A framework for understanding climate change impacts on coral reef social–ecological systems

Cinner, Joshua Eli, Pratchett, Morgan Stuart, Graham, Nicholas Anthony James Graham, Messmer, Vanessa, Fuentes, Mariana Menezes Prata Bezerra, Ainsworth, Tracy, Ban, Natalie, Bay, Line Kolind, Blythe, Jessica, Dissard, Delphine, Dunn, Simon, Evans, Louisa, Fabinyi, Michael, Fidelman, Pedro, Figueiredo, Joana, Frisch, Ashley, Fulton, Christopher John, Hicks, Christina Chemtai, Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi, Mallela, Jenny, Moya, Aurelie, Penin, Lucie, Rummer, Jodie Lynn, Walker, Stefan, and Williamson, David Hall (2016) A framework for understanding climate change impacts on coral reef social–ecological systems. Regional Environmental Change, 16 (4). pp. 1133-1146.

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Abstract

Corals and coral-associated species are highly vulnerable to the emerging effects of global climate change. The widespread degradation of coral reefs, which will be accelerated by climate change, jeopardizes the goods and services that tropical nations derive from reef ecosystems. However, climate change impacts to reef social–ecological systems can also be bi-directional. For example, some climate impacts, such as storms and sea level rise, can directly impact societies, with repercussions for how they interact with the environment. This study identifies the multiple impact pathways within coral reef social–ecological systems arising from four key climatic drivers: increased sea surface temperature, severe tropical storms, sea level rise and ocean acidification. We develop a novel framework for investigating climate change impacts in social–ecological systems, which helps to highlight the diverse impacts that must be considered in order to develop a more complete understanding of the impacts of climate change, as well as developing appropriate management actions to mitigate climate change impacts on coral reef and people.

Item ID: 39708
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1436-378X
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2015 05:12
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 70%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040104 Climate Change Processes @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960311 Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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