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Ecosystem-based management of coral reefs under climate change


Harvey, BJ and Nash, KL and Blanchard, JL and Edwards, DP, Ecosystem-based management of coral reefs under climate change, Ecology and Evolution, 8, (12) pp. 6354-6368. ISSN 2045-7758 (2018) [Substantial Review]

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DOI: doi:10.1002/ece3.4146


Coral reefs provide food and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people as well as harbour some of the highest regions of biodiversity in the ocean. However, overexploitation, land-use change and other local anthropogenic threats to coral reefs have left many degraded. Additionally, coral reefs are faced with the dual emerging threats of ocean warming and acidification due to rising CO2 emissions, with dire predictions that they will not survive the century. This review evaluates the impacts of climate change on coral reef organisms, communities and ecosystems, focusing on the interactions between climate change factors and local anthropogenic stressors. It then explores the shortcomings of existing management and the move towards ecosystem-based management and resilience thinking, before highlighting the need for climate change-ready marine protected areas (MPAs), reduction in local anthropogenic stressors, novel approaches such as human-assisted evolution and the importance of sustainable socialecological systems. It concludes that designation of climate change-ready MPAs, integrated with other management strategies involving stakeholders and participation at multiple scales such as marine spatial planning, will be required to maximise coral reef resilience under climate change. However, efforts to reduce carbon emissions are critical if the long-term efficacy of local management actions is to be maintained and coral reefs are to survive.

Item Details

Item Type:Substantial Review
Keywords:climate change, coral reef ecology, ecosystem-based management, marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, resilience, social-ecological systems
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Nash, KL (Dr Kirsty Nash)
UTAS Author:Blanchard, JL (Professor Julia Blanchard)
ID Code:128144
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2018-09-05
Last Modified:2018-09-05

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