Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes

Mora, Camilo, Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio, Bocos, Arturo Ayala, Ayotte, Paula M., Banks, Stuart, Bauman, Andrew G., Beger, Maria, Bessudo, Sandra, Booth, David J., Brokovich, Eran, Brooks, Andrew, Chabanet, Pascale, Cinner, Joshua E., Cortés, Jorge, Cruz-Motta, Juan J., Magaña, Amilcar Cupul, DeMartini, Edward E., Edgar, Graham J., Feary, David A., Ferse, Sebastian C. A., Friedlander, Alan M., Gaston, Kevin J., Gough, Charlotte, Graham, Nicholas A. J., Green, Alison, Guzman, Hector, Hardt, Marah, Kulbicki, Michel, Letourneur, Yves, Pérez, Andres López, Loreau, Michel, Loya, Yossi, Martinez, Camilo, Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael, Morove, Tau, Nadon, Marc-Olivier, Nakamura, Yohei, Paredes, Gustavo, Polunin, Nicholas V. C., Pratchett, Morgan S., Bonilla, Héctor Reyes, Rivera, Fernando, Sala, Enric, Sandin, Stuart A., Soler, German, Stuart-Smith, Rick, Tessier, Emmanuel, Tittensor, Derek P., Tupper, Mark, Usseglio, Paolo, Vigliola, Laurent, Wantiez, Laurent, Williams, Ivor, Wilson, Shaun K. and Zapata, Fernando A. (2011) Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes. PLoS Biology, 9 4: e1000606-1-e1000606-9. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000606


Author Mora, Camilo
Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio
Bocos, Arturo Ayala
Ayotte, Paula M.
Banks, Stuart
Bauman, Andrew G.
Beger, Maria
Bessudo, Sandra
Booth, David J.
Brokovich, Eran
Brooks, Andrew
Chabanet, Pascale
Cinner, Joshua E.
Cortés, Jorge
Cruz-Motta, Juan J.
Magaña, Amilcar Cupul
DeMartini, Edward E.
Edgar, Graham J.
Feary, David A.
Ferse, Sebastian C. A.
Friedlander, Alan M.
Gaston, Kevin J.
Gough, Charlotte
Graham, Nicholas A. J.
Green, Alison
Guzman, Hector
Hardt, Marah
Kulbicki, Michel
Letourneur, Yves
Pérez, Andres López
Loreau, Michel
Loya, Yossi
Martinez, Camilo
Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael
Morove, Tau
Nadon, Marc-Olivier
Nakamura, Yohei
Paredes, Gustavo
Polunin, Nicholas V. C.
Pratchett, Morgan S.
Bonilla, Héctor Reyes
Rivera, Fernando
Sala, Enric
Sandin, Stuart A.
Soler, German
Stuart-Smith, Rick
Tessier, Emmanuel
Tittensor, Derek P.
Tupper, Mark
Usseglio, Paolo
Vigliola, Laurent
Wantiez, Laurent
Williams, Ivor
Wilson, Shaun K.
Zapata, Fernando A.
Title Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes
Journal name PLoS Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1544-9173
1545-7885
Publication date 2011-04-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000606
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 4
Start page e1000606-1
End page e1000606-9
Total pages 9
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 2800 Neuroscience
1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
2400 Immunology and Microbiology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas.
Formatted abstract
Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas.

Author Summary: The increasing intensity of human disturbance worldwide is triggering unprecedented biodiversity losses, which is raising concerns over whether ecosystems will work and continue delivering goods and services to humanity. In contrast to previous experimental studies, which describe saturating relationships between ecosystem functioning and biodiversity, we show that in reef fish systems, functioning (as standing biomass) accelerates with the addition of new species. This non-saturating relationship implies unique contributions of species to the functioning of this ecosystem and indicates that the consequences of losing biodiversity are significantly greater than previously anticipated. We also demonstrate a negative effect of human density on reef fish functioning such that for the same number of people the loss of standing biomass is significantly larger in more diverse ecosystems. Unfortunately, human effects can arise through multiple stressors (such as fishing, coastal development, and land use) and are widespread and likely to worsen, as some 75% of the world's coral reefs are currently nearby human settlements and because almost all countries with coral reefs are expected to double their populations within the next 50 to 100 years. Our results call for both further investigation of the impact of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and strategies to manage and prevent the increasing intensity and expansion of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas.
Keyword Coral-reefs
Current knowledge
Marine reserves
Eastern Pacific
Deep-sea
Services
Consequences
Productivity
Temperatures
Extinctions
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: Sat, 03 Sep 2011, 03:04:35 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences