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

Mora, Camilo, Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio, Ayala Bocos, Arturo, Ayotte, Paula M., Banks, Stuart, Bauman, Andrew G., Beger, Maria, Bessudo, Sandra, Booth, David J., Brokovich, Eran, Brooks, Andrew, Chabanet, Pascal, Cinner, Joshua E., Cortés, Jorge, Cruz-Motta, Juan J., Cupul Magaña, Amilcar, DeMartini, Eward 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, López Pérez, Andres, 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., Reyes Bonilla, Héctor, 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). pp. 1-9.

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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 (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.

Item ID: 16071
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Additional Information:

© 2011 Mora et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ISSN: 1545-7885
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2011 21:46
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 30
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