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  • 1. Angeler, David G.
    et al.
    Allen, Craig R.
    Barichievy, Chris
    Eason, Tarsha
    Garmestani, Ahjond S.
    Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    Granholm, Dean
    Gunderson, Lance H.
    Knutson, Melinda
    Nash, Kirsty L.
    Nelson, R. John
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Spanbauer, Trisha L.
    Stow, Craig A.
    Sundstrom, Shana M.
    Management applications of discontinuity theory2016In: Journal of Applied Ecology, ISSN 0021-8901, E-ISSN 1365-2664, Vol. 53, no 3, p. 688-698Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    1. Human impacts on the environment are multifaceted and can occur across distinct spatiotemporal scales. Ecological responses to environmental change are therefore difficult to predict, and entail large degrees of uncertainty. Such uncertainty requires robust tools for management to sustain ecosystem goods and services and maintain resilient ecosystems. 2. We propose an approach based on discontinuity theory that accounts for patterns and processes at distinct spatial and temporal scales, an inherent property of ecological systems. Discontinuity theory has not been applied in natural resource management and could therefore improve ecosystem management because it explicitly accounts for ecological complexity. 3. Synthesis and applications. We highlight the application of discontinuity approaches for meeting management goals. Specifically, discontinuity approaches have significant potential to measure and thus understand the resilience of ecosystems, to objectively identify critical scales of space and time in ecological systems at which human impact might be most severe, to provide warning indicators of regime change, to help predict and understand biological invasions and extinctions and to focus monitoring efforts. Discontinuity theory can complement current approaches, providing a broader paradigm for ecological management and conservation.

  • 2. Anthony, Kenneth R. N.
    et al.
    Marshall, Paul A.
    Abdulla, Ameer
    Beeden, Roger
    Bergh, Chris
    Black, Ryan
    Eakin, C. Mark
    Game, Edward T.
    Gooch, Margaret
    Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    Green, Alison
    Heron, Scott F.
    van Hooidonk, Ruben
    Knowland, Cheryl
    Mangubhai, Sangeeta
    Marshall, Nadine
    Maynard, Jeffrey A.
    McGinnity, Peter
    McLeod, Elizabeth
    Mumby, Peter. J.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Obura, David
    Oliver, Jamie
    Possingham, Hugh P.
    Pressey, Robert L.
    Rowlands, Gwilym P.
    Tamelander, Jerker
    Wachenfeld, David
    Wear, Stephanie
    Operationalizing resilience for adaptive coral reef management under global environmental change2015In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 48-61Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cumulative pressures from global climate and ocean change combined with multiple regional and local-scale stressors pose fundamental challenges to coral reef managers worldwide. Understanding how cumulative stressors affect coral reef vulnerability is critical for successful reef conservation now and in the future. In this review, we present the case that strategically managing for increased ecological resilience (capacity for stress resistance and recovery) can reduce coral reef vulnerability (risk of net decline) up to a point. Specifically, we propose an operational framework for identifying effective management levers to enhance resilience and support management decisions that reduce reef vulnerability. Building on a system understanding of biological and ecological processes that drive resilience of coral reefs in different environmental and socio-economic settings, we present an Adaptive Resilience-Based management (ARBM) framework and suggest a set of guidelines for how and where resilience can be enhanced via management interventions. We argue that press-type stressors (pollution, sedimentation, overfishing, ocean warming and acidification) are key threats to coral reef resilience by affecting processes underpinning resistance and recovery, while pulse-type (acute) stressors (e.g. storms, bleaching events, crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks) increase the demand for resilience. We apply the framework to a set of example problems for Caribbean and Indo-Pacific reefs. A combined strategy of active risk reduction and resilience support is needed, informed by key management objectives, knowledge of reef ecosystem processes and consideration of environmental and social drivers. As climate change and ocean acidification erode the resilience and increase the vulnerability of coral reefs globally, successful adaptive management of coral reefs will become increasingly difficult. Given limited resources, on-the-ground solutions are likely to focus increasingly on actions that support resilience at finer spatial scales, and that are tightly linked to ecosystem goods and services.

  • 3.
    Berkström, Charlotte
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Lindborg, Regina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Mwandya, Augustine W.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Yahya, Saleh A. S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Kautsky, Nils
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Exploring 'knowns' and 'unknowns' in tropical seascape connectivity with insights from East African coral reefs2012In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, ISSN 0272-7714, E-ISSN 1096-0015, Vol. 107, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Applying a broader landscape perspective to understand spatio-temporal changes in local populations and communities has been increasingly used in terrestrial systems to study effects of human impact and land use change. With today’s major declines in fishery stocks and rapid degradation of natural coastal habitats, the understanding of habitat configuration and connectivity over relevant temporal and spatial scales is critical for conservation and fisheries management of the seascape. Coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves are key-components of the tropical seascape. The spatial distribution of these habitat-types may have strong influences on cross-habitat migration and connectivity patterns among organisms. However, the consequences of seascape fragmentation and ecological connectivity are largely unknown. Here, we review the literature to provide an overview of current knowledge with regards to connectivity and food-web interactions within the tropical seascape. We show that information on fish acting as mobile links and being part of nutrient transfer and trophic interactions is scarce. We continue by making an in-depth analysis of the seascape around Zanzibar (Eastern Africa) to fill some of the knowledge gaps identified by the literature survey. Our analysis shows that (i) fifty percent of all fish species found within the Zanzibar seascape use two or multiple habitat-types, (ii) eighteen percent of all coral reef-associated fish species use mangrove and seagrass beds as juvenile habitat, and (iii) macrocarnivores and herbivores are highly represented among those coral reef fish species that use mangrove and seagrass beds as juvenile habitat. We argue that understanding the inter-linkages within and between habitat-types is essential for successful management of the tropical seascape.

  • 4. Chaffin, Brian C.
    et al.
    Garmestani, Ahjond S.
    Angeler, David G.
    Herrmann, Dustin L.
    Stow, Craig A.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Sendzimir, Jan
    Hopton, Matthew E.
    Kolasa, Jurek
    Allen, Craig R.
    Biological invasions, ecological resilience and adaptive governance2016In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 183, p. 399-407Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a world of increasing interconnections in global trade as well as rapid change in climate and land cover, the accelerating introduction and spread of invasive species is a critical concern due to associated negative social and ecological impacts, both real and perceived. Much of the societal response to invasive species to date has been associated with negative economic consequences of invasions. This response has shaped a war-like approach to addressing invasions, one with an agenda of eradications and intense ecological restoration efforts towards prior or more desirable ecological regimes. This trajectory often ignores the concept of ecological resilience and associated approaches of resilience-based governance. We argue that the relationship between ecological resilience and invasive species has been understudied to the detriment of attempts to govern invasions, and that most management actions fail, primarily because they do not incorporate adaptive, learning-based approaches. Invasive species can decrease resilience by reducing the biodiversity that underpins ecological functions and processes, making ecosystems more prone to regime shifts. However, invasions do not always result in a shift to an alternative regime; invasions can also increase resilience by introducing novelty, replacing lost ecological functions or adding redundancy that strengthens already existing structures and processes in an ecosystem. This paper examines the potential impacts of species invasions on the resilience of ecosystems and suggests that resilience-based approaches can inform policy by linking the governance of biological invasions to the negotiation of tradeoffs between ecosystem services.

  • 5.
    Crona, Beatrice I.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Daw, Tim M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. University of East Anglia, UK.
    Swartz, Wilf
    Norström, Albert V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Thyresson, Matilda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Hentati-Sundberg, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Österblom, Henrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Deutsch, Lisa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Troell, Max
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Masked, diluted and drowned out: how global seafood trade weakens signals from marine ecosystems2016In: Fish and Fisheries, ISSN 1467-2960, E-ISSN 1467-2979, Vol. 17, no 4, p. 1175-1182Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Nearly 40% of seafood is traded internationally and an even bigger proportion is affected by international trade, yet scholarship on marine fisheries has focused on global trends in stocks and catches, or on dynamics of individual fisheries, with limited attention to the link between individual fisheries, global trade and distant consumers. This paper examines the usefulness of fish price as a feedback signal to consumers about the state of fisheries and marine ecosystems. We suggest that the current nature of fisheries systems and global markets prevent transmission of such price signals from source fisheries to consumers. We propose several mechanisms that combine to weaken price signals, and present one example - the North Sea cod - to show how these mechanisms can be tested. The lack of a reliable price feedback to consumers represents a challenge for sustainable fisheries governance. We therefore propose three complimentary approaches to address the missing feedback: (i) strengthening information flow through improved traceability and visibility of individual fishers to consumers, (ii) capitalizing on the changing seafood trade structures and (iii) bypassing and complementing market mechanisms by directly targeting citizens and political actors regarding marine environmental issues through publicity and information campaigns. These strategies each havelimitations and thus need to be pursued together to address the challenge of sustainability in global marine fisheries.

  • 6.
    Crona, Beatrice
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Jiddawi, Narriman
    Middlemen, a critical social-ecological link in coastal communities of Kenya and Zanzibar2010In: Marine Policy, ISSN 0308-597X, E-ISSN 1872-9460, Vol. 34, no 4, p. 761-771Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper analyzes the middlemen-fishermen link in coastal communities along the coast of southern Kenya and Zanzibar, and explores effects of reciprocal agreements and credit arrangements on social-ecological feedbacks of coastal systems The existence and generality of such arrangements are mapped and their effect on resource use and ecosystem dynamics is then explored Data show that credit arrangements are widespread and that fishermen are bound by reciprocal agreements and financial guarantees during periods of lower catches that provide short-term stabilizing social effects These arrangements create incentives which disconnect resource extraction from ecosystem dynamics and impede development of sustainable use practices The role of middlemen is seldom accounted for in fisheries governance Scenarios for the development of small-scale fisheries in the region are outlined and the function of middlemen is discussed considering the influence of external drivers Policies that incorporate middlemen are recommended to improve the governance of fish stocks and coastal ecosystems in East Africa.

