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Towards an understanding of resilience in isolated coral reefs

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dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science (aims) en CALEY, M. JULIAN HALFORD, ANDREW R. 2013-02-28T06:45:47Z 2017-03-21T00:51:14Z 2013-02-28T06:45:47Z 2019-07-08T02:27:35Z 2013-02-28T06:45:47Z 2013-02-28T06:45:47Z 2017-03-21T00:51:14Z 2019-07-08T02:27:35Z 2009-12-01
dc.identifier 8335 en
dc.identifier.citation Halford AR and Caley MJ (2009) Towards an understanding of resilience in isolated coral reefs. Global Change Biology. 15: 3031-3045. en
dc.identifier.issn 1354-1013
dc.description Link to abstract/full text - en
dc.description.abstract In 1998, seawater temperature anomalies led to unprecedented levels of coral bleaching on reefs worldwide. We studied the direct effects of this thermal event on benthic communities and its indirect effects on their associated coral reef fish communities at a group of remote reefs off NW Australia. Long-term monitoring of benthic and fish assemblages on these reefs allowed us to compare the responses of these communities to coral bleaching using a data series that included 4 years before, and 6 years following, this bleaching event. While bleaching mortality was evident to > 30 m depth, it was patchy among the shallower survey sites with decreases in live coral cover ranging from 30% to 90% across seven surveyed locations Within 2 years of the bleaching, hard coral recovery had begun at all sites and by 2003 reef-wide coral cover had increased to similar to 39% of its preimpact levels. We exploited this pattern of differential survival of corals among sites, the associated changes in these benthic communities, and their patterns of recovery, to better understand links between benthic community dynamics and their associated fish communities. Temporal changes in the resident fish communities strongly reflected the differential shifts in the benthic communities, but were lagged by 12-18 months. Five years after the bleaching event, the fish communities on five of the seven surveyed locations showed evidence of recovery, however, none had regained their preimpact structures. Analyses of these communities by taxonomic family revealed a range of responses to the disturbance reflective of their life-histories and trophic and habitat affiliations. The slow but recognizable recovery of this isolated reef system has parallels with other relatively isolated systems that displayed resilience to the 1998 bleaching event, e.g. the Chagos archipelago, but it also contrasts sharply with low levels of resilience documented in other isolated reef systems subject to the same disturbance, e.g. the Seychelles. In this context, our results highlight the significant knowledge gaps remaining in understanding the resilience of these ecosystems to disturbance.
dc.description.uri en
dc.language English
dc.language en en
dc.relation.ispartof Global Change Biology - pages: 15: 3031-3045 en
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.subject Great-barrier-reef
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Biodiversity Conservation
dc.subject Bleaching Event
dc.subject Disturbance
dc.subject Climate-change
dc.subject Fish Communities
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Catastrophic Predation
dc.subject Herbivorous Fishes
dc.subject Environmental Sciences
dc.subject Coral Reef Fishes
dc.subject Resilience
dc.subject Assemblages
dc.subject Indirect Effects
dc.subject Community Response
dc.subject Biodiversity & Conservation
dc.subject Population Connectivity
dc.subject Starfish Acanthaster-planci
dc.subject Indian-ocean
dc.subject Coral Bleaching
dc.title Towards an understanding of resilience in isolated coral reefs
dc.type journal article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01972.x
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000271710300018

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