Deficits in functional trait diversity following recovery on coral reefs

McWilliam, Mike, Pratchett, Morgan S., Hoogenboom, Mia O., and Hughes, Terry P. (2020) Deficits in functional trait diversity following recovery on coral reefs. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 287. 20192628.

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Abstract

The disturbance regimes of ecosystems are changing, and prospects for continued recovery remain unclear. New assemblages with altered species composition may be deficient in key functional traits. Alternatively, impor- tant traits may be sustained by species that replace those in decline (response diversity). Here, we quantify the recovery and response diversity of coral assemblages using case studies of disturbance in three locations. Despite return trajectories of coral cover, the original assemblages with diverse functional attributes failed to recover at each location. Response diversity and the reassembly of trait space was limited, and varied according to biogeographic differences in the attributes of dominant, rapidly recover- ing species. The deficits in recovering assemblages identified here suggest that the return of coral cover cannot assure the reassembly of reef trait diver- sity, and that shortening intervals between disturbances can limit recovery among functionally important species.

Item ID: 63837
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: resilience, ecosystem function, response diversity, coral reefs, disturbance, functional traits
Copyright Information: © 2020 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC CE140100020, ARC FL120100063
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2020 04:03
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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