The state of Western Australia’s coral reefs

James P. Gilmour, Kylie L. Cook, Nicole M. Ryan, Marjetta L. Puotinen, Rebecca H. Green, George Shedrawi, Jean Paul A. Hobbs, Damian P. Thomson, Russell C. Babcock, Joanna Buckee, Taryn Foster, Zoe T. Richards, Shaun K. Wilson, Peter B. Barnes, Teresa B. Coutts, Ben T. Radford, Camilla H. Piggott, Martial Depczynski, Scott N. Evans, Verena Schoepf & 6 others Richard D. Evans, Andrew R. Halford, Christopher D. Nutt, Kevin P. Bancroft, Andrew J. Heyward, Daniel Oades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Western Australia’s coral reefs have largely escaped the chronic pressures affecting other reefs around the world, but are regularly affected by seasonal storms and cyclones, and increasingly by heat stress and coral bleaching. Reef systems north of 18°S have been impacted by heat stress and coral bleaching during strong El Niño phases and those further south during strong La Niña phases. Cumulative heat stress and the extent of bleaching throughout the northern reefs in 2016 were higher than at any other time on record. To assess the changing regime of disturbance to reef systems across Western Australia (WA), we linked their site-specific exposure to damaging waves and heat stress since 1990 with mean changes in coral cover. Since 2010, there has been a noticeable increase in heat stress and coral bleaching across WA. Over half the reef systems have been severely impacted by coral bleaching since 2010, which was further compounded by cyclones at some reefs. For most (75%) reef systems with long-term data (5–26 yrs), mean coral cover is currently at (or near) the lowest on record and a full recovery is unlikely if disturbances continue to intensify with climate change. However, some reefs have not yet experienced severe bleaching and their coral cover has remained relatively stable or increased in recent years. Additionally, within all reef systems the condition of communities and their exposure to disturbances varied spatially. Identifying the communities least susceptible to future disturbances and linking them through networks of protected areas, based on patterns of larval connectivity, are important research and management priorities in coming years while the causes of climate change are addressed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCoral Reefs
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

coral reefs
coral reef
reefs
reef
coral bleaching
heat stress
disturbance
corals
coral
bleaching
Western Australia
cyclone
climate change
connectivity
protected area
conservation areas

