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Coral reef resilience through biodiversity

ISRN Oceanography

By:
DOI: 10.5402/2013/739034

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Abstract

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.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Coral reef resilience through biodiversity
Series title:
ISRN Oceanography
DOI:
10.5402/2013/739034
Volume
2013
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publisher location:
New York, New York
Contributing office(s):
Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description:
18 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
ISRN Oceanography
First page:
739034
Number of Pages:
18
Other Geospatial:
Coral Reefs