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Ecological memory modifies the cumulative impact of recurrent climate extremes

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dc.contributor Marine Geophys Lab
dc.contributor Australian Res Council
dc.contributor James Cook Univ
dc.contributor Global Sci & Technol
dc.contributor James Cook University
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies
dc.contributor Us Natl Ocean & Atmospher Adm
dc.contributor Phys Dept
dc.contributor Coll Sci & Engn
dc.contributor Coral Reef Watch
dc.contributor National Oceanic Atmospheric Admin (noaa) - Usa
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci TORDA, GERGELY HUGHES, TERRY P. KERRY, JAMES T. CONNOLLY, SEAN R. BAIRD, ANDREW H. EAKIN, C. MARK HERON, SCOTT F. HOEY, ANDREW S. HOOGENBOOM, MIA O. JACOBSON, MIZUE LIU, GANG PRATCHETT, MORGAN S. SKIRVING, WILLIAM 2019-01-06T18:50:47Z 2019-01-06T18:50:47Z 2019-07-08T02:44:00Z 2019-01-06T18:50:47Z 2019-01-06T18:50:47Z 2019-07-08T02:44:00Z 2019-01-01
dc.identifier.citation Hughes TP, Kerry JT, Connolly SR, Baird AH, Eakin CM, Heron SF, Hoey AS, Hoogenboom MO, Jacobson M, Liu G, Pratchett MS, Skirving W, Torda G (2019) Ecological memory modifies the cumulative impact of recurrent climate extremes. Nature Climate Change 9: 40-43
dc.identifier.issn 1758-678X
dc.description.abstract Climate change is radically altering the frequency, intensity and spatial scale of severe weather events, such as heat-waves, droughts, floods and fires(1). As the time interval shrinks between recurrent shocks(2-5), the responses of ecosystems to each new disturbance are increasingly likely to be contingent on the history of other recent extreme events. Ecological memory-defined as the ability of the past to influence the present trajectory of ecosystems(6,7)-is also critically important for understanding how species assemblages are responding to rapid changes in disturbance regimes due to anthropogenic climate change(2,3,6-8). Here, we show the emergence of ecological memory during unprecedented back-to-back mass bleaching of corals along the 2,300 km length of the Great Barrier Reef in 2016, and again in 2017, whereby the impacts of the second severe heatwave, and its geographic footprint, were contingent on the first. Our results underscore the need to understand the strengthening interactions among sequences of climate-driven events, and highlight the accelerating and cumulative impacts of novel disturbance regimes on vulnerable ecosystems.
dc.description.sponsorship The authors acknowledge support from the Australian Research Council's Centres of Excellence programme, Australian Institute of Marine Science and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The scientific results and conclusions, as well as any views or opinions expressed herein, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or the US Department of Commerce.
dc.language English
dc.subject Great-barrier-reef
dc.subject Environmental Studies
dc.subject Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
dc.subject Disturbance
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Patterns
dc.subject Environmental Sciences
dc.title Ecological memory modifies the cumulative impact of recurrent climate extremes
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1038/s41558-018-0351-2
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000453600200015

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