Recovery without resilience: persistent disturbance and long-term shifts in the structure of fish and coral communities at Tiahura Reef, Moorea

Berumen, Michael L., and Pratchett, Morgan S. (2006) Recovery without resilience: persistent disturbance and long-term shifts in the structure of fish and coral communities at Tiahura Reef, Moorea. Coral Reefs, 25 (4). pp. 647-653.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00338-006-014...
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Abstract

Disturbances have a critical effect on the structure of natural communities. In this study long-term changes were examined in the reef community at Tiahura Reef, on the northern coast of Moorea, which had been subject to many and varied disturbances over the last 25 years. Tiahura Reef was subject to an outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) in 1980–1981, causing significant declines in the abundance of scleractinian corals and butterflyfishes. By 2003, the abundance of corals and butterflyfishes had returned to former levels, but despite this apparent recovery, the species composition of coral communities and butterflyfish assemblages was very different from those recorded in 1979. Ongoing disturbances (including further outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, cyclones, and coral bleaching events) appear to have prevented recovery of many important coral species (notably, Acropora spp.), which has had subsequent effects on the community structure of coral-feeding butterflyfishes. This study shows that recurrent disturbances may have persistent effects on the structure and dynamics of natural communities.

Item ID: 1790
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: community structure, alternate stable states, Chaetodontidae, Scleractinia, Coral reefs, corallivores
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2008
FoR Codes: ?? 069902 ??
?? 060205 ??
SEO Codes: ?? seo_960399 ??
?? seo_960808 ??
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