Evaluating social and ecological vulnerability of coral reef fisheries to climate change

Cinner, Joshua E., Huchery, Cindy, Darling, Emily, Humphries, Austin T., Graham, Nicholas A.J., Hicks, Christina, Marshall, Nadine, and McClanahan, Tim R. (2013) Evaluating social and ecological vulnerability of coral reef fisheries to climate change. PLoS ONE, 8 (9). e74321. pp. 1-12.

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Abstract

There is an increasing need to evaluate the links between the social and ecological dimensions of human vulnerability to climate change. We use an empirical case study of 12 coastal communities and associated coral reefs in Kenya to assess and compare five key ecological and social components of the vulnerability of coastal social-ecological systems to temperature induced coral mortality [specifically: 1) environmental exposure; 2) ecological sensitivity; 3) ecological recovery potential; 4) social sensitivity; and 5) social adaptive capacity]. We examined whether ecological components of vulnerability varied between government operated no-take marine reserves, community-based reserves, and openly fished areas. Overall, fished sites were marginally more vulnerable than community-based and government marine reserves. Social sensitivity was indicated by the occupational composition of each community, including the importance of fishing relative to other occupations, as well as the susceptibility of different fishing gears to the effects of coral bleaching on target fish species. Key components of social adaptive capacity varied considerably between the communities. Together, these results show that different communities have relative strengths and weaknesses in terms of social-ecological vulnerability to climate change.

Item ID: 30632
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

Copyright: © 2013 Cinner 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.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2013 05:27
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 10%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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