New publication drawing on SPACES data shows East African reefs particularly susceptible to coral bleaching
SPACES team members, Tim McClanahan and Nyawira Muthiga have used SPACES coral reef survey data in an analysis of the factors affecting coral’s susceptibility to coral bleaching in the face of warmer climates.
The analysis based on surveys from E. Africa to Fiji during the 2016 El Nino event showed that bleaching is caused by a range of stressors on reefs.
In terms of geography, the researchers found that bleaching depended greatly on where the corals lived along the longitudinal gradient from East Africa to Fiji. Worryingly for E. African coastal states, their reefs appeared to show the strongest bleaching response to heat stress.
A longer write up of the article can be found here:
And the full reference for the study, in Nature Climate Change is here:
Tim R. McClanahan, Emily S. Darling, Joseph M. Maina, Nyawira A. Muthiga, Stéphanie D ’agata, Stacy D. Jupiter, Rohan Arthur, Shaun K. Wilson, Sangeeta Mangubhai, […]
In this latest publication, Matt Fortnam and coauthors from the SPACES team compiled evidence from across the SPACES datasets to illustrate how people’s engagement with ecosystem services are fundamentally gendered…
See this Stockholm Resilience Centre news item for a summary of the paper:
and in the blog below Kate Brown discusses the paper in the context of the emerging literature on the structures that determine who can benefit from ecosystem services, and how:
The methodology used to explore whether people meet their basic human needs is presented and discussed in this new paper. The paper proposes this as a way to monitor the impact of conservation actions on people to prevent serious harm.
Chaigneau, T., Coulthard, S., Brown, K., Daw, T.M. and Schulte‐Herbrüggen, B., 2018. Incorporating basic needs to reconcile poverty and ecosystem services. Conservation Biology https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.13209
See this news item on the Stockholm Resilience Centre website:
And Kate Brown’s reflections on the paper on her blog:
New Publication: Kenyan and Mozambican coral reef ‘carbonate budgets’ contribute to international picture of corals under sea-level rise.
SPACES coral reef surveys have contributed to an international picture of how reefs might be able to grow to keep up with sea-level rise, recently published in Nature.
The growth of coral reefs is strongly influenced by the amount and types of coral living on the reef surface, but across both regions this growth is now being hampered by combinations of coral disease, deteriorating water quality and fishing pressure, along with severe impacts from “coral bleaching” caused by climate change. By counting the organisms responsible for building up and eroding reefs, SPACES team members Chris Perry and Fraser Januchowski-Hartley have been able to calculate the ‘carbonate budget’ and estimate how quickly reefs can grow towards the surface (the ‘accretion rate’).
In the figure below, the Mozambican (17) and Kenyan (18) SPACES sites can be seen in comparison to reefs from around the Indian ocean and Western Atlantic. The poorest reefs in […]
New paper from SPACES team members shows the positive correlation between the orange-lined triggerfish and calcifier cover
SPACES Co-investigators, Tim McClanahan and Nyawira Muthiga, have recently published the paper, Similar impacts of fishing and environmental stress on calcifying organisms in Indian Ocean coral reefs (Open Access– free to read) in the Marine Ecology Progress Series. They investigated coral and calcifier cover in 201 western Indian Ocean reefs.
McClanahan and Muthiga found that coral and calcifier cover were negatively impacted by ocean temperatures and sea urchins. However, they also found that coral and calcifier cover were positively correlated with the orange-lined triggerfish, a small predatory fish. They found that reefs with higher calcifier abundance also had a higher abundance of orange-lined triggerfish and lower abundance of sea urchins.
The investigators surmise that orange-lined triggerfish may help reduce sea urchin populations. This is positive for reefs because sea urchins inhibit coral reef regeneration and growth when their numbers become too large. In addition, McClanahan […]