Humans and seasonal climate variability threaten large-bodied coral reef fish with small ranges

Mellin, C., Mouillot, D., Kulbicki, M., McClanahan, T.R., Vigliola, L., Bradshaw, C.J.A., Brainard, R.E., Chabanet, P., Edgar, G.J., Fordham, D.A., Friedlander, A.M., Parravicini, V., Sequeira, A.M.M., Stuart-Smith, R.D., Wantiez, L., and Caley, M.J. (2016) Humans and seasonal climate variability threaten large-bodied coral reef fish with small ranges. Nature Communications, 7. 10491. pp. 1-9.

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Abstract

Coral reefs are among the most species-rich and threatened ecosystems on Earth, yet the extent to which human stressors determine species occurrences, compared with biogeography or environmental conditions, remains largely unknown. With ever-increasing human-mediated disturbances on these ecosystems, an important question is not only how many species can inhabit local communities, but also which biological traits determine species that can persist (or not) above particular disturbance thresholds. Here we show that human pressure and seasonal climate variability are disproportionately and negatively associated with the occurrence of large-bodied and geographically small-ranging fishes within local coral reef communities. These species are 67% less likely to occur where human impact and temperature seasonality exceed critical thresholds, such as in the marine biodiversity hotspot: the Coral Triangle. Our results identify the most sensitive species and critical thresholds of human and climatic stressors, providing opportunity for targeted conservation intervention to prevent local extinctions.

Item ID: 48445
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre
Projects and Grants: ARC DE140100701
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 23:32
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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