Effects of coral bleaching on coral habitats and associated fishes

Pratchett, Morgan S., Bay, Line K., Coker, Darren J., Cole, Andrew J., and Lawton, Rebecca J. (2012) Effects of coral bleaching on coral habitats and associated fishes. In: Lunney, Daniel, and Hutchings, Pat, (eds.) Wildlife and Climate Change: towards robust conservation strategies for Australian fauna. RZS Forum Series . Royal Zoological Society New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, pp. 59-67.

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Coral reef ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to global climate change, owing to extreme environmental sensitivities and consequent bleaching of reef-building scleractinian corals. Severe coral bleaching often kills scleractinian coral, leading to longer-term declines in habitat and topographic complexity. The loss of corals, and corresponding changes in habitat quality, also has a significant effect on coral reef fishes. Coral loss has the greatest and most immediate effect on fishes that depend on live corals for food or shelter. Many coral-reef fishes that do not depend directly on live coral are nonetheless dependent on the topographic complexity provided by healthy coral growth. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and urgent action is required to minimize future effects of climate change and maximize resilience of coral reef ecosystems.

Item ID: 25570
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-9803272-5-0
Keywords: climate change, coral reefs, disturbance, resilience
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2013 06:27
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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