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Connectivity networks reveal the risks of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef

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dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Sch Biol Sci
dc.contributor University Of Queensland
dc.contributor Csiro Wealth Oceans Flagship
dc.contributor Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (csiro)
dc.contributor Marine Spatial Ecol Lab
dc.contributor Univ Queensland
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci MUMBY, PETER J. HOCK, KARLO WOLFF, NICHOLAS H. CONDIE, SCOTT A. ANTHONY, KENNETH R. N. 2017-03-21T01:09:21Z 2017-03-21T01:09:21Z 2014-12-18T04:49:59Z 2019-05-09T01:05:20Z 2017-03-21T01:09:21Z 2017-03-21T01:09:21Z 2014-12-18T04:49:59Z 2019-05-09T01:05:20Z 2014-10-01
dc.identifier.citation Hock K, Wolff NH, Condie SA, Anthony KRN, Mumby PJ (2014) Connectivity networks reveal the risks of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef. Journal of Applied Ecology 51(5): 1188-1196 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0021-8901
dc.description.abstract 1. Many ecosystems suffer systemwide outbreaks of damaging species propagating from primary outbreak sites. Connectivity patterns can identify parts of the ecosystem that help turn local outbreaks into a systemwide contagion through a series of transmission events. Here, we show that patterns of larval connectivity among reefs can help explain periodic crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) epidemics across the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). 2. We simulated potential dispersal of COTS larvae to obtain a connectivity network of coral reefs across the entire GBR. Network analysis revealed areas of high local connectivity where any outbreaks could be amplified locally, as well as those areas with potential to cause large-scale epidemics with ecosystem-wide impacts. 3. We find that the regions where COTS epidemics are known to originate are predictable from their high local and systemwide connectivity. Extensive larval exchanges among reef clusters in these regions can start a chain reaction of COTS population build-up. The same regions also have high potential to reach and affect other parts of the GBR, thereby maximizing the likelihood that any outbreaks would eventually propagate throughout the ecosystem. 4. Hydrodynamic properties and geography of the GBR make it vulnerable to COTS epidemics. Using network analysis to identify regions with high-risk high-impact sources could help control these devastating events in future. 5. Synthesis and applications. The observed centre of origin for COTS epidemics (the Cooktown-Cairns region) can be predicted from its elevated short-and long-range levels of larval connectivity. Connectivity analysis of per-reef risks provides spatially explicit targets to guide surveillance and control measures that might help curtail COTS epidemics through prioritization of highly connected reefs. The analytical approach developed here for COTS connectivity can also be applied to identify well-connected patches and regions in other interconnected ecological systems.
dc.description.sponsorship This study was supported by a SIEF John Stocker fellowship to K. H., an ARC Laureate fellowship to P.J.M., and a NERP grant to P.J.M. and K.R.N.A. that also supported N. H. W. Crown-of-thorns starfish outbreak data provided by the Australian Institute for Marine Science. Oceanographic data provided through the eReefs project ( Reef coordinates provided by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
dc.description.uri en_US
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Wiley en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.subject Ocean Currents
dc.subject Metapopulation Dynamics
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Conservation
dc.subject Coral-reefs
dc.subject Outbreak Dynamics
dc.subject Acanthaster-planci L
dc.subject Coral Reef
dc.subject Biodiversity Conservation
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Reef Management
dc.subject Pest Control
dc.subject Population
dc.subject Acanthaster Planci
dc.subject Epidemic
dc.subject Contagion
dc.subject Biodiversity & Conservation
dc.subject Model
dc.subject Dispersal
dc.subject Coral Cover
dc.subject Landscape Connectivity
dc.subject Spatial Network
dc.subject Gene Flow
dc.subject Larval Dispersal
dc.title Connectivity networks reveal the risks of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef
dc.type journal article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1111/1365-2664.12320
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000342851300008

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