Differential vulnerabilities of parrotfishes to habitat degradation

Emslie, Michael J., and Pratchett, Morgan S. (2018) Differential vulnerabilities of parrotfishes to habitat degradation. In: Hoey, Andrew S., and Bonaldo, Roberta M., (eds.) Biology of Parrotfishes. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL, USA, pp. 355-382.

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Abstract

Habitat degradation has detrimental effects on ecological assemblages, and on coral reefs it is manifest as declines in the cover of habitat forming scleractinian corals. The causes of coral reef degradation are many and vary geographically. These impacts are very concerning as millions of people rely on coral reefs for food and livelihoods, and chronic habitat degradation is threatening goods and services provided by these systems. Parrotfishes are a conspicuous and important component of coral reef fish faunas that are considered fundamental to the resilience and functioning of coral reefs. However, there are conflicting reports about the vulnerability of the group to the chronic degradation of coral reefs. This chapter explores species specific differences in the vulnerability of parrotfishes to different disturbances by firstly compiling published data on the changes in parrotfish abundance during disturbances that have caused coral loss. This is then complemented with new data from long-term and spatially extensive surveys across the Great Barrier Reef to explicitly examine responses of parrotfishes to temporally and spatially discrete disturbance events. Parrotfishes are generally resilient to coral depletion and habitat degradation caused by major disturbances affecting contemporary reef environments (e.g., cyclones, coral bleaching, and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish), though parrotfishes (like most reef fishes) are sensitive to widespread or significant loss of topographic complexity, which may occur due to extensive coral loss. Currently however, the major threat to parrotfishes is fisheries exploitation, which is of considerable concern given their importance to coral reef resilience.

Item ID: 40890
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-4822-2401-6
Funders: Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), CRC Reef Research Centre, Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF), National Environmental Research Program
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2018 03:22
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 20%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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