A model-based approach to determine the long term effects of multiple interacting stressors on coral reef

Blackwood, Julie C., Hastings, Alan and Mumby, Peter J. (2011) A model-based approach to determine the long term effects of multiple interacting stressors on coral reef. Ecological Applications, 21 7: 2722-2733. doi:10.1890/10-2195.1

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Author Blackwood, Julie C.
Hastings, Alan
Mumby, Peter J.
Title A model-based approach to determine the long term effects of multiple interacting stressors on coral reef
Journal name Ecological Applications   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1051-0761
Publication date 2011-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/10-2195.1
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 21
Issue 7
Start page 2722
End page 2733
Total pages 12
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract The interaction between multiple stressors on Caribbean coral reefs, namely, fishing effort and hurricane impacts, is a key element in the future sustainability of reefs. We develop an analytic model of coral–algal interactions and explicitly consider grazing by herbivorous reef fish. Further, we consider changes in structural complexity, or rugosity, in addition to the direct impacts of hurricanes, which are implemented as stochastic jump processes. The model simulations consider various levels of fishing effort corresponding to several hurricane frequencies and impact levels dependent on geographic location. We focus on relatively short time scales so we do not explicitly include changes in ocean temperature, chemistry, or sea level rise. The general features of our approach would, however, apply to these other stressors and to the management of other systems in the face of multiple stressors. It is determined that the appropriate management policy, either local reef restoration or fisheries management, greatly depends on hurricane frequency and impact level. For sufficiently low hurricane impact and macroalgal growth rate, our results indicate that regions with lower-frequency hurricanes require stricter fishing regulations, whereas management in regions with higher-frequency hurricanes might be less concerned with enhancing grazing and instead consider whether local-scale restorative activities to increase vertical structure are cost-effective.
Keyword Coral reefs
Fishery management
Hurricane impacts
Reef stressors
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 18 Oct 2011, 14:17:26 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences