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

Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management

College of Science and Mathematics, University of the Virgin Islands, #2 Brewer’s Bay, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 00802, 9990, USA
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)
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [276 KB, uploaded 11 May 2010 11:53 CEST]
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

Article Statistics

Load and display the download statistics.

Citations to this Article

Cite This Article

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.

Diversity EISSN 1424-2818 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert