Coral Reef

Review: Morphological traits can track coral reef responses to the Anthropocene

Kyle J. A. Zawada , Joshua S. Madin, Andrew H. Bair D, Tom C. L. Bridge, Maria Dornelas Corals are responsible for building and maintaining huge areas of habitat for other organisms, but the role each coral plays depends on their shape. Massive boulder-like corals are slow growing but long-lived, and help to build the reef over generations, table-like corals provide shade and hiding spots … Continue reading Review: Morphological traits can track coral reef responses to the Anthropocene

One of the last pirogues to be actively fishing in Seychelles. Photo: A. J. Woodhead

Perspective: What does the future hold for coral reef ecosystem services?

Anna J. Woodhead, Christina C. Hicks, Albert V. Norström, Gareth J. Williams, Nicholas A. J. Graham Human activity is now the driving force of what happens on this planet. But whilst people are shaping ecosystems, ecosystems continue to shape us. This relationship is connected to the benefits that we get from the environment, known as ecosystem services. Nowhere is this truer than for tropical coral … Continue reading Perspective: What does the future hold for coral reef ecosystem services?

Coral reef

Review: Tropicalisation of temperate reefs: consequences for ecosystem functions and management options

Adriana Vergés, Erin McCosker, Mariana Mayer-Pinto, Melinda A. Coleman, Thomas Wernberg, Tracy Ainsworth, Peter D Steinberg Welcome to the ‘Anthropocene’, a new geological era where humans are the dominant force of biogeochemical and ecological change across the planet. Overwhelming evidence shows how we are altering atmospheric, geological, hydrological and biospheric processes at increasingly faster rates. Even under the most optimistic scenarios, our atmosphere will warm … Continue reading Review: Tropicalisation of temperate reefs: consequences for ecosystem functions and management options

Photo credit: Brian J. Zgliczynski

Perspective: The need for a new approach to coral reef ecology in the Anthropocene

Gareth J. Williams, Nicholas A.J. Graham, Jean-Baptiste Jouffray, Albert V. Norström, Magnus Nyström, Jamison M. Gove, Adel Heenan, Lisa M. Wedding   The footprint of human activity is reflected in all of Earth’s natural ecosystems, from the poles to the tropics, and from the shallow waters to the deep ocean. Prior to humans, ecosystems were purely shaped by their surrounding environment, with natural ranges in … Continue reading Perspective: The need for a new approach to coral reef ecology in the Anthropocene

Macroalgal reef. Photo credit: C. Fulton.

Review: A need for weed: why seaweeds are important for healthy tropical seascapes

Christopher J. Fulton, Rene A. Abesamis , Charlotte Berkström, Martial Depczynski, Nicholas A. J. Graham, Thomas H. Holmes, Michel Kulbicki , Mae M. Noble, Ben T. Radford, Stina Tano , Paul Tinkler, Thomas Wernberg , Shaun K. Wilson Meadows of fleshy seaweeds are often a prominent part of our tropical coastlines, yet they are often overlooked in favour of coral reefs. Our study explains how … Continue reading Review: A need for weed: why seaweeds are important for healthy tropical seascapes

Can coral reef fishes reveal the links between functional traits, functional groups and ecosystem functions? Photo: JP Krajewski

Review: The meaning of the term ‘function’ in ecology: a coral reef perspective

David R. Bellwood, Robert P. Streit, Simon J. Brand and Sterling B. Tebbett Ecosystems ‘function’ as a result of complex interactions between countless species and their environment. To grapple with this complexity, in the face of increasing human-mediated disturbance, many studies have attempted to quantify species’ roles in ecosystems via ‘functional’ traits. But to what extent does this approach demonstrate functionality? We identify the need … Continue reading Review: The meaning of the term ‘function’ in ecology: a coral reef perspective

Declining capacity of coral reefs to sustain geo-ecological functions during the Anthropocene.

Chris T. Perry & Lorenzo Alvarez-Filip The ecosystem goods and services that coral reefs provide largely depend on the capacity of reef ecology to sustain key geo-ecological functions, including the maintenance of reef structural complexity, reef growth potential and sediment generation. These functions depend on the rates at which reef species produce carbonate – skeletal material deposited by corals and other calcifying species – and … Continue reading Declining capacity of coral reefs to sustain geo-ecological functions during the Anthropocene.