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Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes


Mora, C and Aburto-Oropeza, O and Bocos, AA and Ayotte, PM and Banks, S and Bauman, AG and Beger, M and Bessudo, S and Booth, DJ and Brokovich, E and Brooks, A and Chabanet, P and Cinner, JE and Cortes, J and Cruz-Motta, JJ and Magana, AC and DeMartini, EE and Edgar, GJ and Feary, DA and Ferse, SCA and Friedlander, AM and Gaston, KJ and Gough, C and Graham, NAJ and Green, A and Guzman, H and Hardt, M and Kulbicki, M and Letourneur, Y and Perez, AL and Loreau, M and Loya, Y and Martinez, C and Mascarenas-Osorio, I and Morove, T and Nadon, MO and Nakamura, Y and Paredes, G and Polunin, NV and Pratchett, MS and Bonilla, HR and Rivera, F and Sala, E and Sandin, SA and Soler, G and Stuart-Smith, RD and Tessier, E and Tittensor, DP and Tupper, M and Usseglio, P and Vigliola, L and Wantiez, L and Williams, I and Wilson, SK and Zapata, FA, Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes, PLOS Biology, 9, (4) Article e1000606. ISSN 1545-7885 (2011) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2011 Mora, C et al.

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DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000606


Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a nonsaturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning(i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world’s coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Soler, G (Mr German Soler Alarcon)
UTAS Author:Stuart-Smith, RD (Dr Rick Stuart-Smith)
ID Code:70515
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:1003
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2011-06-24
Last Modified:2018-09-25
Downloads:480 View Download Statistics

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