; Riegl, Bernhard

    2008-12-01

    Since the early 1980s, episodes of coral reef bleaching and mortality, due primarily to climate-induced ocean warming, have occurred almost annually in one or more of the world's tropical or subtropical seas. Bleaching is episodic, with the most severe events typically accompanying coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomena, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which result in sustained regional elevations of ocean temperature. Using this extended dataset (25+ years), we review the short- and long-term ecological impacts of coral bleaching on reef ecosystems, and quantitatively synthesize recovery data worldwide. Bleaching episodes have resulted in catastrophic loss of coral cover in some locations, and have changed coral community structure in many others, with a potentially critical influence on the maintenance of biodiversity in the marine tropics. Bleaching has also set the stage for other declines in reef health, such as increases in coral diseases, the breakdown of reef framework by bioeroders, and the loss of critical habitat for associated reef fishes and other biota. Secondary ecological effects, such as the concentration of predators on remnant surviving coral populations, have also accelerated the pace of decline in some areas. Although bleaching severity and recovery have been variable across all spatial scales, some reefs have experienced relatively rapid recovery from severe bleaching impacts. There has been a significant overall recovery of coral cover in the Indian Ocean, where many reefs were devastated by a single large bleaching event in 1998. In contrast, coral cover on western Atlantic reefs has generally continued to decline in response to multiple smaller bleaching events and a diverse set of chronic secondary stressors. No clear trends are apparent in the eastern Pacific, the central-southern-western Pacific or the Arabian Gulf, where some reefs are recovering and others are not. The majority of survivors and new recruits on

  12. Resilience in ecology: abstraction, distraction, or where the action is?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasingly, the success of management interventions aimed at biodiversity conservation are viewed as being dependent on the 'resilience' of the system. Although the term 'resilience' is increasingly used by policy makers and environmental managers, the concept of 'resilience' remains vague, varied...

  13. Expanding marine protected areas to include degraded coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abelson, A; Nelson, P A; Edgar, G J; Shashar, N; Reed, D C; Belmaker, J; Krause, G; Beck, M W; Brokovich, E; France, R; Gaines, S D

    2016-12-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a commonly applied solution to coral reef degradation, yet coral reefs continue to decline worldwide. We argue that expanding the range of MPAs to include degraded reefs (DR-MPA) could help reverse this trend. This approach requires new ecological criteria for MPA design, siting, and management. Rather than focusing solely on preserving healthy reefs, our approach focuses on the potential for biodiversity recovery and renewal of ecosystem services. The new criteria would help identify sites with the highest potential for recovery and the greatest resistance to future threats (e.g., increased temperature and acidification) and sites that contribute to MPA connectivity. The DR-MPA approach is a compliment rather than a substitute for traditional MPA design approaches. We believe that the DR-MPA approach can enhance the natural, or restoration-assisted, recovery of DRs and their ecosystem services; increase total reef area available for protection; promote more resilient and better-connected MPA networks; and improve conditions for human communities dependent on MPA ecosystem services. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Osmoadjustment in the Coral Holobiont

    KAUST Repository

    Röthig, Till

    2017-04-01

    demonstrates osmoacclimatization of F. granulosa and osmoadjustment of cultured Symbiodinium. All three main compartments (i.e. coral host, Symbiodinium, bacteria) seem to contribute to the coral holobionts salinity adjustment. However, the exact mechanisms of coral host and bacteria contribution remain to be determined. Floridoside likely constitutes a conserved osmolyte increasing the salinity resilience of Symbiodinium and also of the cnidarian/coral holobiont. Floridoside further possess’ antioxidative properties, possibly providing a protection from reactive oxygen species formation as a result of salinity stress or/and other environmental stressors.

  15. Biodiversity Prospecting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sittenfeld, Ana; Lovejoy, Annie

    1994-01-01

    Examines the use of biodiversity prospecting as a method for tropical countries to value biodiversity and contribute to conservation upkeep costs. Discusses the first agreement between a public interest organization and pharmaceutical company for the extraction of plant and animal materials in Costa Rica. (LZ)

  16. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program: 2016 projects to assess coral resilence and the resilence of communities to climate change

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2016 the following projects will take place to assess coral resilence and the resilence of communities to climate change: Climate and resilience-based...

  17. National Marine Sanctuaries as Sentinel Sites for a Demonstration Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavez, F.; Montes, E.; Muller-Karger, F. E.; Gittings, S.; Canonico, G.; Kavanaugh, M.; Iken, K.; Miller, R. J.; Duffy, J. E.; Miloslavich, P.

    2016-12-01

    The U.S. Federal government (NOAA, NASA, BOEM, and the Smithsonian Institution), academic researchers, and private partners in the U.S. and around the world are working on the design and implementation of a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). The program is being coordinated internationally with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO BON) and two key Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) programs, namely the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). The goal is to monitor changes in marine biodiversity within various geographic settings. In the U.S., demonstration projects include four National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS): Florida Keys, Monterey Bay, Flower Garden Banks, and Channel Islands. The Smithsonian is implementing several programs around the world under the Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO) partnership, directed by the Smithsonian's Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON). The overarching goal is to observe and understand life, from microbes to whales, in different coastal and continental shelf habitats, and its role in maintaining resilient ecosystems. The project also seeks to determine biodiversity baselines in these ecosystems based on time-series observations to assess changes in populations and overall biodiversity over time. Efforts are being made to engage with various countries in the Americas to participate in an MBON Pole to Pole in the Americas initiative proposed by Mexico. We are looking to have other regions organized to conduct similar planning efforts. The present MBON pilot projects encompass a range of marine environments, including deep sea, continental shelves, and coastal habitats including estuaries, wetlands, and coral reefs. The MBON will facilitate and enable regional biodiversity assessments, and contributes to addressing several U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to conserve and sustainably use marine resources, and provide a means for countries

  18. Food supply depends on seagrass meadows in the coral triangle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Richard K. F.; Hinder, Stephanie L.; Bodger, Owen G.; Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C.

    2014-09-01

    The tropical seascape provides food and livelihoods to hundreds of millions of people, but the support of key habitats to this supply remains ill appreciated. For fisheries and conservation management actions to help promote resilient ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods, and food supply, knowledge is required about the habitats that help support fisheries productivity and the consequences of this for food security. This paper provides an interdisciplinary case study from the coral triangle of how seagrass meadows provide support for fisheries and local food security. We apply a triangulated approach that utilizes ecological, fisheries and market data combined with over 250 household interviews. Our research demonstrates that seagrass associated fauna in a coral triangle marine protected area support local food supply contributing at least 50% of the fish based food. This formed between 54% and 99% of daily protein intake in the area. Fishery catch was found to significantly vary with respect to village (p type significantly influenced this proportion (<0.05). Limited sustainability of fishery practices (high juvenile catch and a 51% decline in CPUE for the biggest fishery) and poor habitat management mean the security of this food supply has the potential to be undermined in the long-term. Findings of this study have implications for the management and assessment of fisheries throughout the tropical seascape. Our study provides an exemplar for why natural resource management should move beyond biodiversity and consider how conservation and local food security are interlinked processes that are not mutually exclusive. Seagrass meadows are under sustained threat worldwide, this study provides evidence of the need to conserve these not just to protect biodiversity but to protect food security.

  19. Coral Reef Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Helen T.

    Coral reefs are geological structures of significant dimensions, constructed over millions of years by calcifying organisms. The present day reef-builders are hard corals belonging to the order Scleractinia, phylum Cnidaria. The greatest concentrations of coral reefs are in the tropics, with highest levels of biodiversity situated in reefs of the Indo-West Pacific region. These ecosystems have provided coastal protection and livelihood to human populations over the millennia. Human activities have caused destruction of these habitats, the intensity of which has increased alarmingly since the latter decades of the twentieth century. The severity of this impact is directly related to exponential growth rates of human populations especially in the coastal areas of the developing world. However, a more recently recognized phenomenon concerns disturbances brought about by the changing climate, manifested mainly as rising sea surface temperatures, and increasing acidification of ocean waters due to greater drawdown of higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Management efforts have so far not kept pace with the rates of degradation, so that the spatial extent of damaged reefs and the incidences of localized extinction of reef species are increasing year after year. The major management efforts to date consist of establishing marine protected areas and promoting the active restoration of coral habitats.

  20. Submerged oceanic shoals of north Western Australia are a major reservoir of marine biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Cordelia; Cappo, Mike; Radford, Ben; Heyward, Andrew

    2017-09-01

    This paper provides a first assessment of fish communities associated with the submerged oceanic banks and shoals in north-west Australia. Until recently, little was known about these deeper and more inaccessible reefs. The mesophotic coral-reef habitats (20-80 m) were a major reservoir of marine biodiversity, with unique and exceptionally high fish diversity and abundance. Species richness in the study region was 1.4 times, and abundance almost twice, that recorded for similar mesophotic habitats on the Great Barrier Reef in north-east Australia. A review of the published literature revealed that Australia's NW oceanic shoals support the highest fish species richness reported for mesophotic reefs to date. We made regional comparisons of fish community structure (species composition, richness and abundance) and assessed the influence of depth, substrate and location. The presence of consolidated calcareous reef, depth and aspect (a surrogate for exposure) had the greatest influence on species richness. In contrast, aspect and the presence of benthic biota had the greatest influence on fish abundance. Sites most exposed to the prevailing currents (facing north-east) had lowest fish abundance, while highest abundances were recorded on moderately exposed sites (along the north-west and south-east edges). The most abundant species were small ( Pomacentrus coelestis) and large ( Naso hexacanthus) planktivorous fish. Currently, 29.3% of NE Australia mesophotic reefs are within no-take management zones of the Great Barrier Reef. In contrast, just 1.3% of the NW oceanic shoals are designated as no-take areas. The location and extent of mesophotic reefs remain poorly quantified globally. Because these habitats support significant biodiversity and have the potential to act as important refugia, understanding their extent is critical to maintaining coral-reef biodiversity and resilience and supporting sustainable management.

  1. Coral reefs in the Anthropocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Terry P.; Barnes, Michele L.; Bellwood, David R.; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cumming, Graeme S.; Jackson, Jeremy B. C.; Kleypas, Joanie; van de Leemput, Ingrid A.; Lough, Janice M.; Morrison, Tiffany H.; Palumbi, Stephen R.; van Nes, Egbert H.; Scheffer, Marten

    2017-06-01

    Coral reefs support immense biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services to many millions of people. Yet reefs are degrading rapidly in response to numerous anthropogenic drivers. In the coming centuries, reefs will run the gauntlet of climate change, and rising temperatures will transform them into new configurations, unlike anything observed previously by humans. Returning reefs to past configurations is no longer an option. Instead, the global challenge is to steer reefs through the Anthropocene era in a way that maintains their biological functions. Successful navigation of this transition will require radical changes in the science, management and governance of coral reefs.

  2. Mass Coral Bleaching in 2010 in the Southern Caribbean

    OpenAIRE

    Jahson Berhane Alemu I; Ysharda Clement

    2014-01-01

    Ocean temperatures are increasing globally and the Caribbean is no exception. An extreme ocean warming event in 2010 placed Tobago's coral reefs under severe stress resulting in widespread coral bleaching and threatening the livelihoods that rely on them. The bleaching response of four reef building taxa was monitored over a six month period across three major reefs systems in Tobago. By identifying taxa resilient to bleaching we propose to assist local coral reef managers in the decision mak...

  3. The origins of tropical marine biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Brian W; Rocha, Luiz A; Toonen, Robert J; Karl, Stephen A

    2013-06-01

    Recent phylogeographic studies have overturned three paradigms for the origins of marine biodiversity. (i) Physical (allopatric) isolation is not the sole avenue for marine speciation: many species diverge along ecological boundaries. (ii) Peripheral habitats such as oceanic archipelagos are not evolutionary graveyards: these regions can export biodiversity. (iii) Speciation in marine and terrestrial ecosystems follow similar processes but are not the same: opportunities for allopatric isolation are fewer in the oceans, leaving greater opportunity for speciation along ecological boundaries. Biodiversity hotspots such as the Caribbean Sea and the Indo-Pacific Coral Triangle produce and export species, but can also accumulate biodiversity produced in peripheral habitats. Both hotspots and peripheral ecosystems benefit from this exchange in a process dubbed biodiversity feedback.

  4. Challenges for Ecosystem Services Provided by Coral Reefs In the Face of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, R. K.; Elliff, C. I.

    2014-12-01

    Coral reefs provide many ecosystem services of which coastal populations are especially dependent upon, both in cases of extreme events and in daily life. However, adaptation to climate change is still relatively unknown territory regarding the ecosystem services provided by coastal environments, such as coral reefs. Management strategies usually consider climate change as a distant issue and rarely include ecosystem services in decision-making. Coral reefs are among the most vulnerable environments to climate change, considering the impact that increased ocean temperature and acidity have on the organisms that compose this ecosystem. If no actions are taken, the most likely scenario to occur will be of extreme decline in the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs. Loss of biodiversity due to the pressures of ocean warming and acidification will lead to increased price of seafood products, negative impact on food security, and ecological imbalances. Also, sea-level rise and fragile structures due to carbonate dissolution will increase vulnerability to storms, which can lead to shoreline erosion and ultimately threaten coastal communities. Both these conditions will undoubtedly affect recreation and tourism, which are often the most important use values in the case of coral reef systems. Adaptation strategies to climate change must take on an ecosystem-based approach with continuous monitoring programs, so that multiple ecosystem services are considered and not only retrospective trends are analyzed. Brazilian coral reefs have been monitored on a regular basis since 2000 and, considering that these marginal coral reefs of the eastern Atlantic are naturally under stressful conditions (e.g. high sedimentation rates), inshore reefs of Brazil, such as those in Tinharé-Boipeba, have shown lower vitality rates due to greater impacts from the proximity to the coastal area (e.g. pollution, overfishing, sediment run-off). This chronic negative impact must be addressed

  5. The Decline of Coral Reefs: a Political Economy Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Samuel, Asumadu-Sarkodie

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs provide economic services like job, food and tourism. Yet, within the past decades, there has been an overwhelming decline in the vitality of coral reefs and their ecosystem. Scientist have not be able to set the record straight regarding their scientific argument on biodiversity and ecological wealth of natural environment. Therefore, actions to recover coral reefs from destruction have proved futile. This paper will analyze the economical values, economic valuation, socioeconomi...

  6. Biology of corals and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajkumar, R.; Parulekar, A.H.

    This chapter deals with biology of corals, coral reefs (in general) and coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. Biology of corals is lucidly dealt with, beginning from the clarification on hermatypic and ahermatypic forms. A complete account...

  7. The mushroom coral fauna (Scleractinia: Fungiidae) of Brunei Darussalam (South China Sea) and its relation to the Coral Triangle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoeksema, B.W.; Lane, D.J.W.

    2014-01-01

    Brunei Darussalam is situated on the northwest coast of Borneo, just outside the westernmost boundary of the area presently recognised as the centre of maximum marine biodiversity, the so-called Coral Triangle. This diversity is particularly quantified with regard to numbers of reef coral species.

  8. The mushroom coral fauna (Scleractinia: Fungiidae) of Brunei Darussalam (South China Sea) and its relation to the Coral Triangle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoeksema, B.W.; Lane, D.J.W.

    2014-01-01

    Brunei Darussalam is situated on the northwest coast of Borneo, just outside the westernmost boundary of the area presently recognised as the centre of maximum marine biodiversity, the so-called Coral Triangle. This diversity is particularly quantified with regard to numbers of reef coral species. M

  9. Responses of Coral-Associated Bacterial Communities to Local and Global Stressors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie M. McDevitt-Irwin

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The microbial contribution to ecological resilience is still largely overlooked in coral reef ecology. Coral-associated bacteria serve a wide variety of functional roles with reference to the coral host, and thus, the composition of the overall microbiome community can strongly influence coral health and survival. Here, we synthesize the findings of recent studies (n = 45 that evaluated the impacts of the top three stressors facing coral reefs (climate change, water pollution and overfishing on coral microbiome community structure and diversity. Contrary to the species losses that are typical of many ecological communities under stress, here we show that microbial richness tends to be higher rather than lower for stressed corals (i.e., in ~60% of cases, regardless of the stressor. Microbial responses to stress were taxonomically consistent across stressors, with specific taxa typically increasing in abundance (e.g., Vibrionales, Flavobacteriales, Rhodobacterales, Alteromonadales, Rhizobiales, Rhodospirillales, and Desulfovibrionales and others declining (e.g., Oceanosprillales. Emerging evidence also suggests that stress may increase the microbial beta diversity amongst coral colonies, potentially reflecting a reduced ability of the coral host to regulate its microbiome. Moving forward, studies will need to discern the implications of stress-induced shifts in microbiome diversity for the coral hosts and may be able to use microbiome community structure to identify resilient corals. The evidence we present here supports the hypothesis that microbial communities play important roles in ecological resilience, and we encourage a focus on the microbial contributions to resilience for future research.

  10. Coral choreography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    Viewers clicking onto the Waikiki Aquarium's “Coral Research Cam” any time during daylight hours in Hawaii can catch the latest action of three species of living corals (Acropora sp., Acropora elseyi,and Montipora digitata) and the yellow tang and blue tang fish swimming amongst them in an outdoor aquarium.Waikiki Aquarium Director Bruce Carlson says the camera is part of a new exhibit, “Corals Are Alive!,” which encourages people to view living corals close-up at the aquarium or via the Internet, in order to gain a better appreciation of the corals. “Hopefully through education and awareness, people will be more interested and willing to help with conservation efforts to preserve coral reefs,” says Carlson.

  11. Caregiver Resiliency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siebert, Al

    2002-01-01

    This article argues that school counselors cannot teach and preach resilient behavior if they are not models of resiliency themselves. Examines why some people come through challenging times more emotionally intact than others and suggests some tips for increasing one's resilience potential. (GCP)

  12. Biodiversity, climate change and complexity: An opportunity for securing co-benefits?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roe, Dilys

    2006-10-15

    Climate change and biodiversity loss are both major environmental concerns, yet the links between them often go unrecognised. Not only does the science of climate change and biodiversity share similar characteristics, but climate change both affects, and is affected by biodiversity. Diversity confers far greater resilience on natural systems, thus reducing their vulnerability – and the vulnerability of the people that depend upon them – to climate change. Yet climate adaptation and mitigation strategies that are blind to biodiversity can undermine this natural and social resilience. Ignoring the links between biodiversity and climate risks exacerbates the problems associated with climate change and represents a missed opportunity for maximising co-benefits.

  13. Impacts of the 1998 and 2010 mass coral bleaching events on the Western Gulf of Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutthacheep, Makamas; Yucharoen, Mathinee; Klinthong, Wanlaya; Pengsakun, Sittiporn; Sangmanee, Kanwara; Yeemin, Thamasak

    2013-11-01

    A long-term study of coral reef ecology in the Gulf of Thailand provides a good opportunity to examine the temporal variation on the impact of mass coral bleaching at those reef sites. We compared the bleaching and mortality of corals between the mass bleaching events in 1998 and 2010 at a coral community in the Western Gulf of Thailand. The aim was to identify the coral species which were most likely to suffer from (and to be able to tolerate) changes in seawater temperature. Significant differences in the susceptibility of the coral taxa to bleaching events between the years 1998 and 2010 and among coral species were documented. Bleaching was significantly different between the most dominant corals. Diploastrea heliopora was the most resistant coral to bleaching in both years. Some coral species showed more resistance to bleaching in 2010. The coral mortality following the mass bleaching events in 1998 and 2010 varied significantly between the years and the coral taxa. Mortality of some dominant coral taxa was also lower in 2010. Seven coral species, i.e. Astreopora myriophthalma, Pachyseris rugosa, Turbinaria mesenterina, Goniastrea pectinata, Favia pallida, F. maritima, Favites halicora, Platygyra daedalea and Galaxea fascicularis, were tolerant to the coral bleaching events. An ecosystem-based approach to managing coral reefs in the Gulf of Thailand is needed to identify appropriate marine protected area networks and to strengthen marine and coastal resource policies in order to build coral reef resilience.

  14. Understanding Resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang eWu

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Resilience is the ability to adapt successfully in the face of stress and adversity. Stressful life events, trauma and chronic adversity can have a substantial impact on brain function and structure, and can result in the development of PTSD, depression and other psychiatric disorders. However, most individuals do not develop such illnesses after experiencing stressful life events, and are thus thought to be resilient. Resilience as successful adaptation relies on effective responses to environmental challenges and ultimate resistance to the deleterious effects of stress, therefore a greater understanding of the factors that promote such effects is of great relevance. This review focuses on recent findings regarding genetic, epigenetic, developmental, psychosocial and neurochemical factors that are considered essential contributors to the development of resilience. Neural circuits and pathways involved in mediating resilience are also discussed. The growing understanding of resilience factors will hopefully lead to the development of new pharmacological and psychological interventions for enhancing resilience and mitigating the untoward consequences.

  15. Understanding resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Gang; Feder, Adriana; Cohen, Hagit; Kim, Joanna J; Calderon, Solara; Charney, Dennis S; Mathé, Aleksander A

    2013-01-01

    Resilience is the ability to adapt successfully in the face of stress and adversity. Stressful life events, trauma, and chronic adversity can have a substantial impact on brain function and structure, and can result in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and other psychiatric disorders. However, most individuals do not develop such illnesses after experiencing stressful life events, and are thus thought to be resilient. Resilience as successful adaptation relies on effective responses to environmental challenges and ultimate resistance to the deleterious effects of stress, therefore a greater understanding of the factors that promote such effects is of great relevance. This review focuses on recent findings regarding genetic, epigenetic, developmental, psychosocial, and neurochemical factors that are considered essential contributors to the development of resilience. Neural circuits and pathways involved in mediating resilience are also discussed. The growing understanding of resilience factors will hopefully lead to the development of new pharmacological and psychological interventions for enhancing resilience and mitigating the untoward consequences.

  16. Biodiversity Performs!

    Science.gov (United States)

    World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.

    This document features a lesson plan in which students work in teams to act out different ecosystem services, describe several free services that biodiversity provides to human, and explain how these services make life on earth possible. Samples of instruction and assessment are included. (KHR)

  17. Reef scent: How brooded coral larvae from a tough coral smell their way to a new home

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spies, N.; Richmond, R. H.; Seneca, F.; Murphy, J.; Martinez, J.; Lyman, A.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs are highly diverse marine ecosystems of ecological, economic, and cultural value. With the expected negative effects on reefs from global climate change including rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification, the identification of resilient coral species has become increasingly important. Leptastrea purpurea is an encrusting coral that is found throughout the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. While most corals are broadcast spawners, releasing sperm and eggs to be fertilized in the water column, some corals brood embryos within their tissues after internal fertilization. L. purpurea appears to release planula larvae on a continuous basis from the parent colony as observed during two years of monitoring. The planula larvae show remarkable resilience under a wide range of stressful conditions including temperature, sediment, and chemical stressors, as well as the ability to successfully settle and metamorphose after 180 days in controlled laboratory conditions. Various smells were tested to identify a settlement cue for L. purpurea larvae, and our results suggest that the smell associated with other coral colonies induce larval settlement and metamorphosis. Knowledge of the settlement cues and reproductive biology of this coral is important to our understanding of coral resilience in the face of anthropogenic perturbation.

  18. Resilient retfærdighed?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Stefan Gaarsmand

    2016-01-01

    bureaucracy and the economy, which would put ecology, biodiversity and climate change first for all future political decisions. Since the concept of resilience has taken up a central role in recent developments in ecological sciences, it has also become part of the activist debate. The article’s main argument...... is that the scientific framework behind resilience is not politically neutral and that this framework tends to weaken the activist’s demands for a just transition and place more emphasis on technical and bureaucratic processes....

  19. Diverse coral communities in mangrove habitats suggest a novel refuge from climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Kimberly K.; Rogers, Caroline S.; Herlan, James J.; Brooks, Gregg R.; Smiley, Nathan A.; Larson, Rebekka A.

    2014-01-01

    Risk analyses indicate that more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by climate change and local anthropogenic impacts by the year 2030 under "business-as-usual" climate scenarios. Increasing temperatures and solar radiation cause coral bleaching that has resulted in extensive coral mortality. Increasing carbon dioxide reduces seawater pH, slows coral growth, and may cause loss of reef structure. Management strategies include establishment of marine protected areas with environmental conditions that promote reef resiliency. However, few resilient reefs have been identified, and resiliency factors are poorly defined. 

  20. Biodiversity Conservation in Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Dale Squires

    2014-01-01

    Asian's remarkable economic growth brought many benefits but also fuelled threats to its ecosystems and biodiversity. Economic growth brings biodiversity threats but also conservation opportunities. Continued biodiversity loss is inevitable, but the types, areas and rates of biodiversity loss are not. Prioritising biodiversity conservation, tempered by what is tractable, remains a high priority. Policy and market distortions and failures significantly underprice biodiversity, undermine ecosys...

  1. Density-associated recruitment mediates coral population dynamics on a coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bramanti, Lorenzo; Edmunds, Peter J.

    2016-06-01

    Theory suggests that density-associated processes can modulate community resilience following declines in population size. Here, we demonstrate density-associated processes in two scleractinian populations on the outer reef of Moorea, French Polynesia, that are rapidly increasing in size following the effects of two catastrophic disturbances. Between 2006 and 2010, predation by the corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea star reduced coral cover by 93 %; in 2010, the dead coral skeletons were removed by a cyclone, and in 2011 and 2012, high coral recruitment initiated population recovery. Coral recruitment was associated with coral cover, but the relationship differed between two coral genera that are almost exclusively broadcast spawners in Moorea. Acroporids recruited at low densities, and the density of recruits was positively associated with cover of Acropora, whereas pocilloporids recruited at high densities, and densities of their recruits were negatively associated with cover of Pocillopora. Together, our results suggest that associations between adult cover and density of both juveniles and recruits can mediate rapid coral community recovery after large disturbances. The difference between taxa in sign of the relationships between recruit density and coral cover indicate that they reflect contrasting mechanisms with the potential to mediate temporal shifts in taxonomic composition of coral communities.

  2. Overfishing and nutrient pollution interact with temperature to disrupt coral reefs down to microbial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaneveld, Jesse R; Burkepile, Deron E; Shantz, Andrew A; Pritchard, Catharine E; McMinds, Ryan; Payet, Jérôme P; Welsh, Rory; Correa, Adrienne M S; Lemoine, Nathan P; Rosales, Stephanie; Fuchs, Corinne; Maynard, Jeffrey A; Thurber, Rebecca Vega

    2016-06-07

    Losses of corals worldwide emphasize the need to understand what drives reef decline. Stressors such as overfishing and nutrient pollution may reduce resilience of coral reefs by increasing coral-algal competition and reducing coral recruitment, growth and survivorship. Such effects may themselves develop via several mechanisms, including disruption of coral microbiomes. Here we report the results of a 3-year field experiment simulating overfishing and nutrient pollution. These stressors increase turf and macroalgal cover, destabilizing microbiomes, elevating putative pathogen loads, increasing disease more than twofold and increasing mortality up to eightfold. Above-average temperatures exacerbate these effects, further disrupting microbiomes of unhealthy corals and concentrating 80% of mortality in the warmest seasons. Surprisingly, nutrients also increase bacterial opportunism and mortality in corals bitten by parrotfish, turning normal trophic interactions deadly for corals. Thus, overfishing and nutrient pollution impact reefs down to microbial scales, killing corals by sensitizing them to predation, above-average temperatures and bacterial opportunism.

  3. Economic valuation for the conservation of marine biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaumont, N J; Austen, M C; Mangi, S C; Townsend, M

    2008-03-01

    Policy makers are increasingly recognising the role of environmental valuation to guide and support the management and conservation of biodiversity. This paper presents a goods and services approach to determine the economic value of marine biodiversity in the UK, with the aim of clarifying the role of valuation in the management of marine biodiversity. The goods and services resulting from UK marine biodiversity are detailed, and 8 of the 13 services are valued in monetary terms. It is found that a decline in UK marine biodiversity could result in a varying, and at present unpredictable, change in the provision of goods and services, including reduced resilience and resistance to change, declining marine environmental health, reduced fisheries potential, and loss of recreational opportunities. The results suggest that this approach can facilitate biodiversity management by enabling the optimal allocation of limited management resources and through raising awareness of the importance of marine biodiversity.

  4. Resilient ledelse

    OpenAIRE

    Rygh, Bjørn

    2015-01-01

    Master i styring og ledelse Denne masteroppgaven bygger på litteraturanalyse og intervju med forskere, lederutviklere, ledere og tillitsvalgte. Oppgaven utvikler en hypotese om en resilient lederstil, diskuterer om og hvordan ledere kan bidra til å bedre resiliens hos underordnede, samt identifiserer hva som kan kjennetegne resilient ledelse. Resilient ledelse kan defineres som det en leder gjør for å bedre de underordnedes evne til å få mer psykologisk motstandskraft, det vil si gjør d...

  5. Highly resolved diurnal trends in natural variability of coral reef carbon budgets, Palau, Western Pacific, using a new automated continuous flow system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teneva, L. T.; Dunbar, R. B.; Mucciarone, D. A.; Fleischfresser, J. D.

    2011-12-01

    There is growing evidence that ocean acidification (OA) will have significantly detrimental impacts on coral reef calcification and community composition. However, the rates of coral reef response to ocean pH changes and the implications of for ecosystem resilience remain largely unknown. Our ability to make more accurate predictions of OA impacts on coral reefs hinges on an improved capacity for temporal and spatial measurements of coral reef carbon budgets. Here we report on in situ results from a 6 day deployment during April 2011 over a Palauan coral reef. Our experimental approach uses a custom-made automated continuous flow system capable of resolving pH, temperature, and salinity on a 10-second timescale, and Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) on a 5-minute timescale. In addition, discrete water samples were collected for alkalinity measurements every 3-4 hours in order to capture the essential carbonate variables. We observe higher diurnal amplitude in the DIC and alkalinity signal that is commensurate with greater diurnal tidal range. The highest diurnal alkalinity signal of 100 umol/kg was observed on the first day of the experiment and it progressively decreased throughout the week to 50 umol/kg. A similar trend occurred with DIC, with highest diurnal DIC of 250 umol/kg, decreasing to 100 umol/kg at the end of deployment. Maxima in DIC and alkalinity occurred around 10-11am, and minima occurred near dusk. The diurnal signal in pH ranged 8.0-8.1, with semidiurnal maxima at 2-3am and again~12 hours later. Conversely, minima occurred in mid-morning and again at ~10pm. Our results clearly demonstrate that coral community calcification and photosynthesis affect the surrounding waters' carbon chemistry. In this setting, however, the hydrodynamics - in particular, strong tidal influence -are likely the most significant factor determining the carbon chemistry conditions within the reef community. Highly-resolved natural variability in coral reef metabolism from

  6. Crowning corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.

    and oil transport, thermal pollution and freshwater inflow are the major threats to corals growing along the urban and industrialised centres. Therefore, a concerted effort from academicians, governmental and non-governmental bodies to educate the public...

  7. Social-ecological resilience and law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garmestani, Ahjond S.; Allen, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental law envisions ecological systems as existing in an equilibrium state, reinforcing a rigid legal framework unable to absorb rapid environmental changes and innovations in sustainability. For the past four decades, “resilience theory,” which embraces uncertainty and nonlinear dynamics in complex adaptive systems, has provided a robust, invaluable foundation for sound environmental management. Reforming American law to incorporate this knowledge is the key to sustainability. This volume features top legal and resilience scholars speaking on resilience theory and its legal applications to climate change, biodiversity, national parks, and water law.

  8. Mapping Resilience

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carruth, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Resilience theory is a growing discipline with great relevance for the discipline of planning, particularly in fields like energy planning that face great uncertainty and rapidly transforming contexts. Building on the work of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, this paper begins by outlining...... the relationship between resilience and energy planning, suggesting that planning in, and with, time is a core necessity in this domain. It then reviews four examples of graphically mapping with time, highlighting some of the key challenges, before tentatively proposing a graphical language to be employed...... by planners when aiming to construct resilient energy plans. It concludes that a graphical language has the potential to be a significant tool, flexibly facilitating cross-disciplinary communication and decision-making, while emphasising that its role is to support imaginative, resilient planning rather than...

  9. Mapping Resilience

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carruth, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Resilience theory is a growing discipline with great relevance for the discipline of planning, particularly in fields like energy planning that face great uncertainty and rapidly transforming contexts. Building on the work of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, this paper begins by outlining...... the relationship between resilience and energy planning, suggesting that planning in, and with, time is a core necessity in this domain. It then reviews four examples of graphically mapping with time, highlighting some of the key challenges, before tentatively proposing a graphical language to be employed...... by planners when aiming to construct resilient energy plans. It concludes that a graphical language has the potential to be a significant tool, flexibly facilitating cross-disciplinary communication and decision-making, while emphasising that its role is to support imaginative, resilient planning rather than...

  10. Conceptualizing Resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A. Birkland

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This commentary provides an overview of the idea of resilience, and acknowledges the challenges of defining and applying the idea in practice. The article summarizes a way of looking at resilience called a “resilience delta”, that takes into account both the shock done to a community by a disaster and the capacity of that community to rebound from that shock to return to its prior functionality. I show how different features of the community can create resilience, and consider how the developed and developing world addresses resilience. I also consider the role of focusing events in gaining attention to events and promoting change. I note that, while focusing events are considered by many in the disaster studies field to be major drivers of policy change in the United States disaster policy, most disasters have little effect on the overall doctrine of shared responsibilities between the national and subnational governments.

  11. Resilience Through Ecological Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grazia Brunetta

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper explores the strategic role that urban biodiversity and ecosystem services management, natural infrastructure and adaptive governance approaches can play in making our economies and societies more resilient and in linking human societies and the natural environment. Resilience – a concept that entered the debate on urban governance – means the ability of urban systems, considered as linear-systems, to react to external disturbances by returning to some socio-ecological equilibrium steady-state by overcoming a crisis period (Gunderson & al. 2010, Newman & al. 2009. In this view, green infrastructures can assume a strategic role in restoring and enhancing the ecological and environmental livability in urban areas. Starting from the International and European context, the paper discusses innovative programs and interdisciplinary projects and practices (some cases in Turin Metropolitan Area to demonstrate how green infrastructures can increase the adaptive capacity of urban systems in term of resilience. They can contribute to increase the ability of European cities to adapt to climate change and to reduce their ecological footprints, to enhance security and life quality.

  12. Incorporating Local Wisdom Sasi into Marine Zoning to Increase the Resilience of a Marine Protected Area Network in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purwanto, P., Jr.; Mangubhai, S.; Muhajir, M.; Hidayat, N. I.; Rumetna, L.; Awaludinnoer, A.; Thebu, K.

    2016-02-01

    The Raja Ampat government and local communities established 6 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in 2007 to protect the unique marine biodiversity and ensure sustainable fisheries in West Papua, Indonesia. Increasing human populations resulting in overfishing and the use of destructive fishing practices are the main threats and challenges the region faces. Biophysical, socioeconomic and climate change criteria and factors were developed for zoning the Raja Ampat MPA network. Resilience principles such as replication, habitat representation, protection of critical habitat and connectivity were applied to the final zoning design. Reef resilience data using global monitoring protocols were collected to provide insights into the resilience of different reefs to further guide zoning. Resilience rankings showed that fishing pressure on reef fish communities especially on piscivores, herbivores and excavators was the main factor lowering resilience in MPAs. In addition data were collected on `sasi' areas throughout the MPAs. Sasi is a type of traditional resource management practice used by local communities to open and close areas to fishing single or multiple fisheries species. Once the fishery recovers local communities then harvest the species for food or sale. Raja Ampat MPAs network managed as multi-objective zoning system. The current zoning system explicitly recognizes community sasi within Traditional Use Zones, which often are adjacent or close to No-Take Zones. The explicit inclusion of sasi areas within zoning plans for the MPAs will likely lead to good compliance by local communities, and the increase fish biomass. Improving the management of fisheries through the incorporation of traditional fisheries management will therefore increase the overall resilience of coral reefs in the Raja Ampat MPA network.

  13. Miocene reef-coral diversity of Indonesia: unlocking the murky origins of the Coral Triangle (Utrecht Studies in Earth Sciences 063)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santodomingo Aguilar, Nadia

    2014-01-01

    Reefs in the Coral Triangle host the richest marine diversity today. While the biodiversity gradients associated with the Coral Triangle are progressively better documented, the mechanisms responsible for the origins and maintenance of this pattern still remain obscure. Until recently, palaeontologi

  14. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; de Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtěch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W; Smith, Melinda D; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F; van der Putten, Wim H; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-22

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

  15. Building coral reef resilience through assisted evolution

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Madeleine J. H. van Oppen; James K. Oliver; Hollie M. Putnam; Ruth D. Gates

    2015-01-01

    .... Over the last century, humans have driven global climate change through industrialization and the release of increasing amounts of CO 2 , resulting in shifts in ocean temperature, ocean chemistry...

  16. Identification and prevalence of coral diseases on three Western Indian Ocean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Séré, Mathieu G; Chabanet, Pascale; Turquet, Jean; Quod, Jean-Pascal; Schleyer, Michael H

    2015-06-03

    Coral diseases have caused a substantial decline in the biodiversity and abundance of reef-building corals. To date, more than 30 distinct diseases of scleractinian corals have been reported, which cause progressive tissue loss and/or affect coral growth, reproductive capacity, recruitment, species diversity and the abundance of reef-associated organisms. While coral disease research has increased over the last 4 decades, very little is known about coral diseases in the Western Indian Ocean. Surveys conducted at multiple sites in Reunion, South Africa and Mayotte between August 2010 and June 2012 revealed the presence of 6 main coral diseases: black band disease (BBD), white syndrome (WS), pink line syndrome (PLS), growth anomalies (GA), skeleton eroding band (SEB) and Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS). Overall, disease prevalence was higher in Reunion (7.5 ± 2.2%; mean ± SE) compared to South Africa (3.9 ± 0.8%) and Mayotte (2.7 ± 0.3%). Across locations, Acropora and Porites were the genera most susceptible to disease. Spatial variability was detected in both Reunion and South Africa, with BBD and WS more prevalent on shallow than deep reefs. There was also evidence of seasonality in 2 diseases: the prevalence of BBD and WS was higher in summer than winter. This was the first study to investigate the ecology of coral diseases, providing both qualitative and quantitative data, on Western Indian Ocean reefs, and surveys should be expanded to confirm these patterns.

  17. Measuring Resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Robert R; Hancock, P A

    2017-06-01

    As human factors and ergonomics (HF/E) moves to embrace a greater systems perspective concerning human-machine technologies, new and emergent properties, such as resilience, have arisen. Our objective here is to promote discussion as to how to measure this latter, complex phenomenon. Resilience is now a much-referenced goal for technology and work system design. It subsumes the new movement of resilience engineering. As part of a broader systems approach to HF/E, this concept requires both a definitive specification and an associated measurement methodology. Such an effort epitomizes our present work. Using rational analytic and synthetic methods, we offer an approach to the measurement of resilience capacity. We explicate how our proposed approach can be employed to compare resilience across multiple systems and domains, and emphasize avenues for its future development and validation. Emerging concerns for the promise and potential of resilience and associated concepts, such as adaptability, are highlighted. Arguments skeptical of these emerging dimensions must be met with quantitative answers; we advance one approach here. Robust and validated measures of resilience will enable coherent and rational discussions of complex emergent properties in macrocognitive system science.

  18. Improved water quality can ameliorate effects of climate change on corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooldridge, Scott A; Done, Terence J

    2009-09-01

    The threats of wide-scale coral bleaching and reef demise associated with anthropogenic climate change are widely known. Moreover, rates of genetic adaptation and/or changes in the coral-zooxanthella partnerships are considered unlikely to be sufficiently fast for corals to acquire increased physiological resistance to increasing sea temperatures and declining pH. However, it has been suggested that coral reef resilience to climate change may be improved by good local management of coral reefs, including management of water quality. Here, using major data sets from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, we investigate geographic patterns of coral bleaching in 1998 and 2002 and outline a synergism between heat stress and nutrient flux as a major causative mechanism for those patterns. The study provides the first concrete evidence for the oft-expressed belief that improved coral reef management will increase the regional-scale survival prospects of coral reefs to global climate change.

