Save reefs to rescue all ecosystems

Morrison, Tiffany H., Hughes, Terry P., Adger, W. Neil, Brown, Katrina, Barnett, Jon, Lemos, Maria Carmen, Huitema, Dave, Huchery, Cindy, Chaigneau, Tomas, Turner, Rachel, and Hettiarachchi, Missaka (2019) Save reefs to rescue all ecosystems. Nature, 573. pp. 333-336.

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Abstract

[Extract:] All the coral reefs in the world could be gone by 2070 if global heating continues on its current path. Since 1998, heatwaves have bleached or killed corals in more than 90% of reefs listed as World Heritage sites worldwide (including in the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii and Australia) (see ‘Under pressure’). In the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef system, half of the corals died in 2016 and 2017 alone. Coral reefs cover only 0.5% of the ocean floor, but they support almost 30% of the world’s marine fish species. Their loss has huge implications for biodiversity and for the roughly 400 million people who depend on them for work, food and protection from waves, storms and floods in more than 100 countries across Australasia, southeast Asia, the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East, the Caribbean and the tropical Americas. We think a change in approach is urgently needed from the slew of groups striving to safeguard reefs: ecologists, conservationists, non-governmental organizations, national and regional policymakers, and philanthropists. Such groups must address the causes of reef ecosystem decline — not just focus on biodiversity, or on trying to restore a particular reef or region to some idealized ‘prior state’, for instance by establishing marine parks.

Item ID: 60445
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1476-4687
Keywords: biodiversity; climate change; environmental sciences; ocean sciences
Copyright Information: © 2019 Springer Nature Limited. All rights reserved. This article is Open Access via the publisher.
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2019 06:46
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160510 Public Policy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 50%
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