Coral-bleaching responses to climate change across biological scales

Van Woesik, Robert, Shlesinger, Tom, Grottoli, Andrea G., Toonen, Rob J., Thurber, Rebecca Vega, Warner, Mark E., Hulver, Ann Marie, Chapron, Leila, McLachlan, Rowan H., Albright, Rebecca, Crandall, Eric, DeCarlo, Thomas M., Donovan, Mary K., Eirin-Lopez, Jose, Harrison, Hugo B., Heron, Scott F., Huang, Danwei, Humanes, Adriana, Krueger, Thomas, Madin, Joshua S., Manzello, Derek, McManus, Lisa C., Matz, Mikhail, Muller, Erinn M., Rodriguez-Lanetty, Mauricio, Vega-Rodriguez, Maria, Voolstra, Christian R., and Zaneveld, Jesse (2022) Coral-bleaching responses to climate change across biological scales. Global Change Biology, 28 (14). pp. 4229-4250.

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Abstract

The global impacts of climate change are evident in every marine ecosystem. On coral reefs, mass coral bleaching and mortality have emerged as ubiquitous responses to ocean warming, yet one of the greatest challenges of this epiphenomenon is linking information across scientific disciplines and spatial and temporal scales. Here we review some of the seminal and recent coral-bleaching discoveries from an ecological, physiological, and molecular perspective. We also evaluate which data and processes can improve predictive models and provide a conceptual framework that integrates measurements across biological scales. Taking an integrative approach across biological and spatial scales, using for example hierarchical models to estimate major coral-reef processes, will not only rapidly advance coral-reef science but will also provide necessary information to guide decision-making and conservation efforts. To conserve reefs, we encourage implementing mesoscale sanctuaries (thousands of km(2)) that transcend national boundaries. Such networks of protected reefs will provide reef connectivity, through larval dispersal that transverse thermal environments, and genotypic repositories that may become essential units of selection for environmentally diverse locations. Together, multinational networks may be the best chance corals have to persist through climate change, while humanity struggles to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to net zero.

Item ID: 74229
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1354-1013
Keywords: climate change, conservation, coral bleaching, coral reefs, corals, global warming, mesoscale sanctuaries, networks, protected reefs, refugia, thermal stress
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 07:50
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 100%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190507 Global effects of climate change (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) (excl. social impacts) @ 100%
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