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Substrate stabilisation and small structures in coral restoration: State of knowledge, and considerations for management and implementation

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dc.contributor Univ Lancaster
dc.contributor University of Technology Sydney
dc.contributor Lancaster University
dc.contributor ARC Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies
dc.contributor Univ Western Australia
dc.contributor Univ Technol Sydney
dc.contributor Fac Engn
dc.contributor Oceans Grad Sch
dc.contributor University of Western Australia
dc.contributor Australian Institute of Marine Science
dc.contributor Marine Ecol Consultant
dc.contributor Univ Queensland
dc.contributor PMB 3 Townsville MC
dc.contributor Marine Spatial Ecol Lab
dc.contributor Indian Ocean Marine Res Ctr
dc.contributor Lancaster Environm Ctr
dc.contributor TropWATER Ctr Trop Water & Aquat Ecosyst Res
dc.contributor Sch Social Sci
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor University of Queensland
dc.contributor Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
dc.contributor James Cook Univ
dc.contributor Reef Joint Field Management Program
dc.contributor Div Business Dev
dc.contributor Queensland Univ Technol
dc.contributor Great Barrier Reef Marine Pk Author
dc.contributor Climate Change Cluster
dc.contributor James Cook University
dc.contributor Sch Earth & Atmospher Sci Emslie, Michael J. Bostrom-Einarsson, Lisa Schlappy, Marie-Lise Mattocks, Neil Bay, Line K. Newlands, Maxine Kenyon, Tania M. Chartrand, Kathryn M. Heyward, Andrew Rivero, Manuel Gonzalez Lewis, Brett M. Suggett, David J. McLeod, Ian M. Ceccarelli, Daniela M. Bryan, Scott E. Hein, Margaux Y. Gibbs, Mark T. 2020-12-01T23:35:08Z 2020-12-15T22:30:46Z 2020-12-01T23:35:08Z 2020-12-15T22:30:46Z 2020-10-27
dc.identifier.citation Ceccarelli DM, McLeod IM, Bostrom-Einarsson L, Bryan SE, Chartrand KM, Emslie MJ, Gibbs MT, Rivero MG, Hein MY, Heyward A, Kenyon TM, Lewis BM, Mattocks N, Newlands M, Schlappy ML, Suggett DJ, Bay LK (2020) Substrate stabilisation and small structures in coral restoration: State of knowledge, and considerations for management and implementation. PLoS ONE 15(10): e0240846
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.description.abstract Coral reef ecosystems are under increasing pressure from local and regional stressors and a changing climate. Current management focuses on reducing stressors to allow for natural recovery, but in many areas where coral reefs are damaged, natural recovery can be restricted, delayed or interrupted because of unstable, unconsolidated coral fragments, or rubble. Rubble fields are a natural component of coral reefs, but repeated or high-magnitude disturbances can prevent natural cementation and consolidation processes, so that coral recruits fail to survive. A suite of interventions have been used to target this issue globally, such as using mesh to stabilise rubble, removing the rubble to reveal hard substrate and deploying rocks or other hard substrates over the rubble to facilitate recruit survival. Small, modular structures can be used at multiple scales, with or without attached coral fragments, to create structural complexity and settlement surfaces. However, these can introduce foreign materials to the reef, and a limited understanding of natural recovery processes exists for the potential of this type of active intervention to successfully restore local coral reef structure. This review synthesises available knowledge about the ecological role of coral rubble, natural coral recolonisation and recovery rates and the potential benefits and risks associated with active interventions in this rapidly evolving field. Fundamental knowledge gaps include baseline levels of rubble, the structural complexity of reef habitats in space and time, natural rubble consolidation processes and the risks associated with each intervention method. Any restoration intervention needs to be underpinned by risk assessment, and the decision to repair rubble fields must arise from an understanding of when and where unconsolidated substrate and lack of structure impair natural reef recovery and ecological function. Monitoring is necessary to ascertain the success or failure of the intervention and impacts of potential risks, but there is a strong need to specify desired outcomes, the spatial and temporal context and indicators to be measured. With a focus on the Great Barrier Reef, we synthesise the techniques, successes and failures associated with rubble stabilisation and the use of small structures, review monitoring methods and indicators, and provide recommendations to ensure that we learn from past projects.
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Program Tropical Water Quality Hub and the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program. The funder provided support in the form of salaries for authors DMC, IM and LB, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific roles of these authors are articulated in the `author contributions' section.
dc.language English
dc.subject Multidisciplinary Sciences
dc.subject SURVIVAL
dc.subject GROWTH
dc.subject RECOVERY
dc.subject LONG-TERM
dc.subject FISH
dc.subject Science & Technology - Other Topics
dc.title Substrate stabilisation and small structures in coral restoration: State of knowledge, and considerations for management and implementation
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0240846
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000588372400018

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