Predicting coral dynamics through climate change

van Woesik, Robert, Köksal, Semen, Ünal, Arzu, Cacciapaglia, Chris W., and Randall, Carly J. (2018) Predicting coral dynamics through climate change. Scientific Reports, 8. 17997.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Thermal-stress events are changing the composition of many coral reefs worldwide. Yet, determining the rates of coral recovery and their long-term responses to increasing sea-surface temperatures is challenging. To do so, we first estimated coral recovery rates following past disturbances on reefs in southern Japan and Western Australia. Recovery rates varied between regions, with the reefs in southern Japan showing more rapid recovery rates (intrinsic rate of increase, r = 0.38 year⁻¹) than reefs in Western Australia (r = 0.17 year⁻¹). Second, we input these recovery rates into a novel, nonlinear hybrid-stochastic-dynamical system to predict the responses of Indo-Pacific coral populations to complex inter-annual temperature cycles into the year 2100. The coral recovery rates were overlaid on background increases in global sea-surface temperatures, under three different climate-change scenarios. The models predicted rapid recovery at both localities with the infrequent and low-magnitude temperature anomalies expected under a conservative climate-change scenario, Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5. With moderate increases in ocean temperatures (RCP 6.0) the coral populations showed a bimodal response, with model runs showing either recovery or collapse. Under a business-as-usual climate-change scenario (RCP 8.5), with frequent and intense temperature anomalies, coral recovery was unlikely.

Item ID: 64851
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Projects and Grants: NSF Award NSF OCE-1657633 & OCE-1829393, NSF OCE grant 1535007
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2021 00:06
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310913 Invertebrate biology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 609
Last 12 Months: 5
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page