  19. Coral settlement on a highly disturbed equatorial reef system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauman, Andrew G; Guest, James R; Dunshea, Glenn; Low, Jeffery; Todd, Peter A; Steinberg, Peter D

    2015-01-01

    Processes occurring early in the life stages of corals can greatly influence the demography of coral populations, and successful settlement of coral larvae that leads to recruitment is a critical life history stage for coral reef ecosystems. Although corals in Singapore persist in one the world's most anthropogenically impacted reef systems, our understanding of the role of coral settlement in the persistence of coral communities in Singapore remains limited. Spatial and temporal patterns of coral settlement were examined at 7 sites in the southern islands of Singapore, using settlement tiles deployed and collected every 3 months from 2011 to 2013. Settlement occurred year round, but varied significantly across time and space. Annual coral settlement was low (~54.72 spat m(-2) yr(-1)) relative to other equatorial regions, but there was evidence of temporal variation in settlement rates. Peak settlement occurred between March-May and September-November, coinciding with annual coral spawning periods (March-April and October), while the lowest settlement occurred from December-February during the northeast monsoon. A period of high settlement was also observed between June and August in the first year (2011/12), possibly due to some species spawning outside predicted spawning periods, larvae settling from other locations or extended larval settlement competency periods. Settlement rates varied significantly among sites, but spatial variation was relatively consistent between years, suggesting the strong effects of local coral assemblages or environmental conditions. Pocilloporidae were the most abundant coral spat (83.6%), while Poritidae comprised only 6% of the spat, and Acroporidae coral spat. These results indicate that current settlement patterns are reinforcing the local adult assemblage structure ('others'; i.e. sediment-tolerant coral taxa) in Singapore, but that the replenishment capacity of Singapore's reefs appears relatively constrained, which could lead

  20. Coral settlement on a highly disturbed equatorial reef system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew G Bauman

    Full Text Available Processes occurring early in the life stages of corals can greatly influence the demography of coral populations, and successful settlement of coral larvae that leads to recruitment is a critical life history stage for coral reef ecosystems. Although corals in Singapore persist in one the world's most anthropogenically impacted reef systems, our understanding of the role of coral settlement in the persistence of coral communities in Singapore remains limited. Spatial and temporal patterns of coral settlement were examined at 7 sites in the southern islands of Singapore, using settlement tiles deployed and collected every 3 months from 2011 to 2013. Settlement occurred year round, but varied significantly across time and space. Annual coral settlement was low (~54.72 spat m(-2 yr(-1 relative to other equatorial regions, but there was evidence of temporal variation in settlement rates. Peak settlement occurred between March-May and September-November, coinciding with annual coral spawning periods (March-April and October, while the lowest settlement occurred from December-February during the northeast monsoon. A period of high settlement was also observed between June and August in the first year (2011/12, possibly due to some species spawning outside predicted spawning periods, larvae settling from other locations or extended larval settlement competency periods. Settlement rates varied significantly among sites, but spatial variation was relatively consistent between years, suggesting the strong effects of local coral assemblages or environmental conditions. Pocilloporidae were the most abundant coral spat (83.6%, while Poritidae comprised only 6% of the spat, and Acroporidae <1%. Other, unidentifiable families represented 10% of the coral spat. These results indicate that current settlement patterns are reinforcing the local adult assemblage structure ('others'; i.e. sediment-tolerant coral taxa in Singapore, but that the replenishment capacity

  1. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J; de Santana, Charles N; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-05-06

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

  2. Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erpenbeck, Dirk; Voigt, Oliver; Al-Aidaroos, Ali M; Berumen, Michael L; Büttner, Gabriele; Catania, Daniela; Guirguis, Adel Naguib; Paulay, Gustav; Schätzle, Simone; Wörheide, Gert

    2016-04-30

    Sponges are important constituents of coral reef ecosystems, including those around the Arabian Peninsula. Despite their importance, our knowledge on demosponge diversity in this area is insufficient to recognize, for example, faunal changes caused by anthropogenic disturbances. We here report the first assessment of demosponge molecular biodiversity from Arabia, with focus on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal molecular markers gathered in the framework of the Sponge Barcoding Project. We use a rapid molecular screening approach on Arabian demosponge collections and analyze results in comparison against published material in terms of biodiversity. We use a variable region of 28S rDNA, applied for the first time in the assessment of demosponge molecular diversity. Our data constitutes a solid foundation for a future more comprehensive understanding of sponge biodiversity of the Red Sea and adjacent waters.

  3. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-01-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics. PMID:27151103

  4. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-05-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

  5. Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges

    KAUST Repository

    Erpenbeck, Dirk

    2016-01-07

    Sponges are important constituents of coral reef ecosystems, including those around the Arabian Peninsula. Despite their importance, our knowledge on demosponge diversity in this area is insufficient to recognize, for example, faunal changes caused by anthropogenic disturbances. We here report the first assessment of demosponge molecular biodiversity from Arabia, with focus on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, based on mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal molecular markers gathered in the framework of the Sponge Barcoding Project. We use a rapid molecular screening approach on Arabian demosponge collections and analyze results in comparison against published material in terms of biodiversity. We use a variable region of 28S rDNA, applied for the first time in the assessment of demosponge molecular diversity. Our data constitutes a solid foundation for a future more comprehensive understanding of sponge biodiversity of the Red Sea and adjacent waters.

  6. A unified model explains commonness and rarity on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Sean R; Hughes, Terry P; Bellwood, David R

    2017-04-01

    Abundance patterns in ecological communities have important implications for biodiversity maintenance and ecosystem functioning. However, ecological theory has been largely unsuccessful at capturing multiple macroecological abundance patterns simultaneously. Here, we propose a parsimonious model that unifies widespread ecological relationships involving local aggregation, species-abundance distributions, and species associations, and we test this model against the metacommunity structure of reef-building corals and coral reef fishes across the western and central Pacific. For both corals and fishes, the unified model simultaneously captures extremely well local species-abundance distributions, interspecific variation in the strength of spatial aggregation, patterns of community similarity, species accumulation, and regional species richness, performing far better than alternative models also examined here and in previous work on coral reefs. Our approach contributes to the development of synthetic theory for large-scale patterns of community structure in nature, and to addressing ongoing challenges in biodiversity conservation at macroecological scales.

  7. Soil biodiversity and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Six, Johan; Pereg, Lily; Brevik, Eric

    2017-04-01

    Biodiversity is important for the maintenance of soil quality. Healthy, biodiverse soils are crucial for human health and wellbeing from several reasons, for example: biodiversity has been shown to be important in controlling populations of pathogens; healthy, well-covered soils can reduce disease outbreaks; carbon-rich soils may also reduce outbreaks of human and animal parasites; exposure to soil microbes can reduce allergies; soils have provided many of our current antibiotics; soil organisms can provide biological disease and pest control agents, healthy soils mean healthier and more abundant foods; soil microbes can enhance crop plant resilience; healthy soils promote good clean air quality, less prone to wind and water erosion; and healthy soils provide clean and safe water through filtration, decontamination by microbes and removal of pollutants. Soil microbes and other biota provide many benefits to human health. Soil microbes are a source of medicines, such as antibiotics, anticancer drugs and many more. Organisms that affect soil health and thus human health include those involved in nutrient cycling, decomposition of organic matter and determining soil structure (e.g. aggregation). Again these are related to food security but also affect human health in other ways. Many beneficial organisms have been isolated from soil - plant growth promoting and disease suppressive microbes used as inoculants, foliar inoculants for improvement of ruminant digestion systems and inoculants used in bioremediation of toxic compounds in the environment. Soil biodiversity is highly recognised now as an important feature of healthy soil and imbalances have been shown to give advantage to harmful over beneficial organisms. This presentation will highlight the many connections of biodiversity to soil quality and human health.

  8. Understanding the murky history of the Coral Triangle: Miocene corals and reef habitats in East Kalimantan (Indonesia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santodomingo, Nadiezhda; Renema, Willem; Johnson, Kenneth G.

    2016-09-01

    Studies on ancient coral communities living in marginal conditions, including low light, high turbidity, extreme temperatures, or high nutrients, are important to understand the current structure of reefs and how they could potentially respond to global changes. The main goal of this study was to document the rich and well-preserved fossil coral fauna preserved in Miocene exposures of the Kutai Basin in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Our collections include almost forty thousand specimens collected from 47 outcrops. Seventy-nine genera and 234 species have been identified. Three different coral assemblages were found corresponding to small patch reefs that developed under the influence of high siliciclastic inputs from the Mahakam Delta. Coral assemblages vary in richness, structure, and composition. Platy coral assemblages were common until the Serravallian (Middle Miocene), while branching coral assemblages became dominant in the Tortonian (Late Miocene). By the late Tortonian massive coral assemblages dominated, similar to modern-style coral framework. Our results suggest that challenging habitats, such as the Miocene turbid habitats of East Kalimantan, might have played an important role during the early diversification of the Coral Triangle by hosting a pool of resilient species more likely to survive the environmental changes that have affected this region since the Cenozoic. Further research that integrates fossil and recent turbid habitats may provide a glimpse into the dynamics and future of coral reefs as "typical" clear-water reefs continue to decline in most regions.

  9. The northernmost coral frontier of the Maldives: The coral reefs of Ihavandippolu Atoll under long-term environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkachenko, Konstantin S

    2012-12-01

    Ihavandippolu, the northernmost atoll of the Maldives, experienced severe coral bleaching and mortality in 1998 followed by several bleaching episodes in the last decade. Coral cover in the 11 study sites surveyed in July-December of 2011 in the 3-5 m depth range varied from 1.7 to 51%. Reefs of the islands located in the center of Ihavandippolu lagoon have exhibited a very low coral recovery since 1998 and remain mostly degraded 12 years after the impact. At the same time, some reefs, especially in the inner part of the eastern ring of the atoll, demonstrate a high coral cover (>40%) with a dominance of branching Acropora that is known to be one of the coral genera that is most susceptible to thermal stress. The last severe bleaching event in 2010 resulted in high coral mortality in some sites of the atoll. Differences in coral mortality rates and proportion between "susceptible" and "resistant" taxa in study sites are apparently related to long-term adaptation and local hydrological features that can mitigate thermal impacts. Abundant herbivorous fish observed in the atoll prevent coral overgrowth by macroalgae even on degraded reefs. Despite the frequent influence of temperature anomalies and having less geomorphologic refuges for coral survivals than other larger Maldivian atolls, a major part of observed coral communities in Ihavandippolu Atoll exhibits high resilience and potential for further acclimatization to a changing environment.

  10. Preliminary Assessment of Sponge Biodiversity on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thacker, R.W.; Díaz, M.C.; de Voogd, N.J.; van Soest, R.W.M.; Freeman, C.J.; Mobley, A.S.; LaPietra, J.; Cope, K.; McKenna, S.

    2010-01-01

    Background Saba Bank Atoll, Netherlands Antilles, is one of the three largest atolls on Earth and provides habitat for an extensive coral reef community. To improve our knowledge of this vast marine resource, a survey of biodiversity at Saba Bank included a multi-disciplinary team that sampled fishe

  11. Preliminary Assessment of Sponge Biodiversity on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thacker, R.W.; Díaz, M.C.; de Voogd, N.J.; van Soest, R.W.M.; Freeman, C.J.; Mobley, A.S.; LaPietra, J.; Cope, K.; McKenna, S.

    2010-01-01

    Background Saba Bank Atoll, Netherlands Antilles, is one of the three largest atolls on Earth and provides habitat for an extensive coral reef community. To improve our knowledge of this vast marine resource, a survey of biodiversity at Saba Bank included a multi-disciplinary team that sampled

  12. A Preliminary Assessment of Coral Bleaching in Mozambique

    OpenAIRE

    1999-01-01

    The 1997-1998 El Nino southern oscillation (ENSO) caused elevated sea temperatures that resulted in global coral bleaching. Coral reefs constitute an important biological resource in terms of their complex biodiversity and are the basis for tropical reef fisheries and marine ecotourism. They represent one of Mozambique's main coastal assets and its coastal communities and growing tourism industry rely mainly on reef-based resources. Mozambican artisanal fisheries are largely centred on reefs ...

  13. A comprehensive investigation of mesophotic coral ecosystems in the Hawaiian Archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard L. Pyle

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Although the existence of coral-reef habitats at depths to 165 m in tropical regions has been known for decades, the richness, diversity, and ecological importance of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs has only recently become widely acknowledged. During an interdisciplinary effort spanning more than two decades, we characterized the most expansive MCEs ever recorded, with vast macroalgal communities and areas of 100% coral cover between depths of 50–90 m extending for tens of km2 in the Hawaiian Archipelago. We used a variety of sensors and techniques to establish geophysical characteristics. Biodiversity patterns were established from visual and video observations and collected specimens obtained from submersible, remotely operated vehicles and mixed-gas SCUBA and rebreather dives. Population dynamics based on age, growth and fecundity estimates of selected fish species were obtained from laser-videogrammetry, specimens, and otolith preparations. Trophic dynamics were determined using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic analyses on more than 750 reef fishes. MCEs are associated with clear water and suitable substrate. In comparison to shallow reefs in the Hawaiian Archipelago, inhabitants of MCEs have lower total diversity, harbor new and unique species, and have higher rates of endemism in fishes. Fish species present in shallow and mesophotic depths have similar population and trophic (except benthic invertivores structures and high genetic connectivity with lower fecundity at mesophotic depths. MCEs in Hawai‘i are widespread but associated with specific geophysical characteristics. High genetic, ecological and trophic connectivity establish the potential for MCEs to serve as refugia for some species, but our results question the premise that MCEs are more resilient than shallow reefs. We found that endemism within MCEs increases with depth, and our results do not support suggestions of a global faunal break at 60 m. Our findings enhance

  14. A comprehensive investigation of mesophotic coral ecosystems in the Hawaiian Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boland, Raymond; Bolick, Holly; Bowen, Brian W.; Bradley, Christina J.; Kane, Corinne; Kosaki, Randall K.; Langston, Ross; Longenecker, Ken; Montgomery, Anthony; Parrish, Frank A.; Popp, Brian N.; Smith, Celia M.; Wagner, Daniel; Spalding, Heather L.

    2016-01-01

    Although the existence of coral-reef habitats at depths to 165 m in tropical regions has been known for decades, the richness, diversity, and ecological importance of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) has only recently become widely acknowledged. During an interdisciplinary effort spanning more than two decades, we characterized the most expansive MCEs ever recorded, with vast macroalgal communities and areas of 100% coral cover between depths of 50–90 m extending for tens of km2 in the Hawaiian Archipelago. We used a variety of sensors and techniques to establish geophysical characteristics. Biodiversity patterns were established from visual and video observations and collected specimens obtained from submersible, remotely operated vehicles and mixed-gas SCUBA and rebreather dives. Population dynamics based on age, growth and fecundity estimates of selected fish species were obtained from laser-videogrammetry, specimens, and otolith preparations. Trophic dynamics were determined using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic analyses on more than 750 reef fishes. MCEs are associated with clear water and suitable substrate. In comparison to shallow reefs in the Hawaiian Archipelago, inhabitants of MCEs have lower total diversity, harbor new and unique species, and have higher rates of endemism in fishes. Fish species present in shallow and mesophotic depths have similar population and trophic (except benthic invertivores) structures and high genetic connectivity with lower fecundity at mesophotic depths. MCEs in Hawai‘i are widespread but associated with specific geophysical characteristics. High genetic, ecological and trophic connectivity establish the potential for MCEs to serve as refugia for some species, but our results question the premise that MCEs are more resilient than shallow reefs. We found that endemism within MCEs increases with depth, and our results do not support suggestions of a global faunal break at 60 m. Our findings enhance the scientific

  15. Genetic Signature of Resistance to White Band Disease in the Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libro, Silvia; Vollmer, Steven V

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to multiple factors including rising sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, and disease outbreaks. Over the last 30 years, White Band Disease (WBD) alone has killed up to 95% of the Caribbean`s dominant shallow-water corals--the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmata. Both corals are now listed on the US Endangered Species Act, and while their recovery has been slow, recent transmission surveys indicate that more than 5% of staghorn corals are disease resistant. Here we compared transcriptome-wide gene expression between resistant and susceptible staghorn corals exposed to WBD using in situ transmission assays. We identified constitutive gene expression differences underlying disease resistance that are independent from the immune response associated with disease exposure. Genes involved in RNA interference-mediated gene silencing, including Argonaute were up-regulated in resistant corals, whereas heat shock proteins (HSPs) were down-regulated. Up-regulation of Argonaute proteins indicates that post-transcriptional gene silencing plays a key, but previously unsuspected role in coral immunity and disease resistance. Constitutive expression of HSPs has been linked to thermal resilience in other Acropora corals, suggesting that the down-regulation of HSPs in disease resistant staghorn corals may confer a dual benefit of thermal resilience.

  16. Genetic Signature of Resistance to White Band Disease in the Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Libro

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to multiple factors including rising sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, and disease outbreaks. Over the last 30 years, White Band Disease (WBD alone has killed up to 95% of the Caribbean`s dominant shallow-water corals--the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis and the elkhorn coral A. palmata. Both corals are now listed on the US Endangered Species Act, and while their recovery has been slow, recent transmission surveys indicate that more than 5% of staghorn corals are disease resistant. Here we compared transcriptome-wide gene expression between resistant and susceptible staghorn corals exposed to WBD using in situ transmission assays. We identified constitutive gene expression differences underlying disease resistance that are independent from the immune response associated with disease exposure. Genes involved in RNA interference-mediated gene silencing, including Argonaute were up-regulated in resistant corals, whereas heat shock proteins (HSPs were down-regulated. Up-regulation of Argonaute proteins indicates that post-transcriptional gene silencing plays a key, but previously unsuspected role in coral immunity and disease resistance. Constitutive expression of HSPs has been linked to thermal resilience in other Acropora corals, suggesting that the down-regulation of HSPs in disease resistant staghorn corals may confer a dual benefit of thermal resilience.

  17. Discovery of symbiotic nitrogen fixation and chemoautotrophy in cold-water corals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middelburg, J.J.; Mueller, C.E.; Veuger, B.; Larsson, A.I.; Form, A.; van Oevelen, D.

    2015-01-01

    Cold-water corals (CWC) are widely distributed around the world forming extensive reefs at par with tropical coral reefs. They are hotspots of biodiversity and organic matter processing in the world’s deep oceans. Living in the dark they lack photosynthetic symbionts and are therefore considered to

  18. What are the physiological and immunological responses of coral to climate warming and disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mydlarz, Laura D; McGinty, Elizabeth S; Harvell, C Drew

    2010-03-15

    Coral mortality due to climate-associated stress is likely to increase as the oceans get warmer and more acidic. Coral bleaching and an increase in infectious disease are linked to above average sea surface temperatures. Despite the uncertain future for corals, recent studies have revealed physiological mechanisms that improve coral resilience to the effects of climate change. Some taxa of bleached corals can increase heterotrophic food intake and exchange symbionts for more thermally tolerant clades; this plasticity can increase the probability of surviving lethal thermal stress. Corals can fight invading pathogens with a suite of innate immune responses that slow and even arrest pathogen growth and reduce further tissue damage. Several of these responses, such as the melanin cascade, circulating amoebocytes and antioxidants, are induced in coral hosts during pathogen invasion or disease. Some components of immunity show thermal resilience and are enhanced during temperature stress and even in bleached corals. These examples suggest some plasticity and resilience to cope with environmental change and even the potential for evolution of resistance to disease. However, there is huge variability in responses among coral species, and the rate of climate change is projected to be so rapid that only extremely hardy taxa are likely to survive the projected changes in climate stressors.

  19. Coral Reef Remote Sensing: Helping Managers Protect Reefs in a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eakin, C.; Liu, G.; Li, J.; Muller-Karger, F. E.; Heron, S. F.; Gledhill, D. K.; Christensen, T.; Rauenzahn, J.; Morgan, J.; Parker, B. A.; Skirving, W. J.; Nim, C.; Burgess, T.; Strong, A. E.

    2010-12-01

    Climate change and ocean acidification are already having severe impacts on coral reef ecosystems. Warming oceans have caused corals to bleach, or expel their symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) with alarming frequency and severity and have contributed to a rise in coral infectious diseases. Ocean acidification is reducing the availability of carbonate ions needed by corals and many other marine organisms to build structural components like skeletons and shells and may already be slowing the coral growth. These two impacts are already killing corals and slowing reef growth, reducing biodiversity and the structure needed to provide crucial ecosystem services. NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch (CRW) uses a combination of satellite data, in situ observations, and models to provide coral reef managers, scientists, and others with information needed to monitor threats to coral reefs. The advance notice provided by remote sensing and models allows resource managers to protect corals, coral reefs, and the services they provide, although managers often encounter barriers to implementation of adaptation strategies. This talk will focus on application of NOAA’s satellite and model-based tools that monitor the risk of mass coral bleaching on a global scale, ocean acidification in the Caribbean, and coral disease outbreaks in selected regions, as well as CRW work to train managers in their use, and barriers to taking action to adapt to climate change. As both anthropogenic CO2 and temperatures will continue to rise, local actions to protect reefs are becoming even more important.

  20. Extreme Longevity in Proteinaceous Deep-Sea Corals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roark, E B; Guilderson, T P; Dunbar, R B; Fallon, S J; Mucciarone, D A

    2009-02-09

    Deep-sea corals are found on hard substrates on seamounts and continental margins world-wide at depths of 300 to {approx}3000 meters. Deep-sea coral communities are hotspots of deep ocean biomass and biodiversity, providing critical habitat for fish and invertebrates. Newly applied radiocarbon age date from the deep water proteinaceous corals Gerardia sp. and Leiopathes glaberrima show that radial growth rates are as low as 4 to 35 {micro}m yr{sup -1} and that individual colony longevities are on the order of thousands of years. The management and conservation of deep sea coral communities is challenged by their commercial harvest for the jewelry trade and damage caused by deep water fishing practices. In light of their unusual longevity, a better understanding of deep sea coral ecology and their interrelationships with associated benthic communities is needed to inform coherent international conservation strategies for these important deep-sea ecosystems.

  1. Facilitation in Caribbean coral reefs: high densities of staghorn coral foster greater coral condition and reef fish composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, Brittany E; Miller, Margaret W; Pausch, Rachel; Richter, Lee

    2017-05-01

    Recovery of the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is posited to play a key role in Caribbean reef resilience. At four Caribbean locations (including one restored and three extant populations), we quantified characteristics of contemporary staghorn coral across increasing conspecific densities, and investigated a hypothesis of facilitation between staghorn coral and reef fishes. High staghorn densities in the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly less partial mortality, higher branch growth, and supported greater fish abundances compared to lower densities within the same population. In contrast, partial mortality, branch growth, and fish community composition did not vary with staghorn density at the three other study locations where staghorn densities were lower overall. This suggests that density-dependent effects between the coral and fish community may only manifest at high staghorn densities. We then evaluated one facilitative mechanism for such density-dependence, whereby abundant fishes sheltering in dense staghorn aggregations deliver nutrients back to the coral, fueling faster coral growth, thereby creating more fish habitat. Indeed, dense staghorn aggregations within the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly higher growth rates, tissue nitrogen, and zooxanthellae densities than sparse aggregations. Similarly, higher tissue nitrogen was induced in a macroalgae bioassay outplanted into the same dense and sparse aggregations, confirming greater bioavailability of nutrients at high staghorn densities. Our findings inform staghorn restoration efforts, suggesting that the most effective targets may be higher coral densities than previously thought. These coral-dense aggregations may reap the benefits of positive facilitation between the staghorn and fish community, favoring the growth and survivorship of this threatened species.

  2. Patterns of bacteria-host associations suggest different ecological strategies between two reef building cold-water coral species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meistertzheim, Anne.-Leila; Lartaud, Franck; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie; Kalenitchenko, Dimitri; Bessalam, Manon; Le Bris, Nadine; Galand, Pierre E.

    2016-08-01

    Cold-water corals (CWC) are main ecosystem engineers of the deep sea, and their reefs constitute hot-spots of biodiversity. However, their ecology remains poorly understood, particularly, the nature of the holobiont formed by corals with their associated bacterial communities. Here, we analyzed Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa samples, collected from one location in a Mediterranean canyon in two different seasons (autumn and spring), in order to test for species specificity and temporal stability of the host-bacteria associations. The 16S rRNA sequencing revealed host-specific patterns of bacterial communities associated with L. pertusa and M. oculata, both in terms of community composition and diversity. All analyzed M. oculata polyps exhibited temporally and spatially similar bacterial communities dominated by haplotypes homologous to the known cnidarians-associated genus Endozoicomonas. In contrast, the bacterial communities associated with L. pertusa varied among polyps from the same colony, as well as among distinct colonies and between seasons. While the resilient consortium formed by M. oculata and its bacterial community fit the definition of holobiont, the versatility of the L. pertusa microbiome suggests that this association is more influenced by the environmental conditions or nutritional status. Our results thus highlight distinct host/microbes association strategies for these two closely related Scleractinians sharing the same habitat, suggesting distinct sensitivity to environmental change.

  3. 10th Anniversary Review: a changing climate for coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, Janice M

    2008-01-01

    Tropical coral reefs are charismatic ecosystems that house a significant proportion of the world's marine biodiversity. Their valuable goods and services are fundamental to the livelihood of large coastal populations in the tropics. The health of many of the world's coral reefs, and the goods and services they provide, have already been severely compromised, largely due to over-exploitation by a range of human activities. These local-scale impacts, with the appropriate government instruments, support and management actions, can potentially be controlled and even ameliorated. Unfortunately, other human actions (largely in countries outside of the tropics), by changing global climate, have added additional global-scale threats to the continued survival of present-day coral reefs. Moderate warming of the tropical oceans has already resulted in an increase in mass coral bleaching events, affecting nearly all of the world's coral reef regions. The frequency of these events will only increase as global temperatures continue to rise. Weakening of coral reef structures will be a more insidious effect of changing ocean chemistry, as the oceans absorb part of the excess atmospheric carbon dioxide. More intense tropical cyclones, changed atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns will all affect coral reef ecosystems and the many associated plants and animals. Coral reefs will not disappear but their appearance, structure and community make-up will radically change. Drastic greenhouse gas mitigation strategies are necessary to prevent the full consequences of human activities causing such alterations to coral reef ecosystems.

  4. When does biodiversity matter? Assessing ecosystem services across broad regions using forest inventory and analysis data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Potter; Christopher W. Woodall; Christopher M. Oswalt; Basil V. III Iannone; Songlin. Fei

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity is expected to convey numerous functional benefits to forested ecosystems, including increased productivity and resilience. When assessing biodiversity, however, statistics that account for evolutionary relationships among species may be more ecologically meaningful than traditional measures such as species richness. In three broad-scale studies, we...

  5. Threatened Reef Corals of the World

    OpenAIRE

    Danwei Huang

    2012-01-01

    A substantial proportion of the world's living species, including one-third of the reef-building corals, are threatened with extinction and in pressing need of conservation action. In order to reduce biodiversity loss, it is important to consider species' contribution to evolutionary diversity along with their risk of extinction for the purpose of setting conservation priorities. Here I reconstruct the most comprehensive tree of life for the order Scleractinia (1,293 species) that includes al...

  6. Three decades of recurrent declines and recoveries in corals belie ongoing change in fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, T.; Galzin, R.; Kulbicki, M.; Lison de Loma, T.; Claudet, J.

    2016-03-01

    Coral reefs are increasingly being altered by a myriad of anthropogenic activities and natural disturbances. Long-term studies offer unique opportunities to understand how multiple and recurrent disturbances can influence coral reef resilience and long-term dynamics. While the long-term dynamics of coral assemblages have been extensively documented, the long-term dynamics of coral reef fish assemblages have received less attention. Here, we describe the changes in fish assemblages on Tiahura reef, Moorea, from 1979 to 2011. During this 33-yr period, Tiahura was exposed to multiple disturbances (crown-of-thorns seastar outbreaks and cyclones) that caused recurrent declines and recoveries of coral cover and changes in the dominant coral genera. These shifts in coral composition were associated with long-term cascading effects on fish assemblages. The composition and trophic structure of fish assemblages continuously shifted without returning to their initial composition, whereas fish species richness remained stable, albeit with a small increase over time. We detected nonlinear responses of fish density when corals were most degraded. When coral cover dropped below 10 % following a severe crown-of-thorns sea star outbreak, the density of most fish trophic groups sharply decreased. Our study shows that historical contingency may potentially be an important but largely underestimated factor explaining the contemporary structure of reef fish assemblages and suggests that temporal stability in their structure and function should not necessarily be the target of management strategies that aim at increasing or maintaining coral reef resilience.

  7. Responses of Cryptofaunal Species Richness and Trophic Potential to Coral Reef Habitat Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek P. Manzello

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are declining worldwide as a result of many anthropogenic disturbances. This trend is alarming because coral reefs are hotspots of marine biodiversity and considered the ‘rainforests of the sea. As in the rainforest, much of the diversity on a coral reef is cryptic, remaining hidden among the cracks and crevices of structural taxa. Although the cryptofauna make up the majority of a reef’s metazoan biodiversity, we know little about their basic ecology or how these communities respond to reef degradation. Emerging research shows that the species richness of the motile cryptofauna is higher among dead (framework vs. live coral substrates and, surprisingly, increases within successively more eroded reef framework structures, ultimately reaching a maximum in dead coral rubble. Consequently, the paradigm that abundant live coral is the apex of reef diversity needs to be clarified. This provides guarded optimism amidst alarming reports of declines in live coral cover and the impending doom of coral reefs, as motile cryptic biodiversity should persist independent of live coral cover. Granted, the maintenance of this high species richness is contingent on the presence of reef rubble, which will eventually be lost due to physical, chemical, and biological erosion if not replenished by live coral calcification and mortality. The trophic potential of a reef, as inferred from the abundance of cryptic organisms, is highest on live coral. Among dead framework substrates, however, the density of cryptofauna reaches a peak at intermediate levels of degradation. In summary, the response of the motile cryptofauna, and thus a large fraction of the reef’s biodiversity, to reef degradation is more complex and nuanced than currently thought; such that species richness may be less sensitive than overall trophic function.

  8. The impact of benthic algae on the settlement of a reef-building coral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Pulido, G.; Harii, S.; McCook, L. J.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2010-03-01

    The capacity of corals to re-establish in degraded and algal-dominated habitats will depend on the effects of algae on coral settlement and growth. We tested the effect of 11 macroalgal species, of widely different functional-forms, on swimming and settlement by larvae of the coral Platygyra daedalea from the Great Barrier Reef. Algal turfs and the crustose calcareous algae groups had minor effects on coral settlement, while upright calcareous and fleshy macroalgae inhibited settlement. However, the extent of inhibition of larval settlement differed amongst upright macroalgal species, variations that were not well explained by physical differences and probably reflect chemical differences not explained by functional-form. Thus, while algal functional-form is useful in identifying general competition patterns, more detailed taxonomic and chemical approaches may be required to fully understand algal effects on corals. Different macroalgal communities on degraded reefs may have different effects on coral settlement, and hence on coral population resilience.

  9. Fishing down nutrients on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allgeier, Jacob E.; Valdivia, Abel; Cox, Courtney; Layman, Craig A.

    2016-08-01

    Fishing is widely considered a leading cause of biodiversity loss in marine environments, but the potential effect on ecosystem processes, such as nutrient fluxes, is less explored. Here, we test how fishing on Caribbean coral reefs influences biodiversity and ecosystem functions provided by the fish community, that is, fish-mediated nutrient capacity. Specifically, we modelled five processes of nutrient storage (in biomass) and supply (via excretion) of nutrients, as well as a measure of their multifunctionality, onto 143 species of coral reef fishes across 110 coral reef fish communities. These communities span a gradient from extreme fishing pressure to protected areas with little to no fishing. We find that in fished sites fish-mediated nutrient capacity is reduced almost 50%, despite no substantial changes in the number of species. Instead, changes in community size and trophic structure were the primary cause of shifts in ecosystem function. These findings suggest that a broader perspective that incorporates predictable impacts of fishing pressure on ecosystem function is imperative for effective coral reef conservation and management.

  10. Current status, crisis and conservation of coral reef ecosystems in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ShaoHong Wu

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Harboring rich marine species and playing important ecological functions, coral reef ecosystems have attracted widespread concern around the world. Ecosystem diversity, conservation and management of coral reefs are becoming a hot research area. Coral reefs in China are mainly distributed in the South China Sea and Hainan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Guangdong, and Guangxi coastal waters. In recent years, due to the global climate change and the growing impact of human activities, coral reef biodiversity in China have been reducing and the ecological functions of coral reef ecosystems are severely degenerating. In this paper we summarized the current status, crisis and conservation of coral reef ecosystems in China. Some progress in coral reef research was discussed.

  11. Biological invasions, ecological resilience and adaptive governance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffin, Brian C; Garmestani, Ahjond S; Angeler, David G; Herrmann, Dustin L; Stow, Craig A; Nyström, Magnus; Sendzimir, Jan; Hopton, Matthew E; Kolasa, Jurek; Allen, Craig R

    2016-12-01

    In a world of increasing interconnections in global trade as well as rapid change in climate and land cover, the accelerating introduction and spread of invasive species is a critical concern due to associated negative social and ecological impacts, both real and perceived. Much of the societal response to invasive species to date has been associated with negative economic consequences of invasions. This response has shaped a war-like approach to addressing invasions, one with an agenda of eradications and intense ecological restoration efforts towards prior or more desirable ecological regimes. This trajectory often ignores the concept of ecological resilience and associated approaches of resilience-based governance. We argue that the relationship between ecological resilience and invasive species has been understudied to the detriment of attempts to govern invasions, and that most management actions fail, primarily because they do not incorporate adaptive, learning-based approaches. Invasive species can decrease resilience by reducing the biodiversity that underpins ecological functions and processes, making ecosystems more prone to regime shifts. However, invasions do not always result in a shift to an alternative regime; invasions can also increase resilience by introducing novelty, replacing lost ecological functions or adding redundancy that strengthens already existing structures and processes in an ecosystem. This paper examines the potential impacts of species invasions on the resilience of ecosystems and suggests that resilience-based approaches can inform policy by linking the governance of biological invasions to the negotiation of tradeoffs between ecosystem services.

  12. Biological invasions, ecological resilience and adaptive governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffin, Brian C.; Garmestani, Ahjond S.; Angeler, David G.; Herrmann, Dustin L.; Stow, Craig A.; Nystrom, Magnus; Sendzimir, Jan; Hopton, Matthew E.; Kolasa, Jurek; Allen, Craig R.

    2016-01-01

    In a world of increasing interconnections in global trade as well as rapid change in climate and land cover, the accelerating introduction and spread of invasive species is a critical concern due to associated negative social and ecological impacts, both real and perceived. Much of the societal response to invasive species to date has been associated with negative economic consequences of invasions. This response has shaped a war-like approach to addressing invasions, one with an agenda of eradications and intense ecological restoration efforts towards prior or more desirable ecological regimes. This trajectory often ignores the concept of ecological resilience and associated approaches of resilience-based governance. We argue that the relationship between ecological resilience and invasive species has been understudied to the detriment of attempts to govern invasions, and that most management actions fail, primarily because they do not incorporate adaptive, learning-based approaches. Invasive species can decrease resilience by reducing the biodiversity that underpins ecological functions and processes, making ecosystems more prone to regime shifts. However, invasions do not always result in a shift to an alternative regime; invasions can also increase resilience by introducing novelty, replacing lost ecological functions or adding redundancy that strengthens already existing structures and processes in an ecosystem. This paper examines the potential impacts of species invasions on the resilience of ecosystems and suggests that resilience-based approaches can inform policy by linking the governance of biological invasions to the negotiation of tradeoffs between ecosystem services.

  13. Recognizing resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erika S. Svendsen; Gillian Baine; Mary E. Northridge; Lindsay K. Campbell; Sara S. Metcalf

    2014-01-01

    In 2012, a year after a devastating tornado hit the town of Joplin, Missouri, leaving 161 people dead and leveling Joplin High School and St. John's Hospital, President Obama addressed the graduating seniors: "There are a lot of stories here in Joplin of unthinkable courage and resilience. . . . [People in Joplin] learned that we have the power to...

  14. Human activity selectively impacts the ecosystem roles of parrotfishes on coral reefs

    KAUST Repository

    Bellwood, David R.

    2011-11-16

    Around the globe, coral reefs and other marine ecosystems are increasingly overfished. Conventionally, studies of fishing impacts have focused on the population size and dynamics of targeted stocks rather than the broader ecosystem-wide effects of harvesting. Using parrotfishes as an example, we show how coral reef fish populations respond to escalating fishing pressure across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Based on these fish abundance data, we infer the potential impact on four key functional roles performed by parrotfishes. Rates of bioerosion and coral predation are highly sensitive to human activity, whereas grazing and sediment removal are resilient to fishing. Our results offer new insights into the vulnerability and resilience of coral reefs to the ever-growing human footprint. The depletion of fishes causes differential decline of key ecosystem functions, radically changing the dynamics of coral reefs and setting the stage for future ecological surprises. © 2011 The Royal Society.

  15. Impact of sea-level rise and coral mortality on the wave dynamics and wave forces on barrier reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldock, T E; Golshani, A; Callaghan, D P; Saunders, M I; Mumby, P J

    2014-06-15

    A one-dimensional wave model was used to investigate the reef top wave dynamics across a large suite of idealized reef-lagoon profiles, representing barrier coral reef systems under different sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios. The modeling shows that the impacts of SLR vary spatially and are strongly influenced by the bathymetry of the reef and coral type. A complex response occurs for the wave orbital velocity and forces on corals, such that the changes in the wave dynamics vary reef by reef. Different wave loading regimes on massive and branching corals also leads to contrasting impacts from SLR. For many reef bathymetries, wave orbital velocities increase with SLR and cyclonic wave forces are reduced for certain coral species. These changes may be beneficial to coral health and colony resilience and imply that predicting SLR impacts on coral reefs requires careful consideration of the reef bathymetry and the mix of coral species.

  16. Coral contact dermatitis

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferson, Julie; Thompson, Curtis; Hinshaw, Molly; Rich, Phoebe

    2015-01-01

    Corals can elicit both toxic and allergic reactions upon contact with the skin. Clinical presentations vary depending on whether the reaction is acute, delayed, or chronic. Literature concerning cutaneous reactions to corals and other Cnidarians is scarce. Herein we report a case of delayed contact hypersensitivity reaction to coral and review the clinical and histopathological features of coral contact dermatitis.

  17. Coral contact dermatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Julie; Thompson, Curtis; Hinshaw, Molly; Rich, Phoebe

    2015-04-16

    Corals can elicit both toxic and allergic reactions upon contact with the skin. Clinical presentations vary depending on whether the reaction is acute, delayed, or chronic. Literature concerning cutaneous reactions to corals and other Cnidarians is scarce. Herein we report a case of delayed contact hypersensitivity reaction to coral and review the clinical and histopathological features of coral contact dermatitis.

  18. Relative Pigment Composition and Remote Sensing Reflectance of Caribbean Shallow-Water Corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan L Torres-Pérez

    Full Text Available Reef corals typically contain a number of pigments, mostly due to their symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic dinoflagellates. These pigments usually vary in presence and concentration and influence the spectral characteristics of corals. We studied the variations in pigment composition among seven Caribbean shallow-water Scleractinian corals by means of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC analysis to further resolve the discrimination of corals. We found a total of 27 different pigments among the coral species, including some alteration products of the main pigments. Additionally, pigments typically found in endolithic algae were also identified. A Principal Components Analysis and a Hierarchical Cluster Analysis showed the separation of coral species based on pigment composition. All the corals were collected under the same physical environmental conditions. This suggests that pigment in the coral's symbionts might be more genetically-determined than influenced by prevailing physical conditions of the reef. We further investigated the use of remote sensing reflectance (Rrs as a tool for estimating the total pigment concentration of reef corals. Depending on the coral species, the Rrs and the total symbiont pigment concentration per coral tissue area correlation showed 79.5-98.5% confidence levels demonstrating its use as a non-invasive robust technique to estimate pigment concentration in studies of coral reef biodiversity and health.

  19. Relative Pigment Composition and Remote Sensing Reflectance of Caribbean Shallow-Water Corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Pérez, Juan L; Guild, Liane S; Armstrong, Roy A; Corredor, Jorge; Zuluaga-Montero, Anabella; Polanco, Ramón

    2015-01-01

    Reef corals typically contain a number of pigments, mostly due to their symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic dinoflagellates. These pigments usually vary in presence and concentration and influence the spectral characteristics of corals. We studied the variations in pigment composition among seven Caribbean shallow-water Scleractinian corals by means of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis to further resolve the discrimination of corals. We found a total of 27 different pigments among the coral species, including some alteration products of the main pigments. Additionally, pigments typically found in endolithic algae were also identified. A Principal Components Analysis and a Hierarchical Cluster Analysis showed the separation of coral species based on pigment composition. All the corals were collected under the same physical environmental conditions. This suggests that pigment in the coral's symbionts might be more genetically-determined than influenced by prevailing physical conditions of the reef. We further investigated the use of remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) as a tool for estimating the total pigment concentration of reef corals. Depending on the coral species, the Rrs and the total symbiont pigment concentration per coral tissue area correlation showed 79.5-98.5% confidence levels demonstrating its use as a non-invasive robust technique to estimate pigment concentration in studies of coral reef biodiversity and health.

