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Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs.
Nature. 2015 Feb 05; 518(7537):94-7.Nat

Abstract

Climate-induced coral bleaching is among the greatest current threats to coral reefs, causing widespread loss of live coral cover. Conditions under which reefs bounce back from bleaching events or shift from coral to algal dominance are unknown, making it difficult to predict and plan for differing reef responses under climate change. Here we document and predict long-term reef responses to a major climate-induced coral bleaching event that caused unprecedented region-wide mortality of Indo-Pacific corals. Following loss of >90% live coral cover, 12 of 21 reefs recovered towards pre-disturbance live coral states, while nine reefs underwent regime shifts to fleshy macroalgae. Functional diversity of associated reef fish communities shifted substantially following bleaching, returning towards pre-disturbance structure on recovering reefs, while becoming progressively altered on regime shifting reefs. We identified threshold values for a range of factors that accurately predicted ecosystem response to the bleaching event. Recovery was favoured when reefs were structurally complex and in deeper water, when density of juvenile corals and herbivorous fishes was relatively high and when nutrient loads were low. Whether reefs were inside no-take marine reserves had no bearing on ecosystem trajectory. Although conditions governing regime shift or recovery dynamics were diverse, pre-disturbance quantification of simple factors such as structural complexity and water depth accurately predicted ecosystem trajectories. These findings foreshadow the likely divergent but predictable outcomes for reef ecosystems in response to climate change, thus guiding improved management and adaptation.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811 Australia.1] Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft NR33 OHT, UK [2] School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.1] Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811 Australia [2] Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville MC, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia.1] Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811 Australia [2] ECOSYM, UMR CNRS-UM2 5119, Université Montpellier 2, 34095 Montpellier Cedex, France.1] Department of Parks and Wildlife, Kensington, Perth, Western Australia 6151, Australia [2] School of Plant Biology, Oceans Institute, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25607371

Citation

Graham, Nicholas A J., et al. "Predicting Climate-driven Regime Shifts Versus Rebound Potential in Coral Reefs." Nature, vol. 518, no. 7537, 2015, pp. 94-7.
Graham NA, Jennings S, MacNeil MA, et al. Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs. Nature. 2015;518(7537):94-7.
Graham, N. A., Jennings, S., MacNeil, M. A., Mouillot, D., & Wilson, S. K. (2015). Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs. Nature, 518(7537), 94-7. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14140
Graham NA, et al. Predicting Climate-driven Regime Shifts Versus Rebound Potential in Coral Reefs. Nature. 2015 Feb 5;518(7537):94-7. PubMed PMID: 25607371.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs. AU - Graham,Nicholas A J, AU - Jennings,Simon, AU - MacNeil,M Aaron, AU - Mouillot,David, AU - Wilson,Shaun K, Y1 - 2015/01/14/ PY - 2014/08/26/received PY - 2014/12/03/accepted PY - 2015/1/22/entrez PY - 2015/1/22/pubmed PY - 2015/2/24/medline SP - 94 EP - 7 JF - Nature JO - Nature VL - 518 IS - 7537 N2 - Climate-induced coral bleaching is among the greatest current threats to coral reefs, causing widespread loss of live coral cover. Conditions under which reefs bounce back from bleaching events or shift from coral to algal dominance are unknown, making it difficult to predict and plan for differing reef responses under climate change. Here we document and predict long-term reef responses to a major climate-induced coral bleaching event that caused unprecedented region-wide mortality of Indo-Pacific corals. Following loss of >90% live coral cover, 12 of 21 reefs recovered towards pre-disturbance live coral states, while nine reefs underwent regime shifts to fleshy macroalgae. Functional diversity of associated reef fish communities shifted substantially following bleaching, returning towards pre-disturbance structure on recovering reefs, while becoming progressively altered on regime shifting reefs. We identified threshold values for a range of factors that accurately predicted ecosystem response to the bleaching event. Recovery was favoured when reefs were structurally complex and in deeper water, when density of juvenile corals and herbivorous fishes was relatively high and when nutrient loads were low. Whether reefs were inside no-take marine reserves had no bearing on ecosystem trajectory. Although conditions governing regime shift or recovery dynamics were diverse, pre-disturbance quantification of simple factors such as structural complexity and water depth accurately predicted ecosystem trajectories. These findings foreshadow the likely divergent but predictable outcomes for reef ecosystems in response to climate change, thus guiding improved management and adaptation. SN - 1476-4687 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25607371/Predicting_climate_driven_regime_shifts_versus_rebound_potential_in_coral_reefs_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14140 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -