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Human Abuses of Coral Reefs- Adaptive Responses and Regime Transitions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the last few decades, coral reefs have become a disappearing feature of tropical marine environments, and those reefs that do remain are severely threatened. It is understood that humans have greately altered the environment under which these ecosystems previously have thrived and evoloved. Overharvesting of fish stocks, global warming and pollution are some of the most prominent threats, acting on coral reefs at several spatial and temporal scales. Presently, it is common that coral reefs have been degraded into alternative ecosystem regimes, such as macroalgae-dominated or sea urchin-barren. Although these ecosystems could potentially return to coral dominance in a long-term perspective, when considdering current conditions, it seems likely that they will persist in their degraded states. Thus, recovery of coral reefs cannot be taken for granted on a human timescale. Multiple stressors and disturbances, which are increasingly characteristic of coral reef environments today, are believed to act synergistically and produce ecological surprises. However, current knowledge of effects of compounded disturbances and stress is limited. Based on five papers, this thesis investigates the sublethal response of multiple stressors on coral physiology, as well as the effects of compounded stress and disturbance on coral reef structure and function. Adaptive responses to stress and disturbance in relation to prior experience are highlighted. The thesis further explores how inherent characteristics (traits) of corals and macroalgae may influence regime expression when faced with altered disturbance regimes, in particular overfishing, eutrophication, elevated temperature, and enhanced substrate availability. Finally, possibilities of affecting the resilience of macroalgae-dominaed reefs and shifting the community composition towards a coral-dominated regime are explored.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för systemekologi , 2004. , 41 p.
Keyword [en]
Coral Reefs, Disturbance, Stress, Adaptive responses, Macroalgae, Ecosystem regimes, Resilience, Competition, Traits
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-250ISBN: 91-7265-957-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-250DiVA: diva2:191530
Public defence
2004-10-13, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Simultaneous and Sequential Stress from Heat and Copper Exposure on the Metabolism of Porites cylindrica, Philippines
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simultaneous and Sequential Stress from Heat and Copper Exposure on the Metabolism of Porites cylindrica, Philippines
2001 In: Marine Biology, ISSN 0025-3162, Vol. 138, no 6, 1225-1231 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23363 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-250Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22Bibliographically approved
2. Effects of elevated seawater temperature and nitrate enrichment on the branching coral Porites cylindrica in the absence of particulate food
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of elevated seawater temperature and nitrate enrichment on the branching coral Porites cylindrica in the absence of particulate food
2003 In: Marine Biology, ISSN 0025-3162, Vol. 142, no 4, 669-677 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23364 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-250Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22Bibliographically approved
3. Human influence and degradation of coral reefs in the Gulf of Thailand
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human influence and degradation of coral reefs in the Gulf of Thailand
2002 In: Proceedings of the 9th International Coral Reef Symposium, Vol. 2, 1047-1052 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23365 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-250Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22Bibliographically approved
4. Responses of algae, corals and fish to the reduction of macroalgae in fished and unfished patch reefs of Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Responses of algae, corals and fish to the reduction of macroalgae in fished and unfished patch reefs of Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize
Show others...
2001 In: Coral Reefs, ISSN 0722-4028, Vol. 19, no 4, 367-379 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23366 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-250Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22Bibliographically approved
5. Regime Transitions on Coral Reefs- the Roles of Substrate Availability, Competitive Traits and Altered Disturbance Regimes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Regime Transitions on Coral Reefs- the Roles of Substrate Availability, Competitive Traits and Altered Disturbance Regimes
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23367 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-250Available from: 2004-09-22 Created: 2004-09-22 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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