  20. Coral-associated micro-organisms and their roles in promoting coral health and thwarting diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krediet, Cory J.; Ritchie, Kim B.; Paul, Valerie J.; Teplitski, Max

    2013-01-01

    Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in characterization of the coral microbiota. Shifts in its composition often correlate with the appearance of signs of diseases and/or bleaching, thus suggesting a link between microbes, coral health and stability of reef ecosystems. The understanding of interactions in coral-associated microbiota is informed by the on-going characterization of other microbiomes, which suggest that metabolic pathways and functional capabilities define the ‘core’ microbiota more accurately than the taxonomic diversity of its members. Consistent with this hypothesis, there does not appear to be a consensus on the specificity in the interactions of corals with microbial commensals, even though recent studies report potentially beneficial functions of the coral-associated bacteria. They cycle sulphur, fix nitrogen, produce antimicrobial compounds, inhibit cell-to-cell signalling and disrupt virulence in opportunistic pathogens. While their beneficial functions have been documented, it is not certain whether or how these microbes are selected by the hosts. Therefore, understanding the role of innate immunity, signal and nutrient exchange in the establishment of coral microbiota and in controlling its functions will probably reveal ancient, evolutionarily conserved mechanisms that dictate the outcomes of host–microbial interactions, and impact the resilience of the host. PMID:23363627

  1. Endosymbiotic flexibility associates with environmental sensitivity in scleractinian corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putnam, Hollie M; Stat, Michael; Pochon, Xavier; Gates, Ruth D

    2012-11-07

    Flexibility in biological systems is seen as an important driver of macro-ecosystem function and stability. Spatially constrained endosymbiotic settings, however, are less studied, although environmental thresholds of symbiotic corals are linked to the function of their endosymbiotic dinoflagellate communities. Symbiotic flexibility is a hypothesized mechanism that corals may exploit to adapt to climate change. This study explores the flexibility of the coral-Symbiodinium symbiosis through quantification of Symbiodinium ITS2 sequence assemblages in a range of coral species and genera. Sequence assemblages are expressed as an index of flexibility incorporating phylogenetic divergence and relative abundance of Symbiodinium sequences recovered from the host. This comparative analysis reveals profound differences in the flexibility of corals for Symbiodinium, thereby classifying corals as generalists or specifists. Generalists such as Acropora and Pocillopora exhibit high intra- and inter-species flexibility in their Symbiodinium assemblages and are some of the most environmentally sensitive corals. Conversely, specifists such as massive Porites colonies exhibit low flexibility, harbour taxonomically narrow Symbiodinium assemblages, and are environmentally resistant corals. Collectively, these findings challenge the paradigm that symbiotic flexibility enhances holobiont resilience. This underscores the need for a deeper examination of the extent and duration of the functional benefits associated with endosymbiotic diversity and flexibility under environmental stress.

  2. Coral community response to bleaching on a highly disturbed reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guest, J. R.; Low, J.; Tun, K.; Wilson, B.; Ng, C.; Raingeard, D.; Ulstrup, K. E.; Tanzil, J. T. I.; Todd, P. A.; Toh, T. C.; McDougald, D.; Chou, L. M.; Steinberg, P. D.

    2016-02-01

    While many studies of coral bleaching report on broad, regional scale responses, fewer examine variation in susceptibility among coral taxa and changes in community structure, before, during and after bleaching on individual reefs. Here we report in detail on the response to bleaching by a coral community on a highly disturbed reef site south of mainland Singapore before, during and after a major thermal anomaly in 2010. To estimate the capacity for resistance to thermal stress, we report on: a) overall bleaching severity during and after the event, b) differences in bleaching susceptibility among taxa during the event, and c) changes in coral community structure one year before and after bleaching. Approximately two thirds of colonies bleached, however, post-bleaching recovery was quite rapid and, importantly, coral taxa that are usually highly susceptible were relatively unaffected. Although total coral cover declined, there was no significant change in coral taxonomic community structure before and after bleaching. Several factors may have contributed to the overall high resistance of corals at this site including Symbiodinium affiliation, turbidity and heterotrophy. Our results suggest that, despite experiencing chronic anthropogenic disturbances, turbid shallow reef communities may be remarkably resilient to acute thermal stress.

  3. Coral community response to bleaching on a highly disturbed reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guest, J R; Low, J; Tun, K; Wilson, B; Ng, C; Raingeard, D; Ulstrup, K E; Tanzil, J T I; Todd, P A; Toh, T C; McDougald, D; Chou, L M; Steinberg, P D

    2016-02-15

    While many studies of coral bleaching report on broad, regional scale responses, fewer examine variation in susceptibility among coral taxa and changes in community structure, before, during and after bleaching on individual reefs. Here we report in detail on the response to bleaching by a coral community on a highly disturbed reef site south of mainland Singapore before, during and after a major thermal anomaly in 2010. To estimate the capacity for resistance to thermal stress, we report on: a) overall bleaching severity during and after the event, b) differences in bleaching susceptibility among taxa during the event, and c) changes in coral community structure one year before and after bleaching. Approximately two thirds of colonies bleached, however, post-bleaching recovery was quite rapid and, importantly, coral taxa that are usually highly susceptible were relatively unaffected. Although total coral cover declined, there was no significant change in coral taxonomic community structure before and after bleaching. Several factors may have contributed to the overall high resistance of corals at this site including Symbiodinium affiliation, turbidity and heterotrophy. Our results suggest that, despite experiencing chronic anthropogenic disturbances, turbid shallow reef communities may be remarkably resilient to acute thermal stress.

  4. Elevated Temperature and Allelopathy Impact Coral Recruitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Ross, Cliff; Paul, Valerie J

    2016-01-01

    As climate change continues to alter seawater temperature and chemistry on a global scale, coral reefs show multiple signs of degradation. One natural process that could facilitate the recovery of reef ecosystems is coral recruitment, which can be influenced by the benthic organisms in a local habitat. We experimentally tested both a global stressor (increased seawater temperature) and a local stressor (exposure to microcolin A, a natural product from a common marine benthic cyanobacterium) to determine how these stressors impacted coral larval sublethal stress, survival and settlement. Larvae of Porites astreoides had the same survival and settlement as the controls after exposure to increased temperature alone, but elevated temperature did cause oxidative stress. When exposed to natural concentrations of microcolin A, larval survival and settlement were significantly reduced. When larvae were exposed to these two stressors sequentially there was no interactive effect; but when exposed to both stressors simultaneously, there was a synergistic reduction in larval survival and an increase in oxidative stress more than in either stressor treatment alone. Increased seawater temperatures made larvae more susceptible to a concurrent local stressor disrupting a key process of coral reef recovery and resilience. These results highlight the importance of understanding how interactive stressors of varying spatial scales can impact coral demographics.

  5. Progress in Biodiversity Informatics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keping Ma

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity Informatics is a young and rapidly growing field that brings information science and technologies to bear on the data and information generated by the study of biodiversity and related subjects. Recent years, biodiversity informatics community has made an extraordinary effort to digitize primary biodiversity data, and develop modelling tools, data integration, and county/ regional/ global biodiversity networks. In doing so, the community is creating an unprecedented global sharing of information and data produced by biodiversity science, and encouraging people to consider, survey and monitor natural biodiversity. Due to success of several international biodiversity informatics projects, such as Species 2000, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Barcoding of Life and Encyclopedia of Life, digitized information on species inventories, herbarium specimens, multimedia and literature is available through internet. These projects not only make great contributions to sharing digitized biodiversity data, but also in prompting the implementation of important biodiversity information standards, such as Darwin Core, and in the establishment of regional and national biodiversity networks. These efforts will facilitate the future establishment of a strong information infrastructure for data sharing and exchange at a global scale. Besides focusing on browsing and searching digitized data, scientists should also work on building data mining and modeling, such as MAXENT for Ecological Niche Modelling and LifeDesk for taxonomist’s knowledge management. At the same time, the idea of citizen sciences gains popularity showing us the benefit of the public working closely with the scientific community in completing internet-based biodiversity informatics activities. Therefore, biodiversity informatics has broad prospects, and is helping to build strong facilities that will aid in implementing the goals set by Global Plant Conservation Strategy and

  6. Biodiversity Is Life

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Greater numbers of species are disappearing from the planet. Biodiversity protection has become an urgent task for all of us.Given this,the UN declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. Chinese conservationists call for increased awareness of the importance of saving the biodiversity.The following are the perspectives of some Chinese scientists on the significance of,and measures for,biodiversity protection:

  7. Natural resilience: healthy ecosystems as climate shock insurance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phillips, Joanna [Royal Society for the Protection of the Birds (United Kingdom); Heath, Melanie [Birdlife International (United Kingdom); Reid, Hannah

    2009-12-15

    Resilience to climate change has many roots. A healthy, biodiverse environment is increasingly recognised as key to resilience, particularly in poor communities directly dependent on natural resources. Knowledge about ways of coping with climate variability is also essential - and for many of the poor who live in climate-vulnerable regions, already an area of expertise. A look at the National Adaptation Programmes of Action of the Least Developed Countries shows that many of these nations recognize and prioritise the role that biodiversity, ecosystems and natural habitats play in adaptation. It is now up to policymakers to follow suit.

  8. Pacific Circulation and the Resilience of its Equatorial Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, A. L.; Drenkard, E.

    2012-12-01

    High rates of calcification by tropical reef-building corals are paramount to the maintenance of healthy reefs. Investigations of the impact of ocean acidification in both laboratory and field studies demonstrate unequivocally the dependence of coral and coral reef calcification on the carbonate ion concentration of seawater, a dependence predicted by fundamental laws of physical chemistry. Nevertheless, results from a new generation of experiments that exploit the biology of coral calcification, suggest that effects of ocean acidification can - in some instances - be mitigated with simultaneous manipulation of multiple factors. These laboratory results imply that coral reefs in regions projected to experience changes in, for example, nutrient delivery, light and flow, in addition to pH and carbonate ion concentration, may be more resilient (or vulnerable) to the effects of ocean acidification alone. If demonstrated to be true, these observations have profound implications for the conservation and management of coral reefs in the 21st century. We quantified spatial and temporal variability in rates of calcification of a dominant Indo-Pacific reef building coral across sites where changes in ocean circulation patterns drive variability in multiple physical, chemical and biological parameters. Such changes are occurring against a background of variability and trends in carbonate system chemistry. Our field data provide support for hypotheses based on laboratory observations, and show that impacts of ocean acidification on coral calcification can be partially and in some cases, fully, offset by simultaneous changes in multiple factors. Our results imply that projected changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns, driven by global warming, must be considered when predicting coral reef resilience, or vulnerability, to 21st century ocean acidification.

  9. Biodiversity and globalization

    OpenAIRE

    Heal, Geoffrey

    2002-01-01

    Reduction of the earth’s biodiversity as a result of human activities is a matter of great concern to prominent scientists. What are the economic aspects of this loss? In economic terms, what is biodiversity and why might it matter? And is the loss of biodiversity in any way connected with globalization of the economy?

  10. Coral identity underpins architectural complexity on Caribbean reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Filip, Lorenzo; Dulvy, Nicholas K; Côte, Isabelle M; Watkinson, Andrew R; Gill, Jennifer A

    2011-09-01

    The architectural complexity of ecosystems can greatly influence their capacity to support biodiversity and deliver ecosystem services. Understanding the components underlying this complexity can aid the development of effective strategies for ecosystem conservation. Caribbean coral reefs support and protect millions of livelihoods, but recent anthropogenic change is shifting communities toward reefs dominated by stress-resistant coral species, which are often less architecturally complex. With the regionwide decline in reef fish abundance, it is becoming increasingly important to understand changes in coral reef community structure and function. We quantify the influence of coral composition, diversity, and morpho-functional traits on the architectural complexity of reefs across 91 sites at Cozumel, Mexico. Although reef architectural complexity increases with coral cover and species richness, it is highest on sites that are low in taxonomic evenness and dominated by morpho-functionally important, reef-building coral genera, particularly Montastraea. Sites with similar coral community composition also tend to occur on reefs with very similar architectural complexity, suggesting that reef structure tends to be determined by the same key species across sites. Our findings provide support for prioritizing and protecting particular reef types, especially those dominated by key reef-building corals, in order to enhance reef complexity.

  11. Habitat associations of juvenile fish at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia: the importance of coral and algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Shaun K; Depczynski, Martial; Fisher, Rebecca; Holmes, Thomas H; O'Leary, Rebecca A; Tinkler, Paul

    2010-12-07

    Habitat specificity plays a pivotal role in forming community patterns in coral reef fishes, yet considerable uncertainty remains as to the extent of this selectivity, particularly among newly settled recruits. Here we quantified habitat specificity of juvenile coral reef fish at three ecological levels; algal meadows vs. coral reefs, live vs. dead coral and among different coral morphologies. In total, 6979 individuals from 11 families and 56 species were censused along Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Juvenile fishes exhibited divergence in habitat use and specialization among species and at all study scales. Despite the close proximity of coral reef and algal meadows (10's of metres) 25 species were unique to coral reef habitats, and seven to algal meadows. Of the seven unique to algal meadows, several species are known to occupy coral reef habitat as adults, suggesting possible ontogenetic shifts in habitat use. Selectivity between live and dead coral was found to be species-specific. In particular, juvenile scarids were found predominantly on the skeletons of dead coral whereas many damsel and butterfly fishes were closely associated with live coral habitat. Among the coral dependent species, coral morphology played a key role in juvenile distribution. Corymbose corals supported a disproportionate number of coral species and individuals relative to their availability, whereas less complex shapes (i.e. massive & encrusting) were rarely used by juvenile fish. Habitat specialisation by juvenile species of ecological and fisheries importance, for a variety of habitat types, argues strongly for the careful conservation and management of multiple habitat types within marine parks, and indicates that the current emphasis on planning conservation using representative habitat areas is warranted. Furthermore, the close association of many juvenile fish with corals susceptible to climate change related disturbances suggests that identifying and protecting reefs

  12. Habitat associations of juvenile fish at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia: the importance of coral and algae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun K Wilson

    Full Text Available Habitat specificity plays a pivotal role in forming community patterns in coral reef fishes, yet considerable uncertainty remains as to the extent of this selectivity, particularly among newly settled recruits. Here we quantified habitat specificity of juvenile coral reef fish at three ecological levels; algal meadows vs. coral reefs, live vs. dead coral and among different coral morphologies. In total, 6979 individuals from 11 families and 56 species were censused along Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Juvenile fishes exhibited divergence in habitat use and specialization among species and at all study scales. Despite the close proximity of coral reef and algal meadows (10's of metres 25 species were unique to coral reef habitats, and seven to algal meadows. Of the seven unique to algal meadows, several species are known to occupy coral reef habitat as adults, suggesting possible ontogenetic shifts in habitat use. Selectivity between live and dead coral was found to be species-specific. In particular, juvenile scarids were found predominantly on the skeletons of dead coral whereas many damsel and butterfly fishes were closely associated with live coral habitat. Among the coral dependent species, coral morphology played a key role in juvenile distribution. Corymbose corals supported a disproportionate number of coral species and individuals relative to their availability, whereas less complex shapes (i.e. massive & encrusting were rarely used by juvenile fish. Habitat specialisation by juvenile species of ecological and fisheries importance, for a variety of habitat types, argues strongly for the careful conservation and management of multiple habitat types within marine parks, and indicates that the current emphasis on planning conservation using representative habitat areas is warranted. Furthermore, the close association of many juvenile fish with corals susceptible to climate change related disturbances suggests that identifying and

  13. A Comparative Analysis of Designed Artificial Reefs as Ecosystem Service Providers: Building Social-Ecological Resilience on Atoll Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Schut, Kaj T.

    2013-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are under increasing threat from climatic and anthropogenic pressures. Research has revealed that approximately twenty per cent of the world’s coral reefs have already been degraded and it has been predicted that an additional twenty per cent will be lost if no action is taken. This is particularly problematic for the inhabitants of atoll islands who depend greatly on the goods and services provided by coral reefs. This study suggests that the resilience of social and ec...

  14. Marine reserves enhance the recovery of corals on Caribbean reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Mumby

    Full Text Available The fisheries and biodiversity benefits of marine reserves are widely recognised but there is mounting interest in exploiting the importance of herbivorous fishes as a tool to help ecosystems recover from climate change impacts. This approach might be particularly suitable for coral reefs, which are acutely threatened by climate change, yet the trophic cascades generated by reserves are strong enough that they might theoretically enhance the rate of coral recovery after disturbance. However, evidence for reserves facilitating coral recovery has been lacking. Here we investigate whether reductions in macroalgal cover, caused by recovery of herbivorous parrotfishes within a reserve, have resulted in a faster rate of coral recovery than in areas subject to fishing. Surveys of ten sites inside and outside a Bahamian marine reserve over a 2.5-year period demonstrated that increases in coral cover, including adjustments for the initial size-distribution of corals, were significantly higher at reserve sites than those in non-reserve sites. Furthermore, macroalgal cover was significantly negatively correlated with the change in total coral cover over time. Recovery rates of individual species were generally consistent with small-scale manipulations on coral-macroalgal interactions, but also revealed differences that demonstrate the difficulties of translating experiments across spatial scales. Size-frequency data indicated that species which were particularly affected by high abundances of macroalgae outside the reserve had a population bottleneck restricting the supply of smaller corals to larger size classes. Importantly, because coral cover increased from a heavily degraded state, and recovery from such states has not previously been described, similar or better outcomes should be expected for many reefs in the region. Reducing herbivore exploitation as part of an ecosystem-based management strategy for coral reefs appears to be justified.

  15. Marine reserves enhance the recovery of corals on Caribbean reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Peter J; Harborne, Alastair R

    2010-01-11

    The fisheries and biodiversity benefits of marine reserves are widely recognised but there is mounting interest in exploiting the importance of herbivorous fishes as a tool to help ecosystems recover from climate change impacts. This approach might be particularly suitable for coral reefs, which are acutely threatened by climate change, yet the trophic cascades generated by reserves are strong enough that they might theoretically enhance the rate of coral recovery after disturbance. However, evidence for reserves facilitating coral recovery has been lacking. Here we investigate whether reductions in macroalgal cover, caused by recovery of herbivorous parrotfishes within a reserve, have resulted in a faster rate of coral recovery than in areas subject to fishing. Surveys of ten sites inside and outside a Bahamian marine reserve over a 2.5-year period demonstrated that increases in coral cover, including adjustments for the initial size-distribution of corals, were significantly higher at reserve sites than those in non-reserve sites. Furthermore, macroalgal cover was significantly negatively correlated with the change in total coral cover over time. Recovery rates of individual species were generally consistent with small-scale manipulations on coral-macroalgal interactions, but also revealed differences that demonstrate the difficulties of translating experiments across spatial scales. Size-frequency data indicated that species which were particularly affected by high abundances of macroalgae outside the reserve had a population bottleneck restricting the supply of smaller corals to larger size classes. Importantly, because coral cover increased from a heavily degraded state, and recovery from such states has not previously been described, similar or better outcomes should be expected for many reefs in the region. Reducing herbivore exploitation as part of an ecosystem-based management strategy for coral reefs appears to be justified.

  16. Mangrove habitats provide refuge from climate change for reef-building corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. K. Yates

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Risk analyses indicate that more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by climate change and local anthropogenic impacts by the year 2030 under "business as usual" climate scenarios. Increasing temperatures and solar radiation cause coral bleaching that has resulted in extensive coral mortality. Increasing carbon dioxide reduces seawater pH, slows coral growth, and may cause loss of reef structure. Management strategies include establishment of marine protected areas with environmental conditions that promote reef resiliency. However, few resilient reefs have been identified, and resiliency factors are poorly defined. Here we characterize the first natural, non-reef, coral refuge from thermal stress and ocean acidification and identify resiliency factors for mangrove–coral habitats. We measured diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature, salinity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, and seawater chemistry; characterized substrate parameters; and examined water circulation patterns in mangrove communities where scleractinian corals are growing attached to and under mangrove prop roots in Hurricane Hole, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Additionally, we inventoried the coral species and quantified incidences of coral bleaching, mortality and recovery for two major reef-building corals, Colpophyllia natans and Diploria labyrinthiformis, growing in mangrove shaded and exposed (unshaded areas. At least 33 species of scleractinian corals were growing in association with mangroves. Corals were thriving in low-light (more than 70% attenuation of incident PAR from mangrove shading and at higher temperatures than nearby reef tract corals. A higher percentage of C. natans colonies was living shaded by mangroves, and no shaded colonies bleached. Fewer D. labyrinthiformis colonies were shaded by mangroves, however more unshaded colonies bleached. A combination of substrate and habitat heterogeniety, proximity of different habitat types

  17. Diverse coral communities in mangrove habitats suggest a novel refuge from climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, K. K.; Rogers, C. S.; Herlan, J. J.; Brooks, G. R.; Smiley, N. A.; Larson, R. A.

    2014-08-01

    Risk analyses indicate that more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by climate change and local anthropogenic impacts by the year 2030 under "business-as-usual" climate scenarios. Increasing temperatures and solar radiation cause coral bleaching that has resulted in extensive coral mortality. Increasing carbon dioxide reduces seawater pH, slows coral growth, and may cause loss of reef structure. Management strategies include establishment of marine protected areas with environmental conditions that promote reef resiliency. However, few resilient reefs have been identified, and resiliency factors are poorly defined. Here we characterize the first natural, non-reef coral refuge from thermal stress and ocean acidification and identify resiliency factors for mangrove-coral habitats. We measured diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature, salinity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and seawater chemistry; characterized substrate parameters; and examined water circulation patterns in mangrove communities where scleractinian corals are growing attached to and under mangrove prop roots in Hurricane Hole, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Additionally, we inventoried the coral species and quantified incidences of coral bleaching, mortality, and recovery for two major reef-building corals, Colpophyllia natans and Diploria labyrinthiformis, growing in mangrove-shaded and exposed (unshaded) areas. Over 30 species of scleractinian corals were growing in association with mangroves. Corals were thriving in low-light (more than 70% attenuation of incident PAR) from mangrove shading and at higher temperatures than nearby reef tract corals. A higher percentage of C. natans colonies were living shaded by mangroves, and no shaded colonies were bleached. Fewer D. labyrinthiformis colonies were shaded by mangroves, however more unshaded colonies were bleached. A combination of substrate and habitat heterogeneity, proximity of different habitat types, hydrographic

  18. Mangrove habitats provide refuge from climate change for reef-building corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, K. K.; Rogers, C. S.; Herlan, J. J.; Brooks, G. R.; Smiley, N. A.; Larson, R. A.

    2014-03-01

    Risk analyses indicate that more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by climate change and local anthropogenic impacts by the year 2030 under "business as usual" climate scenarios. Increasing temperatures and solar radiation cause coral bleaching that has resulted in extensive coral mortality. Increasing carbon dioxide reduces seawater pH, slows coral growth, and may cause loss of reef structure. Management strategies include establishment of marine protected areas with environmental conditions that promote reef resiliency. However, few resilient reefs have been identified, and resiliency factors are poorly defined. Here we characterize the first natural, non-reef, coral refuge from thermal stress and ocean acidification and identify resiliency factors for mangrove-coral habitats. We measured diurnal and seasonal variations in temperature, salinity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and seawater chemistry; characterized substrate parameters; and examined water circulation patterns in mangrove communities where scleractinian corals are growing attached to and under mangrove prop roots in Hurricane Hole, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Additionally, we inventoried the coral species and quantified incidences of coral bleaching, mortality and recovery for two major reef-building corals, Colpophyllia natans and Diploria labyrinthiformis, growing in mangrove shaded and exposed (unshaded) areas. At least 33 species of scleractinian corals were growing in association with mangroves. Corals were thriving in low-light (more than 70% attenuation of incident PAR) from mangrove shading and at higher temperatures than nearby reef tract corals. A higher percentage of C. natans colonies was living shaded by mangroves, and no shaded colonies bleached. Fewer D. labyrinthiformis colonies were shaded by mangroves, however more unshaded colonies bleached. A combination of substrate and habitat heterogeniety, proximity of different habitat types, hydrographic

  19. Effects of ocean acidification on the potency of macroalgal allelopathy to a common coral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Monaco, Carlos; Hay, Mark E.; Gartrell, Patrick; Mumby, Peter J.; Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo

    2017-02-01

    Many coral reefs have phase shifted from coral to macroalgal dominance. Ocean acidification (OA) due to elevated CO2 is hypothesised to advantage macroalgae over corals, contributing to these shifts, but the mechanisms affecting coral-macroalgal interactions under OA are unknown. Here, we show that (i) three common macroalgae are more damaging to a common coral when they compete under CO2 concentrations predicted to occur in 2050 and 2100 than under present-day conditions, (ii) that two macroalgae damage corals via allelopathy, and (iii) that one macroalga is allelopathic under conditions of elevated CO2, but not at ambient levels. Lipid-soluble, surface extracts from the macroalga Canistrocarpus (=Dictyota) cervicornis were significantly more damaging to the coral Acropora intermedia growing in the field if these extracts were from thalli grown under elevated vs ambient concentrations of CO2. Extracts from the macroalgae Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Amansia glomerata were not more potent when grown under elevated CO2. Our results demonstrate increasing OA advantages seaweeds over corals, that algal allelopathy can mediate coral-algal interactions, and that OA may enhance the allelopathy of some macroalgae. Other mechanisms also affect coral-macroalgal interactions under OA, and OA further suppresses the resilience of coral reefs suffering blooms of macroalgae.

  20. Effects of ocean acidification on the potency of macroalgal allelopathy to a common coral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Monaco, Carlos; Hay, Mark E.; Gartrell, Patrick; Mumby, Peter J.; Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo

    2017-01-01

    Many coral reefs have phase shifted from coral to macroalgal dominance. Ocean acidification (OA) due to elevated CO2 is hypothesised to advantage macroalgae over corals, contributing to these shifts, but the mechanisms affecting coral-macroalgal interactions under OA are unknown. Here, we show that (i) three common macroalgae are more damaging to a common coral when they compete under CO2 concentrations predicted to occur in 2050 and 2100 than under present-day conditions, (ii) that two macroalgae damage corals via allelopathy, and (iii) that one macroalga is allelopathic under conditions of elevated CO2, but not at ambient levels. Lipid-soluble, surface extracts from the macroalga Canistrocarpus (=Dictyota) cervicornis were significantly more damaging to the coral Acropora intermedia growing in the field if these extracts were from thalli grown under elevated vs ambient concentrations of CO2. Extracts from the macroalgae Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Amansia glomerata were not more potent when grown under elevated CO2. Our results demonstrate increasing OA advantages seaweeds over corals, that algal allelopathy can mediate coral-algal interactions, and that OA may enhance the allelopathy of some macroalgae. Other mechanisms also affect coral-macroalgal interactions under OA, and OA further suppresses the resilience of coral reefs suffering blooms of macroalgae. PMID:28145458

  1. A coral reef refuge in the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fine, Maoz; Gildor, Hezi; Genin, Amatzia

    2013-12-01

    The stability and persistence of coral reefs in the decades to come is uncertain due to global warming and repeated bleaching events that will lead to reduced resilience of these ecological and socio-economically important ecosystems. Identifying key refugia is potentially important for future conservation actions. We suggest that the Gulf of Aqaba (GoA) (Red Sea) may serve as a reef refugium due to a unique suite of environmental conditions. Our hypothesis is based on experimental detection of an exceptionally high bleaching threshold of northern Red Sea corals and on the potential dispersal of coral planulae larvae through a selective thermal barrier estimated using an ocean model. We propose that millennia of natural selection in the form of a thermal barrier at the southernmost end of the Red Sea have selected coral genotypes that are less susceptible to thermal stress in the northern Red Sea, delaying bleaching events in the GoA by at least a century.

  2. Geological formations with corals, sponges or fish that serve as feeding areas for migratory species. Oasis of biodiversity in the mountains Underwater its biological activity; Formaciones geologicas con corales, esponjas o peces de profundidad que sirven de zona de alimentacion para especies migratorias- Oasis de biodiversidad en las montanas submarinas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mardomingo, E.

    2015-07-01

    Most of the volcanic mountains underwater more than thousand meters of height from its base on the ocean floor. These unique enclaves they have a great marine biodiversity because large number are concentrated in your environment nutrient that attracts one of faunas more rich and diverse on the planet. In some cases totally different to which species are they are in the surrounding area. However, only a few hundred of these submerged Giants -There are some 10,000 of the 100,000 that maps It is believed there are - have been able to study in detail due to visibility difficulties. (Author)

  3. Relative Pigment Composition and Remote Sensing Reflectance of Caribbean Shallow-Water Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Pérez, Juan L.; Guild, Liane S.; Armstrong, Roy A.; Corredor, Jorge; Zuluaga-Montero, Anabella; Polanco, Ramón

    2015-01-01

    Reef corals typically contain a number of pigments, mostly due to their symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic dinoflagellates. These pigments usually vary in presence and concentration and influence the spectral characteristics of corals. We studied the variations in pigment composition among seven Caribbean shallow-water Scleractinian corals by means of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis to further resolve the discrimination of corals. We found a total of 27 different pigments among the coral species, including some alteration products of the main pigments. Additionally, pigments typically found in endolithic algae were also identified. A Principal Components Analysis and a Hierarchical Cluster Analysis showed the separation of coral species based on pigment composition. All the corals were collected under the same physical environmental conditions. This suggests that pigment in the coral’s symbionts might be more genetically-determined than influenced by prevailing physical conditions of the reef. We further investigated the use of remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) as a tool for estimating the total pigment concentration of reef corals. Depending on the coral species, the Rrs and the total symbiont pigment concentration per coral tissue area correlation showed 79.5–98.5% confidence levels demonstrating its use as a non-invasive robust technique to estimate pigment concentration in studies of coral reef biodiversity and health. PMID:26619210

  4. A unique coral community in the mangroves of Hurricane Hole, St. John, US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2017-01-01

    Corals do not typically thrive in mangrove environments. However, corals are growing on and near the prop roots of red mangrove trees in Hurricane Hole, an area within the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument under the protection of the US National Park Service in St. John, US Virgin Islands. This review summarizes current knowledge of the remarkable biodiversity of this area. Over 30 scleractinian coral species, about the same number as documented to date from nearby coral reefs, grow here. No other mangrove ecosystems in the Caribbean are known to have so many coral species. This area may be a refuge from changing climate, as these corals weathered the severe thermal stress and subsequent disease outbreak that caused major coral loss on the island’s coral reefs in 2005 and 2006. Shading by the red mangrove trees reduces the stress that leads to coral bleaching. Seawater temperatures in these mangroves are more variable than those on the reefs, and some studies have shown that this variability results in corals with a greater resistance to higher temperatures. The diversity of sponges and fish is also high, and a new genus of serpulid worm was recently described. Continuing research may lead to the discovery of more new species.

  5. Multisensor and multitemporal data from Landsat images to detect damage to coral reefs, small islands in the Spermonde archipelago, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurdin, Nurjannah; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Agus; Akbar AS, M.; Djalil, Abdul Rasyid; Amri, Khairul

    2015-06-01

    Coral reefs are important because of their high biodiversity and their key role in the tropical marine biosphere. Furthermore, coral reefs are very valuable as a socioeconomic resource as they make important contributions to the gross domestic product of many countries. Thus, it is very important to monitor dynamic spatial distributions of coral reefs and related habitats dominated by coral rubble, dead coral, and bleached corals. Despite these natural and socio-economic advantages, many factors are threatening coral reefs. The study site was selected in Spermonde archipelago, South Sulawesi, Indonesia because this area is included in the Coral Triangle, recognized as the epicenter of coral diversity and a priority for conservation. Images of Landsat MSS, Landsat TM, Landsat ETM, Landsat ETM+, and Landsat 8 data were used to examine changes in the coral reefs of Suranti Island in the Spermonde Archipelago during forty one years from 1972 to 2013. The image processing includes gap fills, atmospheric corrections, geometric corrections, image composites, water column corrections, unsupervised classifications, and reclassifications. Fill Gap processing was done on Landsat ETM+ SLC-off. Subsequently, a multi-component change detection procedure was applied to define changes. Shallow water bottom types classification was divided into live coral, rubble and sand habitats, dead coral with algae, rubble, and sand. Preliminary results showed significant changes during the period 1972-2013 as well as changes in coral reefs, likely explained partly by destructive fishing practices.

  6. First frozen repository for the Great Barrier Reef coral created.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagedorn, Mary; van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Carter, Virginia; Henley, Mike; Abrego, David; Puill-Stephan, Eneour; Negri, Andrew; Heyward, Andrew; MacFarlane, Doug; Spindler, Rebecca

    2012-10-01

    To build new tools for the continued protection and propagation of coral from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), an international group of coral and cryopreservation scientists known as the Reef Recovery Initiative joined forces during the November 2011 mass-spawning event. The outcome was the creation of the first frozen bank for Australian coral from two important GBR reef-building species, Acropora tenuis and Acropora millepora. Approximately 190 frozen samples each with billions of cells were placed into long-term storage. Sperm cells were successfully cryopreserved, and after thawing, samples were used to fertilize eggs, resulting in functioning larvae. Additionally, developing larvae were dissociated, and these pluripotent cells were cryopreserved and viable after thawing. Now, we are in a unique position to move our work from the laboratory to the reefs to develop collaborative, practical conservation management tools to help secure Australia's coral biodiversity.

  7. Drivers and predictions of coral reef carbonate budget trajectories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Jennings, Simon; Perry, Chris T.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the long-term maintenance of coral-dominated tropical ecosystems, and has received considerable attention over the past two decades. Coral bleaching and associated mortality events, which are predicted to become more frequent and intense, can alter the balance of different elements that are responsible for coral reef growth and maintenance. The geomorphic impacts of coral mass mortality have received relatively little attention, particularly questions concerning temporal recovery of reef carbonate production and the factors that promote resilience of reef growth potential. Here, we track the biological carbonate budgets of inner Seychelles reefs from 1994 to 2014, spanning the 1998 global bleaching event when these reefs lost more than 90% of coral cover. All 21 reefs had positive budgets in 1994, but in 2005 budgets were predominantly negative. By 2014, carbonate budgets on seven reefs were comparable with 1994, but on all reefs where an ecological regime shift to macroalgal dominance occurred, budgets remained negative through 2014. Reefs with higher massive coral cover, lower macroalgae cover and lower excavating parrotfish biomass in 1994 were more likely to have positive budgets post-bleaching. If mortality of corals from the 2016 bleaching event is as severe as that of 1998, our predictions based on past trends would suggest that six of eight reefs with positive budgets in 2014 would still have positive budgets by 2030. Our results highlight that reef accretion and framework maintenance cannot be assumed from the ecological state alone, and that managers should focus on conserving aspects of coral reefs that support resilient carbonate budgets. PMID:28123092

  8. Drivers and predictions of coral reef carbonate budget trajectories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Januchowski-Hartley, Fraser A; Graham, Nicholas A J; Wilson, Shaun K; Jennings, Simon; Perry, Chris T

    2017-01-25

    Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the long-term maintenance of coral-dominated tropical ecosystems, and has received considerable attention over the past two decades. Coral bleaching and associated mortality events, which are predicted to become more frequent and intense, can alter the balance of different elements that are responsible for coral reef growth and maintenance. The geomorphic impacts of coral mass mortality have received relatively little attention, particularly questions concerning temporal recovery of reef carbonate production and the factors that promote resilience of reef growth potential. Here, we track the biological carbonate budgets of inner Seychelles reefs from 1994 to 2014, spanning the 1998 global bleaching event when these reefs lost more than 90% of coral cover. All 21 reefs had positive budgets in 1994, but in 2005 budgets were predominantly negative. By 2014, carbonate budgets on seven reefs were comparable with 1994, but on all reefs where an ecological regime shift to macroalgal dominance occurred, budgets remained negative through 2014. Reefs with higher massive coral cover, lower macroalgae cover and lower excavating parrotfish biomass in 1994 were more likely to have positive budgets post-bleaching. If mortality of corals from the 2016 bleaching event is as severe as that of 1998, our predictions based on past trends would suggest that six of eight reefs with positive budgets in 2014 would still have positive budgets by 2030. Our results highlight that reef accretion and framework maintenance cannot be assumed from the ecological state alone, and that managers should focus on conserving aspects of coral reefs that support resilient carbonate budgets. © 2017 The Authors.

  9. Theme section on mesophotic coral ecosystems: advances in knowledge and future perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loya, Yossi; Eyal, Gal; Treibitz, Tali; Lesser, Michael P.; Appeldoorn, Richard

    2016-03-01

    The Second International Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs) workshop was held in Eilat, Israel, October 26-31, 2014. Here we provide an account of: (1) advances in our knowledge of MCE ecology, including the central question of the potential vertical connectivity between MCEs and shallow-water reefs (SWRs), and that of the validity of the deep-reef refugia hypothesis (DRRH); (2) the contribution of the 2014 MCE workshop to the central question presented in (1), as well as its contribution to novel MCE studies on corals, sponges, fish, and crabs; and (3) gaps, priorities, and recommendations for future research stemming from the workshop. Despite their close proximity to well-studied SWRs, and the growing evidence of their importance, our scientific knowledge of MCEs is still in its infancy. During the last five years, we have witnessed an ever-increasing scientific interest in MCEs, expressed in the exponential increase in the number of publications studying this unique environment. The emerging consensus is that lower MCE benthic assemblages represent unique communities, either of separate species or genetically distinct individuals within species, and any significant support for the DRRH will be limited to upper MCEs. Determining the health and stability of MCEs, their biodiversity, and the degree of genetic connectivity among SWRs and MCEs, will ultimately indicate the ability of MCEs to contribute to the resilience of SWRs and help to guide future management and conservation strategies. MCEs deserve therefore management consideration in their own right. With the technological advancements taking place in recent years that facilitate access to MCEs, the prospects for exciting and innovative discoveries resulting from MCE research, spanning a wide variety of fields, are immense.

  10. Radiative Transfer Modeling, Spectral Analysis, and Remote Sensing of Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guild, L.; Ganapol, B.; Furfaro, R.; Kramer, P.; Armstrong, R.; Gleason, A.; Torres, J.

    2004-12-01

    The calcium carbonate structures of tropical coral reefs protect coastlines from storms, create habitats for the world's greatest marine biodiversity, provide nurseries for many marine species; play essential roles in carbon and CO2 cycles, are major protein sources for many local populations, and are vital for sustainable economies of many societies. The world's reefs are in peril due to climate change and anthropogenic activity caused by rapidly growing populations in coastal zones. An important contribution to coral reef research is improved spectral distinction of reef components indicative of reef condition, including physical and biological degradation. Unfortunately, relatively little is known concerning the spectral properties of coral or how coral architecture reflect/transmit light. New insights into optical processes of corals can lead to improved interpretation of remote sensing data and forecasting of immediate or long-term impacts such as bleaching and disease in coral and algal overgrowth. We are investigating the spatial/spectral properties required to remotely sense changes in reef biological and physical properties by coupling spectral analysis of in situ spectra with a new coral-specific radiative transfer model. The first model development phase (CorMOD) imposes a scattering baseline that is constant regardless of coral condition, and further specifies that coral is optically thick. Evolution of the model is towards a coral-specific radiative transfer model that includes coral biochemical concentrations, specific absorptivities of coral components, and transmission measurements from coral surfaces. We present our field collected in situ spectra and resultant output relative absorption profiles of coral from CorMOD. Further, we will present NASA AVIRIS data and in situ spectra collection of coral and seagrass to support the AVIRIS mission that was collected during August 2004 for Florida Keys and Puerto Rico.

  11. Growth modelling indicates hurricanes and severe storms are linked to low coral recruitment in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabbe, M James C; Martinez, Edwin; Garcia, Christina; Chub, Juan; Castro, Leonardo; Guy, Jason

    2008-05-01

    This study set out to test the hypothesis that hurricanes and tropical storms limit the recruitment and subsequent survival of massive non-branching corals on the barrier reef off the coast of Belize in the Gulf of Honduras. Overall, the surface areas of 523 individual coral specimens were measured, and recruitment dates were then modelled. There was no significant difference in coral cover or coral biodiversity between any of the sites studied (p > 0.1). There were significant differences in non-branching coral recruitment in years when hurricanes impacted the area (p Caribbean, and suggests that marine park managers may need to assist coral recruitment in years where there are hurricanes or severe storms.

  12. Virus-host interactions and their roles in coral reef health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Rebecca Vega; Payet, Jérôme P; Thurber, Andrew R; Correa, Adrienne M S

    2017-04-01

    Coral reefs occur in nutrient-poor shallow waters, constitute biodiversity and productivity hotspots, and are threatened by anthropogenic disturbance. This Review provides an introduction to coral reef virology and emphasizes the links between viruses, coral mortality and reef ecosystem decline. We describe the distinctive benthic-associated and water-column- associated viromes that are unique to coral reefs, which have received less attention than viruses in open-ocean systems. We hypothesize that viruses of bacteria and eukaryotes dynamically interact with their hosts in the water column and with scleractinian (stony) corals to influence microbial community dynamics, coral bleaching and disease, and reef biogeochemical cycling. Last, we outline how marine viruses are an integral part of the reef system and suggest that the influence of viruses on reef function is an essential component of these globally important environments.

  13. Resilience Thinking: Integrating Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Folke, C.; Carpenter, S.R.; Walker, B.; Scheffer, M.; Chapin, T.; Rockstrom, J.

    2010-01-01

    Resilience thinking addresses the dynamics and development of complex social-ecological systems (SES). Three aspects are central: resilience, adaptability and transformability. These aspects interrelate across multiple scales. Resilience in this context is the capacity of a SES to continually change

  14. Resilience Thinking: Integrating Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Folke, C.; Carpenter, S.R.; Walker, B.; Scheffer, M.; Chapin, T.; Rockstrom, J.

