Changes in reef tourism’s adaptive capacity after severe climate disturbances

Bartelet, Henry A., Barnes, Michele L., Bakti, Lalu A.A., and Cumming, Graeme S. (2024) Changes in reef tourism’s adaptive capacity after severe climate disturbances. Cell Reports Sustainability, 1 (4). 100061.

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Knowledge about adaptive capacity and its determinants has increased significantly over the last decade. However, most research on adaptive capacity has been static, not considering how adaptive capacity might change over time, particularly after severe disturbances. We studied the adaptive capacity dynamics of Asian-Pacific reef tourism operators affected by coral bleaching and tropical cyclones compared with a control group with non-affected operators. We found that impacts from tropical cyclones were associated with frequent changes in adaptive capacity. Notably, we found a reduction in tangible attributes (assets and flexibility) of adaptive capacity, whereas intangible attributes (agency and social organization) increased. Our findings provide evidence that adaptive capacity is not necessarily a slowly changing variable; rather, adaptive capacity can change rapidly and in complex ways following severe climate impacts. Understanding adaptive capacity dynamics can support adaptation programs by showing where changes in capacity are most likely to occur after severe climate impacts.

Item ID: 82558
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2949-7906
Keywords: adaptation, climate change, coral reefs, coral bleaching, tropical cyclone, tourism, Asia-Pacific
Copyright Information: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE190101583
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 01 May 2024 01:39
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410103 Human impacts of climate change and human adaptation @ 100%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190101 Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem) @ 100%
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