Coral population trajectories, increased disturbance and management intervention: A sensitivity analysis
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Marine Science Program
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Reef Ecology Lab
Online Publication Date2013-03-07
Print Publication Date2013-04
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/325387
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AbstractCoral reefs distant from human population were sampled in the Red Sea and one-third showed degradation by predator outbreaks (crown-of-thorns-starfish=COTS observed in all regions in all years) or bleaching (1998, 2010). Models were built to assess future trajectories. They assumed variable coral types (slow/fast growing), disturbance frequencies (5,10,20years), mortality (equal or not), and connectivity (un/connected to un/disturbed community). Known disturbances were used to parameterize models. Present and future disturbances were estimated from remote-sensing chlorophyll and temperature data. Simulations and sensitivity analysis suggest community resilience at >20-year disturbance frequency, but degradation at higher frequency. Trajectories move from fast-grower to slow-grower dominance at intermediate disturbance frequency, then again to fast-grower dominance. A similar succession was observed in the field: Acropora to Porites to Stylophora/Pocillopora dominance on shallow reefs, and a transition from large poritids to small faviids on deep reefs. Synthesis and application: Even distant reefs are impacted by global changes. COTS impacts and bleaching were key driver of coral degradation, coral population decline could be reduced if these outbreaks and bleaching susceptibility were managed by maintaining water quality and by other interventions. Just leaving reefs alone, seems no longer a satisfactory option. 2013 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution.
CitationRiegl B, Berumen M, Bruckner A (2013) Coral population trajectories, increased disturbance and management intervention: a sensitivity analysis. Ecology and Evolution 3: 1050-1064. doi:10.1002/ece3.519.
JournalEcology and Evolution
PubMed Central IDPMC3631413
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2013 Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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