    2010-01-01

    Resilience thinking addresses the dynamics and development of complex social-ecological systems (SES). Three aspects are central: resilience, adaptability and transformability. These aspects interrelate across multiple scales. Resilience in this context is the capacity of a SES to continually change

  15. Resilience thinking: integrating resilience, adaptability and transformability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carl Folke; Stephen R. Carpenter; Brian Walker; Marten Scheffer; Terry Chapin; Johan. Rockstrom

    2010-01-01

    Resilience thinking addresses the dynamics and development of complex social-ecological systems (SES). Three aspects are central: resilience, adaptability and transformability. These aspects interrelate across multiple scales. Resilience in this context is the capacity of a SES to continually change and adapt yet remain within critical thresholds. Adaptability is part...

  16. Marine Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Governance of the Oceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Kundis Craig

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Governance of marine biodiversity has long suffered from lack of adequate information about the ocean’s many species and ecosystems. Nevertheless, even as we are learning much more about the ocean’s biodiversity and the impacts to it from stressors such as overfishing, habitat destruction, and marine pollution, climate change is imposing new threats and exacerbating existing threats to marine species and ecosystems. Coastal nations could vastly improve their fragmented approaches to ocean governance in order to increase the protections for marine biodiversity in the climate change era. Specifically, three key governance improvements would include: (1 incorporation of marine spatial planning as a key organizing principle of marine governance; (2 working to increase the resilience of marine ecosystems be reducing or eliminating existing stressors on those ecosystems; and (3 anticipation of climate change’s future impacts on marine biodiversity through the use of anticipatory zoning and more precautionary regulation.

  17. Climate Change, Coral Reef Ecosystems, and Management Options for Marine Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Brian D.; Gleason, Daniel F.; McLeod, Elizabeth; Woodley, Christa M.; Airamé, Satie; Causey, Billy D.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Johnson, Johanna E.; Miller, Steven L.; Steneck, Robert S.

    2009-12-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direct effects of climate change including ocean warming, ocean acidification, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, increasing severity of storms, and changing freshwater influxes. As impacts of climate change strengthen they may exacerbate effects of existing stressors and require new or modified management approaches; MPA networks are generally accepted as an improvement over individual MPAs to address multiple threats to the marine environment. While MPA networks are considered a potentially effective management approach for conserving marine biodiversity, they should be established in conjunction with other management strategies, such as fisheries regulations and reductions of nutrients and other forms of land-based pollution. Information about interactions between climate change and more “traditional” stressors is limited. MPA managers are faced with high levels of uncertainty about likely outcomes of management actions because climate change impacts have strong interactions with existing stressors, such as land-based sources of pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and diseases. Management options include ameliorating existing stressors, protecting potentially resilient areas, developing networks of MPAs, and integrating climate change into MPA planning, management, and evaluation.

  18. Does biodiversity make a difference? Relationships between species richness, evolutionary diversity, and aboveground live tree biomass across US forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Potter; Christopher W. Woodall

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity conveys numerous functional benefits to forested ecosystems, including community stability and resilience. In the context of managing forests for climate change mitigation/adaptation, maximizing and/or maintaining aboveground biomass will require understanding the interactions between tree biodiversity, site productivity, and the stocking of live trees....

  19. Marine Biodiversity in the Caribbean: Regional Estimates and Distribution Patterns

    OpenAIRE

    Patricia Miloslavich; Juan Manuel Díaz; Eduardo Klein; Juan José Alvarado; Cristina Díaz,; Judith Gobin; Elva Escobar-Briones; Juan José Cruz-Motta; Ernesto Weil; Jorge Cortés; Ana Carolina Bastidas; Ross Robertson; Fernando Zapata; Alberto Martín; Julio Castillo

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides an analysis of the distribution patterns of marine biodiversity and summarizes the major activities of the Census of Marine Life program in the Caribbean region. The coastal Caribbean region is a large marine ecosystem (LME) characterized by coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses, but including other environments, such as sandy beaches and rocky shores. These tropical ecosystems incorporate a high diversity of associated flora and fauna, and the nations that border the Car...

  20. Localised hydrodynamics influence vulnerability of coral communities to environmental disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shedrawi, George; Falter, James L.; Friedman, Kim J.; Lowe, Ryan J.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Simpson, Christopher J.; Speed, Conrad W.; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zhang, Zhenlin

    2017-09-01

    The movement of water can have a significant influence on the vulnerability of hermatypic corals to environmental disturbances such as cyclone damage, heat stress and anoxia. Here, we explore the relationship between small reef-scale water circulation patterns and measured differences in the abundance, composition and vulnerability of coral assemblages over decades. Changes in coral cover and community structure within Bill's Bay (Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia) over a 22-yr period, during which multiple disturbance events (including mass bleaching, anoxia, and tropical cyclones) have impacted the area, were compared with spatial variation in water residence times (WRT). We found that reef sites associated with longer water residence times (WRT >15 h) experienced higher rates of coral mortality during acute environmental disturbances compared to reef sites with shorter WRT. Shifts in coral community composition from acroporid to faviid-dominated assemblages were also more prominent at sites with long WRT compared to reef sites with shorter WRT, although shifts in community composition were also observed at sites close to shore. Interestingly, these same long-WRT sites also tended to have the fastest recovery rates so that coral cover was returned to original levels of approximately 20% over two decades. This study provides empirical evidence that spatial patterns in water circulation and flushing can influence the resilience of coral communities, thus identifying areas sensitive to emerging threats associated with global climate change.

  1. Historical temperature variability affects coral response to heat stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Carilli

    Full Text Available Coral bleaching is the breakdown of symbiosis between coral animal hosts and their dinoflagellate algae symbionts in response to environmental stress. On large spatial scales, heat stress is the most common factor causing bleaching, which is predicted to increase in frequency and severity as the climate warms. There is evidence that the temperature threshold at which bleaching occurs varies with local environmental conditions and background climate conditions. We investigated the influence of past temperature variability on coral susceptibility to bleaching, using the natural gradient in peak temperature variability in the Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati. The spatial pattern in skeletal growth rates and partial mortality scars found in massive Porites sp. across the central and northern islands suggests that corals subject to larger year-to-year fluctuations in maximum ocean temperature were more resistant to a 2004 warm-water event. In addition, a subsequent 2009 warm event had a disproportionately larger impact on those corals from the island with lower historical heat stress, as indicated by lower concentrations of triacylglycerol, a lipid utilized for energy, as well as thinner tissue in those corals. This study indicates that coral reefs in locations with more frequent warm events may be more resilient to future warming, and protection measures may be more effective in these regions.

  2. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper discusses briefly some aspects that characterize and differentiate coral reef ecosystems from other tropical marine ecosystems. A brief account on the resources that are extractable from coral reefs, their susceptibility to natural...

  3. Growing coral larger and faster: micro-colony-fusion as a strategy for accelerating coral cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsman, Zac H; Page, Christopher A; Toonen, Robert J; Vaughan, David

    2015-01-01

    Fusion is an important life history strategy for clonal organisms to increase access to shared resources, to compete for space, and to recover from disturbance. For reef building corals, fragmentation and colony fusion are key components of resilience to disturbance. Observations of small fragments spreading tissue and fusing over artificial substrates prompted experiments aimed at further characterizing Atlantic and Pacific corals under various conditions. Small (∼1-3 cm(2)) fragments from the same colony spaced regularly over ceramic tiles resulted in spreading at rapid rates (e.g., tens of square centimeters per month) followed by isogenic fusion. Using this strategy, we demonstrate growth, in terms of area encrusted and covered by living tissue, of Orbicella faveolata, Pseudodiploria clivosa, and Porites lobata as high as 63, 48, and 23 cm(2) per month respectively. We found a relationship between starting and ending size of fragments, with larger fragments growing at a faster rate. Porites lobata showed significant tank effects on rates of tissue spreading indicating sensitivity to biotic and abiotic factors. The tendency of small coral fragments to encrust and fuse over a variety of surfaces can be exploited for a variety of applications such as coral cultivation, assays for coral growth, and reef restoration.

  4. Growing coral larger and faster: micro-colony-fusion as a strategy for accelerating coral cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zac H. Forsman

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Fusion is an important life history strategy for clonal organisms to increase access to shared resources, to compete for space, and to recover from disturbance. For reef building corals, fragmentation and colony fusion are key components of resilience to disturbance. Observations of small fragments spreading tissue and fusing over artificial substrates prompted experiments aimed at further characterizing Atlantic and Pacific corals under various conditions. Small (∼1–3 cm2 fragments from the same colony spaced regularly over ceramic tiles resulted in spreading at rapid rates (e.g., tens of square centimeters per month followed by isogenic fusion. Using this strategy, we demonstrate growth, in terms of area encrusted and covered by living tissue, of Orbicella faveolata, Pseudodiploria clivosa, and Porites lobata as high as 63, 48, and 23 cm2 per month respectively. We found a relationship between starting and ending size of fragments, with larger fragments growing at a faster rate. Porites lobata showed significant tank effects on rates of tissue spreading indicating sensitivity to biotic and abiotic factors. The tendency of small coral fragments to encrust and fuse over a variety of surfaces can be exploited for a variety of applications such as coral cultivation, assays for coral growth, and reef restoration.

  5. High adenylyl cyclase activity and in vivo cAMP fluctuations in corals suggest central physiological role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barott, K L; Helman, Y; Haramaty, L; Barron, M E; Hess, K C; Buck, J; Levin, L R; Tresguerres, M

    2013-01-01

    Corals are an ecologically and evolutionarily significant group, providing the framework for coral reef biodiversity while representing one of the most basal of metazoan phyla. However, little is known about fundamental signaling pathways in corals. Here we investigate the dynamics of cAMP, a conserved signaling molecule that can regulate virtually every physiological process. Bioinformatics revealed corals have both transmembrane and soluble adenylyl cyclases (AC). Endogenous cAMP levels in live corals followed a potential diel cycle, as they were higher during the day compared to the middle of the night. Coral homogenates exhibited some of the highest cAMP production rates ever to be recorded in any organism; this activity was inhibited by calcium ions and stimulated by bicarbonate. In contrast, zooxanthellae or mucus had >1000-fold lower AC activity. These results suggest that cAMP is an important regulator of coral physiology, especially in response to light, acid/base disturbances and inorganic carbon levels.

  6. The value of biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    CJR. Alho

    2008-01-01

    In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence), biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper,...

  7. Cohabitation promotes high diversity of clownfishes in the Coral Triangle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Emma F; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A; De Brauwer, Maarten; Dumbrell, Alex J; Smith, David J

    2016-03-30

    Global marine biodiversity peaks within the Coral Triangle, and understanding how such high diversity is maintained is a central question in marine ecology. We investigated broad-scale patterns in the diversity of clownfishes and their host sea anemones by conducting 981 belt-transects at 20 locations throughout the Indo-Pacific. Of the 1508 clownfishes encountered, 377 fish occurred in interspecific cohabiting groups and cohabitation was almost entirely restricted to the Coral Triangle. Neither the diversity nor density of host anemone or clownfish species alone influenced rates of interspecific cohabitation. Rather cohabitation occurred in areas where the number of clownfish species exceeds the number of host anemone species. In the Coral Triangle, cohabiting individuals were observed to finely partition their host anemone, with the subordinate species inhabiting the periphery. Furthermore, aggression did not increase in interspecific cohabiting groups, instead dominant species were accepting of subordinate species. Various combinations of clownfish species were observed cohabiting (independent of body size, phylogenetic relatedness, evolutionary age, dentition, level of specialization) in a range of anemone species, thereby ensuring that each clownfish species had dominant reproductive individuals in some cohabiting groups. Clownfishes are obligate commensals, thus cohabitation is an important process in maintaining biodiversity in high diversity systems because it supports the persistence of many species when host availability is limiting. Cohabitation is a likely explanation for high species richness in other obligate commensals within the Coral Triangle, and highlights the importance of protecting these habitats in order to conserve unique marine biodiversity.

  8. Lag effects in the impacts of mass coral bleaching on coral reef fish, fisheries, and ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Nicholas A J; Wilson, Shaun K; Jennings, Simon; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Robinson, Jan; Bijoux, Jude P; Daw, Tim M

    2007-10-01

    Recent episodes of coral bleaching have led to wide-scale loss of reef corals and raised concerns over the effectiveness of existing conservation and management efforts. The 1998 bleaching event was most severe in the western Indian Ocean, where coral declined by up to 90% in some locations. Using fisheries-independent data, we assessed the long-term impacts of this event on fishery target species in the Seychelles, the overall size structure of the fish assemblage, and the effectiveness of two marine protected areas (MPAs) in protecting fish communities. The biomass of fished species above the size retained in fish traps changed little between 1994 and 2005, indicating no current effect on fishery yields. Biomass remained higher in MPAs, indicating they were effective in protecting fish stocks. Nevertheless, the size structure of the fish communities, as described with size-spectra analysis, changed in both fished areas and MPAs, with a decline in smaller fish (45 cm). We believe this represents a time-lag response to a reduction in reef structural complexity brought about because fishes are being lost through natural mortality and fishing, and are not being replaced by juveniles. This effect is expected to be greater in terms of fisheries productivity and, because congruent patterns are observed for herbivores, suggests that MPAs do not offer coral reefs long-term resilience to bleaching events. Corallivores and planktivores declined strikingly in abundance, particularly in MPAs, and this decline was associated with a similar pattern of decline in their preferred corals. We suggest that climate-mediated disturbances, such as coral bleaching, be at the fore of conservation planning for coral reefs.

  9. Competitors as accomplices: seaweed competitors hide corals from predatory sea stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Cody S; Hay, Mark E

    2015-09-01

    Indirect biotic effects arising from multispecies interactions can alter the structure and function of ecological communities--often in surprising ways that can vary in direction and magnitude. On Pacific coral reefs, predation by the crown-of-thorns sea star, Acanthaster planci, is associated with broad-scale losses of coral cover and increases of macroalgal cover. Macroalgal blooms increase coral-macroalgal competition and can generate further coral decline. However, using a combination of manipulative field experiments and observations, we demonstrate that macroalgae, such as Sargassum polycystum, produce associational refuges for corals and dramatically reduce their consumption by Acanthaster. Thus, as Acanthaster densities increase, macroalgae can become coral mutualists, despite being competitors that significantly suppress coral growth. Field feeding experiments revealed that the protective effects of macroalgae were strong enough to cause Acanthaster to consume low-preference corals instead of high-preference corals surrounded by macroalgae. This highlights the context-dependent nature of coral-algal interactions when consumers are common. Macroalgal creation of associational refuges from Acanthaster predation may have important implications for the structure,function and resilience of reef communities subject to an increasing number of biotic disturbances.

  10. Feeding enhances skeletal growth and energetic stores of an Atlantic coral under significantly elevated CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drenkard, L.; Cohen, A. L.; McCorkle, D. C.; dePutron, S.; Zicht, A.

    2011-12-01

    Many corals living under the relatively acidic conditions of naturally high-CO2 reefs are calcifying as fast or faster than their conspecifics on naturally low CO2 reefs. These observations are inconsistent with most experimental work that shows a negative impact of ocean acidification on coral calcification. We investigated the link between coral nutritional (energetic) status and the calcification response to significantly elevated CO2. Juveniles of the Atlantic brooding coral, Favia fragum were reared for three weeks under fully crossed CO2 and feeding conditions: ambient (μar =1.6+-0.2) and high CO2 (μar =3.7+-0.3); fed and unfed. In most measured parameters, the effect of feeding is much stronger than the effect of CO2. Nutritionally enhanced (fed) corals, regardless of CO2 condition, have higher concentrations of total lipid and their skeletons are both significantly larger and more developmentally advanced than those of corals relying solely on autotrophy. In measurements of corallite weight, where the impact of CO2 is most apparent, no statistical difference is observed between unfed corals under ambient CO2 conditions and fed corals reared under 1600 ppm CO2. Our results suggest that coral energetic status, which can be enhanced by heterotrophic feeding but depleted by stressors such as bleaching, will play a key role in the coral response to ocean acidification and thus, in the resilience of reef ecosystems under climate change.

  11. A coral-algal phase shift in Mesoamerica not driven by changes in herbivorous fish abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias-González, Jesús Ernesto; Fung, Tak; Seymour, Robert M; Garza-Pérez, Joaquín Rodrigo; Acosta-González, Gilberto; Bozec, Yves-Marie; Johnson, Craig R

    2017-01-01

    Coral-algal phase shifts in which coral cover declines to low levels and is replaced by algae have often been documented on coral reefs worldwide. This has motivated coral reef management responses that include restriction and regulation of fishing, e.g. herbivorous fish species. However, there is evidence that eutrophication and sedimentation can be at least as important as a reduction in herbivory in causing phase shifts. These threats arise from coastal development leading to increased nutrient and sediment loads, which stimulate algal growth and negatively impact corals respectively. Here, we first present results of a dynamic process-based model demonstrating that in addition to overharvesting of herbivorous fish, bottom-up processes have the potential to precipitate coral-algal phase shifts on Mesoamerican reefs. We then provide an empirical example that exemplifies this on coral reefs off Mahahual in Mexico, where a shift from coral to algal dominance occurred over 14 years, during which there was little change in herbivore biomass but considerable development of tourist infrastructure. Our results indicate that coastal development can compromise the resilience of coral reefs and that watershed and coastal zone management together with the maintenance of functional levels of fish herbivory are critical for the persistence of coral reefs in Mesoamerica.

  12. A cross-ocean comparison of responses to settlement cues in reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Sarah W; Meyer, Eli; Guermond, Sarah M; Matz, Mikhail V

    2014-01-01

    Caribbean coral reefs have deteriorated substantially over the past 30 years, which is broadly attributable to the effects of global climate change. In the same time, Indo-Pacific reefs maintain higher coral cover and typically recover rapidly after disturbances. This difference in reef resilience is largely due to much higher coral recruitment rates in the Pacific. We hypothesized that the lack of Caribbean recruitment might be explained by diminishing quality of settlement cues and/or impaired sensitivity of Caribbean coral larvae to those cues, relative to the Pacific. To evaluate this hypothesis, we assembled a collection of bulk samples of reef encrusting communities, mostly consisting of crustose coralline algae (CCA), from various reefs around the world and tested them as settlement cues for several coral species originating from different ocean provinces. Cue samples were meta-barcoded to evaluate their taxonomic diversity. We observed no systematic differences either in cue potency or in strength of larval responses depending on the ocean province, and no preference of coral larvae towards cues from the same ocean. Instead, we detected significant differences in cue preferences among coral species, even for corals originating from the same reef. We conclude that the region-wide disruption of the settlement process is unlikely to be the major cause of Caribbean reef loss. However, due to their high sensitivity to the effects of climate change, shifts in the composition of CCA-associated communities, combined with pronounced differences in cue preferences among coral species, could substantially influence future coral community structure.

  13. Variability in reef connectivity in the Coral Triangle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, D. M.; Kleypas, J. A.; Castruccio, F. S.; Watson, J. R.; Curchitser, E. N.

    2015-12-01

    The Coral Triangle (CT) is not only the global center of marine biodiversity, it also supports the livelihoods of millions of people. Unfortunately, it is also considered the most threatened of all reef regions, with rising temperature and coral bleaching already taking a toll. Reproductive connectivity between reefs plays a critical role in the reef's capacity to recover after such disturbances. Thus, oceanographic modeling efforts to understand patterns of reef connectivity are essential to the effective design of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to conserve marine ecosystems in the Coral Triangle. Here, we combine a Regional Ocean Modeling System developed for the Coral Triangle (CT-ROMS) with a Lagrangian particle tracking tool (TRACMASS) to investigate the probability of coral larval transport between reefs. A 47-year hindcast simulation (1960-2006) was used to investigate the variability in larval transport of a broadcasting coral following mass spawning events in April and September. Potential connectivity between reefs was highly variable and stochastic from year to year, emphasizing the importance of decadal or longer simulations in identifying connectivity patterns, key source and sink regions, and thus marine management targets for MPAs. The influence of temperature on realized connectivity (future work) may add further uncertainty to year-to-year patterns of connectivity between reefs. Nonetheless, the potential connectivity results we present here suggest that although reefs in this region are primarily self-seeded, rare long-distance dispersal may promote recovery and genetic exchange between reefs in the region. The spatial pattern of "subpopulations" based solely on the physical drivers of connectivity between reefs closely match regional patterns of biodiversity, suggesting that physical barriers to larval dispersal may be a key driver of reef biodiversity. Finally, 21st Century simulations driven by the Community Earth System Model (CESM

  14. Using X-Ray Fluorescence Technique to Quantify Metal Concentration in Coral Cores from Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingsley, C.; Bhattacharya, A.; Hangsterfer, A.; Carilli, J.; Field, D. B.

    2016-12-01

    Caribbean coral reefs are some of the most threatened marine ecosystems in the world. Research appears to suggest that environmental stressors of local origin, such as sediment run off, can reduce the resilience of these reefs to global threats such as ocean warming. Sedimentation can stunt coral growth, reduce its resilience, and it is possible that trapped material could render coral skeletons brittle (personal discussions). Material trapped in coral skeletons can provide information on the sources of particulate matter in the ocean ecosystem. Despite the importance of quantifying sources and types of materials trapped in corals, the research community is yet to fully develop techniques that allow accurate representation of trapped matter, which is potentially a major source of metal content in reef building coral skeletons. The dataset presented here explores the usefulness of X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), a widely used tool in environmental studies (but generally not in corals), to estimate metal content in coral cores collected from four locations near Belize, with varying degrees of impact from coastal processes. The coral cores together cover a period of 1862-2006. Trace, major, and minor metal content from these cores have been well-studied using solution-based ICP-MS, providing us with the unique opportunity to test the efficacy of XRF technique in characterizing metal content in these coral cores. We have measured more than 50 metals using XRF every two millimeters along slabs removed from the middle of a coral core to characterize materials present in coral skeletons. We compared the results from XRF to solution-based ICP-MS - that involves dissolving subsamples of coral skeleton to measure metal content. Overall, it appears that the non-destructive XRF technique is a viable supplement in determining sediment and metal content in coral cores, and may be particularly helpful for assessing resistant phases such as grains of sediment that are not fully

  15. Biogeography and change among regional coral communities across the Western Indian Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy R McClanahan

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are biodiverse ecosystems structured by abiotic and biotic factors operating across many spatial scales. Regional-scale interactions between climate change, biogeography and fisheries management remain poorly understood. Here, we evaluated large-scale patterns of coral communities in the western Indian Ocean after a major coral bleaching event in 1998. We surveyed 291 coral reef sites in 11 countries and over 30° of latitude between 2004 and 2011 to evaluate variations in coral communities post 1998 across gradients in latitude, mainland-island geography and fisheries management. We used linear mixed-effect hierarchical models to assess total coral cover, the abundance of four major coral families (acroporids, faviids, pocilloporids and poritiids, coral genus richness and diversity, and the bleaching susceptibility of the coral communities. We found strong latitudinal and geographic gradients in coral community structure and composition that supports the presence of a high coral cover and diversity area that harbours temperature-sensitive taxa in the northern Mozambique Channel between Tanzania, northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar. Coral communities in the more northern latitudes of Kenya, Seychelles and the Maldives were generally composed of fewer bleaching-tolerant coral taxa and with reduced richness and diversity. There was also evidence for continued declines in the abundance of temperature-sensitive taxa and community change after 2004. While there are limitations of our regional dataset in terms of spatial and temporal replication, these patterns suggest that large-scale interactions between biogeographic factors and strong temperature anomalies influence coral communities while smaller-scale factors, such as the effect of fisheries closures, were weak. The northern Mozambique Channel, while not immune to temperature disturbances, shows continued signs of resistance to climate disturbances and remains a priority for

  16. Biogeography and Change among Regional Coral Communities across the Western Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, Timothy R.; Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu; Darling, Emily S.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Muthiga, Nyawira A.

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs are biodiverse ecosystems structured by abiotic and biotic factors operating across many spatial scales. Regional-scale interactions between climate change, biogeography and fisheries management remain poorly understood. Here, we evaluated large-scale patterns of coral communities in the western Indian Ocean after a major coral bleaching event in 1998. We surveyed 291 coral reef sites in 11 countries and over 30° of latitude between 2004 and 2011 to evaluate variations in coral communities post 1998 across gradients in latitude, mainland-island geography and fisheries management. We used linear mixed-effect hierarchical models to assess total coral cover, the abundance of four major coral families (acroporids, faviids, pocilloporids and poritiids), coral genus richness and diversity, and the bleaching susceptibility of the coral communities. We found strong latitudinal and geographic gradients in coral community structure and composition that supports the presence of a high coral cover and diversity area that harbours temperature-sensitive taxa in the northern Mozambique Channel between Tanzania, northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar. Coral communities in the more northern latitudes of Kenya, Seychelles and the Maldives were generally composed of fewer bleaching-tolerant coral taxa and with reduced richness and diversity. There was also evidence for continued declines in the abundance of temperature-sensitive taxa and community change after 2004. While there are limitations of our regional dataset in terms of spatial and temporal replication, these patterns suggest that large-scale interactions between biogeographic factors and strong temperature anomalies influence coral communities while smaller-scale factors, such as the effect of fisheries closures, were weak. The northern Mozambique Channel, while not immune to temperature disturbances, shows continued signs of resistance to climate disturbances and remains a priority for future regional

  17. Predicting coral species richness: the effect of input variables, diversity and scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Zoe T; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs are facing a biodiversity crisis due to increasing human impacts, consequently, one third of reef-building corals have an elevated risk of extinction. Logistic challenges prevent broad-scale species-level monitoring of hard corals; hence it has become critical that effective proxy indicators of species richness are established. This study tests how accurately three potential proxy indicators (generic richness on belt transects, generic richness on point-intercept transects and percent live hard coral cover on point-intercept transects) predict coral species richness at three different locations and two analytical scales. Generic richness (measured on a belt transect) was found to be the most effective predictor variable, with significant positive linear relationships across locations and scales. Percent live hard coral cover consistently performed poorly as an indicator of coral species richness. This study advances the practical framework for optimizing coral reef monitoring programs and empirically demonstrates that generic richness offers an effective way to predict coral species richness with a moderate level of precision. While the accuracy of species richness estimates will decrease in communities dominated by species-rich genera (e.g. Acropora), generic richness provides a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity and incorporating this metric into monitoring programs will increase the likelihood that changes in coral species diversity can be detected.

  18. Predicting coral species richness: the effect of input variables, diversity and scale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe T Richards

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are facing a biodiversity crisis due to increasing human impacts, consequently, one third of reef-building corals have an elevated risk of extinction. Logistic challenges prevent broad-scale species-level monitoring of hard corals; hence it has become critical that effective proxy indicators of species richness are established. This study tests how accurately three potential proxy indicators (generic richness on belt transects, generic richness on point-intercept transects and percent live hard coral cover on point-intercept transects predict coral species richness at three different locations and two analytical scales. Generic richness (measured on a belt transect was found to be the most effective predictor variable, with significant positive linear relationships across locations and scales. Percent live hard coral cover consistently performed poorly as an indicator of coral species richness. This study advances the practical framework for optimizing coral reef monitoring programs and empirically demonstrates that generic richness offers an effective way to predict coral species richness with a moderate level of precision. While the accuracy of species richness estimates will decrease in communities dominated by species-rich genera (e.g. Acropora, generic richness provides a useful measure of phylogenetic diversity and incorporating this metric into monitoring programs will increase the likelihood that changes in coral species diversity can be detected.

  19. [A review of the role and function of microbes in coral reef ecosystem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jin; Jin, Hui; Cai, Zhong-Hua

    2014-03-01

    Coral reef is consisted with several kinds of reef-associated organisms, including coral, fish, benthos, algae and microbes, which is an important marine ecosystem. Coral reef lives in the oligotrophic environment, has very highly primary productivity and net productivity, and is called "tropical rain forest in ocean". In corals, diverse microorganisms exert a significant influence on biogeochemical and ecological processes, including food webs, organism life cycles, and nutrient cycling. With the development of molecular biology, the role of microorganisms in a coral system is becoming more outstanding. In this article, we reviewed current understanding on 1) the onset of coral-bacterial associations; 2) the characteristics of microbes in coral (specificity, plasticity and co-evolution) ; 3) the role and signal regulation of microbes in the health and disease of coral; and 4) the response mechanism of microbes for global climatic change and consequent effects, such as temperature rise, ocean acidification and eutrophication. The aims of this article were to summarize the latest theories and achievements, clear the mechanism of microbial ecology in coral reefs and provide a theoretical reference for better protection and maintaining the coral's biodiversity.

  20. The differential effects of increasing frequency and magnitude of extreme events on coral populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabina, Nicholas S; Baskett, Marissa L; Gross, Kevin

    2015-09-01

    Extreme events, which have profound ecological consequences, are changing in both frequency and magnitude with climate change. Because extreme temperatures induce coral bleaching, we can explore the relative impacts of changes in frequency and magnitude of high temperature events on coral reefs. Here, we combined climate projections and a dynamic population model to determine how changing bleaching regimes influence coral persistence. We additionally explored how coral traits and competition with macroalgae mediate changes in bleaching regimes. Our results predict that severe bleaching events reduce coral persistence more than frequent bleaching. Corals with low adult mortality and high growth rates are successful when bleaching is mild, but bleaching resistance is necessary to persist when bleaching is severe, regardless of frequency. The existence of macroalgae-dominated stable states reduces coral persistence and changes the relative importance of coral traits. Building on previous studies, our results predict that management efforts may need to prioritize protection of "weaker" corals with high adult mortality when bleaching is mild, and protection of "stronger" corals with high bleaching resistance when bleaching is severe. In summary, future reef projections and conservation targets depend on both local bleaching regimes and biodiversity.

  1. Recovering biodiversity knowledge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijerink, G.W.; Smolders, H.; Sours, S.; Pou, S.

    2005-01-01

    Cambodian¿s civil wars have seriously affected the country¿s agro-biodiversity and the farmers¿ traditional knowledge in this field. The PEDIGREA project aims at conserving on-farm agro-biodiversity conservation and in Cambodia it focuses on vegetable diversity. It tries to link the preservation of

  2. Biodiversity: Luxury or necessity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rotmans, J.; Groot, de R.S.; Vliet, van A.J.H.

    2002-01-01

    Because biodiversity is so complex and varied, knowledge in this area is still relatively limited. It can be stated that this complexity, combined with structural uncertainty, may well lead to an unpredictable future and further loss of biodiversity which will be characterised by non-linearity, thre

  3. Global priorities for marine biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selig, Elizabeth R; Turner, Will R; Troëng, Sebastian; Wallace, Bryan P; Halpern, Benjamin S; Kaschner, Kristin; Lascelles, Ben G; Carpenter, Kent E; Mittermeier, Russell A

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, many marine populations have experienced major declines in abundance, but we still know little about where management interventions may help protect the highest levels of marine biodiversity. We used modeled spatial distribution data for nearly 12,500 species to quantify global patterns of species richness and two measures of endemism. By combining these data with spatial information on cumulative human impacts, we identified priority areas where marine biodiversity is most and least impacted by human activities, both within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). Our analyses highlighted places that are both accepted priorities for marine conservation like the Coral Triangle, as well as less well-known locations in the southwest Indian Ocean, western Pacific Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, and within semi-enclosed seas like the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Within highly impacted priority areas, climate and fishing were the biggest stressors. Although new priorities may arise as we continue to improve marine species range datasets, results from this work are an essential first step in guiding limited resources to regions where investment could best sustain marine biodiversity.

  4. Coral bleaching: one disturbance too many for near-shore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, A. A.; Dolman, A. M.

    2010-09-01

    The dynamic nature of coral communities can make it difficult to judge whether a reef system is resilient to the current disturbance regime. To address this question of resilience for near-shore coral communities of the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) a data set consisting of 350 annual observations of benthic community change was compiled from existing monitoring data. These data spanned the period 1985-2007 and were derived from coral reefs within 20 km of the coast. During years without major disturbance events, cover increase of the Acroporidae was much faster than it was for other coral families; a median of 11% per annum compared to medians of less than 4% for other coral families. Conversely, Acroporidae were more severely affected by cyclones and bleaching events than most other families. A simulation model parameterised with these observations indicated that while recovery rates of hard corals were sufficient to compensate for impacts associated with cyclones and crown-of-thorns starfish, the advent of mass bleaching has lead to a significant change in the composition of the community and a rapid decline in hard coral cover. Furthermore, if bleaching events continue to occur with the same frequency and severity as in the recent past, the model predicts that the cover of Acroporidae will continue to decline. Although significant cover of live coral remains on near-shore reefs, and recovery is observed during inter-disturbance periods, it appears that this system will not be resilient to the recent disturbance regime over the long term. Conservation strategies for coral reefs should focus on both mitigating local factors that act synergistically to increase the susceptibility of Acroporidae to climate change while promoting initiatives that maximise the recovery potential from inevitable disturbances.

  5. European Union’s LiveDiverse project – interplay between livelihoods and biodiversity in the South African case study area

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Funke, Nicola S

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The interconnectedness of biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods for many societies around the world is constructed by the complexities of vulnerability and resilience. Society is faced by a plethora of challenges that include poverty reduction...

  6. Cross shelf benthic biodiversity patterns in the Southern Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Ellis, Joanne

    2017-03-21

    The diversity of coral reef and soft sediment ecosystems in the Red Sea has to date received limited scientific attention. This study investigates changes in the community composition of both reef and macrobenthic communities along a cross shelf gradient. Coral reef assemblages differed significantly in species composition and structure with location and depth. Inner shelf reefs harbored less abundant and less diverse coral assemblages with higher percentage macroalgae cover. Nutrient availability and distance from the shoreline were significantly related to changes in coral composition and structure. This study also observed a clear inshore offshore pattern for soft sediment communities. In contrast to the coral reef patterns the highest diversity and abundance of soft sediment communities were recorded at the inshore sites, which were characterized by a higher number of opportunistic polychaete species and bivalves indicative of mild disturbance. Sediment grain size and nutrient enrichment were important variables explaining the variability. This study aims to contribute to our understanding of ecosystem processes and biodiversity in the Red Sea region in an area that also has the potential to provide insight into pressing topics, such as the capacity of reef systems and benthic macrofaunal organisms to adapt to global climate change.

  7. Biodiversity governance and social-ecological system dynamics: transformation in the Australian Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Lockwood

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation continues to be a challenging task for societies worldwide. We undertook a resilience assessment to address the following question: What are the ramifications of social-ecological system dynamics for biodiversity governance of a nationally significant landscape? Resilience assessment offers promise for guiding response strategies, potentially enabling consideration of ecological, social, economic, and governance influences on biodiversity-related activities. Most resilience assessments have, however, struggled to effectively incorporate governance influences. We applied a modified version of the Resilience Alliance workbook approach to explicitly address governance influences at each stage of an assessment of internationally significant biodiversity features in protected areas of the Australian Alps. The vulnerability of the Alps system to climate change suggests that it is moving into a release stage, with subsequent transformation hypothesized. Network governance is argued as enabling flexible, adaptive management and comprehensive engagement of stakeholders, both of which are critical to shaping how this transformation of the Alps as a valued focal system will occur. The Australian Alps Liaison Committee provides a promising governance structure for collaboration and comanagement across multiple jurisdictions. Our contribution was to demonstrate how a resilience assessment that explicitly embeds governance influences in social-ecological system dynamics can point to pathways for governance reform in the context of system transformation.

  8. 'Resilience thinking' in transport planning

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, JYT

    2015-01-01

    Resilience has been discussed in ecology for over forty years. While some aspects of resilience have received attention in transport planning, there is no unified definition of resilience in transportation. To define resilience in transportation, I trace back to the origin of resilience in ecology with a view of revealing the essence of resilience thinking and its relevance to transport planning. Based on the fundamental concepts of engineering resilience and ecological resilience, I define "...

  9. 'Resilience thinking' in transport planning

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, JYT

    2015-01-01

    Resilience has been discussed in ecology for over forty years. While some aspects of resilience have received attention in transport planning, there is no unified definition of resilience in transportation. To define resilience in transportation, I trace back to the origin of resilience in ecology with a view of revealing the essence of resilience thinking and its relevance to transport planning. Based on the fundamental concepts of engineering resilience and ecological resilience, I define "...

  10. Resilience Thinking: Integrating Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl Folke

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Resilience thinking addresses the dynamics and development of complex social-ecological systems (SES. Three aspects are central: resilience, adaptability and transformability. These aspects interrelate across multiple scales. Resilience in this context is the capacity of a SES to continually change and adapt yet remain within critical thresholds. Adaptability is part of resilience. It represents the capacity to adjust responses to changing external drivers and internal processes and thereby allow for development along the current trajectory (stability domain. Transformability is the capacity to cross thresholds into new development trajectories. Transformational change at smaller scales enables resilience at larger scales. The capacity to transform at smaller scales draws on resilience from multiple scales, making use of crises as windows of opportunity for novelty and innovation, and recombining sources of experience and knowledge to navigate social-ecological transitions. Society must seriously consider ways to foster resilience of smaller more manageable SESs that contribute to Earth System resilience and to explore options for deliberate transformation of SESs that threaten Earth System resilience.

  11. Modeling regional coral reef responses to global warming and changes in ocean chemistry: Caribbean case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddemeier, R.W.; Lane, D.R.; Martinich, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Climatic change threatens the future of coral reefs in the Caribbean and the important ecosystem services they provide. We used a simulation model [Combo ("COral Mortality and Bleaching Output")] to estimate future coral cover in the part of the eastern Caribbean impacted by a massive coral bleaching event in 2005. Combo calculates impacts of future climate change on coral reefs by combining impacts from long-term changes in average sea surface temperature (SST) and ocean acidification with impacts from episodic high temperature mortality (bleaching) events. We used mortality and heat dose data from the 2005 bleaching event to select historic temperature datasets, to use as a baseline for running Combo under different future climate scenarios and sets of assumptions. Results suggest a bleak future for coral reefs in the eastern Caribbean. For three different emissions scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC; B1, A1B, and A1FI), coral cover on most Caribbean reefs is projected to drop below 5% by the year 2035, if future mortality rates are equivalent to some of those observed in the 2005 event (50%). For a scenario where corals gain an additional 1-1. 5??C of heat tolerance through a shift in the algae that live in the coral tissue, coral cover above 5% is prolonged until 2065. Additional impacts such as storms or anthropogenic damage could result in declines in coral cover even faster than those projected here. These results suggest the need to identify and preserve the locations that are likely to have a higher resiliency to bleaching to save as many remnant populations of corals as possible in the face of projected wide-spread coral loss. ?? 2011 The Author(s).

  12. Climate change impacts on coral reefs: synergies with local effects, possibilities for acclimation, and management implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu; Feary, David A; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Chen, Allen; Schleyer, Michael H; Sheppard, Charles R C

    2013-09-30

    Most reviews concerning the impact of climate change on coral reefs discuss independent effects of warming or ocean acidification. However, the interactions between these, and between these and direct local stressors are less well addressed. This review underlines that coral bleaching, acidification, and diseases are expected to interact synergistically, and will negatively influence survival, growth, reproduction, larval development, settlement, and post-settlement development of corals. Interactions with local stress factors such as pollution, sedimentation, and overfishing are further expected to compound effects of climate change. Reduced coral cover and species composition following coral bleaching events affect coral reef fish community structure, with variable outcomes depending on their habitat dependence and trophic specialisation. Ocean acidification itself impacts fish mainly indirectly through disruption of predation- and habitat-associated behavior changes. Zooxanthellate octocorals on reefs are often overlooked but are substantial occupiers of space; these also are highly susceptible to bleaching but because they tend to be more heterotrophic, climate change impacts mainly manifest in terms of changes in species composition and population structure. Non-calcifying macroalgae are expected to respond positively to ocean acidification and promote microbe-induced coral mortality via the release of dissolved compounds, thus intensifying phase-shifts from coral to macroalgal domination. Adaptation of corals to these consequences of CO2 rise through increased tolerance of corals and successful mutualistic associations between corals and zooxanthellae is likely to be insufficient to match the rate and frequency of the projected changes. Impacts are interactive and magnified, and because there is a limited capacity for corals to adapt to climate change, global targets of carbon emission reductions are insufficient for coral reefs, so lower targets should be

  13. Embracing a world of subtlety and nuance on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Peter J.

    2017-09-01

    Climate change will homogenise the environment and generate a preponderance of mediocre reefs. Managing seascapes of mediocrity will be challenging because our science is ill prepared to deal with the `shades of grey' of reef health; we tend to study natural processes in the healthiest reefs available. Yet much can be gained by examining the drivers and implications of even subtle changes in reef state. Where strong ecological interactions are discovered, even small changes in abundance can have profound impacts on coral resilience. Indeed, if we are to develop effective early warnings of critical losses of resilience, then monitoring must place greater emphasis on measuring and interpreting changes in reef recovery rates. In terms of mechanism, a more nuanced approach is needed to explore the generality of what might be considered `dogma'. A more nuanced approach to science will serve managers needs well and help minimise the rise of mediocrity in coral reef ecosystems.

  14. Mass coral bleaching in 2010 in the southern Caribbean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jahson Berhane Alemu I

    Full Text Available Ocean temperatures are increasing globally and the Caribbean is no exception. An extreme ocean warming event in 2010 placed Tobago's coral reefs under severe stress resulting in widespread coral bleaching and threatening the livelihoods that rely on them. The bleaching response of four reef building taxa was monitored over a six month period across three major reefs systems in Tobago. By identifying taxa resilient to bleaching we propose to assist local coral reef managers in the decision making process to cope with mass bleaching events. The bleaching signal (length of exposure to high ocean temperatures varied widely between the Atlantic and Caribbean reefs, but regardless of this variation most taxa bleached. Colpophyllia natans, Montastraea faveolata and Siderastrea siderea were considered the most bleaching vulnerable taxa. Interestingly, reefs with the highest coral cover showed the greatest decline reef building taxa, and conversely, reefs with the lowest coral cover showed the most bleaching but lowest change in coral cover with little algal overgrowth post-bleaching.

  15. Project Overview: A Reef Manager's Guide to Coral Bleaching ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The purpose of this report is to provide the latest scientific knowledge and discuss available management options to assist local and regional managers in responding effectively to mass coral bleaching events. Background A Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching is the result of a collaborative effort by over 50 scientists and managers to: (1) share the best available scientific information on climate-related coral bleaching; and (2) compile a tool kit of currently available strategies for adaptive management of coral reefs in a changing climate. The result is a compendium of current information, tools, and practical suggestions to aid managers in their efforts to protect reefs in a way that maximizes reef resilience in the face of continuing climate change. The Guide is a joint publication of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and The World Conservation Union, with author contributions from a variety of international partners from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions. EPA’s Office of Research and Development was a major contributor to the Guide through authorship and participation in the final review and editing process for the entire report. A Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching is the result of a collaborative effort by over 50 scientists and managers to: (1) share the best available scientific information on climate-related coral blea

  16. Mass coral bleaching in 2010 in the southern Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alemu I, Jahson Berhane; Clement, Ysharda

    2014-01-01

    Ocean temperatures are increasing globally and the Caribbean is no exception. An extreme ocean warming event in 2010 placed Tobago's coral reefs under severe stress resulting in widespread coral bleaching and threatening the livelihoods that rely on them. The bleaching response of four reef building taxa was monitored over a six month period across three major reefs systems in Tobago. By identifying taxa resilient to bleaching we propose to assist local coral reef managers in the decision making process to cope with mass bleaching events. The bleaching signal (length of exposure to high ocean temperatures) varied widely between the Atlantic and Caribbean reefs, but regardless of this variation most taxa bleached. Colpophyllia natans, Montastraea faveolata and Siderastrea siderea were considered the most bleaching vulnerable taxa. Interestingly, reefs with the highest coral cover showed the greatest decline reef building taxa, and conversely, reefs with the lowest coral cover showed the most bleaching but lowest change in coral cover with little algal overgrowth post-bleaching.

  17. First biological measurements of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea.

    KAUST Repository

    Roder, Cornelia

    2013-10-03

    It is usually assumed that metabolic constraints restrict deep-sea corals to cold-water habitats, with \\'deep-sea\\' and \\'cold-water\\' corals often used as synonymous. Here we report on the first measurements of biological characters of deep-sea corals from the central Red Sea, where they occur at temperatures exceeding 20°C in highly oligotrophic and oxygen-limited waters. Low respiration rates, low calcification rates, and minimized tissue cover indicate that a reduced metabolism is one of the key adaptations to prevailing environmental conditions. We investigated four sites and encountered six species of which at least two appear to be undescribed. One species is previously reported from the Red Sea but occurs in deep cold waters outside the Red Sea raising interesting questions about presumed environmental constraints for other deep-sea corals. Our findings suggest that the present understanding of deep-sea coral persistence and resilience needs to be revisited.

  18. Water contamination reduces the tolerance of coral larvae to thermal stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew P Negri

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are highly susceptible to climate change, with elevated sea surface temperatures (SST posing one of the main threats to coral survival. Successful recruitment of new colonies is important for the recovery of degraded reefs following mortality events. Coral larvae require relatively uncontaminated substratum on which to metamorphose into sessile polyps, and the increasing pollution of coastal waters therefore constitutes an additional threat to reef resilience. Here we develop and analyse a model of larval metamorphosis success for two common coral species to quantify the interactive effects of water pollution (copper contamination and SST. We identify thresholds of temperature and pollution that prevent larval metamorphosis, and evaluate synergistic interactions between these stressors. Our analyses show that halving the concentration of Cu can protect corals from the negative effects of a 2-3°C increase in SST. These results demonstrate that effective mitigation of local impacts can reduce negative effects of global stressors.

  19. Water contamination reduces the tolerance of coral larvae to thermal stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negri, Andrew P; Hoogenboom, Mia O

    2011-05-11

    Coral reefs are highly susceptible to climate change, with elevated sea surface temperatures (SST) posing one of the main threats to coral survival. Successful recruitment of new colonies is important for the recovery of degraded reefs following mortality events. Coral larvae require relatively uncontaminated substratum on which to metamorphose into sessile polyps, and the increasing pollution of coastal waters therefore constitutes an additional threat to reef resilience. Here we develop and analyse a model of larval metamorphosis success for two common coral species to quantify the interactive effects of water pollution (copper contamination) and SST. We identify thresholds of temperature and pollution that prevent larval metamorphosis, and evaluate synergistic interactions between these stressors. Our analyses show that halving the concentration of Cu can protect corals from the negative effects of a 2-3°C increase in SST. These results demonstrate that effective mitigation of local impacts can reduce negative effects of global stressors.

  20. First biological measurements of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roder, C; Berumen, M L; Bouwmeester, J; Papathanassiou, E; Al-Suwailem, A; Voolstra, C R

    2013-10-03

    It is usually assumed that metabolic constraints restrict deep-sea corals to cold-water habitats, with 'deep-sea' and 'cold-water' corals often used as synonymous. Here we report on the first measurements of biological characters of deep-sea corals from the central Red Sea, where they occur at temperatures exceeding 20°C in highly oligotrophic and oxygen-limited waters. Low respiration rates, low calcification rates, and minimized tissue cover indicate that a reduced metabolism is one of the key adaptations to prevailing environmental conditions. We investigated four sites and encountered six species of which at least two appear to be undescribed. One species is previously reported from the Red Sea but occurs in deep cold waters outside the Red Sea raising interesting questions about presumed environmental constraints for other deep-sea corals. Our findings suggest that the present understanding of deep-sea coral persistence and resilience needs to be revisited.

  1. "Choice" and destiny: the substrate composition and mechanical stability of settlement structures can mediate coral recruit fate in post-bleached reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Shreya; Rathod, Pooja; Alcoverro, Teresa; Arthur, Rohan

    2016-03-01

    Increasingly frequent and intense ocean warming events seriously test the buffer and recovery capacities of tropical coral reefs. Post-disturbance, available settlement structures on a reef (often dead coral skeletons) vary considerably in their mechanical stability and substrate composition, critically influencing coral recruit settlement choice and fate. In the wake of a coral mass mortality in the Lakshadweep archipelago, we examine (1) the relative availability of recruit settlement structures (from stable to unstable: reef platform, dead massive coral, consolidated rubble, dead corymbose coral, dead tabular coral, and unconsolidated rubble) in 12 recovering reefs across three atolls in the archipelago, (2) the substrate composition [crustose coralline algae (CCA), mixed turf, macroalgae] of these structural forms, and (3) whether the choice and fate of young coral are mediated by the substrate and stability of different structural forms. For this, we measured the abundance and distribution of recruit (corals of 24 common coral genera. Four years after the mass mortality, reefs differed considerably in composition of settlement structures. The structures themselves varied significantly in substrate cover with dead tables largely covered in CCA [60 ± 6.05 % (SE)] and dead corymbose coral dominated by mixed turf (61.83 ± 3.8 %). The youngest visible recruits (coral choice, the mechanical stability of settlement structures is critical in determining post-settlement coral survival. The composition and availability of settlement structures on a reef may serve as a characteristic signature of its recovery potential, aiding in assessments of reef resilience.

  2. Coral recovery in the central Maldives archipelago since the last major mass-bleaching, in 1998.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisapia, C; Burn, D; Yoosuf, R; Najeeb, A; Anderson, K D; Pratchett, M S

    2016-10-03

    Increasing frequency and severity of disturbances is causing global degradation of coral reef ecosystems. This study examined temporal changes in live coral cover and coral composition in the central Maldives from 1997 to 2016, encompassing two bleaching events, a tsunami, and an outbreak of Acanthaster planci. We also examined the contemporary size structure for five dominant coral taxa (tabular Acropora, Acropora muricata, Acropora humilis, Pocillopora spp, and massive Porites). Total coral cover increased throughout the study period, with marked increases following the 1998 mass-bleaching. The relative abundance of key genera has changed through time, where Acropora and Pocillopora (which are highly susceptible to bleaching) were under-represented following 1998 mass-bleaching but increased until outbreaks of A. planci in 2015. The contemporary size-structure for all coral taxa was dominated by larger colonies with peaked distributions suggesting that recent disturbances had a disproportionate impact on smaller colonies, or that recruitment is currently limited. This may suggest that coral resilience has been compromised by recent disturbances, and further bleaching (expected in 2016) could lead to highly protracted recovery times. We showed that Maldivian reefs recovered following the 1998 mass-bleaching event, but it took up to a decade, and ongoing disturbances may be eroding reef resilience.

  3. Measuring, interpreting, and responding to changes in coral reefs: A challenge for biologists, geologist, and managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Caroline S.; Miller, Jeff; Hubbard, Dennis K.; Rogers, Caroline S.; Lipps, Jere H.; Stanley, George D.

    2016-01-01

    What, exactly, is a coral reef? And how have the world’s reefs changed in the last several decades? What are the stressors undermining reef structure and function? Given the predicted effects of climate change, do reefs have a future? Is it possible to “manage” coral reefs for resilience? What can coral reef scientists contribute to improve protection and management of coral reefs? What insights can biologists and geologists provide regarding the persistence of coral reefs on a human timescale? What is reef change to a biologist… to a geologist?Clearly, there are many challenging questions. In this chapter, we present some of our thoughts on monitoring and management of coral reefs in US national parks in the Caribbean and western Atlantic based on our experience as members of monitoring teams. We reflect on the need to characterize and evaluate reefs, on how to conduct high-quality monitoring programs, and on what we can learn from biological and geological experiments and investigations. We explore the possibility that specific steps can be taken to “manage” coral reefs for greater resilience.

  4. Spatial and temporal variations in coral growth on an inshore turbid reef subjected to multiple disturbances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, N K

    2012-06-01

    Coral growth rates (linear extension, density, calcification rates) of three fast-growing corals (Acropora, Montipora, Turbinaria) were studied in situ on Middle Reef, an inshore reef located on the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR), to assess the influence of changing environmental conditions on coral condition and reef growth. Middle Reef is subjected to both local (e.g. high sediment loads) and global (e.g. coral bleaching) disturbance events, usually associated with reduced coral growth. Results indicated, however, that Acropora growth rates (mean linear extension = 6.3 cm/year) were comparable to those measured at similar depths on offshore reefs on the GBR. Montipora linear extension (2.9 cm/year) was greater than estimates available from both clear-water and turbid reefs, and Turbinaria's dense skeleton (1.3 g/cm(3)) may be more resilient to physical damage as ocean pH falls. Coral growth was found to vary between reef habitats due to spatial differences in water motion and sediment dynamics, and temporally with lower calcification rates during the summer months when SSTs (monthly average 29 °C) and rainfall (monthly total >500 mm) were high. In summary, corals on Middle Reef are robust and resilient to their marginal environmental conditions, but are susceptible to anthropogenic disturbances during the summer months.

  5. Coastal hazards and groundwater salinization on low coral islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry, James P.; Chui, T. F. May

    2016-04-01

    Remote oceanic communities living on low-lying coral islands (atolls) without surface water rely for their survival on the continuing viability of fragile groundwater resources. These exist in the form of fresh groundwater lenses (FGLs) that develop naturally within the porous coral sand and gravel substrate. Coastal hazards such as inundation by high-energy waves driven by storms and continuing sea-level rise (SLR) are among many possible threats to viable FGL size and quality on atolls. Yet, not much is known about the combined effects of wave washover during powerful storms and SLR on different sizes of coral island, nor conversely how island size influences lens resilience against damage. This study investigates FGL damage by salinization (and resilience) caused by such coastal hazards using a modelling approach. Numerical modelling is carried out to generate steady-state FGL configurations at three chosen island sizes (400, 600 and 800 m widths). Steady-state solutions reveal how FGL dimensions are related in a non-linear manner to coral island size, such that smaller islands develop much more restricted lenses than larger islands. A 40 cm SLR scenario is then imposed. This is followed by transient simulations to examine storm-induced wave washover and subsequent FGL responses to saline damage over a 1 year period. Smaller FGLs display greater potential for disturbance by SLR, while larger and more robust FGLs tend to show more resilience. Further results produce a somewhat counterintuitive finding: in the post-SLR condition, FGL vulnerability to washover salinization may actually be reduced, owing to the thinner layer of unsaturated substrate lying above the water table into which saline water can infiltrate during a storm event. Nonetheless, combined washover and SLR impacts imply overall that advancing groundwater salinization may lead to some coral islands becoming uninhabitable long before they are completely submerged by sea-level rise, thereby calling

  6. Limits to the thermal tolerance of corals adapted to a highly fluctuating, naturally extreme temperature environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoepf, Verena; Stat, Michael; Falter, James L.; McCulloch, Malcolm T.

    2015-12-01

    Naturally extreme temperature environments can provide important insights into the processes underlying coral thermal tolerance. We determined the bleaching resistance of Acropora aspera and Dipsastraea sp. from both intertidal and subtidal environments of the naturally extreme Kimberley region in northwest Australia. Here tides of up to 10 m can cause aerial exposure of corals and temperatures as high as 37 °C that fluctuate daily by up to 7 °C. Control corals were maintained at ambient nearshore temperatures which varied diurnally by 4-5 °C, while treatment corals were exposed to similar diurnal variations and heat stress corresponding to ~20 degree heating days. All corals hosted Symbiodinium clade C independent of treatment or origin. Detailed physiological measurements showed that these corals were nevertheless highly sensitive to daily average temperatures exceeding their maximum monthly mean of ~31 °C by 1 °C for only a few days. Generally, Acropora was much more susceptible to bleaching than Dipsastraea and experienced up to 75% mortality, whereas all Dipsastraea survived. Furthermore, subtidal corals, which originated from a more thermally stable environment compared to intertidal corals, were more susceptible to bleaching. This demonstrates that while highly fluctuating temperatures enhance coral resilience to thermal stress, they do not provide immunity to extreme heat stress events.

  7. Limits to the thermal tolerance of corals adapted to a highly fluctuating, naturally extreme temperature environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoepf, Verena; Stat, Michael; Falter, James L; McCulloch, Malcolm T

    2015-12-02

    Naturally extreme temperature environments can provide important insights into the processes underlying coral thermal tolerance. We determined the bleaching resistance of Acropora aspera and Dipsastraea sp. from both intertidal and subtidal environments of the naturally extreme Kimberley region in northwest Australia. Here tides of up to 10 m can cause aerial exposure of corals and temperatures as high as 37 °C that fluctuate daily by up to 7 °C. Control corals were maintained at ambient nearshore temperatures which varied diurnally by 4-5 °C, while treatment corals were exposed to similar diurnal variations and heat stress corresponding to ~20 degree heating days. All corals hosted Symbiodinium clade C independent of treatment or origin. Detailed physiological measurements showed that these corals were nevertheless highly sensitive to daily average temperatures exceeding their maximum monthly mean of ~31 °C by 1 °C for only a few days. Generally, Acropora was much more susceptible to bleaching than Dipsastraea and experienced up to 75% mortality, whereas all Dipsastraea survived. Furthermore, subtidal corals, which originated from a more thermally stable environment compared to intertidal corals, were more susceptible to bleaching. This demonstrates that while highly fluctuating temperatures enhance coral resilience to thermal stress, they do not provide immunity to extreme heat stress events.

  8. Levels of immunity parameters underpin bleaching and disease susceptibility of reef corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Caroline V; Bythell, John C; Willis, Bette L

    2010-06-01

    Immunity is a key life history trait that may explain hierarchies in the susceptibility of corals to disease and thermal bleaching, two of the greatest current threats to coral health and the persistence of tropical reefs. Despite their ongoing and rapid global decline, there have been few investigations into the immunity mechanisms of reef-building corals. Variables commonly associated with invertebrate immunity, including the presence of melanin, size of melanin-containing granular cells, and phenoloxidase (PO) activity, as well as concentrations of fluorescent proteins (FPs), were investigated in hard (Scleractinia) and soft (Alcyonacea) corals spanning 10 families from the Great Barrier Reef. Detectable levels of these indicators were present in all corals investigated, although relative investment differed among coral taxa. Overall levels of investment were inversely correlated to thermal bleaching and disease susceptibility. In addition, PO activity, melanin-containing granular cell size, and FP concentration were each found to be significant predictors of susceptibility and thus may play key roles in coral immunity. Correlative evidence that taxonomic (family-level) variation in the levels of these constituent immunity parameters underpins susceptibility to both thermal bleaching and disease indicates that baseline immunity underlies the vulnerability of corals to these two threats. This reinforces the necessity of a holistic approach to understanding bleaching and disease in order to accurately determine the resilience of coral reefs.

  9. Resiliant Space Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The task goal is to develop and demonstrate an innovative software architecture, the “Resilient Spacecraft Executive”, that will enable highly-resilient...

  10. Developing the resilience typology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Daniel Morten

    2013-01-01

    There is a growing interest in resilience in internal crisis management and crisis communication. How an organization can build up resilience as a response to organisational crisis, at a time when the amount of crises seem only to increase, is more relevant than ever before. Nevertheless resilience...... is often perceived in the literature as something certain organisations have by definition, without further reflection on what it is that creates this resiliency. This article explores what it is that creates organisational resilience, and in view of the different understandings of the resilience...... phenomenon, develops a typology of resilience. Furthermore the resilience phenomenon is discussed against the definition of a crisis as a cosmological episode, and implications for future research is discussed and summarized....

  11. Developing the resilience typology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Daniel Morten

    2013-01-01

    There is a growing interest in resilience in internal crisis management and crisis communication. How an organization can build up resilience as a response to organisational crisis, at a time when the amount of crises seem only to increase, is more relevant than ever before. Nevertheless resilience...... is often perceived in the literature as something certain organisations have by definition, without further reflection on what it is that creates this resiliency. This article explores what it is that creates organisational resilience, and in view of the different understandings of the resilience...... phenomenon, develops a typology of resilience. Furthermore the resilience phenomenon is discussed against the definition of a crisis as a cosmological episode, and implications for future research is discussed and summarized....

  12. Critical research needs for identifying future changes in Gulf coral reef ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feary, David A.; Burt, John A.; Bauman, Andrew G.; Al Hazeem, Shaker; Abdel-Moati, Mohamed A.; Al-Khalifa, Khalifa A.; Anderson, Donald M.; Amos, Carl; Baker, Andrew; Bartholomew, Aaron; Bento, Rita; Cavalcante, Geórgenes H.; Chen, Chaolun Allen; Coles, Steve L.; Dab, Koosha; Fowler, Ashley M.; George, David; Grandcourt, Edwin; Hill, Ross; John, David M.; Jones, David A.; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Mahmoud, Huda; Moradi Och Tapeh, Mahdi; Mostafavi, Pargol Ghavam; Naser, Humood; Pichon, Michel; Purkis, Sam; Riegl, Bernhard; Samimi-Namin, Kaveh; Sheppard, Charles; Vajed Samiei, Jahangir; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wiedenmann, Joerg

    2014-01-01

    Expert opinion was assessed to identify current knowledge gaps in determining future changes in Arabian/ Persian Gulf (thereafter ‘Gulf’) coral reefs. Thirty-one participants submitted 71 research questions that were peer-assessed in terms of scientific importance (i.e., filled a knowledge gap and was a research priority) and efficiency in resource use (i.e., was highly feasible and ecologically broad). Ten research questions, in six major research areas, were highly important for both understanding Gulf coral reef ecosystems and also an efficient use of limited research resources. These questions mirrored global evaluations of the importance of understanding and evaluating biodiversity, determining the potential impacts of climate change, the role of anthropogenic impacts in structuring coral reef communities, and economically evaluating coral reef communities. These questions provide guidance for future research on coral reef ecosystems within the Gulf, and enhance the potential for assessment and management of future changes in this globally significant region. PMID:23643407

  13. Critical research needs for identifying future changes in Gulf coral reef ecosystems

    KAUST Repository

    Feary, David A.

    2013-07-01

    Expert opinion was assessed to identify current knowledge gaps in determining future changes in Arabian/Persian Gulf (thereafter \\'Gulf\\') coral reefs. Thirty-one participants submitted 71 research questions that were peer-assessed in terms of scientific importance (i.e., filled a knowledge gap and was a research priority) and efficiency in resource use (i.e., was highly feasible and ecologically broad). Ten research questions, in six major research areas, were highly important for both understanding Gulf coral reef ecosystems and also an efficient use of limited research resources. These questions mirrored global evaluations of the importance of understanding and evaluating biodiversity, determining the potential impacts of climate change, the role of anthropogenic impacts in structuring coral reef communities, and economically evaluating coral reef communities. These questions provide guidance for future research on coral reef ecosystems within the Gulf, and enhance the potential for assessment and management of future changes in this globally significant region. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Critical research needs for identifying future changes in Gulf coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feary, David A; Burt, John A; Bauman, Andrew G; Al Hazeem, Shaker; Abdel-Moati, Mohamed A; Al-Khalifa, Khalifa A; Anderson, Donald M; Amos, Carl; Baker, Andrew; Bartholomew, Aaron; Bento, Rita; Cavalcante, Geórgenes H; Chen, Chaolun Allen; Coles, Steve L; Dab, Koosha; Fowler, Ashley M; George, David; Grandcourt, Edwin; Hill, Ross; John, David M; Jones, David A; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Mahmoud, Huda; Moradi Och Tapeh, Mahdi; Mostafavi, Pargol Ghavam; Naser, Humood; Pichon, Michel; Purkis, Sam; Riegl, Bernhard; Samimi-Namin, Kaveh; Sheppard, Charles; Vajed Samiei, Jahangir; Voolstra, Christian R; Wiedenmann, Joerg

    2013-07-30

    Expert opinion was assessed to identify current knowledge gaps in determining future changes in Arabian/Persian Gulf (thereafter 'Gulf') coral reefs. Thirty-one participants submitted 71 research questions that were peer-assessed in terms of scientific importance (i.e., filled a knowledge gap and was a research priority) and efficiency in resource use (i.e., was highly feasible and ecologically broad). Ten research questions, in six major research areas, were highly important for both understanding Gulf coral reef ecosystems and also an efficient use of limited research resources. These questions mirrored global evaluations of the importance of understanding and evaluating biodiversity, determining the potential impacts of climate change, the role of anthropogenic impacts in structuring coral reef communities, and economically evaluating coral reef communities. These questions provide guidance for future research on coral reef ecosystems within the Gulf, and enhance the potential for assessment and management of future changes in this globally significant region.

  15. Global marine protected areas do not secure the evolutionary history of tropical corals and fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouillot, D; Parravicini, V; Bellwood, D R; Leprieur, F; Huang, D; Cowman, P F; Albouy, C; Hughes, T P; Thuiller, W; Guilhaumon, F

    2016-01-12

    Although coral reefs support the largest concentrations of marine biodiversity worldwide, the extent to which the global system of marine-protected areas (MPAs) represents individual species and the breadth of evolutionary history across the Tree of Life has never been quantified. Here we show that only 5.7% of scleractinian coral species and 21.7% of labrid fish species reach the minimum protection target of 10% of their geographic ranges within MPAs. We also estimate that the current global MPA system secures only 1.7% of the Tree of Life for corals, and 17.6% for fishes. Regionally, the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific show the greatest deficit of protection for corals while for fishes this deficit is located primarily in the Western Indian Ocean and in the Central Pacific. Our results call for a global coordinated expansion of current conservation efforts to fully secure the Tree of Life on coral reefs.

  16. The status of coral reef ecology research in the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berumen, M. L.; Hoey, A. S.; Bass, W. H.; Bouwmeester, J.; Catania, D.; Cochran, J. E. M.; Khalil, M. T.; Miyake, S.; Mughal, M. R.; Spaet, J. L. Y.; Saenz-Agudelo, P.

    2013-09-01

    The Red Sea has long been recognized as a region of high biodiversity and endemism. Despite this diversity and early history of scientific work, our understanding of the ecology of coral reefs in the Red Sea has lagged behind that of other large coral reef systems. We carried out a quantitative assessment of ISI-listed research published from the Red Sea in eight specific topics (apex predators, connectivity, coral bleaching, coral reproductive biology, herbivory, marine protected areas, non-coral invertebrates and reef-associated bacteria) and compared the amount of research conducted in the Red Sea to that from Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and the Caribbean. On average, for these eight topics, the Red Sea had 1/6th the amount of research compared to the GBR and about 1/8th the amount of the Caribbean. Further, more than 50 % of the published research from the Red Sea originated from the Gulf of Aqaba, a small area (biodiverse coral reef regions, the Red Sea may yet have a significant role to play in our understanding of coral reef ecology at a global scale.

  17. Coral energy reserves and calcification in a high-CO2 world at two temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoepf, Verena; Grottoli, Andréa G; Warner, Mark E; Cai, Wei-Jun; Melman, Todd F; Hoadley, Kenneth D; Pettay, D Tye; Hu, Xinping; Li, Qian; Xu, Hui; Wang, Yongchen; Matsui, Yohei; Baumann, Justin H

    2013-01-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations threaten coral reefs globally by causing ocean acidification (OA) and warming. Yet, the combined effects of elevated pCO2 and temperature on coral physiology and resilience remain poorly understood. While coral calcification and energy reserves are important health indicators, no studies to date have measured energy reserve pools (i.e., lipid, protein, and carbohydrate) together with calcification under OA conditions under different temperature scenarios. Four coral species, Acropora millepora, Montipora monasteriata, Pocillopora damicornis, Turbinaria reniformis, were reared under a total of six conditions for 3.5 weeks, representing three pCO2 levels (382, 607, 741 µatm), and two temperature regimes (26.5, 29.0 °C) within each pCO2 level. After one month under experimental conditions, only A. millepora decreased calcification (-53%) in response to seawater pCO2 expected by the end of this century, whereas the other three species maintained calcification rates even when both pCO2 and temperature were elevated. Coral energy reserves showed mixed responses to elevated pCO2 and temperature, and were either unaffected or displayed nonlinear responses with both the lowest and highest concentrations often observed at the mid-pCO2 level of 607 µatm. Biweekly feeding may have helped corals maintain calcification rates and energy reserves under these conditions. Temperature often modulated the response of many aspects of coral physiology to OA, and both mitigated and worsened pCO2 effects. This demonstrates for the first time that coral energy reserves are generally not metabolized to sustain calcification under OA, which has important implications for coral health and bleaching resilience in a high-CO2 world. Overall, these findings suggest that some corals could be more resistant to simultaneously warming and acidifying oceans than previously expected.

  18. Coral energy reserves and calcification in a high-CO2 world at two temperatures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena Schoepf

    Full Text Available Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations threaten coral reefs globally by causing ocean acidification (OA and warming. Yet, the combined effects of elevated pCO2 and temperature on coral physiology and resilience remain poorly understood. While coral calcification and energy reserves are important health indicators, no studies to date have measured energy reserve pools (i.e., lipid, protein, and carbohydrate together with calcification under OA conditions under different temperature scenarios. Four coral species, Acropora millepora, Montipora monasteriata, Pocillopora damicornis, Turbinaria reniformis, were reared under a total of six conditions for 3.5 weeks, representing three pCO2 levels (382, 607, 741 µatm, and two temperature regimes (26.5, 29.0 °C within each pCO2 level. After one month under experimental conditions, only A. millepora decreased calcification (-53% in response to seawater pCO2 expected by the end of this century, whereas the other three species maintained calcification rates even when both pCO2 and temperature were elevated. Coral energy reserves showed mixed responses to elevated pCO2 and temperature, and were either unaffected or displayed nonlinear responses with both the lowest and highest concentrations often observed at the mid-pCO2 level of 607 µatm. Biweekly feeding may have helped corals maintain calcification rates and energy reserves under these conditions. Temperature often modulated the response of many aspects of coral physiology to OA, and both mitigated and worsened pCO2 effects. This demonstrates for the first time that coral energy reserves are generally not metabolized to sustain calcification under OA, which has important implications for coral health and bleaching resilience in a high-CO2 world. Overall, these findings suggest that some corals could be more resistant to simultaneously warming and acidifying oceans than previously expected.

  19. The coral triangle initiative: What are we missing? A case study from Aceh

    KAUST Repository

    Rudi, Edi

    2012-10-01

    Abstract The Coral Triangle Initiative is an ambitious attempt to conserve the marine biodiversity hotspot known as the Coral Triangle. However, the reef fauna in many nearby regions remains poorly explored and, consequently, the focus on the Coral Triangle risks overlooking other areas of high conservation significance. One region of potential significance, Aceh, Indonesia, has not been visited by coral taxonomists since the Dutch colonial period. Here we document the species richness of scleractinian corals of Pulau Weh, Aceh. We also compare the species richness of the genus Acropora at 3-5 sites in each of nine regions in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Although dominated by widespread Indo-Pacific species, the coral fauna of Pulau Weh is also the eastern and western boundary for many Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean species, respectively. We identified a total of 133 scleractinian species, of which three have been previously recorded only in the western Indian Ocean and five are presently undescribed. The mean species richness of the Acropora at Pulau Weh is similar to regions within the Coral Triangle. This high species richness plus the high proportion of endemics suggests that the Andaman Sea is of similarly high conservation value to the Coral Triangle. We suggest that an international initiative similar to the Coral Triangle Initiative is required to conserve this region, which includes the territorial waters of six countries. © 2012 Fauna & Flora International.

  20. Genetic divergence across habitats in the widespread coral Seriatopora hystrix and its associated Symbiodinium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pim Bongaerts

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity, yet processes of diversification in these ecosystems are poorly understood. The environmental heterogeneity of coral reef environments could be an important contributor to diversification, however, evidence supporting ecological speciation in corals is sparse. Here, we present data from a widespread coral species that reveals a strong association of host and symbiont lineages with specific habitats, consistent with distinct, sympatric gene pools that are maintained through ecologically-based selection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Populations of a common brooding coral, Seriatopora hystrix, were sampled from three adjacent reef habitats (spanning a approximately 30 m depth range at three locations on the Great Barrier Reef (n = 336. The populations were assessed for genetic structure using a combination of mitochondrial (putative control region and nuclear (three microsatellites markers for the coral host, and the ITS2 region of the ribosomal DNA for the algal symbionts (Symbiodinium. Our results show concordant genetic partitioning of both the coral host and its symbionts across the different habitats, independent of sampling location. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study demonstrates that coral populations and their associated symbionts can be highly structured across habitats on a single reef. Coral populations from adjacent habitats were found to be genetically isolated from each other, whereas genetic similarity was maintained across similar habitat types at different locations. The most parsimonious explanation for the observed genetic partitioning across habitats is that adaptation to the local environment has caused ecological divergence of distinct genetic groups within S. hystrix.

  1. Tropical Marginal Seas: Priority Regions for Managing Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, A. David; Williams, Alan; Young, Jock; Ceccarelli, Daniela; Dunstan, Piers; Brewin, Robert J. W.; Watson, Reg; Brinkman, Richard; Cappo, Mike; Duggan, Samantha; Kelley, Russell; Ridgway, Ken; Lindsay, Dhugal; Gledhill, Daniel; Hutton, Trevor; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marginal seas (TMSs) are natural subregions of tropical oceans containing biodiverse ecosystems with conspicuous, valued, and vulnerable biodiversity assets. They are focal points for global marine conservation because they occur in regions where human populations are rapidly expanding. Our review of 11 TMSs focuses on three key ecosystems - coral reefs and emergent atolls, deep benthic systems, and pelagic biomes - and synthesizes, illustrates, and contrasts knowledge of biodiversity, ecosystem function, interaction between adjacent habitats, and anthropogenic pressures. TMSs vary in the extent that they have been subject to human influence - from the nearly pristine Coral Sea to the heavily exploited South China and Caribbean Seas - but we predict that they will all be similarly complex to manage because most span multiple national jurisdictions. We conclude that developing a structured process to identify ecologically and biologically significant areas that uses a set of globally agreed criteria is a tractable first step toward effective multinational and transboundary ecosystem management of TMSs.

  2. Linking Coral Reef Remote Sensing and Field Ecology: It’s a Matter of Scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Q. Lucas

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing shows potential for assessing biodiversity of coral reefs. Important steps in achieving this objective are better understanding the spectral variability of various reef components and correlating these spectral characteristics with field-based ecological assessments. Here we analyze >9400 coral reef field spectra from southwestern Puerto Rico to evaluate how spectral variability and, more specifically, spectral similarity between species influences estimates of biodiversity. Traditional field methods for estimating reef biodiversity using photoquadrats are also included to add ecological context to the spectral analysis. Results show that while many species can be distinguished using in situ field spectra, the addition of the overlying water column significantly reduces the ability to differentiate species, and even groups of species. This indicates that the ability to evaluate biodiversity with remote sensing decreases with increasing water depth. Due to the inherent spectral similarity amongst many species, including taxonomically dissimilar species, remote sensing underestimates biodiversity and represents the lower limit of actual species diversity. The overall implication is that coral reef ecologists using remote sensing need to consider the spatial and spectral context of the imagery, and remote sensing scientists analyzing biodiversity need to define confidence limits as a function of both water depth and the scale of information derived, e.g., species, groups of species, or community level.

  3. Resilience among Military Youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Easterbrooks, M. Ann; Ginsburg, Kenneth; Lerner, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the authors present their approach to understanding resilience among military connected young people, and they discuss some of the gaps in their knowledge. They begin by defining resilience, and then present a theoretical model of how young people demonstrate resilient functioning. Next they consider some of the research on…

  4. Red coral extinction risk enhanced by ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerrano, Carlo; Cardini, Ulisse; Bianchelli, Silvia; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Pusceddu, Antonio; Danovaro, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    The red coral Corallium rubrum is a habitat-forming species with a prominent and structural role in mesophotic habitats, which sustains biodiversity hotspots. This precious coral is threatened by both over-exploitation and temperature driven mass mortality events. We report here that biocalcification, growth rates and polyps' (feeding) activity of Corallium rubrum are significantly reduced at pCO2 scenarios predicted for the end of this century (0.2 pH decrease). Since C. rubrum is a long-living species (>200 years), our results suggest that ocean acidification predicted for 2100 will significantly increases the risk of extinction of present populations. Given the functional role of these corals in the mesophotic zone, we predict that ocean acidification might have cascading effects on the functioning of these habitats worldwide.

  5. Mid-term coral-algal dynamics and conservation status of a Gorgona Island (Tropical Eastern Pacific coral reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando A Zapata

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Colombian coral reefs, as other reefs worldwide, have deteriorated significantly during the last few decades due to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The National Monitoring System for Coral Reefs in Colombia (SIMAC was established in 1998 to provide long-term data bases to assess the changes of Colombian coral reefs against perturbations and to identify the factors responsible for their decline or recovery. On the Pacific coast, data on coral and algal cover have been collected yearly during seven consecutive years (1998-2004 from 20 permanent transects in two sites at La Azufrada reef, Gorgona Island. Overall, coral cover was high (55.1%-65.7% and algal cover low (28.8%-37.5% and both exhibited significant changes among years, most notably on shallow areas. Differences between sites in both coral and algal cover were present since the study began and may be explained by differences in sedimentation stress derived from soil runoff. Differences between depths most likely stem from the effects of low tidal sub-aerial exposures. Particularly intense sub-aerial exposures occurred repeatedly during January-March, 2001 and accounted for a decrease in coral and an increase in algal cover on shallow depths observed later that year. Additionally, the shallow area on the Northern site seems to be negatively affected by the combined effect of sedimentation and low tidal exposure. However, a decrease in coral cover and an increase of algal cover since 2001 on deep areas at both sites remain unexplained. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that the reef at La Azufrada has been more resilient than other reefs in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP, recovering pre-disturbance (1979 levels of coral cover within a 10 year period after the 1982-83 El Niño, which caused 85% mortality. Furthermore, the effects of the 1997-98 El Niño, indicated by the difference in overall live coral cover between 1998 and 1999, were minor (<6% reduction. Despite

  6. Mid-term coral-algal dynamics and conservation status of a Gorgona Island (Tropical Eastern Pacific) coral reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata, Fernando A; Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto; Caro-Zambrano, Carlos; Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime

    2010-05-01

    Colombian coral reefs, as other reefs worldwide, have deteriorated significantly during the last few decades due to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The National Monitoring System for Coral Reefs in Colombia (SIMAC) was established in 1998 to provide long-term data bases to assess the changes of Colombian coral reefs against perturbations and to identify the factors responsible for their decline or recovery. On the Pacific coast, data on coral and algal cover have been collected yearly during seven consecutive years (1998-2004) from 20 permanent transects in two sites at La Azufrada reef, Gorgona Island. Overall, coral cover was high (55.1%-65.7%) and algal cover low (28.8%-37.5%) and both exhibited significant changes among years, most notably on shallow areas. Differences between sites in both coral and algal cover were present since the study began and may be explained by differences in sedimentation stress derived from soil runoff. Differences between depths most likely stem from the effects of low tidal sub-aerial exposures. Particularly intense sub-aerial exposures occurred repeatedly during January-March, 2001 and accounted for a decrease in coral and an increase in algal cover on shallow depths observed later that year. Additionally, the shallow area on the Northern site seems to be negatively affected by the combined effect of sedimentation and low tidal exposure. However, a decrease in coral cover and an increase of algal cover since 2001 on deep areas at both sites remain unexplained. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that the reef at La Azufrada has been more resilient than other reefs in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP), recovering pre-disturbance (1979) levels of coral cover within a 10 year period after the 1982-83 El Niño, which caused 85% mortality. Furthermore, the effects of the 1997-98 El Niño, indicated by the difference in overall live coral cover between 1998 and 1999, were minor (coral cover in 2004 was as high as

  7. The diversity of coral reefs: what are we missing?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laetitia Plaisance

    Full Text Available Tropical reefs shelter one quarter to one third of all marine species but one third of the coral species that construct reefs are now at risk of extinction. Because traditional methods for assessing reef diversity are extremely time consuming, taxonomic expertise for many groups is lacking, and marine organisms are thought to be less vulnerable to extinction, most discussions of reef conservation focus on maintenance of ecosystem services rather than biodiversity loss. In this study involving the three major oceans with reef growth, we provide new biodiversity estimates based on quantitative sampling and DNA barcoding. We focus on crustaceans, which are the second most diverse group of marine metazoans. We show exceptionally high numbers of crustacean species associated with coral reefs relative to sampling effort (525 species from a combined, globally distributed sample area of 6.3 m(2. The high prevalence of rare species (38% encountered only once, the low level of spatial overlap (81% found in only one locality and the biogeographic patterns of diversity detected (Indo-West Pacific>Central Pacific>Caribbean are consistent with results from traditional survey methods, making this approach a reliable and efficient method for assessing and monitoring biodiversity. The finding of such large numbers of species in a small total area suggests that coral reef diversity is seriously under-detected using traditional survey methods, and by implication, underestimated.

  8. A geological perspective on the degradation and conservation of western Atlantic coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuffner, Ilsa B.; Toth, Lauren T.

    2016-01-01

    Continuing coral-reef degradation in the western Atlantic is resulting in loss of ecological and geologic functions of reefs. With the goal of assisting resource managers and stewards of reefs in setting and measuring progress toward realistic goals for coral-reef conservation and restoration, we examined reef degradation in this region from a geological perspective. The importance of ecosystem services provided by coral reefs—as breakwaters that dissipate wave energy and protect shorelines and as providers of habitat for innumerable species—cannot be overstated. However, the few coral species responsible for reef building in the western Atlantic during the last approximately 1.5 million years are not thriving in the 21st century. These species are highly sensitive to abrupt temperature extremes, prone to disease infection, and have low sexual reproductive potential. Their vulnerability and the low functional redundancy of branching corals have led to the low resilience of western Atlantic reef ecosystems. The decrease in live coral cover over the last 50 years highlights the need for study of relict (senescent) reefs, which, from the perspective of coastline protection and habitat structure, may be just as important to conserve as the living coral veneer. Research is needed to characterize the geological processes of bioerosion, reef cementation, and sediment transport as they relate to modern-day changes in reef elevation. For example, although parrotfish remove nuisance macroalgae, possibly promoting coral recruitment, they will not save Atlantic reefs from geological degradation. In fact, these fish are quickly nibbling away significant quantities of Holocene reef framework. The question of how different biota covering dead reefs affect framework resistance to biological and physical erosion needs to be addressed. Monitoring and managing reefs with respect to physical resilience, in addition to ecological resilience, could optimize the expenditure of

  9. A geological perspective on the degradation and conservation of western Atlantic coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuffner, Ilsa B; Toth, Lauren T

    2016-08-01

    Continuing coral-reef degradation in the western Atlantic is resulting in loss of ecological and geologic functions of reefs. With the goal of assisting resource managers and stewards of reefs in setting and measuring progress toward realistic goals for coral-reef conservation and restoration, we examined reef degradation in this region from a geological perspective. The importance of ecosystem services provided by coral reefs-as breakwaters that dissipate wave energy and protect shorelines and as providers of habitat for innumerable species-cannot be overstated. However, the few coral species responsible for reef building in the western Atlantic during the last approximately 1.5 million years are not thriving in the 21st century. These species are highly sensitive to abrupt temperature extremes, prone to disease infection, and have low sexual reproductive potential. Their vulnerability and the low functional redundancy of branching corals have led to the low resilience of western Atlantic reef ecosystems. The decrease in live coral cover over the last 50 years highlights the need for study of relict (senescent) reefs, which, from the perspective of coastline protection and habitat structure, may be just as important to conserve as the living coral veneer. Research is needed to characterize the geological processes of bioerosion, reef cementation, and sediment transport as they relate to modern-day changes in reef elevation. For example, although parrotfish remove nuisance macroalgae, possibly promoting coral recruitment, they will not save Atlantic reefs from geological degradation. In fact, these fish are quickly nibbling away significant quantities of Holocene reef framework. The question of how different biota covering dead reefs affect framework resistance to biological and physical erosion needs to be addressed. Monitoring and managing reefs with respect to physical resilience, in addition to ecological resilience, could optimize the expenditure of resources

  10. Estimating Resilience Across Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garry D. Peterson

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available Although ecological managers typically focus on managing local or regional landscapes, they often have little ability to control or predict many of the large-scale, long-term processes that drive changes within these landscapes. This lack of control has led some ecologists to argue that ecological management should aim to produce ecosystems that are resilient to change and surprise. Unfortunately, ecological resilience is difficult to measure or estimate in the landscapes people manage. In this paper, I extend system dynamics approaches to resilience and estimate resilience using complex landscape simulation models. I use this approach to evaluate cross-scale edge, a novel empirical method for estimating resilience based on landscape pattern. Cross-scale edge provides relatively robust estimates of resilience, suggesting that, with some further development, it could be used as a management tool to provide rough and rapid estimates of areas of resilience and vulnerability within a landscape.

  11. Response diversity determines the resilience of ecosystems to environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Akira S; Furukawa, Takuya; Sasaki, Takehiro

    2013-05-01

    A growing body of evidence highlights the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem stability and the maintenance of optimal ecosystem functionality. Conservation measures are thus essential to safeguard the ecosystem services that biodiversity provides and human society needs. Current anthropogenic threats may lead to detrimental (and perhaps irreversible) ecosystem degradation, providing strong motivation to evaluate the response of ecological communities to various anthropogenic pressures. In particular, ecosystem functions that sustain key ecosystem services should be identified and prioritized for conservation action. Traditional diversity measures (e.g. 'species richness') may not adequately capture the aspects of biodiversity most relevant to ecosystem stability and functionality, but several new concepts may be more appropriate. These include 'response diversity', describing the variation of responses to environmental change among species of a particular community. Response diversity may also be a key determinant of ecosystem resilience in the face of anthropogenic pressures and environmental uncertainty. However, current understanding of response diversity is poor, and we see an urgent need to disentangle the conceptual strands that pervade studies of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Our review clarifies the links between response diversity and the maintenance of ecosystem functionality by focusing on the insurance hypothesis of biodiversity and the concept of functional redundancy. We provide a conceptual model to describe how loss of response diversity may cause ecosystem degradation through decreased ecosystem resilience. We explicitly explain how response diversity contributes to functional compensation and to spatio-temporal complementarity among species, leading to long-term maintenance of ecosystem multifunctionality. Recent quantitative studies suggest that traditional diversity measures may often be uncoupled from

  12. Freshwater biodiversity: importance, threats, status and conservation challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudgeon, David; Arthington, Angela H; Gessner, Mark O; Kawabata, Zen-Ichiro; Knowler, Duncan J; Lévêque, Christian; Naiman, Robert J; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Soto, Doris; Stiassny, Melanie L J; Sullivan, Caroline A

    2006-05-01

    because it is influenced by the upstream drainage network, the surrounding land, the riparian zone, and - in the case of migrating aquatic fauna - downstream reaches. Such prerequisites are hardly ever met. Immediate action is needed where opportunities exist to set aside intact lake and river ecosystems within large protected areas. For most of the global land surface, trade-offs between conservation of freshwater biodiversity and human use of ecosystem goods and services are necessary. We advocate continuing attempts to check species loss but, in many situations, urge adoption of a compromise position of management for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem functioning and resilience, and human livelihoods in order to provide a viable long-term basis for freshwater conservation. Recognition of this need will require adoption of a new paradigm for biodiversity protection and freshwater ecosystem management - one that has been appropriately termed 'reconciliation ecology'.

  13. Ocean acidification can mediate biodiversity shifts by changing biogenic habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunday, Jennifer M.; Fabricius, Katharina E.; Kroeker, Kristy J.; Anderson, Kathryn M.; Brown, Norah E.; Barry, James P.; Connell, Sean D.; Dupont, Sam; Gaylord, Brian; Hall-Spencer, Jason M.; Klinger, Terrie; Milazzo, Marco; Munday, Philip L.; Russell, Bayden D.; Sanford, Eric; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen; Vaughan, Megan L. H.; Widdicombe, Stephen; Harley, Christopher D. G.

    2017-01-01

    The effects of ocean acidification (OA) on the structure and complexity of coastal marine biogenic habitat have been broadly overlooked. Here we explore how declining pH and carbonate saturation may affect the structural complexity of four major biogenic habitats. Our analyses predict that indirect effects driven by OA on habitat-forming organisms could lead to lower species diversity in coral reefs, mussel beds and some macroalgal habitats, but increases in seagrass and other macroalgal habitats. Available in situ data support the prediction of decreased biodiversity in coral reefs, but not the prediction of seagrass bed gains. Thus, OA-driven habitat loss may exacerbate the direct negative effects of OA on coastal biodiversity; however, we lack evidence of the predicted biodiversity increase in systems where habitat-forming species could benefit from acidification. Overall, a combination of direct effects and community-mediated indirect effects will drive changes in the extent and structural complexity of biogenic habitat, which will have important ecosystem effects.

  14. Coral reef degradation is not correlated with local human population density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, John F.; Valdivia, Abel

    2016-07-01

    The global decline of reef-building corals is understood to be due to a combination of local and global stressors. However, many reef scientists assume that local factors predominate and that isolated reefs, far from human activities, are generally healthier and more resilient. Here we show that coral reef degradation is not correlated with human population density. This suggests that local factors such as fishing and pollution are having minimal effects or that their impacts are masked by global drivers such as ocean warming. Our results also suggest that the effects of local and global stressors are antagonistic, rather than synergistic as widely assumed. These findings indicate that local management alone cannot restore coral populations or increase the resilience of reefs to large-scale impacts. They also highlight the truly global reach of anthropogenic warming and the immediate need for drastic and sustained cuts in carbon emissions.

  15. Skeletal growth, respiration rate and fatty acid composition in the cold-water coral

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Larsson, A.I.; Lundälv, T.; van Oevelen, D.

    2013-01-01

    Reefs of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa form biodiversity-rich habitats in the deep ocean, but physiology, reproduction, feeding and growth in this species remain poorly investigated. Food supply to reef sites varies considerably both spatially and temporarily. In this study we investigated t

  16. Cold-water coral ecosystem (Tisler Reef, Norwegian Shelf) may be a hotspot for carbon cycling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    White, M.; Wolff, G.A.; Lundälv, T.; Guihen, D.; Kiriakoulakis, K.; Lavaleye, M.; Duineveld, G.

    2012-01-01

    Cold-water coral (CWC) reefs are recognised as an important marine benthic eco system at continental margins. Where abundant, they most likely play a role both in the maintenance of biodiversity and in the provision of ecosystem services provided by shelf seas. Here, we directly measure the

  17. Phage therapy for Florida corals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2007-01-01

    Coral disease is a major cause of reef decline in the Florida Keys. Bacterium has been defined as the most common pathogen (disease-causing organism). Although much is being done to catalog coral diseases, map their locations, determine the causes of disease, or measure the rates of coral demise, very little research has been directed toward actually preventing or eliminating the diseases affecting coral and coral reef decline.

  18. Funding begets biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahrends, Antje; Burgess, Neil David; Gereau, Roy E.

    2011-01-01

    . Cross-correlation analysis showed that funding is likely to be driving conservation priorities and not vice versa. It was also apparent that investment itself may trigger further investments as a result of reduced start-up costs for new projects in areas where infrastructure already exists......Aim Effective conservation of biodiversity relies on an unbiased knowledge of its distribution. Conservation priority assessments are typically based on the levels of species richness, endemism and threat. Areas identified as important receive the majority of conservation investments, often....... It is therefore difficult to establish whether funding, perceived biodiversity, or both drive further funding. However, in all cases, the results suggest that regional assessments of biodiversity conservation importance may be biased by investment. Funding effects might also confound studies on mechanisms...

  19. Business and biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Rasmus Meyer; Lehmann, Martin; Christensen, Per

    is the challenge of engaging businesses in responsible actions. The core challenge is to create awareness of the environmental phenomenon biodiversity, inform about the significance of business involvement, and encourage the business world to participate in this process of protecting biodiversity as the valuable...... - a challenge that needs to be shared between conservationists, green organisations, public authorities, as well as the private sector. A new wave of green initiatives has emerged within the culture of business and marketing. The reasons for why businesses should engage in environmental actions are many......, but the effort has until now considered biodiversity actions relatively little, compared to other areas such as e.g. climate related actions. Nevertheless, the opportunity for businesses to meet their responsibilities and lift a share of the challenge is far from being just a romantic thought. Nor...

  20. A positive trajectory for corals atLittle Cayman Island.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carrie Manfrino

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are damaged by natural disturbances and local and global anthropogenic stresses. As stresses intensify, so do debates about whether reefs will recover after significant damage. True headway in this debate requires documented temporal trajectories for coral assemblages subjected to various combinations of stresses; therefore, we report relevant changes in coral assemblages at Little Cayman Island. Between 1999 and 2012, spatiotemporal patterns in cover, densities of juveniles and size structure of assemblages were documented inside and outside marine protected areas using transects, quadrats and measurements of maximum diameters. Over five years, bleaching and disease caused live cover to decrease from 26% to 14%, with full recovery seven years later. Juvenile densities varied, reaching a maximum in 2010. Both patterns were consistent within and outside protected areas. In addition, dominant coral species persisted within and outside protected areas although their size frequency distributions varied temporally and spatially. The health of the coral assemblage and the similarity of responses across levels of protection suggested that negligible anthropogenic disturbance at the local scale was a key factor underlying the observed resilience.

  1. Can benthic algae mediate larval behavior and settlement of the coral Acropora muricata?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denis, V.; Loubeyres, M.; Doo, S. S.; de Palmas, S.; Keshavmurthy, S.; Hsieh, H. J.; Chen, C. A.

    2014-06-01

    The resilience of coral reefs relies significantly on the ability of corals to recover successfully in algal-dominated environments. Larval settlement is a critical but highly vulnerable stage in the early life history of corals. In this study, we analyzed how the presence of two upright fleshy algae, Sargassum mcclurei (SM) and Padina australis (PA), and one crustose coralline algae, Mesophyllum simulans (MS), affects the settlement of Acropora muricata larvae. Coral larvae were exposed to seawater flowing over these algae at two concentrations. Larval settlement and mortality were assessed daily through four variables related to their behavior: swimming, substratum testing, metamorphosis, and stresses. Temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, algal growth, and photosynthetic efficiency were monitored throughout the experiment. Results showed that A. muricata larvae can settle successfully in the absence of external stimuli (63 ± 6 % of the larvae settled in control treatments). While algae such as MS may stimulate substrate testing and settlement of larvae in the first day after competency, they ultimately had a lower settlement rate than controls. Fleshy algae such as PA, and in a lesser measure SM, induced more metamorphosis than controls and seemed to eventually stimulate settlement. A diverse combination of signals and/or modifications of microenvironments by algae and their associated microbial communities may explain the pattern observed in coral settlement. Overall, this study contributes significantly to the knowledge of the interaction between coral and algae, which is critical for the resilience of the reefs.

  2. Operationalizing biodiversity for conservation planning

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sahotra Sarkar; Chris Margules

    2002-07-01

    Biodiversity has acquired such a general meaning that people now find it difficult to pin down a precise sense for planning and policy-making aimed at biodiversity conservation. Because biodiversity is rooted in place, the task of conserving biodiversity should target places for conservation action; and because all places contain biodiversity, but not all places can be targeted for action, places have to be prioritized. What is needed for this is a measure of the extent to which biodiversity varies from place to place. We do not need a precise measure of biodiversity to prioritize places. Relative estimates of similarity or difference can be derived using partial measures, or what have come to be called biodiversity surrogates. Biodiversity surrogates are supposed to stand in for general biodiversity in planning applications. We distinguish between true surrogates, those that might truly stand in for general biodiversity, and estimator surrogates, which have true surrogates as their target variable. For example, species richness has traditionally been the estimator surrogate for the true surrogate, species diversity. But species richness does not capture the differences in composition between places; the essence of biodiversity. Another measure, called complementarity, explicitly captures the differences between places as we iterate the process of place prioritization, starting with an initial place. The relative concept of biodiversity built into the definition of complementarity has the level of precision needed to undertake conservation planning.

  3. UNMIXING-BASED DENOISING AS A PRE-PROCESSING STEP FOR CORAL REEF ANALYSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Cerra

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs, among the world’s most biodiverse and productive submerged habitats, have faced several mass bleaching events due to climate change during the past 35 years. In the course of this century, global warming and ocean acidification are expected to cause corals to become increasingly rare on reef systems. This will result in a sharp decrease in the biodiversity of reef communities and carbonate reef structures. Coral reefs may be mapped, characterized and monitored through remote sensing. Hyperspectral images in particular excel in being used in coral monitoring, being characterized by very rich spectral information, which results in a strong discrimination power to characterize a target of interest, and separate healthy corals from bleached ones. Being submerged habitats, coral reef systems are difficult to analyse in airborne or satellite images, as relevant information is conveyed in bands in the blue range which exhibit lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR with respect to other spectral ranges; furthermore, water is absorbing most of the incident solar radiation, further decreasing the SNR. Derivative features, which are important in coral analysis, result greatly affected by the resulting noise present in relevant spectral bands, justifying the need of new denoising techniques able to keep local spatial and spectral features. In this paper, Unmixing-based Denoising (UBD is used to enable analysis of a hyperspectral image acquired over a coral reef system in the Red Sea based on derivative features. UBD reconstructs pixelwise a dataset with reduced noise effects, by forcing each spectrum to a linear combination of other reference spectra, exploiting the high dimensionality of hyperspectral datasets. Results show clear enhancements with respect to traditional denoising methods based on spatial and spectral smoothing, facilitating the coral detection task.

  4. Unmixing-Based Denoising as a Pre-Processing Step for Coral Reef Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerra, D.; Traganos, D.; Gege, P.; Reinartz, P.

    2017-05-01

    Coral reefs, among the world's most biodiverse and productive submerged habitats, have faced several mass bleaching events due to climate change during the past 35 years. In the course of this century, global warming and ocean acidification are expected to cause corals to become increasingly rare on reef systems. This will result in a sharp decrease in the biodiversity of reef communities and carbonate reef structures. Coral reefs may be mapped, characterized and monitored through remote sensing. Hyperspectral images in particular excel in being used in coral monitoring, being characterized by very rich spectral information, which results in a strong discrimination power to characterize a target of interest, and separate healthy corals from bleached ones. Being submerged habitats, coral reef systems are difficult to analyse in airborne or satellite images, as relevant information is conveyed in bands in the blue range which exhibit lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) with respect to other spectral ranges; furthermore, water is absorbing most of the incident solar radiation, further decreasing the SNR. Derivative features, which are important in coral analysis, result greatly affected by the resulting noise present in relevant spectral bands, justifying the need of new denoising techniques able to keep local spatial and spectral features. In this paper, Unmixing-based Denoising (UBD) is used to enable analysis of a hyperspectral image acquired over a coral reef system in the Red Sea based on derivative features. UBD reconstructs pixelwise a dataset with reduced noise effects, by forcing each spectrum to a linear combination of other reference spectra, exploiting the high dimensionality of hyperspectral datasets. Results show clear enhancements with respect to traditional denoising methods based on spatial and spectral smoothing, facilitating the coral detection task.

  5. Rapid assessment of stony coral richness and condition on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila A McKenna

    Full Text Available The benthic habitats of Saba Bank (17 degrees 25'N, 63 degrees 30'W are at risk from maritime traffic, especially oil tankers (e.g., anchoring. To mitigate this risk, information is needed on the biodiversity and location of habitats to develop a zone use plan. A rapid survey to document the biodiversity of macro-algae, sponges, corals and fishes was conducted. Here we report on the richness and condition of stony coral species at 18 select sites, and we test for the effects of bottom type, depth, and distance from platform edge. Species richness was visually assessed by roving scuba diver with voucher specimens of each species collected. Coral tissue was examined for bleaching and diseases. Thirty-three coral species were documented. There were no significant differences in coral composition among bottom types or depth classes (ANOSIM, P>0.05. There was a significant difference between sites (ANOSIM, P<0.05 near and far from the platform edge. The number of coral species observed ranged from zero and one in algal dominated habitats to 23 at a reef habitat on the southern edge of the Bank. Five reef sites had stands of Acropora cervicornis, a critically endangered species on the IUCN redlist. Bleaching was evident at 82% of the sites assessed with 43 colonies bleached. Only three coral colonies were observed to have disease. Combining our findings with that of other studies, a total of 43 species have been documented from Saba Bank. The coral assemblage on the bank is representative and typical of those found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Although our findings will help develop effective protection, more information is needed on Saba Bank to create a comprehensive zone use plan. Nevertheless, immediate action is warranted to protect the diverse coral reef habitats documented here, especially those containing A. cervicornis.

  6. Resilience-based perspectives to guiding high-nature-value farmland through socioeconomic change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Bieling, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    Global environmental challenges require approaches that integrate biodiversity conservation, food production, and livelihoods at landscape scales. We reviewed the approach of conserving biodiversity on "high-nature-value" (HNV) farmland, covering 75 million ha in Europe, from a resilience...... perspective. Despite growing recognition in natural resource policies, many HNV farmlands have vanished, and the remaining ones are vulnerable to socioeconomic changes. Using landscapelevel cases across Europe, we considered the following social-ecological system properties and components...

  7. Spatial and temporal patterns of coral health and disease along leeward Hawai'i Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couch, C. S.; Garriques, J. D.; Barnett, C.; Preskitt, L.; Cotton, S.; Giddens, J.; Walsh, W.

    2014-09-01

    Ecological processes including disease, competition for space, and predation strongly influence coral reef health from the colony to reef level. The leeward/west coast of the island of Hawai'i consists of the largest expanse of intact reefs in the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), yet little is known about the health of its coral communities. We measured prevalence of coral diseases and non-disease conditions at nine regions across two depths in the summer and winter months between 2010 and 2011. We also assessed long-term changes in coral cover (2003-2011). Mean prevalence of chronic diseases was 5-21 times greater than previously reported for the MHI. Coral health varied minimally across survey months with mild seasonality only detected in algal overgrowth (ALOG). Coral health varied considerably by depth and site, and was primarily driven by the most prevalent and common conditions: Porites growth anomalies (13.7 ± 0.82 %), Porites trematodiasis (9.5 ± 0.90 %), discoloration (5.6 ± 0.33 %), ALOG (9.9 ± 0.54 %), and gastropod predation (2.4 ± 0.23). While several conditions were significantly elevated in shallow zones, unique site × depth interactions suggest that specific site-level factors are driving prevalence. At the coast-wide level, percentage of coral cover did not change significantly between 2003 and 2011, but decreased significantly at two sites and increased at one site. Based on coral cover decline and high prevalence of certain coral health conditions, we identified four regions of concern (Puakō, Mauna Lani, Ka'ūpūlehu, and Hōnaunau). The high spatial variation in coral health not only advances our understanding of coral disease ecology, but also supports reef resilience planning by identifying vulnerable areas that would benefit most from targeted conservation and management efforts.

  8. Resilience in disaster research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahlberg, Rasmus; Johannessen-Henry, Christine Tind; Raju, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the concept of resilience in disaster management settings in modern society. The diversity and relatedness of ‘resilience’ as a concept and as a process are reflected in its presentation through three ‘versions’: (i) pastoral care and the role of the church for victims...... of disaster trauma, (ii) federal policy and the US Critical Infrastructure Plan, and (iii) the building of resilient communities for disaster risk reduction practices. The three versions aim to offer characteristic expressions of resilience, as increasingly evident in current disaster literature....... In presenting resilience through the lens of these three versions, the article highlights the complexity in using resilience as an all-encompassing word. The article also suggests the need for understanding the nexuses between risk, vulnerability, and policy for the future of resilience discourse....

  9. Cryobiology of coral fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagedorn, Mary; Farrell, Ann; Carter, Virginia L

    2013-02-01

    Around the world, coral reefs are dying due to human influences, and saving habitat alone may not stop this destruction. This investigation focused on the biological processes that will provide the first steps in understanding the cryobiology of whole coral fragments. Coral fragments are a partnership of coral tissue and endosymbiotic algae, Symbiodinium sp., commonly called zooxanthellae. These data reflected their separate sensitivities to chilling and a cryoprotectant (dimethyl sulfoxide) for the coral Pocillopora damicornis, as measured by tissue loss and Pulse Amplitude Modulated fluorometry 3weeks post-treatment. Five cryoprotectant treatments maintained the viability of the coral tissue and zooxanthellae at control values (1M dimethyl sulfoxide at 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0h exposures, and 1.5M dimethyl sulfoxide at 1.0 and 1.5h exposures, P>0.05, ANOVA), whereas 2M concentrations did not (Pcoral tissue, but not in the zooxanthellae. During the winter when the fragments were chilled, the coral tissue remained relatively intact (∼25% loss) post-treatment, but the zooxanthellae numbers in the tissue declined after 5min of chilling (Pcoral tissue (∼75% loss) and zooxanthellae numbers declined in response to chilling alone (Pcoral against tissue loss after 45min of cryoprotectant exposure (P>0.05, ANOVA), but it did not protect against the loss of zooxanthellae (Pcoral fragment complex and future cryopreservation protocols must be guided by their greater sensitivity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Resilience of Amazon forests emerges from plant trait diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakschewski, Boris; von Bloh, Werner; Boit, Alice; Poorter, Lourens; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Heinke, Jens; Joshi, Jasmin; Thonicke, Kirsten

    2016-11-01

    Climate change threatens ecosystems worldwide, yet their potential future resilience remains largely unquantified. In recent years many studies have shown that biodiversity, and in particular functional diversity, can enhance ecosystem resilience by providing a higher response diversity. So far these insights have been mostly neglected in large-scale projections of ecosystem responses to climate change. Here we show that plant trait diversity, as a key component of functional diversity, can have a strikingly positive effect on the Amazon forests' biomass under future climate change. Using a terrestrial biogeochemical model that simulates diverse forest communities on the basis of individual tree growth, we show that plant trait diversity may enable the Amazon forests to adjust to new climate conditions via a process of ecological sorting, protecting the Amazon's carbon sink function. Therefore, plant trait diversity, and biodiversity in general, should be considered in large-scale ecosystem projections and be included as an integral part of climate change research and policy.

  11. Toward Operationalizing Resilience Concepts in Australian Marine Sectors Coping with Climate Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie L. Davidson

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available We seek to contribute to the scholarship on operationalizing resilience concepts via a working resilience indicator framework. Although it requires further refinement, this practical framework provides a useful baseline for generating awareness and understanding of the complexity and diversity of variables that impinge on resilience. It has potential value for the evaluation, benchmarking, monitoring, and reporting of marine system resilience. The necessity for such a framework is a consequence of the levels of complexity and uncertainty associated with climate change and other global change stressors in marine social-ecological systems, and the problems involved in assessing their resilience. There is a need for: (1 methodologies that bring together knowledge from diverse sources and disciplines to investigate the complexity and uncertainty of interactions between climate, ocean, and human systems and (2 frameworks to facilitate the evaluation and monitoring of the social-ecological resilience of marine-dependent sectors. Accordingly, our main objective is to demonstrate the virtues of combining a case study methodology with complex adaptive systems approaches as a means to improve understanding of the multifaceted dynamics of marine sectors experiencing climate change. The resilience indicator framework, the main product of the methodology, is developed using four case studies across key Australian marine biodiversity and resource sectors already experiencing impacts from climate and other global changes. It comprises a set of resilience dimensions with a candidate set of abstract and concrete resilience indicators. Its design ensures an integrated approach to resilience evaluation.

  12. Neurobiology of Resilience

    OpenAIRE

    Russo, Scott J.; Murrough, James W.; Han, Ming–Hu; Charney, Dennis S.; Nestler, Eric J.

    2012-01-01

    Humans exhibit a remarkable degree of resilience in the face of extreme stress, with most resisting the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. Over the past 5 years, there has been increasing interest in the active, adaptive coping mechanisms of resilience; however, in humans, the majority of published work focuses on correlative neuroendocrine markers that are associated with a resilient phenotype. In this review, we highlight a growing literature in rodents that is starting to complemen...

  13. Identification of microRNAs in the coral Stylophora pistillata.

    KAUST Repository

    Liew, Yi Jin

    2014-03-21

    Coral reefs are major contributors to marine biodiversity. However, they are in rapid decline due to global environmental changes such as rising sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, and pollution. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses have broadened our understanding of coral biology, but a study of the microRNA (miRNA) repertoire of corals is missing. miRNAs constitute a class of small non-coding RNAs of ∼22 nt in size that play crucial roles in development, metabolism, and stress response in plants and animals alike. In this study, we examined the coral Stylophora pistillata for the presence of miRNAs and the corresponding core protein machinery required for their processing and function. Based on small RNA sequencing, we present evidence for 31 bona fide microRNAs, 5 of which (miR-100, miR-2022, miR-2023, miR-2030, and miR-2036) are conserved in other metazoans. Homologues of Argonaute, Piwi, Dicer, Drosha, Pasha, and HEN1 were identified in the transcriptome of S. pistillata based on strong sequence conservation with known RNAi proteins, with additional support derived from phylogenetic trees. Examination of putative miRNA gene targets indicates potential roles in development, metabolism, immunity, and biomineralisation for several of the microRNAs. Here, we present first evidence of a functional RNAi machinery and five conserved miRNAs in S. pistillata, implying that miRNAs play a role in organismal biology of scleractinian corals. Analysis of predicted miRNA target genes in S. pistillata suggests potential roles of miRNAs in symbiosis and coral calcification. Given the importance of miRNAs in regulating gene expression in other metazoans, further expression analyses of small non-coding RNAs in transcriptional studies of corals should be informative about miRNA-affected processes and pathways.

  14. Identification of microRNAs in the coral Stylophora pistillata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Jin Liew

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are major contributors to marine biodiversity. However, they are in rapid decline due to global environmental changes such as rising sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, and pollution. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses have broadened our understanding of coral biology, but a study of the microRNA (miRNA repertoire of corals is missing. miRNAs constitute a class of small non-coding RNAs of ∼22 nt in size that play crucial roles in development, metabolism, and stress response in plants and animals alike. In this study, we examined the coral Stylophora pistillata for the presence of miRNAs and the corresponding core protein machinery required for their processing and function. Based on small RNA sequencing, we present evidence for 31 bona fide microRNAs, 5 of which (miR-100, miR-2022, miR-2023, miR-2030, and miR-2036 are conserved in other metazoans. Homologues of Argonaute, Piwi, Dicer, Drosha, Pasha, and HEN1 were identified in the transcriptome of S. pistillata based on strong sequence conservation with known RNAi proteins, with additional support derived from phylogenetic trees. Examination of putative miRNA gene targets indicates potential roles in development, metabolism, immunity, and biomineralisation for several of the microRNAs. Here, we present first evidence of a functional RNAi machinery and five conserved miRNAs in S. pistillata, implying that miRNAs play a role in organismal biology of scleractinian corals. Analysis of predicted miRNA target genes in S. pistillata suggests potential roles of miRNAs in symbiosis and coral calcification. Given the importance of miRNAs in regulating gene expression in other metazoans, further expression analyses of small non-coding RNAs in transcriptional studies of corals should be informative about miRNA-affected processes and pathways.

  15. Identification of microRNAs in the coral Stylophora pistillata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liew, Yi Jin; Aranda, Manuel; Carr, Adrian; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Zoccola, Didier; Tambutté, Sylvie; Allemand, Denis; Micklem, Gos; Voolstra, Christian R

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs are major contributors to marine biodiversity. However, they are in rapid decline due to global environmental changes such as rising sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, and pollution. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses have broadened our understanding of coral biology, but a study of the microRNA (miRNA) repertoire of corals is missing. miRNAs constitute a class of small non-coding RNAs of ∼22 nt in size that play crucial roles in development, metabolism, and stress response in plants and animals alike. In this study, we examined the coral Stylophora pistillata for the presence of miRNAs and the corresponding core protein machinery required for their processing and function. Based on small RNA sequencing, we present evidence for 31 bona fide microRNAs, 5 of which (miR-100, miR-2022, miR-2023, miR-2030, and miR-2036) are conserved in other metazoans. Homologues of Argonaute, Piwi, Dicer, Drosha, Pasha, and HEN1 were identified in the transcriptome of S. pistillata based on strong sequence conservation with known RNAi proteins, with additional support derived from phylogenetic trees. Examination of putative miRNA gene targets indicates potential roles in development, metabolism, immunity, and biomineralisation for several of the microRNAs. Here, we present first evidence of a functional RNAi machinery and five conserved miRNAs in S. pistillata, implying that miRNAs play a role in organismal biology of scleractinian corals. Analysis of predicted miRNA target genes in S. pistillata suggests potential roles of miRNAs in symbiosis and coral calcification. Given the importance of miRNAs in regulating gene expression in other metazoans, further expression analyses of small non-coding RNAs in transcriptional studies of corals should be informative about miRNA-affected processes and pathways.

  16. Environmental symbiont acquisition may not be the solution to warming seas for reef-building corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Alice Coffroth

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs worldwide are in decline. Much of the mortality can be attributed to coral bleaching (loss of the coral's intracellular photosynthetic algal symbiont associated with global warming. How corals will respond to increasing oceanic temperatures has been an area of extensive study and debate. Recovery after a bleaching event is dependent on regaining symbionts, but the source of repopulating symbionts is poorly understood. Possibilities include recovery from the proliferation of endogenous symbionts or recovery by uptake of exogenous stress-tolerant symbionts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To test one of these possibilities, the ability of corals to acquire exogenous symbionts, bleached colonies of Porites divaricata were exposed to symbiont types not normally found within this coral and symbiont acquisition was monitored. After three weeks exposure to exogenous symbionts, these novel symbionts were detected in some of the recovering corals, providing the first experimental evidence that scleractinian corals are capable of temporarily acquiring symbionts from the water column after bleaching. However, the acquisition was transient, indicating that the new symbioses were unstable. Only those symbiont types present before bleaching were stable upon recovery, demonstrating that recovery was from the resident in situ symbiont populations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that some corals do not have the ability to adjust to climate warming by acquiring and maintaining exogenous, more stress-tolerant symbionts. This has serious ramifications for the success of coral reefs and surrounding ecosystems and suggests that unless actions are taken to reverse it, climate change will lead to decreases in biodiversity and a loss of coral reefs.

  17. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-01-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery. PMID:24634720

  18. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-02-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery.

  19. Marine communities on oil platforms in Gabon, West Africa: high biodiversity oases in a low biodiversity environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan M Friedlander

    Full Text Available The marine biodiversity of Gabon, West Africa has not been well studied and is largely unknown. Our examination of marine communities associated with oil platforms in Gabon is the first scientific investigation of these structures and highlights the unique ecosystems associated with them. A number of species previously unknown to Gabonese waters were recorded during our surveys on these platforms. Clear distinctions in benthic communities were observed between older, larger platforms in the north and newer platforms to the south or closer to shore. The former were dominated by a solitary cup coral, Tubastraea sp., whereas the latter were dominated by the barnacle Megabalanus tintinnabulum, but with more diverse benthic assemblages compared to the northerly platforms. Previous work documented the presence of limited zooxanthellated scleractinian corals on natural rocky substrate in Gabon but none were recorded on platforms. Total estimated fish biomass on these platforms exceeded one ton at some locations and was dominated by barracuda (Sphyraena spp., jacks (Carangids, and rainbow runner (Elagatis bipinnulata. Thirty-four percent of fish species observed on these platforms are new records for Gabon and 6% are new to tropical West Africa. Fish assemblages closely associated with platforms had distinct amphi-Atlantic affinities and platforms likely extend the distribution of these species into coastal West Africa. At least one potential invasive species, the snowflake coral (Carijoa riisei, was observed on the platforms. Oil platforms may act as stepping stones, increasing regional biodiversity and production but they may also be vectors for invasive species. Gabon is a world leader in terrestrial conservation with a network of protected areas covering >10% of the country. Oil exploration and biodiversity conservation currently co-exist in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in Gabon. Efforts to increase marine protection in Gabon may benefit by

  20. Marine communities on oil platforms in Gabon, West Africa: high biodiversity oases in a low biodiversity environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlander, Alan M; Ballesteros, Enric; Fay, Michael; Sala, Enric

    2014-01-01

    The marine biodiversity of Gabon, West Africa has not been well studied and is largely unknown. Our examination of marine communities associated with oil platforms in Gabon is the first scientific investigation of these structures and highlights the unique ecosystems associated with them. A number of species previously unknown to Gabonese waters were recorded during our surveys on these platforms. Clear distinctions in benthic communities were observed between older, larger platforms in the north and newer platforms to the south or closer to shore. The former were dominated by a solitary cup coral, Tubastraea sp., whereas the latter were dominated by the barnacle Megabalanus tintinnabulum, but with more diverse benthic assemblages compared to the northerly platforms. Previous work documented the presence of limited zooxanthellated scleractinian corals on natural rocky substrate in Gabon but none were recorded on platforms. Total estimated fish biomass on these platforms exceeded one ton at some locations and was dominated by barracuda (Sphyraena spp.), jacks (Carangids), and rainbow runner (Elagatis bipinnulata). Thirty-four percent of fish species observed on these platforms are new records for Gabon and 6% are new to tropical West Africa. Fish assemblages closely associated with platforms had distinct amphi-Atlantic affinities and platforms likely extend the distribution of these species into coastal West Africa. At least one potential invasive species, the snowflake coral (Carijoa riisei), was observed on the platforms. Oil platforms may act as stepping stones, increasing regional biodiversity and production but they may also be vectors for invasive species. Gabon is a world leader in terrestrial conservation with a network of protected areas covering >10% of the country. Oil exploration and biodiversity conservation currently co-exist in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in Gabon. Efforts to increase marine protection in Gabon may benefit by including oil

  1. Marine Communities on Oil Platforms in Gabon, West Africa: High Biodiversity Oases in a Low Biodiversity Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedlander, Alan M.; Ballesteros, Enric; Fay, Michael; Sala, Enric

    2014-01-01

    The marine biodiversity of Gabon, West Africa has not been well studied and is largely unknown. Our examination of marine communities associated with oil platforms in Gabon is the first scientific investigation of these structures and highlights the unique ecosystems associated with them. A number of species previously unknown to Gabonese waters were recorded during our surveys on these platforms. Clear distinctions in benthic communities were observed between older, larger platforms in the north and newer platforms to the south or closer to shore. The former were dominated by a solitary cup coral, Tubastraea sp., whereas the latter were dominated by the barnacle Megabalanus tintinnabulum, but with more diverse benthic assemblages compared to the northerly platforms. Previous work documented the presence of limited zooxanthellated scleractinian corals on natural rocky substrate in Gabon but none were recorded on platforms. Total estimated fish biomass on these platforms exceeded one ton at some locations and was dominated by barracuda (Sphyraena spp.), jacks (Carangids), and rainbow runner (Elagatis bipinnulata). Thirty-four percent of fish species observed on these platforms are new records for Gabon and 6% are new to tropical West Africa. Fish assemblages closely associated with platforms had distinct amphi-Atlantic affinities and platforms likely extend the distribution of these species into coastal West Africa. At least one potential invasive species, the snowflake coral (Carijoa riisei), was observed on the platforms. Oil platforms may act as stepping stones, increasing regional biodiversity and production but they may also be vectors for invasive species. Gabon is a world leader in terrestrial conservation with a network of protected areas covering >10% of the country. Oil exploration and biodiversity conservation currently co-exist in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in Gabon. Efforts to increase marine protection in Gabon may benefit by including oil

  2. Sets resilient to erosion

    CERN Document Server

    Pegden, Wesley

    2011-01-01

    The erosion of a set in Euclidean space by a radius r>0 is the subset of X consisting of points at distance >/-r from the complement of X. A set is resilient to erosion if it is similar to its erosion by some positive radius. We give a somewhat surprising characterization of resilient sets, consisting in one part of simple geometric constraints on convex resilient sets, and, in another, a correspondence between nonconvex resilient sets and scale-invariant (e.g., 'exact fractal') sets.

  3. Features of resilience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Connelly, Elizabeth B.; Allen, Craig R.; Hatfield, Kirk; Palma-Oliveira, José M.; Woods, David D.; Linkov, Igor

    2017-02-20

    The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) definition of resilience is used here to organize common concepts and synthesize a set of key features of resilience that can be used across diverse application domains. The features in common include critical functions (services), thresholds, cross-scale (both space and time) interactions, and memory and adaptive management. We propose a framework for linking these features to the planning, absorbing, recovering, and adapting phases identified in the NAS definition. The proposed delineation of resilience can be important in understanding and communicating resilience concepts.

  4. Designing for resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, Anurag

    2014-06-01

    The motivation for this work comes from a desire to improve resilience of mission critical cyber enabled systems including those used in critical infrastructure domains such as cyber, power, water, fuel, financial, healthcare, agriculture, and manufacturing. Resilience can be defined as the ability of a system to persistently meet its performance requirements despite the occurrence of adverse events. Characterizing the resilience of a system requires a clear definition of the performance requirements of the system of interest and an ability to quantify the impact on performance by the adverse events of concern. A quantitative characterization of system resilience allows the resilience requirements to be included in the system design criteria. Resilience requirements of a system are derived from the service level agreements (SLAs), measures of effectiveness (MOEs), and measures of performance (MOPs) of the services or missions supported by the system. This paper describes a methodology for designing resilient systems. The components of the methodology include resilience characterization for threat models associated with various exposure modes, requirements mapping, subsystem ranking based on criticality, and selective implementation of mitigations to improve system resilience to a desired level.

  5. Resilience: Theory and Application.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlson, J.L.; Haffenden, R.A.; Bassett, G.W.; Buehring, W.A.; Collins, M.J., III; Folga, S.M.; Petit, F.D.; Phillips, J.A.; Verner, D.R.; Whitfield, R.G. (Decision and Information Sciences)

    2012-02-03

    There is strong agreement among policymakers, practitioners, and academic researchers that the concept of resilience must play a major role in assessing the extent to which various entities - critical infrastructure owners and operators, communities, regions, and the Nation - are prepared to respond to and recover from the full range of threats they face. Despite this agreement, consensus regarding important issues, such as how resilience should be defined, assessed, and measured, is lacking. The analysis presented here is part of a broader research effort to develop and implement assessments of resilience at the asset/facility and community/regional levels. The literature contains various definitions of resilience. Some studies have defined resilience as the ability of an entity to recover, or 'bounce back,' from the adverse effects of a natural or manmade threat. Such a definition assumes that actions taken prior to the occurrence of an adverse event - actions typically associated with resistance and anticipation - are not properly included as determinants of resilience. Other analyses, in contrast, include one or more of these actions in their definitions. To accommodate these different definitions, we recognize a subset of resistance- and anticipation-related actions that are taken based on the assumption that an adverse event is going to occur. Such actions are in the domain of resilience because they reduce both the immediate and longer-term adverse consequences that result from an adverse event. Recognizing resistance- and anticipation-related actions that take the adverse event as a given accommodates the set of resilience-related actions in a clear-cut manner. With these considerations in mind, resilience can be defined as: 'the ability of an entity - e.g., asset, organization, community, region - to anticipate, resist, absorb, respond to, adapt to, and recover from a disturbance.' Because critical infrastructure resilience is important

  6. Biodiversity intactness index

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2005-03-03

    Full Text Available to important factors that influence biodiversity status - and which satisfies the criteria for policy relevance set by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Application of the BII is demonstrated on a large region (4 3 10 6 km 2) of southern Africa. The BII...

  7. When Leeches reveal Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnell, Ida Bærholm

    to provide information about vertebrate biodiversity. This thesis covers the development of a monitoring method based on iDNA extracted from terrestrial haematophagous leeches, a continuation of the work presented in Schnell et al., 2012. The chapters investigate and/or discuss different subjects regarding...

  8. Biodiversity in Benthic Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friberg, Nikolai; Carl, J. D.

    Foreword: This proceeding is based on a set of papers presented at the second Nordic Benthological Meeting held in Silkeborg, November 13-14, 1997. The main theme of the meeting was biodiversity in benthic ecology and the majority of contributions touch on this subject. In addition, the proceeding...

  9. Biodiversity and productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.R. Willig

    2011-01-01

    Researchers predict that human activities especially landscape modification and climate change will have a considerable impact on the distribution and abundance of species at local, regional, and global scales in the 21st century ( 1, 2). This is a concern for a number of reasons, including the potential loss of goods and services that biodiversity provides to people...

  10. When Leeches reveal Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnell, Ida Bærholm

    to provide information about vertebrate biodiversity. This thesis covers the development of a monitoring method based on iDNA extracted from terrestrial haematophagous leeches, a continuation of the work presented in Schnell et al., 2012. The chapters investigate and/or discuss different subjects regarding...

  11. Books, Biodiversity, and Beyond!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Governor, Donna; Helms, Sarah

    2007-01-01

    Reading in science class does not have to be boring, but it is no secret to students or teachers that textbooks are not much fun to read. It is always a challenge for teachers to find reading materials that would grab the interests of their students. In this article, the author relates how she used Biodiversity, a nonfiction book by Dorothy…

  12. Trade, traffic and management of botanical resources in agriculture: review lecture presented at the international symposium on sustainable use of plant biodiversity to promote new opportunities for horticultural production development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bogers, R.J.

    2003-01-01

    The maintenance of biological diversity is of importance for various reasons (genetic resources, ecosystem resilience, source of income, cultural heritage). The international trade in plants from wild source may have negative consequences for biodiversity (habitat alteration, introduction of invasiv

  13. Forecasting the future of biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, M. C.; Sanders, Nate; Ferrier, Simon

    2011-01-01

    , but their application to forecasting climate change impacts on biodiversity has been limited. Here we compare forecasts of changes in patterns of ant biodiversity in North America derived from ensembles of single-species models to those from a multi-species modeling approach, Generalized Dissimilarity Modeling (GDM...... climate change impacts on biodiversity....

  14. Caribbean landscapes and their biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. E. Lugo; E. H. Helmer; E. Santiago Valentín

    2012-01-01

    Both the biodiversity and the landscapes of the Caribbean have been greatly modified as a consequence of human activity. In this essay we provide an overview of the natural landscapes and biodiversity of the Caribbean and discuss how human activity has affected both. Our Caribbean geographic focus is on the insular Caribbean and the biodiversity focus is on the flora,...

  15. Status of marine biodiversity of the China seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, J Y

    2013-01-01

    China's seas cover nearly 5 million square kilometers extending from the tropical to the temperate climate zones and bordering on 32,000 km of coastline, including islands. Comprehensive systematic study of the marine biodiversity within this region began in the early 1950s with the establishment of the Qingdao Marine Biological Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since that time scientists have carried out intensive multidisciplinary research on marine life in the China seas and have recorded 22,629 species belonging to 46 phyla. The marine flora and fauna of the China seas are characterized by high biodiversity, including tropical and subtropical elements of the Indo-West Pacific warm-water fauna in the South and East China seas, and temperate elements of North Pacific temperate fauna mainly in the Yellow Sea. The southern South China Sea fauna is characterized by typical tropical elements paralleled with the Philippine-New Guinea-Indonesia Coral triangle typical tropical faunal center. This paper summarizes advances in studies of marine biodiversity in China's seas and discusses current research mainly on characteristics and changes in marine biodiversity, including the monitoring, assessment, and conservation of endangered species and particularly the strengthening of effective management. Studies of (1) a tidal flat in a semi-enclosed embayment, (2) the impact of global climate change on a cold-water ecosystem, (3) coral reefs of Hainan Island and Xisha-Nansha atolls, (4) mangrove forests of the South China Sea, (5) a threatened seagrass field, and (6) an example of stock enhancement practices of the Chinese shrimp fishery are briefly introduced. Besides the overexploitation of living resources (more than 12.4 million tons yielded in 2007), the major threat to the biodiversity of the China seas is environmental deterioration (pollution, coastal construction), particularly in the brackish waters of estuarine environments, which are characterized by

  16. Status of marine biodiversity of the China seas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Y Liu

    Full Text Available China's seas cover nearly 5 million square kilometers extending from the tropical to the temperate climate zones and bordering on 32,000 km of coastline, including islands. Comprehensive systematic study of the marine biodiversity within this region began in the early 1950s with the establishment of the Qingdao Marine Biological Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since that time scientists have carried out intensive multidisciplinary research on marine life in the China seas and have recorded 22,629 species belonging to 46 phyla. The marine flora and fauna of the China seas are characterized by high biodiversity, including tropical and subtropical elements of the Indo-West Pacific warm-water fauna in the South and East China seas, and temperate elements of North Pacific temperate fauna mainly in the Yellow Sea. The southern South China Sea fauna is characterized by typical tropical elements paralleled with the Philippine-New Guinea-Indonesia Coral triangle typical tropical faunal center. This paper summarizes advances in studies of marine biodiversity in China's seas and discusses current research mainly on characteristics and changes in marine biodiversity, including the monitoring, assessment, and conservation of endangered species and particularly the strengthening of effective management. Studies of (1 a tidal flat in a semi-enclosed embayment, (2 the impact of global climate change on a cold-water ecosystem, (3 coral reefs of Hainan Island and Xisha-Nansha atolls, (4 mangrove forests of the South China Sea, (5 a threatened seagrass field, and (6 an example of stock enhancement practices of the Chinese shrimp fishery are briefly introduced. Besides the overexploitation of living resources (more than 12.4 million tons yielded in 2007, the major threat to the biodiversity of the China seas is environmental deterioration (pollution, coastal construction, particularly in the brackish waters of estuarine environments, which are

  17. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, E. C.

    2012-12-01

    Humans have altered or replaced native ecosystems across more than three quarters of the terrestrial biosphere, creating new global patterns of biodiversity as a result of native species extinctions, domestication and anthropogenic introductions of nonnative species. These anthropogenic global changes in biodiversity have been portrayed as resulting primarily from recent and unprecedented human disturbances that are potentially indicative of catastrophic changes in the Earth system. Yet anthropogenic changes in species richness and community structure caused by human populations and their use of land have been widespread and profound in many regions since before the Holocene, and have been sustained for millennia in many regions, especially in the Temperate Zone. Beyond the anthropogenic megafaunal extinctions of the Pleistocene, habitat loss and fragmentation by agricultural land use has been sustained throughout the Holocene in many biomes at levels theoretically associated with major species extinctions. Anthropogenic patterns of species extinction differ greatly among taxa, with mammals and other larger fauna showing the greatest impacts. However, spatially explicit observations and models of contemporary global patterns of vascular plant species richness confirm that while native losses are likely significant across at least half of Earth's ice-free land, species richness has increased overall in most regional landscapes, mostly because nonnative species invasions tend to exceed native losses. Effective stewardship of biodiversity in the Anthropocene will require integrated global frameworks for observing, modeling and forecasting anthropogenic biodiversity change processes within the novel biotic communities created and sustained by human systems.; Percentage of terrestrial biomes converted to agricultural land over time. ; Conceptual diagram of biodiversity patterns associated with variations in population density, land use and land cover.

  18. Rapid assessment methods of resilience for natural and agricultural systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrico, Juan C; Janssens, Marc J J

    2010-12-01

    The resilience, ecological function and quality of both agricultural and natural systems were evaluated in the mountainous region of the Atlantic Rain Forest of Rio de Janeiro through Rapid Assessment Methods. For this goal new indicators were proposed, such as eco-volume, eco-height, bio-volume, volume efficiency, and resilience index. The following agricultural and natural systems have been compared according: (i) vegetables (leaf, fruit and mixed); (ii) citrus; (iii) ecological system; (iv) cattle, (v) silvo-pastoral system, (vi) forest fragment and (vii) forest in regeneration stage (1, 2 and 3 years old). An alternative measure (index) of resilience was proposed by considering the actual bio-volume as a function of the potential eco-volume. The objectives and hypotheses were fulfilled; it is shown that there does exist a high positive correlation between resilience index, biomass, energy efficiency and biodiversity. Cattle and vegetable systems have lowest resilience, whilst ecological and silvo-pastoral systems have greatest resilience. This new approach offers a rapid, though valuable assessment tool for ecological studies, agricultural development and landscape planning, particularly in tropical countries.

  19. A study on the recovery of Tobago's coral reefs following the 2010 mass bleaching event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buglass, Salome; Donner, Simon D; Alemu I, Jahson B

    2016-03-15

    In 2010, severe coral bleaching was observed across the southeastern Caribbean, including the island of Tobago, where coral reefs are subject to sedimentation and high nutrient levels from terrestrial runoff. Here we examine changes in corals' colony size distributions over time (2010-2013), juvenile abundances and sedimentation rates for sites across Tobago following the 2010 bleaching event. The results indicated that since pre-bleaching coral cover was already low due to local factors and past disturbance, the 2010 event affected only particular susceptible species' population size structure and increased the proportion of small sized colonies. The low density of juveniles (mean of 5.4±6.3 juveniles/m(-2)) suggests that Tobago's reefs already experienced limited recruitment, especially of large broadcasting species. The juvenile distribution and the response of individual species to the bleaching event support the notion that Caribbean reefs are becoming dominated by weedy non-framework building taxa which are more resilient to disturbances.

  20. Mediterranean versus Red sea corals facing climate change, a transcriptome analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maor-Landaw, Keren; Waldman Ben-Asher, Hiba; Karako-Lampert, Sarit; Salmon-Divon, Mali; Prada, Fiorella; Caroselli, Erik; Goffredo, Stefano; Falini, Giuseppe; Dubinsky, Zvy; Levy, Oren

    2017-02-01

    The anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 that drives global warming and ocean acidification raises serious concerns regarding the future of corals, the main carbonate biomineralizers. Here we used transcriptome analysis to study the effect of long-term gradual temperature increase (annual rate), combined with lowered pH values, on a sub-tropical Red Sea coral, Stylophora pistillata, and on a temperate Mediterranean symbiotic coral Balanophyllia europaea. The gene expression profiles revealed a strong effect of both temperature increase and pH decrease implying for synergism response. The temperate coral, exposed to a twice as high range of seasonal temperature fluctuations than the Red Sea species, faced stress more effectively. The compensatory strategy for coping apparently involves deviating cellular resources into a massive up-regulation of genes in general, and specifically of genes involved in the generation of metabolic energy. Our results imply that sub-lethal, prolonged exposure to stress can stimulate evolutionary increase in stress resilience.

  1. Coral skeletal geochemistry as a monitor of inshore water quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saha, Narottam, E-mail: n.saha@uq.edu.au; Webb, Gregory E.; Zhao, Jian-Xin

    2016-10-01

    Coral reefs maintain extraordinary biodiversity and provide protection from tsunamis and storm surge, but inshore coral reef health is degrading in many regions due to deteriorating water quality. Deconvolving natural and anthropogenic changes to water quality is hampered by the lack of long term, dated water quality data but such records are required for forward modelling of reef health to aid their management. Reef corals provide an excellent archive of high resolution geochemical (trace element) proxies that can span hundreds of years and potentially provide records used through the Holocene. Hence, geochemical proxies in corals hold great promise for understanding changes in ancient water quality that can inform broader oceanographic and climatic changes in a given region. This article reviews and highlights the use of coral-based trace metal archives, including metal transported from rivers to the ocean, incorporation of trace metals into coral skeletons and the current ‘state of the art’ in utilizing coral trace metal proxies as tools for monitoring various types of local and regional source-specific pollution (river discharge, land use changes, dredging and dumping, mining, oil spills, antifouling paints, atmospheric sources, sewage). The three most commonly used coral trace element proxies (i.e., Ba/Ca, Mn/Ca, and Y/Ca) are closely associated with river runoff in the Great Barrier Reef, but considerable uncertainty remains regarding their complex biogeochemical cycling and controlling mechanisms. However, coral-based water quality reconstructions have suffered from a lack of understanding of so-called vital effects and early marine diagenesis. The main challenge is to identify and eliminate the influence of extraneous local factors in order to allow accurate water quality reconstructions and to develop alternate proxies to monitor water pollution. Rare earth elements have great potential as they are self-referencing and reflect basic terrestrial input

  2. Corals and Sclerosponges

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Records of past climate and ocean environment derived from stable isotope, trace metal, and other measurements made on corals and sclerosponges. Parameter keywords...

  3. All Framing Corals

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The data represent predicted habitat suitability for several taxa of deep-sea corals. Predictions were modeled using a statistical machine-learning algorithm called...

  4. Threatened Caribbean coral is able to mitigate the adverse effects of ocean acidification on calcification by increasing feeding rate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica K Towle

    Full Text Available Global climate change threatens coral growth and reef ecosystem health via ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA. Whereas the negative impacts of these stressors are increasingly well-documented, studies identifying pathways to resilience are still poorly understood. Heterotrophy has been shown to help corals experiencing decreases in growth due to either thermal or OA stress; however, the mechanism by which it mitigates these decreases remains unclear. This study tested the ability of coral heterotrophy to mitigate reductions in growth due to climate change stress in the critically endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis via changes in feeding rate and lipid content. Corals were either fed or unfed and exposed to elevated temperature (30°C, enriched pCO2 (800 ppm, or both (30°C/800 ppm as compared to a control (26°C/390 ppm for 8 weeks. Feeding rate and lipid content both increased in corals experiencing OA vs. present-day conditions, and were significantly correlated. Fed corals were able to maintain ambient growth rates at both elevated temperature and elevated CO2, while unfed corals experienced significant decreases in growth with respect to fed conspecifics. Our results show for the first time that a threatened coral species can buffer OA-reduced calcification by increasing feeding rates and lipid content.

  5. Threatened Caribbean coral is able to mitigate the adverse effects of ocean acidification on calcification by increasing feeding rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towle, Erica K; Enochs, Ian C; Langdon, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Global climate change threatens coral growth and reef ecosystem health via ocean warming and ocean acidification (OA). Whereas the negative impacts of these stressors are increasingly well-documented, studies identifying pathways to resilience are still poorly understood. Heterotrophy has been shown to help corals experiencing decreases in growth due to either thermal or OA stress; however, the mechanism by which it mitigates these decreases remains unclear. This study tested the ability of coral heterotrophy to mitigate reductions in growth due to climate change stress in the critically endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis via changes in feeding rate and lipid content. Corals were either fed or unfed and exposed to elevated temperature (30°C), enriched pCO2 (800 ppm), or both (30°C/800 ppm) as compared to a control (26°C/390 ppm) for 8 weeks. Feeding rate and lipid content both increased in corals experiencing OA vs. present-day conditions, and were significantly correlated. Fed corals were able to maintain ambient growth rates at both elevated temperature and elevated CO2, while unfed corals experienced significant decreases in growth with respect to fed conspecifics. Our results show for the first time that a threatened coral species can buffer OA-reduced calcification by increasing feeding rates and lipid content.

  6. Benthic habitat map of U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Faga‘alu Bay priority study area, Tutuila, American Samoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, Susan A.; Gibbs, Ann E.; D'Antonio, Nicole L.; Storlazzi, Curt D.

    2016-05-18

    The coral reef in Faga‘alu Bay, Tutuila, American Samoa, has suffered numerous natural and anthropogenic stresses. Areas once dominated by live coral are now mostly rubble surfaces covered with turf or macroalgae. In an effort to improve the health and resilience of the coral reef system, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force selected Faga‘alu Bay as a priority study area. To support these efforts, the U.S. Geological Survey mapped nearly 1 km2 of seafloor to depths of about 60 m. Unconsolidated sediment (predominantly sand) constitutes slightly greater than 50 percent of the seafloor in the mapped area; reef and other hardbottom potentially available for coral recruitment constitute nearly 50 percent of the mapped area. Of this potentially available hardbottom, only slightly greater than 37 percent is covered with at least 10 percent coral, which is fairly evenly distributed between the reef flat, fore reef, and offshore bank/shelf. 

  7. Strengthening Resilience in Families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guild, Diane; Espiner, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Rolling with Resilience (RwR) provides a springboard for developing strategies that build strengths and supports to foster developmental assets in children and youth (Benson, Scales, & Roehlkepartain, 2011). In Circle of Courage terms, resilience is strengthened by opportunities for Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity (Brendtro,…

  8. Resilient behaviour of soils

    OpenAIRE

    Correia, A. Gomes; Gilett, S.

    1996-01-01

    This study examine the resilient behaviour of sands, silts and clay for different moisture conditions and various stress paths. The analysis of data from repeated load triaxial tests carried out on these recompacted soils has enable to test different models and validate their hability to predict resilient response of soils.

  9. The Resilient Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brendtro, Larry K.; Longhurst, James E.

    2005-01-01

    Brain research opens new frontiers in working with children and youth experiencing conflict in school and community. Blending this knowledge with resilience science offers a roadmap for reclaiming those identified as "at risk." This article applies findings from resilience research and recent brain research to identify strategies for reaching…

  10. Creating resilient SMEs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahlberg, Rasmus; Guay, Fanny

    2015-01-01

    operations those threats, if realized, might cause, and which provides a framework for building organizational resilience with the capability of an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value- creating activities. Resilience, on the other hand...

  11. Construction of Resilient Functions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Jie; WEN Qiao-yan

    2005-01-01

    Based on the relationship between nonlinearity and resiliency of a multi-output function, we present a method for constructing nonintersecting linear codes from packing design. Through these linear codes, we obtain n-variable, moutput, t-resilient functions with very high nonlinearity.Their nonlinearities are currently the best results for most of cases.

  12. How Resilience Works.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutu, Diane L.

    2002-01-01

    Looks at coping skills that carry people through life and why some have them and others do not. Suggests that resilience is a reflex, a way of facing and understanding the world, and that resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning out of hardship, and improvise. (JOW)

  13. How Resilience Works.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutu, Diane L.

    2002-01-01

    Looks at coping skills that carry people through life and why some have them and others do not. Suggests that resilience is a reflex, a way of facing and understanding the world, and that resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning out of hardship, and improvise. (JOW)

  14. Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals and coral mucus

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, S.; Balasubramanian, R.

    Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals, fresh coral mucus and floating and attached mucus detritus from the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea was studied. Corallochytrium limacisporum Raghukumar, Thraustochytrium motivum Goldstein...

  15. A diverse assemblage of reef corals thriving in a dynamic intertidal reef setting (Bonaparte Archipelago, Kimberley, Australia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Zoe T; Garcia, Rodrigo A; Wallace, Carden C; Rosser, Natalie L; Muir, Paul R

    2015-01-01

    The susceptibility of reef-building corals to climatic anomalies is well documented and a cause of great concern for the future of coral reefs. Reef corals are normally considered to tolerate only a narrow range of climatic conditions with only a small number of species considered heat-tolerant. Occasionally however, corals can be seen thriving in unusually harsh reef settings and these are cause for some optimism about the future of coral reefs. Here we document for the first time a diverse assemblage of 225 species of hard corals occurring in the intertidal zone of the Bonaparte Archipelago, north western Australia. We compare the environmental conditions at our study site (tidal regime, SST and level of turbidity) with those experienced at four other more typical tropical reef locations with similar levels of diversity. Physical extremes in the Bonaparte Archipelago include tidal oscillations of up to 8 m, long subaerial exposure times (>3.5 hrs), prolonged exposure to high SST and fluctuating turbidity levels. We conclude the timing of low tide in the coolest parts of the day ameliorates the severity of subaerial exposure, and the combination of strong currents and a naturally high sediment regime helps to offset light and heat stress. The low level of anthropogenic impact and proximity to the Indo-west Pacific centre of diversity are likely to further promote resistance and resilience in this community. This assemblage provides an indication of what corals may have existed in other nearshore locations in the past prior to widespread coastal development, eutrophication, coral predator and disease outbreaks and coral bleaching events. Our results call for a re-evaluation of what conditions are optimal for coral survival, and the Bonaparte intertidal community presents an ideal model system for exploring how species resilience is conferred in the absence of confounding factors such as pollution.

  16. A diverse assemblage of reef corals thriving in a dynamic intertidal reef setting (Bonaparte Archipelago, Kimberley, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe T Richards

    Full Text Available The susceptibility of reef-building corals to climatic anomalies is well documented and a cause of great concern for the future of coral reefs. Reef corals are normally considered to tolerate only a narrow range of climatic conditions with only a small number of species considered heat-tolerant. Occasionally however, corals can be seen thriving in unusually harsh reef settings and these are cause for some optimism about the future of coral reefs. Here we document for the first time a diverse assemblage of 225 species of hard corals occurring in the intertidal zone of the Bonaparte Archipelago, north western Australia. We compare the environmental conditions at our study site (tidal regime, SST and level of turbidity with those experienced at four other more typical tropical reef locations with similar levels of diversity. Physical extremes in the Bonaparte Archipelago include tidal oscillations of up to 8 m, long subaerial exposure times (>3.5 hrs, prolonged exposure to high SST and fluctuating turbidity levels. We conclude the timing of low tide in the coolest parts of the day ameliorates the severity of subaerial exposure, and the combination of strong currents and a naturally high sediment regime helps to offset light and heat stress. The low level of anthropogenic impact and proximity to the Indo-west Pacific centre of diversity are likely to further promote resistance and resilience in this community. This assemblage provides an indication of what corals may have existed in other nearshore locations in the past prior to widespread coastal development, eutrophication, coral predator and disease outbreaks and coral bleaching events. Our results call for a re-evaluation of what conditions are optimal for coral survival, and the Bonaparte intertidal community presents an ideal model system for exploring how species resilience is conferred in the absence of confounding factors such as pollution.

  17. The coral reef crisis: the critical importance of<350 ppm CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veron, J E N; Hoegh-Guldberg, O; Lenton, T M; Lough, J M; Obura, D O; Pearce-Kelly, P; Sheppard, C R C; Spalding, M; Stafford-Smith, M G; Rogers, A D

    2009-10-01

    Temperature-induced mass coral bleaching causing mortality on a wide geographic scale started when atmospheric CO(2) levels exceeded approximately 320 ppm. When CO(2) levels reached approximately 340 ppm, sporadic but highly destructive mass bleaching occurred in most reefs world-wide, often associated with El Niño events. Recovery was dependent on the vulnerability of individual reef areas and on the reef's previous history and resilience. At today's level of approximately 387 ppm, allowing a lag-time of 10 years for sea temperatures to respond, most reefs world-wide are committed to an irreversible decline. Mass bleaching will in future become annual, departing from the 4 to 7 years return-time of El Niño events. Bleaching will be exacerbated by the effects of degraded water-quality and increased severe weather events. In addition, the progressive onset of ocean acidification will cause reduction of coral growth and retardation of the growth of high magnesium calcite-secreting coralline algae. If CO(2) levels are allowed to reach 450 ppm (due to occur by 2030-2040 at the current rates), reefs will be in rapid and terminal decline world-wide from multiple synergies arising from mass bleaching, ocean acidification, and other environmental impacts. Damage to shallow reef communities will become extensive with consequent reduction of biodiversity followed by extinctions. Reefs will cease to be large-scale nursery grounds for fish and will cease to have most of their current value to humanity. There will be knock-on effects to ecosystems associated with reefs, and to other pelagic and benthic ecosystems. Should CO(2) levels reach 600 ppm reefs will be eroding geological structures with populations of surviving biota restricted to refuges. Domino effects will follow, affecting many other marine ecosystems. This is likely to have been the path of great mass extinctions of the past, adding to the case that anthropogenic CO(2) emissions could trigger the Earth's sixth

  18. Additive diversity partitioning of fish in a Caribbean coral reef undergoing shift transition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Acosta-González

    Full Text Available Shift transitions in dominance on coral reefs from hard coral cover to fleshy macroalgae are having negative effects on Caribbean coral reef communities. Data on spatiotemporal changes in biodiversity during these modifications are important for decision support for coral reef biodiversity protection. The main objective of this study is to detect the spatiotemporal patterns of coral reef fish diversity during this transition using additive diversity-partitioning analysis. We examined α, β and γ fish diversity from 2000 to 2010, during which time a shift transition occurred at Mahahual Reef, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Data on coral reef fish and benthic communities were obtained from 12 transects per geomorphological unit (GU in two GUs (reef slope and terrace over six years (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010. Spatial analysis within and between the GUs indicated that the γ-diversity was primarily related to higher β-diversity. Throughout the six study years, there were losses of α, β and γ-diversity associated spatially with the shallow (reef slope and deeper (reef terrace GUs and temporally with the transition in cover from mound corals to fleshy macroalgae and boulder corals. Despite a drastic reduction in the number of species over time, β-diversity continues to be the highest component of γ-diversity. The shift transition had a negative effect on α, β and γ-diversity, primarily by impacting rare species, leading a group of small and less vulnerable fish species to become common and an important group of rare species to become locally extinct. The maintenance of fish heterogeneity (β-diversity over time may imply the abetment of vulnerability in the face of local and global changes.

  19. Rapid Assessment of Stony Coral Richness and Condition on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Sheila A.; Etnoyer, Peter

    2010-01-01

    The benthic habitats of Saba Bank (17°25′N, 63°30′W) are at risk from maritime traffic, especially oil tankers (e.g., anchoring). To mitigate this risk, information is needed on the biodiversity and location of habitats to develop a zone use plan. A rapid survey to document the biodiversity of macro-algae, sponges, corals and fishes was conducted. Here we report on the richness and condition of stony coral species at 18 select sites, and we test for the effects of bottom type, depth, and distance from platform edge. Species richness was visually assessed by roving scuba diver with voucher specimens of each species collected. Coral tissue was examined for bleaching and diseases. Thirty-three coral species were documented. There were no significant differences in coral composition among bottom types or depth classes (ANOSIM, P>0.05). There was a significant difference between sites (ANOSIM, Pcoral species observed ranged from zero and one in algal dominated habitats to 23 at a reef habitat on the southern edge of the Bank. Five reef sites had stands of Acropora cervicornis, a critically endangered species on the IUCN redlist. Bleaching was evident at 82% of the sites assessed with 43 colonies bleached. Only three coral colonies were observed to have disease. Combining our findings with that of other studies, a total of 43 species have been documented from Saba Bank. The coral assemblage on the bank is representative and typical of those found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Although our findings will help develop effective protection, more information is needed on Saba Bank to create a comprehensive zone use plan. Nevertheless, immediate action is warranted to protect the diverse coral reef habitats documented here, especially those containing A. cervicornis. PMID:20505771

  20. Rapid assessment of stony coral richness and condition on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Sheila A; Etnoyer, Peter

    2010-05-21

    The benthic habitats of Saba Bank (17 degrees 25'N, 63 degrees 30'W) are at risk from maritime traffic, especially oil tankers (e.g., anchoring). To mitigate this risk, information is needed on the biodiversity and location of habitats to develop a zone use plan. A rapid survey to document the biodiversity of macro-algae, sponges, corals and fishes was conducted. Here we report on the richness and condition of stony coral species at 18 select sites, and we test for the effects of bottom type, depth, and distance from platform edge. Species richness was visually assessed by roving scuba diver with voucher specimens of each species collected. Coral tissue was examined for bleaching and diseases. Thirty-three coral species were documented. There were no significant differences in coral composition among bottom types or depth classes (ANOSIM, P>0.05). There was a significant difference between sites (ANOSIM, PAcropora cervicornis, a critically endangered species on the IUCN redlist. Bleaching was evident at 82% of the sites assessed with 43 colonies bleached. Only three coral colonies were observed to have disease. Combining our findings with that of other studies, a total of 43 species have been documented from Saba Bank. The coral assemblage on the bank is representative and typical of those found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Although our findings will help develop effective protection, more information is needed on Saba Bank to create a comprehensive zone use plan. Nevertheless, immediate action is warranted to protect the diverse coral reef habitats documented here, especially those containing A. cervicornis.

  1. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... appeal. However, some studies have found birds to perform relatively poorly as indicators. We therefore ask how the effectiveness of this approach can be improved by supplementing data on birds with information on other taxa. 2. Here, we explore two strategies using (i) species data for other taxa...... areas identified on the basis of birds alone performed well in representing overall species diversity where birds were relatively speciose compared to the other taxa in the data sets. Adding species data for one taxon increased surrogate effectiveness better than adding genus- and family-level data...

  2. Educating for preserving biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Méndez, I. E.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The notion of “culture of diversity” is presented in a new dimension. “That of educating for preserving biodiversity” is advanced together with its main challenges. The need of educating the masses for preserving biodiversity is perhaps the most outstanding to be faced, particularly if pedagogic requirements and the diversity of population is to be met. Likewise, it should help to put individuals in contact with the many elements conforming biodiversity and lead them to recognize its value ethically and esthetically. The research presents the framework for designing educating programs enhancing the genetic level, the ecosystem and the qualitative dimension and including materials and energy flood and its meaning for the homeostasis and autopoiesis of the system, together with its interactions with other components for achieving an equilibrium and stability. The importance of the natural evolution tendency is highlighted.

  3. Human impact on atolls leads to coral loss and community homogenisation: a modeling study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riegl, Bernhard M; Sheppard, Charles R C; Purkis, Sam J

    2012-01-01

    We explore impacts on pristine atolls subjected to anthropogenic near-field (human habitation) and far-field (climate and environmental change) pressure. Using literature data of human impacts on reefs, we parameterize forecast models to evaluate trajectories in coral cover under impact scenarios that primarily act via recruitment and increased mortality of larger corals. From surveys across the Chagos, we investigate the regeneration dynamics of coral populations distant from human habitation after natural disturbances. Using a size-based mathematical model based on a time-series of coral community and population data from 1999-2006, we provide hind- and forecast data for coral population dynamics within lagoons and on ocean-facing reefs verified against monitoring from 1979-2009. Environmental data (currents, temperatures) were used for calibration. The coral community was simplified into growth typologies: branching and encrusting, arboresent and massive corals. Community patterns observed in the field were influenced by bleaching-related mortality, most notably in 1998. Survival had been highest in deep lagoonal settings, which suggests a refuge. Recruitment levels were higher in lagoons than on ocean-facing reefs. When adding stress by direct human pressure, climate and environmental change as increased disturbance frequency and modified recruitment and mortality levels (due to eutrophication, overfishing, pollution, heat, acidification, etc), models suggest steep declines in coral populations and loss of community diversification among habitats. We found it likely that degradation of lagoonal coral populations would impact regeneration potential of all coral populations, also on ocean-facing reefs, thus decreasing reef resilience on the entire atoll.

  4. A cross-ocean comparison of responses to settlement cues in reef-building corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah W. Davies

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Caribbean coral reefs have deteriorated substantially over the past 30 years, which is broadly attributable to the effects of global climate change. In the same time, Indo-Pacific reefs maintain higher coral cover and typically recover rapidly after disturbances. This difference in reef resilience is largely due to much higher coral recruitment rates in the Pacific. We hypothesized that the lack of Caribbean recruitment might be explained by diminishing quality of settlement cues and/or impaired sensitivity of Caribbean coral larvae to those cues, relative to the Pacific. To evaluate this hypothesis, we assembled a collection of bulk samples of reef encrusting communities, mostly consisting of crustose coralline algae (CCA, from various reefs around the world and tested them as settlement cues for several coral species originating from different ocean provinces. Cue samples were meta-barcoded to evaluate their taxonomic diversity. We observed no systematic differences either in cue potency or in strength of larval responses depending on the ocean province, and no preference of coral larvae towards cues from the same ocean. Instead, we detected significant differences in cue preferences among coral species, even for corals originating from the same reef. We conclude that the region-wide disruption of the settlement process is unlikely to be the major cause of Caribbean reef loss. However, due to their high sensitivity to the effects of climate change, shifts in the composition of CCA-associated communities, combined with pronounced differences in cue preferences among coral species, could substantially influence future coral community structure.

  5. Human impact on atolls leads to coral loss and community homogenisation: a modeling study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard M Riegl

    Full Text Available We explore impacts on pristine atolls subjected to anthropogenic near-field (human habitation and far-field (climate and environmental change pressure. Using literature data of human impacts on reefs, we parameterize forecast models to evaluate trajectories in coral cover under impact scenarios that primarily act via recruitment and increased mortality of larger corals. From surveys across the Chagos, we investigate the regeneration dynamics of coral populations distant from human habitation after natural disturbances. Using a size-based mathematical model based on a time-series of coral community and population data from 1999-2006, we provide hind- and forecast data for coral population dynamics within lagoons and on ocean-facing reefs verified against monitoring from 1979-2009. Environmental data (currents, temperatures were used for calibration. The coral community was simplified into growth typologies: branching and encrusting, arboresent and massive corals. Community patterns observed in the field were influenced by bleaching-related mortality, most notably in 1998. Survival had been highest in deep lagoonal settings, which suggests a refuge. Recruitment levels were higher in lagoons than on ocean-facing reefs. When adding stress by direct human pressure, climate and environmental change as increased disturbance frequency and modified recruitment and mortality levels (due to eutrophication, overfishing, pollution, heat, acidification, etc, models suggest steep declines in coral populations and loss of community diversification among habitats. We found it likely that degradation of lagoonal coral populations would impact regeneration potential of all coral populations, also on ocean-facing reefs, thus decreasing reef resilience on the entire atoll.

  6. Landscape Management and Biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Başkent, Emin Zeki

    1998-01-01

    For the protection, enhancement and management of forests for today's and future generations, an understanding of the spatial structure of forest ecosystems along with base forest management planning are necessary. In this study are presented an introduction, a description, an explanation of different approaches and the basic principles of landscape management or ecosystems management within the evolution of the forest management process. Furthermore, the issue of biodiversity or biologi...

  7. A coral-eating barnacle, revisited (Cirripedia, Pyrgomatidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ross, Arnold; Newman, William A.

    1995-01-01

    The coral-eating barnacle Hoekia monticulariae (Gray, 1831), the only internal parasite among the Thoracica described to this day, is characterized by an irregularly-shaped shell nestled cryptically between the polyps of the hermatypic coral Hydnophora Fischer, 1807, which occurs throughout most of

  8. The next step in shallow coral reef monitoring: combining remote sensing and in situ approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scopélitis, Julie; Andréfouët, Serge; Phinn, Stuart; Arroyo, Lara; Dalleau, Mayeul; Cros, Annick; Chabanet, Pascale

    2010-11-01

    Most current coral reef management is supported by mapping and monitoring limited in record length and spatial extent. These deficiencies were addressed in a multidisciplinary study of cyclone impacts on Aboré Reef, New-Caledonia. Local knowledge, high thematic-resolution maps, and time-series satellite imagery complemented classical in situ monitoring methods. Field survey stations were selected from examination of pre- and post-cyclone images and their post-cyclone coral communities documented in terms of substrata, coral morphologies, live coral cover, and taxonomy. Time-series maps of hierarchically defined coral communities created at spatial scales documenting the variability among communities (29-45 classes) and suggesting the processes that affected them. The increased spatial coverage and repeatability of this approach significantly improved the recognition and interpretation of coral communities' spatio-temporal variability. It identified precise locations of impacted areas and those exhibiting coral recovery and resilience. The approach provides a comprehensive suite of information on which to base reef-scale conservation actions.

  9. From Citizen Science to Policy Development on the Coral Reefs of Jamaica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. James C. Crabbe

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the application of citizen science to help generation of scientific data and capacity-building, and so underpin scientific ideas and policy development in the area of coral reef management, on the coral reefs of Jamaica. From 2000 to 2008, ninety Earthwatch volunteers were trained in coral reef data acquisition and analysis and made over 6,000 measurements on fringing reef sites along the north coast of Jamaica. Their work showed that while recruitment of small corals is returning after the major bleaching event of 2005, larger corals are not necessarily so resilient and so need careful management if the reefs are to survive such major extreme events. These findings were used in the development of an action plan for Jamaican coral reefs, presented to the Jamaican National Environmental Protection Agency. It was agreed that a number of themes and tactics need to be implemented in order to facilitate coral reef conservation in the Caribbean. The use of volunteers and citizen scientists from both developed and developing countries can help in forging links which can assist in data collection and analysis and, ultimately, in ecosystem management and policy development.

  10. Spatial variation in background mortality among dominant coral taxa on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisapia, Chiara; Pratchett, Morgan S

    2014-01-01

    Even in the absence of major disturbances (e.g., cyclones, bleaching), corals are consistently subject to high levels of background mortality, which undermines individual fitness and resilience of coral colonies. Partial mortality may impact coral response to climate change by reducing colony ability to recover between major acute stressors. This study quantified proportion of injured versus uninjured colonies (the prevalence of injuries) and instantaneous measures of areal extent of injuries across individual colonies (the severity of injuries), in four common coral species along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia: massive Porites, encrusting Montipora, Acropora hyacinthus and Pocillopora damicornis. A total of 2,276 adult colonies were surveyed three latitudinal sectors, nine reefs and 27 sites along 1000 km2 on the Great Barrier Reef. The prevalence of injuries was very high, especially for Porites spp (91%) and Montipora encrusting (85%) and varied significantly, but most lay at small spatial scales (e.g., among colonies positioned reefs. Differences in the prevalence and severity of background partial mortality have significant ramifications for coral capacity to cope with increasing acute disturbances, such as climate-induced coral bleaching. These data are important for understanding coral responses to increasing stressors, and in particular for predicting their capacity to recover between subsequent disturbances.

  11. European mountain biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagy, Jennifer

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper, originally prepared as a discussion document for the ESF Exploratory Workshop «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop», provides an overview of current mountain biodiversity research in Europe. It discusses (a biogeographical trends, (b the general properties of biodiversity, (c environmental factors and the regulation of biodiversity with respect to ecosystem function, (d the results of research on mountain freshwater ecosystems, and (e climate change and air pollution dominated environmental interactions.- The section on biogeographical trends highlights the importance of altitude and latitude on biodiversity. The implications of the existence of different scales over the different levels of biodiversity and across organism groups are emphasised as an inherent complex property of biodiversity. The discussion on ecosystem function and the regulation of biodiversity covers the role of environmental factors, productivity, perturbation, species migration and dispersal, and species interactions in the maintenance of biodiversity. Regional and long-term temporal patterns are also discussed. A section on the relatively overlooked topic of mountain freshwater ecosystems is presented before the final topic on the implications of recent climate change and air pollution for mountain biodiversity.

    [fr] Ce document a été préparé à l'origine comme une base de discussion pour «ESF Exploratory Workshop» intitulé «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop»; il apporte une vue d'ensemble sur les recherches actuelles portant sur la biodiversité des montagnes en Europe. On y discute les (a traits biogéographiques, (b les caractéristiques générales- de la biodiversité, (c les facteurs environnementaux et la régulation de la biodiversité par rapport à la fonction des écosystèmes, (d les résultats des études sur les écosystèmes aquatiques des montagnes et (e les

  12. The value of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, C J R

    2008-11-01

    In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence), biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper, resins, chemical organic products, genes as well as knowledge for biotechnology, including medicine and cosmetic sub-products. It also encompasses ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, reproductive and feeding habitats for commercial fish, some organisms that can create soil fertility through complex cycles and interactions, such as earthworms, termites and bacteria, in addition to fungi responsible for cycling nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur and making them available to plant absorption. These services are the benefits that people indirectly receive from natural ecosystem functions (air quality maintenance, regional climate, water quality, nutrient cycling, reproductive habitats of commercial fish, etc.) with their related economic values.

  13. The value of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR. Alho

    Full Text Available In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence, biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper, resins, chemical organic products, genes as well as knowledge for biotechnology, including medicine and cosmetic sub-products. It also encompasses ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, reproductive and feeding habitats for commercial fish, some organisms that can create soil fertility through complex cycles and interactions, such as earthworms, termites and bacteria, in addition to fungi responsible for cycling nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur and making them available to plant absorption. These services are the benefits that people indirectly receive from natural ecosystem functions (air quality maintenance, regional climate, water quality, nutrient cycling, reproductive habitats of commercial fish, etc. with their related economic values.

  14. Biodiversity, globalisation and poverty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olorode, Omotoye

    2007-06-10

    The erosion of the stock of biodiversity on earth developed historically with the so-called voyages of discovery (and their antecedents), colonial conquests and the accompanying movements of natural products and peoples, i.e. movements of populations and genetic materials. These events happened with the development of technology and the so-called conquest, by man, of his environment and the appertaining development of specialization not only in industry but also in agriculture and environmental management. The development of specialization resulted in the homogenization of processes, products, inputs and input industries; this increased homogenization had the corollary of arrested heterogeneity across the board; what they call globalization is part of this process. The efficiency of homogenization, however, engendered new problems of fragility of human environment and of production and social relations and processes. The effects of this complex situation, in general terms and in terms of biodiversity in particular, have been more devastating for the more vulnerable regions, classes of people, and peoples of the world. A continuous rethinking of the epistemology and the social and political bases of existing policies on environment in general, and of biodiversity conservation in particular, has become imperative.

  15. Rose Atoll Coral Monitoring Narrative

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Narrative report summarizes the results of coral monitoring at 11 georeferenced sites at Rose Atoll, American Samoa, undertaken by Dr. James Maragos, USFWS Coral...

  16. Coral reefs: Turning back time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lough, Janice M.

    2016-03-01

    An in situ experiment finds that reducing the acidity of the seawater surrounding a natural coral reef significantly increases reef calcification, suggesting that ocean acidification may already be slowing coral growth. See Letter p.362

  17. Investigating coral hyperspectral properties across coral species and coral state using hyperspectral imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehrubeoglu, Mehrube; Smith, Dustin K.; Smith, Shane W.; Strychar, Kevin B.; McLauchlan, Lifford

    2013-09-01

    Coral reefs are one of the most diverse and threatened ecosystems in the world. Corals worldwide are at risk, and in many instances, dying due to factors that affect their environment resulting in deteriorating environmental conditions. Because corals respond quickly to the quality of the environment that surrounds them, corals have been identified as bioindicators of water quality and marine environmental health. The hyperspectral imaging system is proposed as a noninvasive tool to monitor different species of corals as well as coral state over time. This in turn can be used as a quick and non-invasive method to monitor environmental health that can later be extended to climate conditions. In this project, a laboratory-based hyperspectral imaging system is used to collect spectral and spatial information of corals. In the work presented here, MATLAB and ENVI software tools are used to view and process spatial information and coral spectral signatures to identify differences among the coral data. The results support the hypothesis that hyperspectral properties of corals vary among different coral species, and coral state over time, and hyperspectral imaging can be a used as a tool to document changes in coral species and state.

  18. Unprecedented mass bleaching and loss of coral across 12° of latitude in Western Australia in 2010-11.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Y Moore

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Globally, coral bleaching has been responsible for a significant decline in both coral cover and diversity over the past two decades. During the summer of 2010-11, anomalous large-scale ocean warming induced unprecedented levels of coral bleaching accompanied by substantial storminess across more than 12° of latitude and 1200 kilometers of coastline in Western Australia (WA. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Extreme La-Niña conditions caused extensive warming of waters and drove considerable storminess and cyclonic activity across WA from October 2010 to May 2011. Satellite-derived sea surface temperature measurements recorded anomalies of up to 5°C above long-term averages. Benthic surveys quantified the extent of bleaching at 10 locations across four regions from tropical to temperate waters. Bleaching was recorded in all locations across regions and ranged between 17% (±5.5 in the temperate Perth region, to 95% (±3.5 in the Exmouth Gulf of the tropical Ningaloo region. Coincident with high levels of bleaching, three cyclones passed in close proximity to study locations around the time of peak temperatures. Follow-up surveys revealed spatial heterogeneity in coral cover change with four of ten locations recording significant loss of coral cover. Relative decreases ranged between 22%-83.9% of total coral cover, with the greatest losses in the Exmouth Gulf. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The anomalous thermal stress of 2010-11 induced mass bleaching of corals along central and southern WA coral reefs. Significant coral bleaching was observed at multiple locations across the tropical-temperate divide spanning more than 1200 km of coastline. Resultant spatially patchy loss of coral cover under widespread and high levels of bleaching and cyclonic activity, suggests a degree of resilience for WA coral communities. However, the spatial extent of bleaching casts some doubt over hypotheses suggesting that future impacts to coral reefs under

  19. Baseline coral disease surveys within three marine parks in Sabah, Borneo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Miller

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Two of the most significant threats to coral reefs worldwide are bleaching and disease. However, there has been a scarcity of research on coral disease in South-East Asia, despite the high biodiversity and the strong dependence of local communities on the reefs in the region. This study provides baseline data on coral disease frequencies within three national parks in Sabah, Borneo, which exhibit different levels of human impacts and management histories. High mean coral cover (55% and variable disease frequency (mean 0.25 diseased colonies m−2 were found across the three sites. Highest disease frequency (0.44 diseased colonies per m2 was seen at the site closest to coastal population centres. Bleaching and pigmentation responses were actually higher at Sipadan, the more remote, offshore site, whereas none of the other coral diseases detected in the other two parks were detected in Sipadan. Results of this study offer a baseline dataset of disease in these parks and indicate the need for continued monitoring, and suggest that coral colonies in parks under higher anthropogenic stressors and with lower coral cover may be more susceptible to contracting disease.

  20. Quantifying climatological ranges and anomalies for Pacific coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gove, Jamison M; Williams, Gareth J; McManus, Margaret A; Heron, Scott F; Sandin, Stuart A; Vetter, Oliver J; Foley, David G

    2013-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are exposed to a range of environmental forcings that vary on daily to decadal time scales and across spatial scales spanning from reefs to archipelagos. Environmental variability is a major determinant of reef ecosystem structure and function, including coral reef extent and growth rates, and the abundance, diversity, and morphology of reef organisms. Proper characterization of environmental forcings on coral reef ecosystems is critical if we are to understand the dynamics and implications of abiotic-biotic interactions on reef ecosystems. This study combines high-resolution bathymetric information with remotely sensed sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a and irradiance data, and modeled wave data to quantify environmental forcings on coral reefs. We present a methodological approach to develop spatially constrained, island- and atoll-scale metrics that quantify climatological range limits and anomalous environmental forcings across U.S. Pacific coral reef ecosystems. Our results indicate considerable spatial heterogeneity in climatological ranges and anomalies across 41 islands and atolls, with emergent spatial patterns specific to each environmental forcing. For example, wave energy was greatest at northern latitudes and generally decreased with latitude. In contrast, chlorophyll-a was greatest at reef ecosystems proximate to the equator and northern-most locations, showing little synchrony with latitude. In addition, we find that the reef ecosystems with the highest chlorophyll-a concentrations; Jarvis, Howland, Baker, Palmyra and Kingman are each uninhabited and are characterized by high hard coral cover and large numbers of predatory fishes. Finally, we find that scaling environmental data to the spatial footprint of individual islands and atolls is more likely to capture local environmental forcings, as chlorophyll-a concentrations decreased at relatively short distances (>7 km) from 85% of our study locations. These metrics will help

  1. Quantifying climatological ranges and anomalies for Pacific coral reef ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamison M Gove

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems are exposed to a range of environmental forcings that vary on daily to decadal time scales and across spatial scales spanning from reefs to archipelagos. Environmental variability is a major determinant of reef ecosystem structure and function, including coral reef extent and growth rates, and the abundance, diversity, and morphology of reef organisms. Proper characterization of environmental forcings on coral reef ecosystems is critical if we are to understand the dynamics and implications of abiotic-biotic interactions on reef ecosystems. This study combines high-resolution bathymetric information with remotely sensed sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a and irradiance data, and modeled wave data to quantify environmental forcings on coral reefs. We present a methodological approach to develop spatially constrained, island- and atoll-scale metrics that quantify climatological range limits and anomalous environmental forcings across U.S. Pacific coral reef ecosystems. Our results indicate considerable spatial heterogeneity in climatological ranges and anomalies across 41 islands and atolls, with emergent spatial patterns specific to each environmental forcing. For example, wave energy was greatest at northern latitudes and generally decreased with latitude. In contrast, chlorophyll-a was greatest at reef ecosystems proximate to the equator and northern-most locations, showing little synchrony with latitude. In addition, we find that the reef ecosystems with the highest chlorophyll-a concentrations; Jarvis, Howland, Baker, Palmyra and Kingman are each uninhabited and are characterized by high hard coral cover and large numbers of predatory fishes. Finally, we find that scaling environmental data to the spatial footprint of individual islands and atolls is more likely to capture local environmental forcings, as chlorophyll-a concentrations decreased at relatively short distances (>7 km from 85% of our study locations

  2. Bioindication in coral reef ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, H T

    1986-01-01

    The concept of bioindication in the sense of the use of organisms for detecting environmental stress has been employed in coral reef conservation and management for the past several years. Important tools are coral growth rates and various community parameters, notably hard coral cover. The present need is the optimal coordination of international efforts for the earliest possible institution of an effective monitoring system.

  3. A Biophysical Model for Hawaiian Coral Reefs: Coupling Local Ecology, Larval Transport and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapur, M. R.

    2016-02-01

    Simulative models of reef ecosystems have been used to evaluate ecological responses to a myriad of disturbance events, including fishing pressure, coral bleaching, invasion by alien species, and nutrient loading. The Coral Reef Scenario Evaluation Tool (CORSET), has been developed and instantiated for both the Meso-American Reef (MAR) and South China Sea (SCS) regions. This model is novel in that it accounts for the many scales at which reef ecosystem processes take place; is comprised of a "bottom-up" structure wherein complex behaviors are not pre-programmed, but emergent and highly portable to new systems. Local-scale dynamics are coupled across regions through larval connectivity matrices, derived sophisticated particle transport simulations that include key elements of larval behavior. By this approach, we are able to directly evaluate some of the potential consequences of larval connectivity patterns across a range of spatial scales and under multiple climate scenarios. This work develops and applies the CORSET (Coral Reef Scenario Evaluation Tool) to the Main Hawaiian Islands under a suite of climate and ecological scenarios. We introduce an adaptation constant into reef-building coral dynamics to simulate observed resiliencies to bleaching events. This presentation will share results from the model's instantiation under two Resource Concentration Pathway climate scenarios, with emphasis upon larval connectivity dynamics, emergent coral tolerance to increasing thermal anomalies, and patterns of spatial fishing closures. Results suggest that under a business-as-usual scenario, thermal tolerance and herbivore removal will have synergistic effects on reef resilience.

  4. Resilience: Theory and Application.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlson, J.L.; Haffenden, R.A.; Bassett, G.W.; Buehring, W.A.; Collins, M.J., III; Folga, S.M.; Petit, F.D.; Phillips, J.A.; Verner, D.R.; Whitfield, R.G. (Decision and Information Sciences)

    2012-02-03

    There is strong agreement among policymakers, practitioners, and academic researchers that the concept of resilience must play a major role in assessing the extent to which various entities - critical infrastructure owners and operators, communities, regions, and the Nation - are prepared to respond to and recover from the full range of threats they face. Despite this agreement, consensus regarding important issues, such as how resilience should be defined, assessed, and measured, is lacking. The analysis presented here is part of a broader research effort to develop and implement assessments of resilience at the asset/facility and community/regional levels. The literature contains various definitions of resilience. Some studies have defined resilience as the ability of an entity to recover, or 'bounce back,' from the adverse effects of a natural or manmade threat. Such a definition assumes that actions taken prior to the occurrence of an adverse event - actions typically associated with resistance and anticipation - are not properly included as determinants of resilience. Other analyses, in contrast, include one or more of these actions in their definitions. To accommodate these different definitions, we recognize a subset of resistance- and anticipation-related actions that are taken based on the assumption that an adverse event is going to occur. Such actions are in the domain of resilience because they reduce both the immediate and longer-term adverse consequences that result from an adverse event. Recognizing resistance- and anticipation-related actions that take the adverse event as a given accommodates the set of resilience-related actions in a clear-cut manner. With these considerations in mind, resilience can be defined as: 'the ability of an entity - e.g., asset, organization, community, region - to anticipate, resist, absorb, respond to, adapt to, and recover from a disturbance.' Because critical infrastructure resilience is important

  5. Foundations of resilience thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtin, Charles G; Parker, Jessica P

    2014-08-01

    Through 3 broad and interconnected streams of thought, resilience thinking has influenced the science of ecology and natural resource management by generating new multidisciplinary approaches to environmental problem solving. Resilience science, adaptive management (AM), and ecological policy design (EPD) contributed to an internationally unified paradigm built around the realization that change is inevitable and that science and management must approach the world with this assumption, rather than one of stability. Resilience thinking treats actions as experiments to be learned from, rather than intellectual propositions to be defended or mistakes to be ignored. It asks what is novel and innovative and strives to capture the overall behavior of a system, rather than seeking static, precise outcomes from discrete action steps. Understanding the foundations of resilience thinking is an important building block for developing more holistic and adaptive approaches to conservation. We conducted a comprehensive review of the history of resilience thinking because resilience thinking provides a working context upon which more effective, synergistic, and systems-based conservation action can be taken in light of rapid and unpredictable change. Together, resilience science, AM, and EPD bridge the gaps between systems analysis, ecology, and resource management to provide an interdisciplinary approach to solving wicked problems.

  6. Resilience: the power within.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grafton, Eileen; Gillespie, Brigid; Henderson, Saras

    2010-11-01

    To advance understanding of resilience as an innate resource and its potential and relevance in the management of workplace stress for oncology nurses. Journal articles and research results, particularly seminal literature from a variety of Australian and international journals and published texts, including government and nursing organizations. Resilience is defined as an innate energy or motivating life force present to varying degrees in every individual, exemplified by the presence of particular traits or characteristics that, through application of dynamic processes, enable an individual to cope with, recover from, and grow as a result of stress or adversity. Literature from a wide variety of fields, including physics, medicine, theology, philosophy, psychology, and spirituality, was reviewed to build an overview of existing knowledge and evolving theories on the subject of resilience and further the understanding of resilience as an innate personal resource. Innate resilience can be developed or enhanced through cognitive transformational practices, education, and environmental support. Such processes may have use in ameliorating the effects of workplace stress. The complex nature of oncology and other specialty nursing roles creates a certain amount of inevitable stress that depletes the self and may lead to compassion fatigue and burnout. A greater understanding of resilience as an innate stress response resource highlights the need for processes that support resilience development and organizational and personal stress-management strategies for nurses to be part of mainstream nursing education.

  7. Teacher Resilience: Theorizing Resilience and Poverty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebersöhn, Liesel

    2014-01-01

    In this article, I hope to provide some novel insights into teacher resilience and poverty on the basis of ten-year long-term ethnographic participatory reflection and action data obtained from teachers (n?=?87) in rural (n?=?6) and urban (n?=?8) schools (n?=?14, high schools?=?4, primary schools?=?10) in three South African provinces. In…

  8. Teacher Resilience: Theorizing Resilience and Poverty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebersöhn, Liesel

    2014-01-01

    In this article, I hope to provide some novel insights into teacher resilience and poverty on the basis of ten-year long-term ethnographic participatory reflection and action data obtained from teachers (n?=?87) in rural (n?=?6) and urban (n?=?8) schools (n?=?14, high schools?=?4, primary schools?=?10) in three South African provinces. In…

  9. Toward a digital resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dawn J. Wright

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract As we contend with human impacts on the biosphere, there is rightfully a great emphasis now on community adaptation and resilience to climate change. Recent innovations in information technologies and analyses are helping communities to become more resilient. However, not often discussed in this vein is a path toward digital resilience. If mapping and information tools are to help communities, it stands to reason that they must be resilient themselves, as well as the data that they are based on. In other words, digital tools can help make communities resilient by providing data, evidence-based advice on community decisions, etc., but the resilience of the tools themselves can also be an issue. Digital resilience means that to the greatest extent possible, data and tools should be freely accessible, interchangeable, operational, of high quality, and up-to-date so that they can help give rise to the resilience of communities or other entities using them. Given the speed at which humans are altering the biosphere, the usefulness and effectiveness of these technologies must keep pace. This article reviews and recommends three fundamental digital practices, particularly from the standpoint of geospatial data and for community resilience and policy-making. These are: (1 create and implement a culture that consistently shares not only data, but workflows and use cases with the data, especially within maps and geographic information systems or GIS; (2 use maps and other visuals to tell compelling stories that many different kinds of audiences will understand and remember; and (3 be more open to different kinds of partnerships to reduce project costs, yield better results, and foster public awareness and behavioral change.

  10. Coral reefs in crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichsen, D

    1997-01-01

    This article reports on the crisis facing reefs throughout the world and the struggle to save them. Coral reefs, one of the biological wonders of the world, are among the largest and oldest living communities of plants and animals on earth, having been evolved between 200 and 450 million years ago. Located mostly in the Pacific region, most established coral reefs are now dead and only the upper layer is covered by a thin changeable skin of living coral. Reefs, over the years, have been the main source of animal protein for over 1 billion people in Asia. Countries near the coastlines, which relied on the seas, have resorted to dynamite fishing, poisoning and other illegal and dangerous techniques. Overpopulation and pollution has caused the deteriorating conditions of the 600,000 sq. km of coral reefs worldwide. Despite these conditions, the government has ignored this problem as they struggle to develop their economies at the expense of common resources. In addition, this article narrates the efforts that are exerted by governments in promoting coral reef protection and management of these coastal resources, setting the Apo Island in the Philippines as an example of good management and sustainability.

  11. Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Early Life-History Stages and Settlement of the Coral-Eating Sea Star Acanthaster planci

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, Sven; Pecorino, Danilo; Albright, Rebecca; Negri, Andrew Peter; Cantin, Neal; Liddy, Michelle; Dworjanyn, Symon; Kamya, Pamela; Byrne, Maria; Lamare, Miles

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs are marine biodiversity hotspots, but their existence is threatened by global change and local pressures such as land-runoff and overfishing. Population explosions of coral-eating crown of thorns sea stars (COTS) are a major contributor to recent decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, we investigate how projected near-future ocean acidification (OA) conditions can affect early life history stages of COTS, by investigating important milestones including sperm motility, fertilisation rates, and larval development and settlement. OA (increased pCO2 to 900–1200 µatm pCO2) significantly reduced sperm motility and, to a lesser extent, velocity, which strongly reduced fertilization rates at environmentally relevant sperm concentrations. Normal development of 10 d old larvae was significantly lower under elevated pCO2 but larval size was not significantly different between treatments. Settlement of COTS larvae was significantly reduced on crustose coralline algae (known settlement inducers of COTS) that had been exposed to OA conditions for 85 d prior to settlement assays. Effect size analyses illustrated that reduced settlement may be the largest bottleneck for overall juvenile production. Results indicate that reductions in fertilisation and settlement success alone would reduce COTS population replenishment by over 50%. However, it is unlikely that this effect is sufficient to provide respite for corals from other negative anthropogenic impacts and direct stress from OA and warming on corals. PMID:24358240

  12. Impacts of ocean acidification on early life-history stages and settlement of the coral-eating sea star Acanthaster planci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Uthicke

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are marine biodiversity hotspots, but their existence is threatened by global change and local pressures such as land-runoff and overfishing. Population explosions of coral-eating crown of thorns sea stars (COTS are a major contributor to recent decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, we investigate how projected near-future ocean acidification (OA conditions can affect early life history stages of COTS, by investigating important milestones including sperm motility, fertilisation rates, and larval development and settlement. OA (increased pCO2 to 900-1200 µatm pCO2 significantly reduced sperm motility and, to a lesser extent, velocity, which strongly reduced fertilization rates at environmentally relevant sperm concentrations. Normal development of 10 d old larvae was significantly lower under elevated pCO2 but larval size was not significantly different between treatments. Settlement of COTS larvae was significantly reduced on crustose coralline algae (known settlement inducers of COTS that had been exposed to OA conditions for 85 d prior to settlement assays. Effect size analyses illustrated that reduced settlement may be the largest bottleneck for overall juvenile production. Results indicate that reductions in fertilisation and settlement success alone would reduce COTS population replenishment by over 50%. However, it is unlikely that this effect is sufficient to provide respite for corals from other negative anthropogenic impacts and direct stress from OA and warming on corals.

  13. Impacts of ocean acidification on early life-history stages and settlement of the coral-eating sea star Acanthaster planci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, Sven; Pecorino, Danilo; Albright, Rebecca; Negri, Andrew Peter; Cantin, Neal; Liddy, Michelle; Dworjanyn, Symon; Kamya, Pamela; Byrne, Maria; Lamare, Miles

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs are marine biodiversity hotspots, but their existence is threatened by global change and local pressures such as land-runoff and overfishing. Population explosions of coral-eating crown of thorns sea stars (COTS) are a major contributor to recent decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, we investigate how projected near-future ocean acidification (OA) conditions can affect early life history stages of COTS, by investigating important milestones including sperm motility, fertilisation rates, and larval development and settlement. OA (increased pCO2 to 900-1200 µatm pCO2) significantly reduced sperm motility and, to a lesser extent, velocity, which strongly reduced fertilization rates at environmentally relevant sperm concentrations. Normal development of 10 d old larvae was significantly lower under elevated pCO2 but larval size was not significantly different between treatments. Settlement of COTS larvae was significantly reduced on crustose coralline algae (known settlement inducers of COTS) that had been exposed to OA conditions for 85 d prior to settlement assays. Effect size analyses illustrated that reduced settlement may be the largest bottleneck for overall juvenile production. Results indicate that reductions in fertilisation and settlement success alone would reduce COTS population replenishment by over 50%. However, it is unlikely that this effect is sufficient to provide respite for corals from other negative anthropogenic impacts and direct stress from OA and warming on corals.

  14. Deep Coral Oases in the South Tyrrhenian Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bo, Marzia; Canese, Simonepietro; Spaggiari, Costanza; Pusceddu, Antonio; Bertolino, Marco; Angiolillo, Michela; Giusti, Michela; Loreto, Maria Filomena; Salvati, Eva; Greco, Silvestro; Bavestrello, Giorgio

    2012-01-01

    A Mediterranean “roche du large” ecosystem, represented by four rocky shoals, located a few miles apart on a muddy bottom at 70–130 m depth in the gulf of St. Eufemia (Calabria, South Tyrrhenian Sea), was studied by means of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) photo imaging. The shoals host highly diversified coral communities, mainly composed of arborescent colonies of gorgonians (Callogorgia verticillata, Paramuricea clavata, Paramuricea macrospina, Bebryce mollis, Villogorgia bebrycoides, Corallium rubrum, and Leptogorgia sarmentosa), and antipatharians (Antipathella subpinnata, Antipathes dichotoma and Parantipathes larix). The coral colonies reach high densities (up to ca. 17 colonies m−2) and large sizes, such as the over 1.5 m wide antipatharian colonies. We hypothesized that the abundance and composition of the coral assemblages differed significantly among the rocky shoals and with respect to the surrounding soft bottoms. Various environmental variables were tested as possible explanatory factors of the observed differences. Moreover, due to their off-coast localization, we report here that these unique ecosystems are potentially subjected to a strong pressure from the local fishing activities, which were tentatively characterized. The recorded coral β-diversity among the shoals supports the hypothesis that these habitats behave like small oases of hard substrata interspersed in a muddy bottom. Because of their intrinsic beauty and rarity and their biological and ecological value, we stress the need of specific actions aimed at the urgent protection of these oases of biodiversity. PMID:23185468

  15. Diversity and stability of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibaut, Loic M; Connolly, Sean R; Sweatman, Hugh P A

    2012-04-01

    Biodiversity may provide insurance against ecosystem collapse by stabilizing assemblages that perform particular ecological functions (the "portfolio effect"). However, the extent to which this occurs in nature and the importance of different mechanisms that generate portfolio effects remain controversial. On coral reefs, herbivory helps maintain coral dominated states, so volatility in levels of herbivory has important implications for reef ecosystems. Here, we used an extensive time series of abundances on 35 reefs of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia to quantify the strength of the portfolio effect for herbivorous fishes. Then, we disentangled the contributions of two mechanisms that underlie it (compensatory interactions and differential responses to environmental fluctuations ["response diversity"]) by fitting a community-dynamic model that explicitly includes terms for both mechanisms. We found that portfolio effects operate strongly in herbivorous fishes, as shown by nearly independent fluctuations in abundances over time. Moreover, we found strong evidence for high response diversity, with nearly independent responses to environmental fluctuations. In contrast, we found little evidence that the portfolio effect in this system was enhanced by compensatory ecological interactions. Our results show that portfolio effects are driven principally by response diversity for herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. We conclude that portfolio effects can be very strong in nature and that, for coral reefs in particular, response diversity may help maintain herbivory above the threshold levels that trigger regime shifts.

  16. Deep coral oases in the South Tyrrhenian Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marzia Bo

    Full Text Available A Mediterranean "roche du large" ecosystem, represented by four rocky shoals, located a few miles apart on a muddy bottom at 70-130 m depth in the gulf of St. Eufemia (Calabria, South Tyrrhenian Sea, was studied by means of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV photo imaging. The shoals host highly diversified coral communities, mainly composed of arborescent colonies of gorgonians (Callogorgia verticillata, Paramuricea clavata, Paramuricea macrospina, Bebryce mollis, Villogorgia bebrycoides, Corallium rubrum, and Leptogorgia sarmentosa, and antipatharians (Antipathella subpinnata, Antipathes dichotoma and Parantipathes larix. The coral colonies reach high densities (up to ca. 17 colonies m(-2 and large sizes, such as the over 1.5 m wide antipatharian colonies. We hypothesized that the abundance and composition of the coral assemblages differed significantly among the rocky shoals and with respect to the surrounding soft bottoms. Various environmental variables were tested as possible explanatory factors of the observed differences. Moreover, due to their off-coast localization, we report here that these unique ecosystems are potentially subjected to a strong pressure from the local fishing activities, which were tentatively characterized. The recorded coral β-diversity among the shoals supports the hypothesis that these habitats behave like small oases of hard substrata interspersed in a muddy bottom. Because of their intrinsic beauty and rarity and their biological and ecological value, we stress the need of specific actions aimed at the urgent protection of these oases of biodiversity.

  17. Biodiversity Patterns on an Inshore to Offshore Gradient Using Metabarcoding and Barcoding Molecular Tools

    KAUST Repository

    Villalobos Vazquez de la Parra, Rodrigo

    2015-12-01

    It has been estimated that coral reefs shelter 830 000 species. Well-studied biodiversity patterns provide tools for better representation of species in marine protected areas. A cross-shelf gradient in biodiversity exists for fishes, corals, and macroalgae. Here, an inshore to offshore gradient in biodiversity on the Saudi Arabian coast of the Red Sea was sampled using Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) with barcoding and metabarcoding techniques. It was hypothesized that differences in community structure would be driven by an increase in habitat area. The difference was attributed to the greater accumulation of sediments close to shore that increases the area habitable for sediment dwelling organisms and favors macroalgal cover. Macroalgae are inhabited by a greater number of species than live coral. Only 10% of the sequences of the barcoded fraction and <1% of the metabarcoded fraction had a BLAST hit on the NCBI database with a previously identified species sequence. In addition, the rarefaction curves for all fractions did not plateau. The ARMS community composition changed from inshore to offshore and was significantly correlated with the percentage of algal and bryozoan plate cover. The differences in community composition were related to changes in habitat but not to sediments retrieved from the ARMS.

  18. Comparison of Commercial Structure-From Photogrammety Software Used for Underwater Three-Dimensional Modeling of Coral Reef Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, J. H. R.; Delparte, D.

    2017-02-01

    Structural complexity in ecosystems creates an assortment of microhabitat types and has been shown to support greater diversity and abundance of associated organisms. The 3D structure of an environment also directly affects important ecological parameters such as habitat provisioning and light availability and can therefore strongly influence ecosystem function. Coral reefs are architecturally complex 3D habitats, whose structure is intrinsically linked to the ecosystem biodiversity, productivity, and function. The field of coral ecology has, however, been primarily limited to using 2-dimensional (2D) planar survey techniques for studying the physical structure of reefs. This conventional approach fails to capture or quantify the intricate structural complexity of corals that influences habitat facilitation and biodiversity. A 3-dimensional (3D) approach can obtain accurate measurements of architectural complexity, topography, rugosity, volume, and other structural characteristics that affect biodiversity and abundance of reef organisms. Structurefrom- Motion (SfM) photogrammetry is an emerging computer vision technology that provides a simple and cost-effective method for 3D reconstruction of natural environments. SfM has been used in several studies to investigate the relationship between habitat complexity and ecological processes in coral reef ecosystems. This study compared two commercial SfM software packages, Agisoft Photoscan Pro and Pix4Dmapper Pro 3.1, in order to assess the cpaability and spatial accuracy of these programs for conducting 3D modeling of coral reef habitats at three spatial scales.

  19. The sum is more than its parts: Key species in the functioning of cold-water coral reef communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mueller, C.E.

    2014-01-01

    Cold-water coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity and biogeochemistry in the deep-sea, solely fuelled by external energy sources. Hence, food input, processing and recycling play a major role in the functioning of these ecosystems. In this thesis we aimed to study energy flow and metabolism of col

  20. Soil biodiversity and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wall, Diana H.; Nielsen, Uffe N.; Six, Johan

    2015-12-01

    Soil biodiversity is increasingly recognized as providing benefits to human health because it can suppress disease-causing soil organisms and provide clean air, water and food. Poor land-management practices and environmental change are, however, affecting belowground communities globally, and the resulting declines in soil biodiversity reduce and impair these benefits. Importantly, current research indicates that soil biodiversity can be maintained and partially restored if managed sustainably. Promoting the ecological complexity and robustness of soil biodiversity through improved management practices represents an underutilized resource with the ability to improve human health.

  1. Biodiversity conservation including uncharismatic species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muñoz, Joaquin

    2007-01-01

    Recent papers mention ideas on the topics of biodiversity conservation strategies and priorities (Redford et al. 2003; Lamoreux et al. 2006; Rodrı´guez et al. 2006), the current status of biodiversity (Loreau et al. 2006), the obligations of conservation biologists regarding management policies...... (Chapron 2006; Schwartz 2006), and the main threats to biodiversity (including invasive species) (Bawa 2006). I suggest, however, that these articles do not really deal with biodiversity. Rather, they all focus on a few obviously charismatic groups (mammals, birds, some plants, fishes, human culture...

  2. Climate, bleaching and connectivity in the Coral Triangle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curchitser, E. N.; Kleypas, J. A.; Castruccio, F. S.; Drenkard, E.; Thompson, D. M.; Pinsky, M. L.

    2016-12-01

    The Coral Triangle (CT) is the apex of marine biodiversity and supports the livelihoods of millions of people. It is also one of the most threatened of all reef regions in the world. We present results from a series of high-resolution, numerical ocean models designed to address physical and ecological questions relevant to the region's coral communities. The hierarchy of models was designed to optimize the model performance in addressing questions ranging from the role of internal tides in larval connectivity to distinguishing the role of interannual variability from decadal trends in thermal stress leading to mass bleaching events. In this presentation we will show how combining ocean circulation with models of larval dispersal leads to new insights into the interplay of physics and ecology in this complex oceanographic region, which can ultimately be used to inform conservation efforts.

  3. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

    The recent increase in liquid biofuel production has stemmed from a desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil, mitigate rising energy prices, promote rural economic development, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The growth of this industry has important implications for biodiversity, the effects of which depend largely on which biofuel feedstocks are being grown and the spatial extent and landscape pattern of land requirements for growing these feedstocks. Current biofuel production occurs largely on croplands that have long been in agricultural production. The additional land area required for future biofuels production can be met in part by reclaiming reserve or abandoned croplands and by extending cropping into lands formerly deemed marginal for agriculture. In the United States, many such marginal lands have been enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), providing important habitat for grassland species. The demand for corn ethanOl has changed agricultural commodity economics dramatically, already contributing to loss of CRP lands as contracts expire and lands are returned to agricultural production. Nevertheless, there are ways in which biofuels can be developed to enhance their coexistence with biodiversity. Landscape heterogeneity can be improved by interspersion of land uses, which is easier around facilities with smaller or more varied feedstock demands. The development of biofuel feedstocks that yield high net energy returns with minimal carbon debts or that do not require additional land for production, such as residues and wastes, should be encouraged. Competing land uses, including both biofuel production and biodiversity protection, should be subjected to comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, so that incentives can be directed where they will do the most good.

  4. Deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Danovaro

    Full Text Available Deep-sea ecosystems represent the largest biome of the global biosphere, but knowledge of their biodiversity is still scant. The Mediterranean basin has been proposed as a hot spot of terrestrial and coastal marine biodiversity but has been supposed to be impoverished of deep-sea species richness. We summarized all available information on benthic biodiversity (Prokaryotes, Foraminifera, Meiofauna, Macrofauna, and Megafauna in different deep-sea ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea (200 to more than 4,000 m depth, including open slopes, deep basins, canyons, cold seeps, seamounts, deep-water corals and deep-hypersaline anoxic basins and analyzed overall longitudinal and bathymetric patterns. We show that in contrast to what was expected from the sharp decrease in organic carbon fluxes and reduced faunal abundance, the deep-sea biodiversity of both the eastern and the western basins of the Mediterranean Sea is similarly high. All of the biodiversity components, except Bacteria and Archaea, displayed a decreasing pattern with increasing water depth, but to a different extent for each component. Unlike patterns observed for faunal abundance, highest negative values of the slopes of the biodiversity patterns were observed for Meiofauna, followed by Macrofauna and Megafauna. Comparison of the biodiversity associated with open slopes, deep basins, canyons, and deep-water corals showed that the deep basins were the least diverse. Rarefaction curves allowed us to estimate the expected number of species for each benthic component in different bathymetric ranges. A large fraction of exclusive species was associated with each specific habitat or ecosystem. Thus, each deep-sea ecosystem contributes significantly to overall biodiversity. From theoretical extrapolations we estimate that the overall deep-sea Mediterranean biodiversity (excluding prokaryotes reaches approximately 2805 species of which about 66% is still undiscovered. Among the biotic components

  5. Deep-Sea Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danovaro, Roberto; Company, Joan Batista; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; D'Onghia, Gianfranco; Galil, Bella; Gambi, Cristina; Gooday, Andrew J.; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Luna, Gian Marco; Morigi, Caterina; Olu, Karine; Polymenakou, Paraskevi; Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; Sabbatini, Anna; Sardà, Francesc; Sibuet, Myriam; Tselepides, Anastasios

    2010-01-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems represent the largest biome of the global biosphere, but knowledge of their biodiversity is still scant. The Mediterranean basin has been proposed as a hot spot of terrestrial and coastal marine biodiversity but has been supposed to be impoverished of deep-sea species richness. We summarized all available information on benthic biodiversity (Prokaryotes, Foraminifera, Meiofauna, Macrofauna, and Megafauna) in different deep-sea ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea (200 to more than 4,000 m depth), including open slopes, deep basins, canyons, cold seeps, seamounts, deep-water corals and deep-hypersaline anoxic basins and analyzed overall longitudinal and bathymetric patterns. We show that in contrast to what was expected from the sharp decrease in organic carbon fluxes and reduced faunal abundance, the deep-sea biodiversity of both the eastern and the western basins of the Mediterranean Sea is similarly high. All of the biodiversity components, except Bacteria and Archaea, displayed a decreasing pattern with increasing water depth, but to a different extent for each component. Unlike patterns observed for faunal abundance, highest negative values of the slopes of the biodiversity patterns were observed for Meiofauna, followed by Macrofauna and Megafauna. Comparison of the biodiversity associated with open slopes, deep basins, canyons, and deep-water corals showed that the deep basins were the least diverse. Rarefaction curves allowed us to estimate the expected number of species for each benthic component in different bathymetric ranges. A large fraction of exclusive species was associated with each specific habitat or ecosystem. Thus, each deep-sea ecosystem contributes significantly to overall biodiversity. From theoretical extrapolations we estimate that the overall deep-sea Mediterranean biodiversity (excluding prokaryotes) reaches approximately 2805 species of which about 66% is still undiscovered. Among the biotic components investigated

  6. Group decisions in biodiversity conservation: implications from game theory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Frank

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Decision analysis and game theory have proved useful tools in various biodiversity conservation planning and modeling contexts. This paper shows how game theory may be used to inform group decisions in biodiversity conservation scenarios by modeling conflicts between stakeholders to identify Pareto-inefficient Nash equilibria. These are cases in which each agent pursuing individual self-interest leads to a worse outcome for all, relative to other feasible outcomes. Three case studies from biodiversity conservation contexts showing this feature are modeled to demonstrate how game-theoretical representation can inform group decision-making. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The mathematical theory of games is used to model three biodiversity conservation scenarios with Pareto-inefficient Nash equilibria: (i a two-agent case involving wild dogs in South Africa; (ii a three-agent raptor and grouse conservation scenario from the United Kingdom; and (iii an n-agent fish and coral conservation scenario from the Philippines. In each case there is reason to believe that traditional mechanism-design solutions that appeal to material incentives may be inadequate, and the game-theoretical analysis recommends a resumption of further deliberation between agents and the initiation of trust--and confidence--building measures. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Game theory can and should be used as a normative tool in biodiversity conservation contexts: identifying scenarios with Pareto-inefficient Nash equilibria enables constructive action in order to achieve (closer to optimal conservation outcomes, whether by policy solutions based on mechanism design or otherwise. However, there is mounting evidence that formal mechanism-design solutions may backfire in certain cases. Such scenarios demand a return to group deliberation and the creation of reciprocal relationships of trust.

  7. Neurobiology of resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Scott J; Murrough, James W; Han, Ming-Hu; Charney, Dennis S; Nestler, Eric J

    2012-11-01

    Humans exhibit a remarkable degree of resilience in the face of extreme stress, with most resisting the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. Over the past 5 years, there has been increasing interest in the active, adaptive coping mechanisms of resilience; however, in humans, most published work focuses on correlative neuroendocrine markers that are associated with a resilient phenotype. In this review, we highlight a growing literature in rodents that is starting to complement the human work by identifying the active behavioral, neural, molecular and hormonal basis of resilience. The therapeutic implications of these findings are important and can pave the way for an innovative approach to drug development for a range of stress-related syndromes.

  8. [Resilience and child abuse].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junqueira, Maria de Fátima Pinheiro da Silva; Deslandes, Suely Ferreira

    2003-01-01

    The article discusses the resilience concept from a critical review. It prioritizes texts produced by organizations with leading roles in the field of child and adolescent health (PAHO, Pan-American Health Organization; ASBRA, the Brazilian Association for Adolescence). The main definitions of resilience are discussed, along with a debate on the contributions and limitations of the current literature. Furthermore, the conceptual and operative possibilities of resilience when confronted with child abuse are discussed, specifically using intra-familial sexual abuse as an example. The authors conclude that the concept of resilience presents polarization around certain axes: "adaptation/overcoming process", "innate/acquired" "permanent/circumstantial". However, they all point to a common ground: the singularity and delicacy of micro-social health-promoting relationships.

  9. Formal aspects of resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana-Maria Drigă

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The concept of resilience has represented during the recent years a leading concern both in Romania, within the European Union and worldwide. Specialists in economics, management, finance, legal sciences, political sciences, sociology, psychology, grant a particular interest to this concept. Multidisciplinary research of resilience has materialized throughout the time in multiple conceptualizations and theorizing, but without being a consensus between specialists in terms of content, specificity and scope. Through this paper it is intended to clarify the concept of resilience, achieving an exploration of the evolution of this concept in ecological, social and economic environment. At the same time, the paper presents aspects of feedback mechanisms and proposes a formalization of resilience using the logic and mathematical analysis.

  10. Ultrastructural biomarkers in symbiotic algae reflect the availability of dissolved inorganic nutrients and particulate food to the reef coral holobiont

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina eRosset

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Reef building corals associated with symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae can access environmental nutrients from different sources, most significantly via the uptake of dissolved inorganic nutrients by the algal symbiont and heterotrophic feeding of the coral host. Climate change is expected to alter the nutrient environment in coral reefs with the potential to benefit or disturb coral reef resilience. At present, the relative importance of the two major nutrient sources is not well understood, making predictions of the responses of corals to changes in their nutrient environment difficult. Therefore, we have examined the long-term effects of the availability of different concentrations of dissolved inorganic nutrients and of nutrients in particulate organic form on the model coral Euphyllia paradivisa. Coral and algal biomass showed a significantly stronger increase in response to elevated levels of dissolved inorganic nutrients as compared to the supply with particulate food. Also, changes in the zooxanthellae ultrastructure, determined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM, were mostly driven by the availability of dissolved inorganic nutrients under the present experimental conditions. The larger size of symbiont cells, their increased accumulation of lipid bodies, a higher number of starch granules and the fragmentation of their accumulation body could be established as reliable biomarkers of low availability of dissolved inorganic nutrients to the coral holobiont.

  11. Utility of sea snakes as bio-indicators for diverse marine environments including coral reefs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Redsted Rasmussen, Arne

    2016-01-01

    be a valuable tool to accomplish this goal. Recent research shows that a group of sea snakes (the sea kraits Laticauda spp.) specialised on eels as prey, bears the promise of being useful bio-indicators for surveying the Anguilliform fish (eel like fish) in coral reefs(Brischoux, Bonnet, & Legagneux, 2009...... including coral reefs. Choosing sea snakes as bio-indicators in a broader sense is not possible with the present knowledge on the group today. It is therefore most needed to get more knowledge on sea snake biology to make it possible to use them as marine indicator species to measure e.g. biodiversity...

  12. Resilience - A Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-05

    same construct. If resil- iency of a system equates to the health of a person , then maybe there should be resiliency indices similar to health ... Image designed by Diane Fleischer Resilience—A CONCEPT Col Dennis J. Rensel, USAF (Ret.) Resilience takes on many definitions and ideas depending...as biomedical indices provide an indication, a concept of a person’s health . This process or concept of assessing one’s health can be equated to

  13. Resilience in Aging Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkland, James L; Stout, Michael B; Sierra, Felipe

    2016-11-01

    Recently discovered interventions that target fundamental aging mechanisms have been shown to increase life span in mice and other species, and in some cases, these same manipulations have been shown to enhance health span and alleviate multiple age-related diseases and conditions. Aging is generally associated with decreases in resilience, the capacity to respond to or recover from clinically relevant stresses such as surgery, infections, or vascular events. We hypothesize that the age-related increase