Extinction vulnerability of coral reef fishes

Graham, Nicholas A.J., Chabanet, Pascal, Evans, Richard D., Jennings, Simon, Letourneur, Yves, MacNeil, M. Aaron, McClanahan, Tim R., Öhman, Marcus C., Polunin, Nicholas V.C., and Wilson, Shaun K. (2011) Extinction vulnerability of coral reef fishes. Ecology Letters, 14 (4). pp. 341-348.

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Abstract

With rapidly increasing rates of contemporary extinction, predicting extinction vulnerability and identifying how multiple stressors drive non-random species loss have become key challenges in ecology. These assessments are crucial for avoiding the loss of key functional groups that sustain ecosystem processes and services. We developed a novel predictive framework of species extinction vulnerability and applied it to coral reef fishes. Although relatively few coral reef fishes are at risk of global extinction from climate disturbances, a negative convex relationship between fish species locally vulnerable to climate change vs. fisheries exploitation indicates that the entire community is vulnerable on the many reefs where both stressors co-occur. Fishes involved in maintaining key ecosystem functions are more at risk from fishing than climate disturbances. This finding is encouraging as local and regional commitment to fisheries management action can maintain reef ecosystem functions pending progress towards the more complex global problem of stabilizing the climate.

Item ID: 15954
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1461-0248
Keywords: additive effects; climate change; coral reef ecology; ecosystem function; fisheries; multiple stressors; resilience;
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2011 01:01
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 35%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 35%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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