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Diversity 2010, 2(5), 717-737; doi:10.3390/d2050717
Review

Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management

Received: 8 March 2010; in revised form: 14 April 2010 / Accepted: 28 April 2010 / Published: 11 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Benthic Diversity Patterns)
Download PDF [276 KB, uploaded 11 May 2010]
Abstract: Top-down controls of complex foodwebs maintain the balance among the critical groups of corals, algae, and herbivores, thus allowing the persistence of corals reefs as three-dimensional, biogenic structures with high biodiversity, heterogeneity, resistance, resilience and connectivity, and the delivery of essential goods and services to societies. On contemporary reefs world-wide, however, top-down controls have been weakened due to reduction in herbivory levels (overfishing or disease outbreak) while bottom-up controls have increased due to water quality degradation (increase in sediment and nutrient load) and climate forcing (seawater warming and acidification) leading to algal-dominated alternate benthic states of coral reefs, which are indicative of a trajectory towards ecological extinction. Management to reverse common trajectories of degradation for coral reefs necessitates a shift from optimization in marine resource use and conservation towards building socio-economic resilience into coral reef systems while attending to the most manageable human impacts (fishing and water quality) and the global-scale causes (climate change).
Keywords: alternate states; anthropogenic impacts; resilience management alternate states; anthropogenic impacts; resilience management
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dikou, A. Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management. Diversity 2010, 2, 717-737.

AMA Style

Dikou A. Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management. Diversity. 2010; 2(5):717-737.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dikou, Angela. 2010. "Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management." Diversity 2, no. 5: 717-737.


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