Effects of coral bleaching and coral loss on the structure and function of reef fish assemblages

Pratchett, M.S., Thompson, C.A., Hoey, A.S., Cowman, P.F., and Wilson, S.K. (2018) Effects of coral bleaching and coral loss on the structure and function of reef fish assemblages. In: van Oppen, Madeleine J.H., and Lough, Janice M., (eds.) Coral Bleaching: patterns, processes, causes and consequences. Ecological Studies, 233 . Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 265-293.

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Abstract

Mass coral bleaching, caused by elevated ocean temperatures, has now emerged as a major, if not the single most important, contributor to elevated rates of coral mortality (Hughes et al. 2017; Chaps. 3, 4, and 13), greatly accelerating the degradation of coral reef ecosystems throughout the world. Coral reefs have been subject to increasing anthropogenic disturbances and threats throughout the last few decades (if not centuries), resulting in sustained declines in the cover or abundance of scleractinian corals and corresponding shifts in the structure of reef habitats (Hughes et al. 2003; Alvarez-Filip et al. 2011). Climate change (specifically resulting in coral bleaching) is almost always considered, along with a variety of other more localised anthropogenic disturbances and threats, as a key contributor to sustained and ongoing coral loss (e.g. De'ath et al. 2012). However, mass coral bleaching has previously been considered to be a relatively minor, though emerging and increasingly important, contributor to coral loss, especially relative to other major disturbances such as severe tropical storms and outbreaks of coral predators (Pratchett et al. 2011a; De'ath et al. 2012). The extent and severity of the latest (2014–2017) global bleaching event (Hughes et al. 2017, 2018), as well as successive years of severe bleaching in many locations, have firmly heralded in an era where global climate change is the foremost threat to coral reef ecosystems.

Item ID: 55262
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-319-75392-8
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2018 03:10
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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