The ecological role of sharks on coral reefs

Roff, George, Doropoulos,Christopher, Rogers, Alice, Bozec, Yves-Marie, Krueck, Nils C., Aurellado, Eleanor, Priest,Mark, Birrell, Chico and Mumby, Peter J. (2016) The ecological role of sharks on coral reefs. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 31 5: 395-407. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2016.02.014


Author Roff, George
Doropoulos,Christopher
Rogers, Alice
Bozec, Yves-Marie
Krueck, Nils C.
Aurellado, Eleanor
Priest,Mark
Birrell, Chico
Mumby, Peter J.
Title The ecological role of sharks on coral reefs
Journal name Trends in Ecology and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0169-5347
1872-8383
Publication date 2016-03-12
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.tree.2016.02.014
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 31
Issue 5
Start page 395
End page 407
Total pages 13
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Abstract Sharks are considered the apex predator of coral reefs, but the consequences of their global depletion are uncertain. Here we explore the ecological roles of sharks on coral reefs and, conversely, the importance of reefs for sharks. We find that most reef-associated shark species do not act as apex predators but instead function as mesopredators along with a diverse group of reef fish. While sharks perform important direct and indirect ecological roles, the evidence to support hypothesised shark-driven trophic cascades that benefit corals is weak and equivocal. Coral reefs provide some functional benefits to sharks, but sharks do not appear to favour healthier reef environments. Restoring populations of sharks is important and can yet deliver ecological surprise.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article in Press. Corrected proof.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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