Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action

Kennedy, Emma V., Perry, Chris T., Halloran, Paul R., Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto, Schoenberg, Christine H. L., Wisshak, Max, Form, Armin U., Carricart-Ganivet, Juan P., Fine, Maoz, Eakin, C. Mark and Mumby, Peter J. (2013) Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action. Current Biology, 23 10: 912-918. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.020

Author Kennedy, Emma V.
Perry, Chris T.
Halloran, Paul R.
Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto
Schoenberg, Christine H. L.
Wisshak, Max
Form, Armin U.
Carricart-Ganivet, Juan P.
Fine, Maoz
Eakin, C. Mark
Mumby, Peter J.
Title Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action
Journal name Current Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0960-9822
Publication date 2013-05
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.020
Volume 23
Issue 10
Start page 912
End page 918
Total pages 7
Place of publication Cambridge, MA, United States
Publisher Cell Press
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Coral reefs face multiple anthropogenic threats, from pollution and overfishing to the dual effects of greenhouse gas emissions: rising sea temperature and ocean acidification [1]. While the abundance of coral has declined in recent decades [2, 3], the implications for humanity are difficult to quantify because they depend on ecosystem function rather than the corals themselves. Most reef functions and ecosystem services are founded on the ability of reefs to maintain their three-dimensional structure through net carbonate accumulation [4]. Coral growth only constitutes part of a reef's carbonate budget; bioerosion processes are influential in determining the balance between net structural growth and disintegration [5, 6]. Here, we combine ecological models with carbonate budgets and drive the dynamics of Caribbean reefs with the latest generation of climate models. Budget reconstructions using documented ecological perturbations drive shallow (6-10 m) Caribbean forereefs toward an increasingly fragile carbonate balance. We then projected carbonate budgets toward 2080 and contrasted the benefits of local conservation and global action on climate change. Local management of fisheries (specifically, no-take marine reserves) and the watershed can delay reef loss by at least a decade under "business-as-usual" rises in greenhouse gas emissions. However, local action must be combined with a low-carbon economy to prevent degradation of reef structures and associated ecosystem services.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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