Operationalising the resilience of coral reefs in an era of climate change

Mumby, Peter J., Wolff, Nicholas H., Bozec, Yves-Marie, Chollett, Iliana and Halloran, Paul (2014) Operationalising the resilience of coral reefs in an era of climate change. Conservation Letters, 7 3: 176-187. doi:10.1111/conl.12047

Author Mumby, Peter J.
Wolff, Nicholas H.
Bozec, Yves-Marie
Chollett, Iliana
Halloran, Paul
Title Operationalising the resilience of coral reefs in an era of climate change
Journal name Conservation Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1755-263X
Publication date 2014-06-28
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/conl.12047
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Issue 3
Start page 176
End page 187
Total pages 12
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Ecosystem management frequently aims to manage resilience yet measuring resilience has proven difficult. Here, we quantify the ecological resilience of the largest reef in the Caribbean and map potential benefits of marine reserves under two scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions. Resilience is calculated using spatial ecological models and defined as the probability of a reef remaining in its coral-dominated basin of attraction such that it does not flip into an alternate, algal-dominated attractor. In practice, resilience is the probability that coral populations will maintain the ability to exhibit a recovery trend after acute disturbances such as hurricanes. The inputs required to estimate resilience are a reef's initial state, physical environment, and disturbance regime. One major driver of reef resilience is herbivory by parrotfish and recent action to protect parrotfish in Belize was found to have increased resilience 6-fold. However, the expected benefits of parrotfish protection to future coral cover were relatively modest with only a 2- to 2.6-fold improvement over a business-as-usual scenario, demonstrating how resilience and ecosystem states are decoupled. Global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions had little impact on average coral state unless it was accompanied by local controls of fishing. However, combined global and local action reduced the rate of reef degradation threefold. Operationalizing resilience explicitly integrates available biophysical data and accommodates the complex interactions among ecological processes and multiple types of disturbance
Keyword Grazing
Marine reserve
Remote sensing
Wave exposure
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 18 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 19 Nov 2014, 09:33:30 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences