Coral bleaching and consequences for motile reef organisms: past, present and uncertain future effects

Pratchett, M.S., Wilson, S.K., Graham, N.A.J., Munday, P.L., Jones, G.P., and Polunin, N.V.C. (2009) Coral bleaching and consequences for motile reef organisms: past, present and uncertain future effects. In: van Oppen, M.J.H., and Lough, J.M., (eds.) Coral Bleaching: patterns, processes, causes and consequences. Ecological Studies, 205 . Springer, Germany, pp. 139-158.

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Severe large-scale coral bleaching causes major changes to coral reef habitats that have significant subsequent effects on motile reef organisms. In the short term, the reduction or loss of live corals causes widespread mortality among fishes and motile invertebrates that depend on live coral for food and/or shelter. These effects may be further magnified by declines in structural complexity through gradual erosion of dead coral skeletons, which may occur 3--10 years following extensive bleaching. Combined effects of coral loss and structural collapse results in local extinctions for many motile organisms, biodiversity loss, and dramatic shifts in species composition. Ultimately, these effects may compromise extensive fisheries and economic yields from coral reef ecosystems, highlighting a critical need for improved management of extrinsic threats to coral reefs combined with unequivocal steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Item ID: 4865
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-540-69774-9
ISSN: 0070-8356
Keywords: climate change; coral bleaching; disturbance; indirect effects; fish; invertebrates; habitat; time scale
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2009 06:08
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 50%
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