Social–environmental drivers inform strategic management of coral reefs in the Anthropocene

Darling, Emily S., McClanahan, Tim R., Maina, Joseph, Gurney, Georgina G., Graham, Nicholas A.J., Januchowski-hartley, Fraser, Cinner, Joshua E., Mora, Camillo, Hicks, Christina C., Maire, Eva, Puotinen, Marji, Skirving, William J., Adjeroud, Mehdi, Ahmadia, Gabby, Arthur, Rohan, Bauman, Andrew G., Beger, Maria, Berumen, Michael L., Bigot, Lionel, Bouwmeester, Jessica, Brenier, Ambroise, Bridge, Thomas, Brown, Eric, Campbell, Stuart J., Cannon, Sara, Cauvin, Bruce, Chen, Chaolu Allen, Claudet, Joachim, Denis, Vianney, Donner, Simon, Estradivari, , Fadli, Nur, Feary, David A., Fenner, Douglas, Fox, Helen, Franklin, Erik C., Friedlander, Alan, Gilmour, James, Goiran, Claire, Guest, James, Hobbs, Jean-Paul A., Hoey, Andrew S., Houk, Peter, Johnson, Steve, Jupiter, Stacy D., Kayal, Mohsen, Kuo, Chao-Yang, Lamb, Joleah, Lee, Michelle A.C., Low, Jeffrey, Muthiga, Nyawira, Muttaqin, Efin, Nand, Yashika, Nash, Kirsty L., Nedlic, Osamu, Pandolfi, John M., Pardede, Shinta, Patankar, Vardhan, Penin, Lucie, Ribas-Deulofeu, Lauriane, Richards, Zoe, Roberts, T. Edward, Rodgers, Ku’ulei S., Safuan, Che Din Mohd, Sala, Enric, Shedrawi, George, Sin, Tsai Min, Smallhorn-West, Patrick, Smith, Jennifer E., Sommer, Brigitte, Steinberg, Peter, Sutthacheep, Makamas, Tan, Chun Hong James, Williams, Gareth J., Wilson, Shaun, Yeemin, Thamasak, Bruno, John F., Fortin, Marie-Josée, Krkosek, Martin, and Mouillot, David (2019) Social–environmental drivers inform strategic management of coral reefs in the Anthropocene. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3. pp. 1341-1350.

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Abstract

Without drastic efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate globalized stressors, tropical coral reefs are in jeopardy. Strategic conservation and management requires identification of the environmental and socioeconomic factors driving the persistence of scleractinian coral assemblages—the foundation species of coral reef ecosystems. Here, we compiled coral abundance data from 2,584 Indo-Pacific reefs to evaluate the influence of 21 climate, social and environmental drivers on the ecology of reef coral assemblages. Higher abundances of framework-building corals were typically associated with: weaker thermal disturbances and longer intervals for potential recovery; slower human population growth; reduced access by human settlements and markets; and less nearby agriculture. We therefore propose a framework of three management strategies (protect, recover or transform) by considering: (1) if reefs were above or below a proposed threshold of >10% cover of the coral taxa important for structural complexity and carbonate production; and (2) reef exposure to severe thermal stress during the 2014–2017 global coral bleaching event. Our findings can guide urgent management efforts for coral reefs, by identifying key threats across multiple scales and strategic policy priorities that might sustain a network of functioning reefs in the Indo-Pacific to avoid ecosystem collapse.

Item ID: 60129
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2397-334X
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2019
Funders: Cedar Tree Foundation (CTF), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (JDCTMAF), Wildlife Conservation Society
Projects and Grants: CTF David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship, NSERC Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2019 04:43
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 34%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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