eCite Digital Repository

Humans and seasonal climate variability threaten large-bodied coral reef fish with small ranges


Mellin, C and Mouillot, C and Kulbicki, M and McClanahan, TR and Vigliola, L and Bradshaw, CJA and Brainard, RE and Chabanet, P and Edgar, GJ and Fordham, DA and Friedlander, AM and Parravicini, V and Sequeria, AMM and Stuart-Smith, RD and Wantiez, L and Caley, MJ, Humans and seasonal climate variability threaten large-bodied coral reef fish with small ranges, Nature Communications, 7 Article 10491. ISSN 2041-1723 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2016 Macmillan Publishers Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms10491


Coral reefs are among the most species-rich and threatened ecosystems on Earth, yet the extent to which human stressors determine species occurrences, compared with biogeography or environmental conditions, remains largely unknown. With ever-increasing human-mediated disturbances on these ecosystems, an important question is not only how many species can inhabit local communities, but also which biological traits determine species that can persist (or not) above particular disturbance thresholds. Here we show that human pressure and seasonal climate variability are disproportionately and negatively associated with the occurrence of large-bodied and geographically small-ranging fishes within local coral reef communities. These species are 67% less likely to occur where human impact and temperature seasonality exceed critical thresholds, such as in the marine biodiversity hotspot: the Coral Triangle. Our results identify the most sensitive species and critical thresholds of human and climatic stressors, providing opportunity for targeted conservation intervention to prevent local extinctions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Reef Life Survey, fishes, global, occurrence
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Stuart-Smith, RD (Dr Rick Stuart-Smith)
ID Code:106291
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:32
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2016-02-04
Last Modified:2017-11-02
Downloads:186 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page