Cite this

Gilmour, J. P., Cook, K. L., Ryan, N. M., Puotinen, M. L., Green, R. H., Shedrawi, G., ... Oades, D. (2019). The state of Western Australia’s coral reefs. Coral Reefs. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-019-01795-8
Gilmour, James P. ; Cook, Kylie L. ; Ryan, Nicole M. ; Puotinen, Marjetta L. ; Green, Rebecca H. ; Shedrawi, George ; Hobbs, Jean Paul A. ; Thomson, Damian P. ; Babcock, Russell C. ; Buckee, Joanna ; Foster, Taryn ; Richards, Zoe T. ; Wilson, Shaun K. ; Barnes, Peter B. ; Coutts, Teresa B. ; Radford, Ben T. ; Piggott, Camilla H. ; Depczynski, Martial ; Evans, Scott N. ; Schoepf, Verena ; Evans, Richard D. ; Halford, Andrew R. ; Nutt, Christopher D. ; Bancroft, Kevin P. ; Heyward, Andrew J. ; Oades, Daniel. / The state of Western Australia’s coral reefs. In: Coral Reefs. 2019.
@article{e6a5701c3ba94979bf6a62e6025fe21c,
title = "The state of Western Australia’s coral reefs",
abstract = "Western Australia’s coral reefs have largely escaped the chronic pressures affecting other reefs around the world, but are regularly affected by seasonal storms and cyclones, and increasingly by heat stress and coral bleaching. Reef systems north of 18°S have been impacted by heat stress and coral bleaching during strong El Ni{\~n}o phases and those further south during strong La Ni{\~n}a phases. Cumulative heat stress and the extent of bleaching throughout the northern reefs in 2016 were higher than at any other time on record. To assess the changing regime of disturbance to reef systems across Western Australia (WA), we linked their site-specific exposure to damaging waves and heat stress since 1990 with mean changes in coral cover. Since 2010, there has been a noticeable increase in heat stress and coral bleaching across WA. Over half the reef systems have been severely impacted by coral bleaching since 2010, which was further compounded by cyclones at some reefs. For most (75{\%}) reef systems with long-term data (5–26 yrs), mean coral cover is currently at (or near) the lowest on record and a full recovery is unlikely if disturbances continue to intensify with climate change. However, some reefs have not yet experienced severe bleaching and their coral cover has remained relatively stable or increased in recent years. Additionally, within all reef systems the condition of communities and their exposure to disturbances varied spatially. Identifying the communities least susceptible to future disturbances and linking them through networks of protected areas, based on patterns of larval connectivity, are important research and management priorities in coming years while the causes of climate change are addressed.",
keywords = "Anthropocene, Climate change, Coral bleaching, Tropical cyclones, Western Australia",
author = "Gilmour, {James P.} and Cook, {Kylie L.} and Ryan, {Nicole M.} and Puotinen, {Marjetta L.} and Green, {Rebecca H.} and George Shedrawi and Hobbs, {Jean Paul A.} and Thomson, {Damian P.} and Babcock, {Russell C.} and Joanna Buckee and Taryn Foster and Richards, {Zoe T.} and Wilson, {Shaun K.} and Barnes, {Peter B.} and Coutts, {Teresa B.} and Radford, {Ben T.} and Piggott, {Camilla H.} and Martial Depczynski and Evans, {Scott N.} and Verena Schoepf and Evans, {Richard D.} and Halford, {Andrew R.} and Nutt, {Christopher D.} and Bancroft, {Kevin P.} and Heyward, {Andrew J.} and Daniel Oades",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "4",
doi = "10.1007/s00338-019-01795-8",
language = "English",
journal = "Coral Reefs",
issn = "0722-4028",
publisher = "Springer-Verlag London Ltd.",

}

Gilmour, JP, Cook, KL, Ryan, NM, Puotinen, ML, Green, RH, Shedrawi, G, Hobbs, JPA, Thomson, DP, Babcock, RC, Buckee, J, Foster, T, Richards, ZT, Wilson, SK, Barnes, PB, Coutts, TB, Radford, BT, Piggott, CH, Depczynski, M, Evans, SN, Schoepf, V, Evans, RD, Halford, AR, Nutt, CD, Bancroft, KP, Heyward, AJ & Oades, D 2019, 'The state of Western Australia’s coral reefs' Coral Reefs. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-019-01795-8

The state of Western Australia’s coral reefs. / Gilmour, James P.; Cook, Kylie L.; Ryan, Nicole M.; Puotinen, Marjetta L.; Green, Rebecca H.; Shedrawi, George; Hobbs, Jean Paul A.; Thomson, Damian P.; Babcock, Russell C.; Buckee, Joanna; Foster, Taryn; Richards, Zoe T.; Wilson, Shaun K.; Barnes, Peter B.; Coutts, Teresa B.; Radford, Ben T.; Piggott, Camilla H.; Depczynski, Martial; Evans, Scott N.; Schoepf, Verena; Evans, Richard D.; Halford, Andrew R.; Nutt, Christopher D.; Bancroft, Kevin P.; Heyward, Andrew J.; Oades, Daniel.

In: Coral Reefs, 04.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The state of Western Australia’s coral reefs

AU - Gilmour, James P.

AU - Cook, Kylie L.

AU - Ryan, Nicole M.

AU - Puotinen, Marjetta L.

AU - Green, Rebecca H.

AU - Shedrawi, George

AU - Hobbs, Jean Paul A.

AU - Thomson, Damian P.

