Risk-sensitive planning for conserving coral reefs under rapid climate change

Beyer, Hawthorne L., Kennedy, Emma V., Beger, Maria, Chen, Chaolun Allen, Cinner, Joshua E., Darling, Emily S., Eakin, C. Mark, Gates, Ruth D., Heron, Scott F., Knowlton, Nancy, Obura, David O., Palumbi, Stephen R., Possingham, Hugh P., Puotinen, Marji, Runting, Rebecca K., Skirving, William J., Spalding, Mark, Wilson, Kerrie A., Wood, Sally, Veron, John, and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove (2018) Risk-sensitive planning for conserving coral reefs under rapid climate change. Conservation Letters, 11 (6). e12587.

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Abstract

Coral reef ecosystems are seriously threatened by changing conditions in the ocean. Although many factors are implicated, climate change has emerged as a dominant and rapidly growing threat. Developing a long-term strategic plan for the conservation of coral reefs is urgently needed yet is complicated by significant uncertainty associated with climate change impacts on coral reef ecosystems. We use Modern Portfolio Theory to identify coral reef locations globally that, in the absence of other impacts, are likely to have a heightened chance of surviving projected climate changes relative to other reefs. Long-term planning that is robust to uncertainty in future conditions provides an objective and transparent framework for guiding conservation action and strategic investment. These locations constitute important opportunities for novel conservation investments to secure less vulnerable yet well-connected coral reefs that may, in turn, help to repopulate degraded areas in the event that the climate has stabilized.

Item ID: 56750
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-263X
Keywords: climate change, connectivity, conservation, coral reef, cyclone, global, ocean warming, optimization, planning, portfolio theory
Copyright Information: © 2018 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Paul G Allen Family Foundation, Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Australian Research Council (ARC), Australian Centre for Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2019 07:32
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 60%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370201 Climate change processes @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440699 Human geography not elsewhere classified @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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