Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action

E.V. Kennedy, C.T. Perry, P.R. Halloran, R. Iglesias-Prieto, Christine Schönberg, M. Wisshak, A.U. Form, J.P. Carricart-Ganivet, M. Fine, C.M. Eakin, P.J. Mumby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coral reefs face multiple anthropogenic threats, from pollution and overfishing to the dual effects of greenhouse gas emissions: rising sea temperature and ocean acidification [1]. While the abundance of coral has declined in recent decades [2, 3], the implications for humanity are difficult to quantify because they depend on ecosystem function rather than the corals themselves. Most reef functions and ecosystem services are founded on the ability of reefs to maintain their three-dimensional structure through net carbonate accumulation [4]. Coral growth only constitutes part of a reef's carbonate budget; bioerosion processes are influential in determining the balance between net structural growth and disintegration [5, 6]. Here, we combine ecological models with carbonate budgets and drive the dynamics of Caribbean reefs with the latest generation of climate models. Budget reconstructions using documented ecological perturbations drive shallow (6-10 m) Caribbean forereefs toward an increasingly fragile carbonate balance. We then projected carbonate budgets toward 2080 and contrasted the benefits of local conservation and global action on climate change. Local management of fisheries (specifically, no-take marine reserves) and the watershed can delay reef loss by at least a decade under "business-as-usual" rises in greenhouse gas emissions. However, local action must be combined with a low-carbon economy to prevent degradation of reef structures and associated ecosystem services. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912-918
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume23
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Coral Reefs
Reefs
Carbonates
coral reefs
Budgets
reefs
carbonates
Anthozoa
Ecosystem
corals
Ecosystems
greenhouse gas emissions
Greenhouse Effect
ecosystem services
Gases
Gas emissions
Greenhouse gases
Fisheries
Climate Change
Growth

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Kennedy, E. V., Perry, C. T., Halloran, P. R., Iglesias-Prieto, R., Schönberg, C., Wisshak, M., ... Mumby, P. J. (2013). Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action. Current Biology, 23(10), 912-918. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.020
Kennedy, E.V. ; Perry, C.T. ; Halloran, P.R. ; Iglesias-Prieto, R. ; Schönberg, Christine ; Wisshak, M. ; Form, A.U. ; Carricart-Ganivet, J.P. ; Fine, M. ; Eakin, C.M. ; Mumby, P.J. / Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action. In: Current Biology. 2013 ; Vol. 23, No. 10. pp. 912-918.
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Kennedy, EV, Perry, CT, Halloran, PR, Iglesias-Prieto, R, Schönberg, C, Wisshak, M, Form, AU, Carricart-Ganivet, JP, Fine, M, Eakin, CM & Mumby, PJ 2013, 'Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action' Current Biology, vol. 23, no. 10, pp. 912-918. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.020

Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action. / Kennedy, E.V.; Perry, C.T.; Halloran, P.R.; Iglesias-Prieto, R.; Schönberg, Christine; Wisshak, M.; Form, A.U.; Carricart-Ganivet, J.P.; Fine, M.; Eakin, C.M.; Mumby, P.J.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 23, No. 10, 2013, p. 912-918.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action

AU - Kennedy, E.V.

AU - Perry, C.T.

AU - Halloran, P.R.

AU - Iglesias-Prieto, R.

AU - Schönberg, Christine

AU - Wisshak, M.

AU - Form, A.U.

AU - Carricart-Ganivet, J.P.

AU - Fine, M.

AU - Eakin, C.M.

AU - Mumby, P.J.

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AB - Coral reefs face multiple anthropogenic threats, from pollution and overfishing to the dual effects of greenhouse gas emissions: rising sea temperature and ocean acidification [1]. While the abundance of coral has declined in recent decades [2, 3], the implications for humanity are difficult to quantify because they depend on ecosystem function rather than the corals themselves. Most reef functions and ecosystem services are founded on the ability of reefs to maintain their three-dimensional structure through net carbonate accumulation [4]. Coral growth only constitutes part of a reef's carbonate budget; bioerosion processes are influential in determining the balance between net structural growth and disintegration [5, 6]. Here, we combine ecological models with carbonate budgets and drive the dynamics of Caribbean reefs with the latest generation of climate models. Budget reconstructions using documented ecological perturbations drive shallow (6-10 m) Caribbean forereefs toward an increasingly fragile carbonate balance. We then projected carbonate budgets toward 2080 and contrasted the benefits of local conservation and global action on climate change. Local management of fisheries (specifically, no-take marine reserves) and the watershed can delay reef loss by at least a decade under "business-as-usual" rises in greenhouse gas emissions. However, local action must be combined with a low-carbon economy to prevent degradation of reef structures and associated ecosystem services. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

U2 - 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.020

DO - 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.020

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 912

EP - 918

JO - Current Biology

JF - Current Biology

SN - 0960-9822

IS - 10

ER -

Kennedy EV, Perry CT, Halloran PR, Iglesias-Prieto R, Schönberg C, Wisshak M et al. Avoiding coral reef functional collapse requires local and global action. Current Biology. 2013;23(10):912-918. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.020