AU - Babcock, Russell C.

AU - Buckee, Joanna

AU - Foster, Taryn

AU - Richards, Zoe T.

AU - Wilson, Shaun K.

AU - Barnes, Peter B.

AU - Coutts, Teresa B.

AU - Radford, Ben T.

AU - Piggott, Camilla H.

AU - Depczynski, Martial

AU - Evans, Scott N.

AU - Schoepf, Verena

AU - Evans, Richard D.

AU - Halford, Andrew R.

AU - Nutt, Christopher D.

AU - Bancroft, Kevin P.

AU - Heyward, Andrew J.

AU - Oades, Daniel

PY - 2019/4/4

Y1 - 2019/4/4

N2 - Western Australia’s coral reefs have largely escaped the chronic pressures affecting other reefs around the world, but are regularly affected by seasonal storms and cyclones, and increasingly by heat stress and coral bleaching. Reef systems north of 18°S have been impacted by heat stress and coral bleaching during strong El Niño phases and those further south during strong La Niña phases. Cumulative heat stress and the extent of bleaching throughout the northern reefs in 2016 were higher than at any other time on record. To assess the changing regime of disturbance to reef systems across Western Australia (WA), we linked their site-specific exposure to damaging waves and heat stress since 1990 with mean changes in coral cover. Since 2010, there has been a noticeable increase in heat stress and coral bleaching across WA. Over half the reef systems have been severely impacted by coral bleaching since 2010, which was further compounded by cyclones at some reefs. For most (75%) reef systems with long-term data (5–26 yrs), mean coral cover is currently at (or near) the lowest on record and a full recovery is unlikely if disturbances continue to intensify with climate change. However, some reefs have not yet experienced severe bleaching and their coral cover has remained relatively stable or increased in recent years. Additionally, within all reef systems the condition of communities and their exposure to disturbances varied spatially. Identifying the communities least susceptible to future disturbances and linking them through networks of protected areas, based on patterns of larval connectivity, are important research and management priorities in coming years while the causes of climate change are addressed.

AB - Western Australia’s coral reefs have largely escaped the chronic pressures affecting other reefs around the world, but are regularly affected by seasonal storms and cyclones, and increasingly by heat stress and coral bleaching. Reef systems north of 18°S have been impacted by heat stress and coral bleaching during strong El Niño phases and those further south during strong La Niña phases. Cumulative heat stress and the extent of bleaching throughout the northern reefs in 2016 were higher than at any other time on record. To assess the changing regime of disturbance to reef systems across Western Australia (WA), we linked their site-specific exposure to damaging waves and heat stress since 1990 with mean changes in coral cover. Since 2010, there has been a noticeable increase in heat stress and coral bleaching across WA. Over half the reef systems have been severely impacted by coral bleaching since 2010, which was further compounded by cyclones at some reefs. For most (75%) reef systems with long-term data (5–26 yrs), mean coral cover is currently at (or near) the lowest on record and a full recovery is unlikely if disturbances continue to intensify with climate change. However, some reefs have not yet experienced severe bleaching and their coral cover has remained relatively stable or increased in recent years. Additionally, within all reef systems the condition of communities and their exposure to disturbances varied spatially. Identifying the communities least susceptible to future disturbances and linking them through networks of protected areas, based on patterns of larval connectivity, are important research and management priorities in coming years while the causes of climate change are addressed.

KW - Anthropocene

KW - Climate change

KW - Coral bleaching

KW - Tropical cyclones

KW - Western Australia

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85064265942&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00338-019-01795-8

DO - 10.1007/s00338-019-01795-8

M3 - Article

JO - Coral Reefs

JF - Coral Reefs

SN - 0722-4028

ER -

Gilmour JP, Cook KL, Ryan NM, Puotinen ML, Green RH, Shedrawi G et al. The state of Western Australia’s coral reefs. Coral Reefs. 2019 Apr 4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-019-01795-8