One-third of reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts

Carpenter, Kent E., Abrar, Muhammad, Aeby, Greta, Aronson, Richard B., Banks, Stuart, Bruckner, Andrew , Chiriboga, Angel, Cortés, Jorge, Delbeek, J. Charles, DeVantier, Lyndon, Edgar, Graham J., Edwards, Alasdair J., Fenner, Douglas, Guzmán, Héctor M., Hoeksema, Bert W., Hodgson, Gregor, Johan, Ofri, Licuanan, Wilfredo Y., Livingstone, Suzanne R., Lovell, Edward R., Moore, Jennifer A., Obura, David O., Ochavillo, Domingo, Polidoro, Beth A., Precht, William F., Quibilan, Miledel C., Reboton, Clarissa, Richards, Zoe T., Rogers, Alex D., Sanciangco, Jonnell, Sheppard, Anne, Sheppard, Charles, Smith, Jennifer, Stuart, Simon, Turak, Emre, Veron, John E. N., Wallace, Carden, Weil, Ernesto, and Wood, Elizabeth (2008) One-third of reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts. Science, 321 (5888). pp. 560-563.

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Abstract

The conservation status of 845 zooxanthellate reef-building coral species was assessed by using International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Criteria. Of the 704 species that could be assigned conservation status, 32.8% are in categories with elevated risk of extinction. Declines in abundance are associated with bleaching and diseases driven by elevated sea surface temperatures, with extinction risk further exacerbated by local-scale anthropogenic disturbances. The proportion of corals threatened with extinction has increased dramatically in recent decades and exceeds that of most terrestrial groups. The Caribbean has the largest proportion of corals in high extinction risk categories, whereas the Coral Triangle (western Pacific) has the highest proportion of species in all categories of elevated extinction risk. Our results emphasize the widespread plight of coral reefs and the urgent need to enact conservation measures.

Item ID: 7121
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: climate change; corals
ISSN: 1095-9203
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2010 02:10
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960303 Climate Change Models @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 255
Downloads: Total: 5
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