  • 7. Donovan, Mary K.
    et al.
    Friedlander, Alan M.
    Lecky, Joey
    Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Williams, Gareth J.
    Wedding, Lisa M.
    Crowder, Larry B.
    Erickson, Ashley L.
    Graham, Nick A. J.
    Gove, Jamison M.
    Kappel, Carrie V.
    Karr, Kendra
    Kittinger, John N.
    Norström, Albert V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Oleson, Kirsten L. L.
    Stamoulis, Kostantinos A.
    White, Crow
    Williams, Ivor D.
    Selkoe, Kimberly A.
    Combining fish and benthic communities into multiple regimes reveals complex reef dynamics2018In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 8, article id 16943Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Coral reefs worldwide face an uncertain future with many reefs reported to transition from being dominated by corals to macroalgae. However, given the complexity and diversity of the ecosystem, research on how regimes vary spatially and temporally is needed. Reef regimes are most often characterised by their benthic components; however, complex dynamics are associated with losses and gains in both fish and benthic assemblages. To capture this complexity, we synthesised 3,345 surveys from Hawai'i to define reef regimes in terms of both fish and benthic assemblages. Model-based clustering revealed five distinct regimes that varied ecologically, and were spatially heterogeneous by island, depth and exposure. We identified a regime characteristic of a degraded state with low coral cover and fish biomass, one that had low coral but high fish biomass, as well as three other regimes that varied significantly in their ecology but were previously considered a single coral dominated regime. Analyses of time series data reflected complex system dynamics, with multiple transitions among regimes that were a function of both local and global stressors. Coupling fish and benthic communities into reef regimes to capture complex dynamics holds promise for monitoring reef change and guiding ecosystem-based management of coral reefs.

  • 8.
    Faxneld, Suzanne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Lund Jörgensen, Tove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nguyen, Ngai D.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Tedengren, Michael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Differences in physiological response to increased seawater temperature in nearshore and offshore corals in northern Vietnam2011In: Marine Environmental Research, ISSN 0141-1136, E-ISSN 1879-0291, Vol. 71, no 3, p. 225-233Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Effects of elevated seawater temperature show high spatial heterogeneity and variation within and among coral species. The objective of this study was to investigate how two coral species, Porites lutea and Galaxea fascicularis, from two high latitude reefs differently exposed to chronic disturbance, respond to elevated seawater temperatures. Corals were collected from reefs nearshore (i.e. subjected to high sediment load, higher chlorophyll α concentrations, turbidity etc.) and offshore (i.e. less exposed). The corals were exposed in the lab to gradually increasing temperatures (25.5–33.5 °C) for 72 h after which they were allowed to recover to ambient temperature (25.5 °C) for 24 h. Production and respiration were measured after 24, 48, 72 and 96 h. The results show that P. lutea from nearshore reefs suffered an initial decrease in gross primary production/respiration (GP/R) ratio after 24 h, after only a moderate temperature increase (+2 °C, from 25.5 to 27.5 °C), while there was no difference in GP/R ratio between heat-exposed and controls the other days, indicating that the chronic disturbance in the nearshore reef had no effect on their thermotolerance. Furthermore, P. lutea from the offshore reef showed a decrease in GP/R ratio both after 24 h and 72 h (33.5 °C) of exposure.

    In comparison, G. fascicularis showed a decrease in GP/R ratio after 48 h, 72 h and 96 h of exposure for the nearshore corals. Also, after 72 h these corals had withdrawn their polyps. There were no differences between heat-treated and controls for the offshore G. fascicularis. This implies that the chronically disturbed G. fascicularis had lower thermotolerance when exposed to a temperature increase.

    This study, hence, shows that the response of corals to elevated seawater temperature varies with species and environmental background history.

  • 9.
    Galaz, Victor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Crona, Beatrice
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Daw, T
    Bodin, Örjan
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Olsson, Per
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Can web crawlers revolutionize ecological monitoring?2010In: Frontiers in ecology and the environment, ISSN 1540-9295, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 99-104Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite recent advances, ecosystem service monitoring is limited by insufficient data, the complexity of social–ecological systems, and poor integration of information that tracks changes in ecosystems and economic activities. However, new information and communication technologies are revolutionizing the generation of, and access to, such data. Can researchers who are interested in ecological monitoring tap into these increased flows of information by “mining” the internet to detect “early-warning” signs that may signal abrupt ecological changes? Here, we explore the possibility of using web crawlers and internet-based information to complement conventional ecological monitoring, with a special emphasis on the prospects for avoiding “late warnings”, that is, when ecosystems have already shifted to less desirable states. Using examples from coral reef ecosystems, we explore the untapped potential, as well as the limitations, of relying on web-based information to monitor ecosystem services and forewarn us of negative ecological shifts.

  • 10. Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    et al.
    Bellwood, David R.
    Cinner, Joshua E.
    Hughes, Terry P.
    Norström, Albert V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Managing resilience to reverse phase shifts in coral reefs2013In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, ISSN 1540-9295, E-ISSN 1540-9309, Vol. 11, no 10, p. 541-548Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Both coral-dominated and degraded reef ecosystems can be resistant to change. Typically, research and management have focused on maintaining coral dominance and avoiding phase shifts to other species compositions, rather than on weakening the resilience of already degraded reefs to re-establish coral dominance. Reversing degraded coral-reef states will involve reducing local chronic drivers like fishing pressure and poor water quality. Reversals will also require management of key ecological processes - such as those performed by different functional groups of marine herbivores - that both weaken the resilience of the degraded state and strengthen the coral-dominated state. If detrimental human impacts are reduced and key ecological processes are enhanced, pulse disturbances, such as extreme weather events, and ecological variability may provide opportunities for a return to a coral-dominated state. Critically, achieving these outcomes will necessitate a diverse range of integrated approaches to alter human interactions with reef ecosystems.

  • 11. Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    et al.
    Cinner, Joshua E.
    Norström, Albert V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Coral reefs as novel ecosystems: embracing new futures2014In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, ISSN 1877-3435, E-ISSN 1877-3443, Vol. 7, p. 9-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The composition and functions of many ecosystems are changing, giving rise to the concept of novel ecosystems. Although some coral reefs are becoming non-coral systems, others are becoming novel coral-dominated ecosystems driven principally by differential species responses to climate change and other drivers, but also due to species range shifts at higher latitudes, and in some cases introduced species. Returning many coral reefs to pristine baselines is unrealistic, whereas embracing novel futures enables more pragmatic approaches to maintaining or re-building the dominance of corals. Coral reefs are changing in unprecedented ways, providing the impetus to improve our understanding of reef compositions that may dominate in the future, explore new management approaches, assess changes in ecosystem services, and investigate how human societies can adapt and respond to novel futures.

  • 12. Hughes, TP
    et al.
    Gunderson, LH
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Baird, AH
    Bellwood, D
    Berkes, F
    Crona, Beatrice
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Helfgott, A
    Leslie, H
    Norberg, Jon
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Olsson, Per
    interfaculty units, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Österblom, Henrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Scheffer, M
    Schuttenberg, H
    Adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon world heritage areas2007In: Ambio, Vol. 36, no 7, p. 586-592Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Norström, Albert V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Williams, Ivor D.
    Wedding, Lisa M.
    Kittinger, John N.
    Williams, Gareth J.
    Identifying multiple coral reef regimes and their drivers across the Hawaiian archipelago2015In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8436, E-ISSN 1471-2970, Vol. 370, no 1659, article id 20130268Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Loss of coral reef resilience can lead to dramatic changes in benthic structure, often called regime shifts, which significantly alter ecosystem processes and functioning. In the face of global change and increasing direct human impacts, there is an urgent need to anticipate and prevent undesirable regime shifts and, conversely, to reverse shifts in already degraded reef systems. Such challenges require a better understanding of the human and natural drivers that support or undermine different reef regimes. The Hawaiian archipelago extends across a wide gradient of natural and anthropogenic conditions and provides us a unique opportunity to investigate the relationships between multiple reef regimes, their dynamics and potential drivers. We applied a combination of exploratory ordination methods and inferential statistics to one of the most comprehensive coral reef datasets available in order to detect, visualize and define potential multiple ecosystem regimes. This study demonstrates the existence of three distinct reef regimes dominated by hard corals, turf algae or macroalgae. Results from boosted regression trees show nonlinear patterns among predictors that help to explain the occurrence of these regimes, and highlight herbivore biomass as the key driver in addition to effluent, latitude and depth.

  • 14.
    Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Sweden.
    Wedding, Lisa M.
    Norström, Albert V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Donovan, Mary K.
    Williams, Gareth J.
    Crowder, Larry B.
    Erickson, Ashley L.
    Friedlander, Alan M.
    Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    Gove, Jamison M.
    Kappel, Carrie V.
    Kittinger, John N.
    Lecky, Joey
    Oleson, Kirsten L. L.
    Selkoe, Kimberly A.
    White, Crow
    Williams, Ivor D.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Parsing human and biophysical drivers of coral reef regimes2019In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 286, no 1896, article id 20182544Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Coral reefs worldwide face unprecedented cumulative anthropogenic effects of interacting local human pressures, global climate change and distal social processes. Reefs are also bound by the natural biophysical environment within which they exist. In this context, a key challenge for effective management is understanding how anthropogenic and biophysical conditions interact to drive distinct coral reef configurations. Here, we use machine learning to conduct explanatory predictions on reef ecosystems defined by both fish and benthic communities. Drawing on the most spatially extensive dataset available across the Hawaiian archipelago-20 anthropogenic and biophysical predictors over 620 survey sites-we model the occurrence of four distinct reef regimes and provide a novel approach to quantify the relative influence of human and environmental variables in shaping reef ecosystems. Our findings highlight the nuances of what underpins different coral reef regimes, the overwhelming importance of biophysical predictors and how a reef's natural setting may either expand or narrow the opportunity space for management interventions. The methods developed through this study can help inform reef practitioners and hold promises for replication across a broad range of ecosystems.

  • 15. Keys, Patrick W.
    et al.
    Galaz, Victor
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Dyer, Michelle
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Matthews, Nathanial
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Cornell, Sarah E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Anthropocene risk2019In: Nature Sustainability, ISSN 2398-9629, Vol. 2, no 8, p. 667-673Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The potential consequences of cross-scale systemic environmental risks with global effects are increasing. We argue that current descriptions of globally connected systemic risk poorly capture the role of human-environment interactions. This creates a bias towards solutions that ignore the new realities of the Anthropocene. We develop an integrated concept of what we denote Anthropocene risk-that is, risks that: emerge from human-driven processes; interact with global social-ecological connectivity; and exhibit complex, cross-scale relationships. To illustrate this, we use four cases: moisture recycling teleconnections, aquaculture and stranded assets, biome migration in the Sahel, and sea-level rise and megacities. We discuss the implications of Anthropocene risk across several research frontiers, particularly in the context of supranational power, environmental and social externalities and possible future Anthropocene risk governance. We conclude that decision makers must navigate this new epoch with new tools, and that Anthropocene risk contributes conceptual guidance towards a more sustainable and just future.

  • 16.
    Lokrantz, Jerker
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Norström, Albert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Öhman, Marcus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Muhando, Christopher
    Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam.
    Jiddawi, Narriman
    Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam.
    A comparison of functional groups in coral reefs around Zanzibar Island (Tanzania)Manuscript (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Species’ traits determine how biodiversity interacts with ecosystem processes and influence the capacity of ecosystems to respond to and recover from disturbances. Classifying species with regards to their traits, i.e. functional groups, and analyzing their distribution provides a mechanistic approach to investigate the resilience in ecosystems. This study investigates the status of functional groups of coral, fish and sea urchins on reefs on the west coast of Zanzibar Island, Tanzania. The classification of functional groups is based on traits reflecting important community processes or properties which underpin ecosystem resilience. The results show that reefs with high accessibility, i.e. close to shore and open to fisheries, have lower abundance and diversity of functional groups of both coral and fish compared to more remote or protected reefs. More specifically, highly accessible reefs display lower abundances of herbivorous fish (macroalgae browsers in particular), large-bodied fish, structurally complex corals and corals with certain reproduction strategies. Based on these findings we speculate what this means in terms of ecosystem functioning and vulnerability. This study also provides a first “baseline” of functional group distribution and although it represents an already degraded state it may serve as an important comparison when evaluating further degradation and effects of impending management interventions.

  • 17.
    Lokrantz, Jerker
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Norström, Albert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Cinner, Joshua
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University.
    Assessing potential vulnerability of coral reefs through functional groups of herbivoresManuscript (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Fishing can have major influences on ecological processes on coral reefs. Overfishing of herbivores is particularly detrimental, generating ecosystem-wide impacts where algae overgrow corals and become the dominant benthic organism. This can result in altered ecosystem functioning and subsequently, loss of important ecosystem services. Knowing when important processes, such as herbivory, are becoming fragile is important because it can provide an opportunity for managers to avoid such undesirable ecosystem changes. This study investigates the impact of artisanal fishing on three important functional groups of herbivores (grazers, scrapers and bioeroders) on five coral-dominated reefs outside Zanzibar, Tanzania. Fishing pressure was assessed through interviews with households and fishermen and compared with ecological data for each of the three focal functional groups. The ecological status of the groups were assessed through analysis of species richness, -abundance, -biomass and demographic structure; variables relating to functional performance and in a wider sense ecosystem resilience. The results showed a negative correlation between fishing pressure and fish biomass, -abundance, and diversity. Moreover, fishing had a negative influence on the demographic structure of functional groups, particularly for bioeroders, manifesting as a skewness towards smaller individuals within species populations. Fishing pressure also correlated positively with sea urchin abundances suggesting a compensatory response within the guild of herbivores, which could explain the low abundances of macro algae on all of the investigated reefs. This study shows that artisanal fishing can have significant impacts on herbivores which may erode the resilience on coral reefs. Moreover, it illustrates how functional groups may help to expose potential vulnerability of coral reefs by mechanistically linking the diversity and identity of species to ecosystem processes.

  • 18.
    Lokrantz, Jerker
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Norström, Albert V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Cinner, Joshua E.
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University.
    Impacts of artisanal fishing on key functional groups and the potential vulnerability of coral reefs2010In: Environmental Conservation, ISSN 0376-8929, E-ISSN 1469-4387, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 327-337Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Fishing can have major impacts on the structure of coral reef ecosystems. Overfishing of herbivores is particularly detrimental, as it makes the coral system more likely to undergo shifts to macroalgal dominance in the event of coral mass mortality. Knowing when important processes, such as herbivory, are becoming brittle is important because it can provide an opportunity for managers to avoid undesirable ecosystem-level changes. This study investigates the impact of artisanal fishing on three important functional groups of herbivores (grazers, scrapers and excavators) on five coral-dominated reefs outside Zanzibar (Tanzania). There was a negative correlation between fishing pressure and fish biomass, abundance, diversity and species richness. Moreover, fishing had a negative influence on the demographic structure of functional groups, particularly excavators, manifesting itself as a skewness towards smaller individuals within populations. Artisanal fishing can have significant impacts on key functional groups of herbivorous reef fishes which may increase the vulnerability of coral reefs to undesirable ecosystem shifts.

  • 19.
    Lokrantz, Jerker
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Thyresson, Matilda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Johansson, C.
    The non-linear relationship between body size and function in parrotfihes2008In: Coral reefs (Print), ISSN 0722-4028, E-ISSN 1432-0975, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 967-974Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Parrotfishes are a group of herbivores that play an important functional role in structuring benthic communities on coral reefs. Increasingly, these fish are being targeted by fishermen, and resultant declines in biomass and abundance may have severe consequences for the dynamics and regeneration of coral reefs. However, the impact of overfishing extends beyond declining fish stocks. It can also lead to demographic changes within species populations where mean body size is reduced. The effect of reduced mean body size on population dynamics is well described in literature but virtually no information exists on how this may influence important ecological functions. The study investigated how one important function, scraping (i.e., the capacity to remove algae and open up bare substratum for coral larval settlement), by three common species of parrotfishes (Scarus niger, Chlorurus sordidus, and Chlorurus strongylocephalus) on coral reefs at Zanzibar (Tanzania) was influenced by the size of individual fishes. There was a non-linear relationship between body size and scraping function for all species examined, and impact through scraping was also found to increase markedly when fish reached a size of 15-20 cm. Thus, coral reefs which have a high abundance and biomass of parrotfish may nonetheless be functionally impaired if dominated by small-sized individuals. Reductions in mean body size within parrotfish populations could, therefore, have functional impacts on coral reefs that previously have been overlooked.

  • 20.
    McClanahan, Tim
    et al.
    The Wildlife Conservation Society, PO Box 99470, Mombasa, Kenya.
    Bergman, Kajsa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Huitric, Miriam
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    McField, Melanie
    Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Florida,.
    Elfwing, Tina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nordemar, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Response of fishes to algal reductions at Glovers Reef, Belize2000In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, Vol. 206, p. 273-282Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many Caribbean coral reefs have experienced an increase in erect brown algae (species of Sargassum, Turbinaria and Lobophora) over the past 18 yr. We explored the effects of fleshy algal overgrowth on coral reef fishes by reducing erect algae by ~2.5 kg(wet) m-2 on 8 patch reefs (average size ~1000 m2) whereby half were in a new no-fishing zone and half in an unrestricted fishing zone. Another 8 reefs were left as unmanipulated controls in the respective zones. Multivariate ordination indicated that the algal removal had marginal effect on whole-fish assemblages but that effect was highly significant on the biomass of common herbivores. The reduction of erect algae resulted in a rapid increase in the abundance of the blue-headed wrasse Thalassoma bifasciatum (Labridae), in the biomass of the blue tang Acanthurus coeruleus (Acanthuridae), and in both the abundance and biomass of the spotlight parrotfish Sparisoma viride (Scaridae). Bite rates and intra- and inter-specific aggressive encounters were used as measures of resource quality, and we found that these measures increased for surgeonfishes and damselfishes after the algal reduction, particularly in the center of the patch reefs, where most erect algae was originally located. Increased accessibility, net production and palatability of the early successional turf algae on the manipulated reefs are likely to account for the increased numbers, biomass and feeding rates of the dominant herbivorous fishes.

  • 21.
    McClanahan, Tim
    et al.
    The Wildlife Conservation Society, P.O. Box 99470, Mombasa, Kenya.
    McField, Melanie
    Department of Marine Science, University of South Florida .
    Huitric, Miriam
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Bergman, Kajsa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Sala, Enric
    Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, .
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nordemar, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Elfwing, Tina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Muthiga, Nyawira
    Kenya Wildlife Service, Mombasa, Kenya.
    Responses of algae, corals and fish to the reduction of macroalgae in fished and unfished patch reefs of Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize2001In: Coral Reefs, ISSN 0722-4028, Vol. 19, no 4, p. 367-379Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Macroalgae were experimentally reduced by approximately 2.5 kg/m2 on eight similar-sized patch reefs of Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize, in September 1998. Four of these reefs were in a protected "no-take" zone and four were in a "general use" fishing zone. Eight adjacent reefs (four in each management zone) were also studied as unmanipulated controls to determine the interactive effect of algal reduction and fisheries management on algae, coral, fish, and rates of herbivory. The 16 reefs were sampled five times for 1 year after the manipulation. We found that the no-fishing zone had greater population densities for 13 of 30 species of fish, including four herbivorous species, but lower herbivory levels by sea urchins. However, there was lower stony coral cover and higher macroalgal cover in the "no-take" zone, both prior to and after the experiment. There were no significant effects of management on the percent cover of fleshy macroalgae. The algal reduction resulted in an increase in six fish species, including four herbivores and two which feed on invertebrates. One species, Lutjanus griseus, declined in experimental reefs. Macroalgal biomass quickly recovered from the reduction in both management areas within a few months, and by species-level community measures within 1 year, while stony coral was reduced in all treatments. Coral bleaching and Hurricane Mitch disturbed the site at the beginning of the study period and may explain the loss of stony coral and rapid increase in erect algae. We suggest that reducing macroalgae, as a technique to restore turf and encrusting coralline algae and stony corals, may work best after reefs have been fully protected from fishing for a period long enough to allow herbivorous fish to recover (i.e. >5 years). Further ecological studies on Glovers Reef are required to understand the shift from coral to algal dominance that has occurred on this reef in the last 25 years.

  • 22. Mcleod, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Anthony, Kenneth R. N.
    Mumby, Peter J.
    Maynard, Jeffrey
    Beeden, Roger
    Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    Heron, Scott F.
    Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove
    Jupiter, Stacy
    MacGowan, Petra
    Mangubhai, Sangeeta
    Marshall, Nadine
    Marshall, Paul A.
    McClanahan, Tim R.
    Mcleod, Karen
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Obura, David
    Parker, Britt
    Possingham, Hugh P.
    Salm, Rodney V.
    Tamelander, Jerker
    The future of resilience-based management in coral reef ecosystems2019In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 233, p. 291-301Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Resilience underpins the sustainability of both ecological and social systems. Extensive loss of reef corals following recent mass bleaching events have challenged the notion that support of system resilience is a viable reef management strategy. While resilience-based management (RBM) cannot prevent the damaging effects of major disturbances, such as mass bleaching events, it can support natural processes that promote resistance and recovery. Here, we review the potential of RBM to help sustain coral reefs in the 21st century. We explore the scope for supporting resilience through existing management approaches and emerging technologies and discuss their opportunities and limitations in a changing climate. We argue that for RBM to be effective in a changing world, reef management strategies need to involve both existing and new interventions that together reduce stress, support the fitness of populations and species, and help people and economies to adapt to a highly altered ecosystem.

  • 23. Mora, Camilo
    et al.
    Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Ecological limitations to the resilience of coral reefs2016In: Coral reefs (Print), ISSN 0722-4028, E-ISSN 1432-0975, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 1271-1280Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The decline of coral reefs has been broadly attributed to human stressors being too strong and pervasive, whereas biological processes that may render coral reefs fragile have been sparsely considered. Here we review several ecological factors that can limit the ability of coral reefs to withstand disturbance. These include: (1) Many species lack the adaptive capacity to cope with the unprecedented disturbances they currently face; (2) human disturbances impact vulnerable life history stages, reducing reproductive output and the supply of recruits essential for recovery; (3) reefs can be vulnerable to the loss of few species, as niche specialization or temporal and spatial segregation makes each species unique (i.e., narrow ecological redundancy); in addition, many foundation species have similar sensitivity to disturbances, suggesting that entire functions can be lost to single disturbances; and (4) feedback loops and extinction vortices may stabilize degraded states or accelerate collapses even if stressors are removed. This review suggests that the degradation of coral reefs is due to not only the severity of human stressors but also the fragility of coral reefs. As such, appropriate governance is essential to manage stressors while being inclusive of ecological process and human uses across transnational scales. This is a considerable but necessary upgrade in current management if the integrity, and delivery of goods and services, of coral reefs is to be preserved.

  • 24. Nash, Kirsty L.
    et al.
    Allen, Craig R.
    Angeler, David G.
    Barichievy, Chris
    Eason, Tarsha
    Garmestani, Ahjond S.
    Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    Granholm, Dean
    Knutson, Melinda
    Nelson, R. John
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Stow, Craig A.
    Sundström, Shana M.
    Discontinuities, cross-scale patterns, and the organization of ecosystems2014In: Ecology, ISSN 0012-9658, E-ISSN 1939-9170, Vol. 95, no 3, p. 654-667Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecological structures and processes occur at specific spatiotemporal scales, and interactions that occur across multiple scales mediate scale-specific (e.g., individual, community, local, or regional) responses to disturbance. Despite the importance of scale, explicitly incorporating a multi-scale perspective into research and management actions remains a challenge. The discontinuity hypothesis provides a fertile avenue for addressing this problem by linking measureable proxies to inherent scales of structure within ecosystems. Here we outline the conceptual framework underlying discontinuities and review the evidence supporting the discontinuity hypothesis in ecological systems. Next we explore the utility of this approach for understanding cross-scale patterns and the organization of ecosystems by describing recent advances for examining nonlinear responses to disturbance and phenomena such as extinctions, invasions, and resilience. To stimulate new research, we present methods for performing discontinuity analysis, detail outstanding knowledge gaps, and discuss potential approaches for addressing these gaps.

  • 25. Nash, Kirsty L.
    et al.
    Allen, Craig R.
    Barichievy, Chris
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Sundström, Shana
    Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    Habitat structure and body size distributions: cross-ecosystem comparison for taxa with determinate and indeterminate growth2014In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 123, no 8, p. 971-983Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Habitat structure across multiple spatial and temporal scales has been proposed as a key driver of body size distributions for associated communities. Thus, understanding the relationship between habitat and body size is fundamental to developing predictions regarding the influence of habitat change on animal communities. Much of the work assessing the relationship between habitat structure and body size distributions has focused on terrestrial taxa with determinate growth, and has primarily analysed discontinuities (gaps) in the distribution of species mean sizes (species size relationships or SSRs). The suitability of this approach for taxa with indeterminate growth has yet to be determined. We provide a cross-ecosystem comparison of bird (determinate growth) and fish (indeterminate growth) body mass distributions using four independent data sets. We evaluate three size distribution indices: SSRs, species size-density relationships (SSDRs) and individual size-density relationships (ISDRs), and two types of analysis: looking for either discontinuities or abundance patterns and multi-modality in the distributions. To assess the respective suitability of these three indices and two analytical approaches for understanding habitat-size relationships in different ecosystems, we compare their ability to differentiate bird or fish communities found within contrasting habitat conditions. All three indices of body size distribution are useful for examining the relationship between cross-scale patterns of habitat structure and size for species with determinate growth, such as birds. In contrast, for species with indeterminate growth such as fish, the relationship between habitat structure and body size may be masked when using mean summary metrics, and thus individual-level data (ISDRs) are more useful. Furthermore, ISDRs, which have traditionally been used to study aquatic systems, present a potentially useful common currency for comparing body size distributions across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

  • 26.
    Norström, Albert
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Lokrantz, Jerker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Yap, HT
    Influence of dead coral substrate morphology on patterns of juvenile coral distribution2007In: Marine Biology, ISSN 0025-3162, E-ISSN 1432-1793, Vol. 150, no 6, p. 1145-1152Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines the abundances of three morphological categories of juvenile corals (massive, branching and encrusting) on two different types of natural substratum, dead massive and dead branching corals. The overall results show that the morphological characteristics of dead coral substratum have a significant influence on the coral recruitment patterns with respect to the morphology of the recruits: juvenile corals of massive and branching types were more abundant on substrates of corresponding morphology. The results obtained from this study suggest that dead coral might attract coral larvae that are morphologically similar. On the other hand, it may be the result of post-settlement mortality. Whatever the mechanism shaping the patterns is, it seems that the physical morphology of the dead coral substrate has a significant influence on the coral recruit assemblage. Hence, we suggest that substrate morphology can be an important qualitative factor for coral settlement and a possible determinant of community structure.

  • 27.
    Norström, Albert V.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    Moberg, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Olsson, Per
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Williams, Gareth J.
    Guiding coral reef futures in the Anthropocene2016In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, ISSN 1540-9295, E-ISSN 1540-9309, Vol. 14, no 9, p. 490-498Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Anthropogenic changes to the Earth now rival those caused by the forces of nature and have shepherded us into a new planetary epoch - the Anthropocene. Such changes include profound and often unexpected alterations to coral reef ecosystems and the services they provide to human societies. Ensuring that reefs and their services endure during the Anthropocene will require that key drivers of coral reef change fishing, water quality, and anthropogenic climate change - stay within acceptable levels or safe operating spaces. The capacity to remain within these safe boundaries hinges on understanding the local, but also the increasingly global and cross-scale, socioeconomic causes of these human drivers of change. Consequently, local and regional management efforts that are successful in the short term may ultimately fail if current decision making and institution-building around coral reef systems remains fragmented, poorly coordinated, and unable to keep pace with the escalating speed of social, technological, and ecological change.

  • 28.
    Norström, Albert V.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Lokrantz, Jerker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Alternative states on coral reefs: beyond coral-macroalgal phase shifts2009In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 376, p. 295-306Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Degradation of coral reefs is often associated with changes in community structure where macroalgae become the dominant benthic life form. These phase shifts can be difficult to reverse. The debate on coral reef phase shifts has not focused on reports of coral reefs becoming dominated by other life forms following disturbance. A review of the primary and grey literature indicates that reefs dominated by corallimorpharia, soft corals, sponges and sea urchins can enter an alternative state as a result of a phase shift. Shifts can be triggered by pulse disturbances that cause large-scale coral mortality, and may become stable as a result of positive feedback mechanisms. However, they may differ from the archetypical coral-macroalgae shift, depending on the factors driving the shift; whereas coral-macroalgae and coral-urchin shifts seem to be driven by loss of top-down control through overfishing, shifts to corallimorpharian, soft coral and sponge dominance seem more associated with changes in bottom-tip dynamics. Understanding the differences and similarities in mechanisms that cause and maintain this variety of alternative states will aid management aimed at preventing and reversing phase shifts of coral reefs.

  • 29.
    Nyström, Magnus
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Graham, N. A. J.
    Lokrantz, Jerker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Norström, Albert V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Capturing the cornerstones of coral reef resilience: linking theory to practice2008In: Coral reefs (Print), ISSN 0722-4028, E-ISSN 1432-0975, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 795-809Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Coral reefs can undergo unexpected and dramatic changes in community composition, so called phase shifts. This can have profound consequences for ecosystem services upon which human welfare depends. Understanding of this behavior is in many aspects still in its infancy. Resilience has been argued to provide insurance against unforeseen ecosystem responses in the face of environmental change, and has become a prime goal for the management of coral reefs. However, diverse definitions of resilience can be found in the literature, making its meaning ambiguous. Several studies have used the term as a theoretical framework and concern regarding its practical applicability has been raised. Consequently, operationalizing theory to make resilience observable is an important task, particularly for policy makers and managers dealing with pressing environmental problems. Ultimately this requires some type of empirical assessments, something that has proven difficult due to the multidimensional nature of the concept. Biodiversity, spatial heterogeneity, and connectivity have been proposed as cornerstones of resilience as they may provide insurance against ecological uncertainty. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the divergent uses of the concept and to propose empirical indicators of the cornerstones of coral reef resilience. These indicators include functional group approaches, the ratios of "good" and "bad" colonizers of space, measurements of spatial heterogeneity, and estimates of potential space availability against grazing capacity. The essence of these operational indicators of resilience is to use them as predictive tools to recognize vulnerability before disturbance occurs that may lead to abrupt phase shifts. Moving toward operationalizing resilience theory is imperative to the successful management of coral reefs in an increasingly disturbed and human-dominated environment.

  • 30.
    Nyström, Magnus
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Norström, Albert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Bleckner, Thorsten
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Baltic Nest Institute.
    de la Torre Castro, Maricela
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Eklöf, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Österblom, Henrik
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Baltic Nest Institute.
    Steneck, Robert
    School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine.
    Thyresson, Matilda
    Troell, Max
    The Beijer Institute, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
    Steering feedbacks toward healthier marine ecosystemsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Marine ecosystem decline is accelerating. At some point degradation may pass a tipping point beyond which ecosystems become trapped in alternative degraded states, as a result of changes in critical feedbacks. Self-reinforcing feedbacks pose a major challenge for managers and policy-makers seeking remedial actions to curb the marine crisis. Here we synthesize the dynamics of critical feedbacks of the degraded states in five socio-economically important marine ecosystems; coral reefs, kelp forests, seagrass beds, shallow unvegetated soft-bottom habitats, and coastal pelagic food webs. A better understanding of the way human actions influence the strength and direction of feedbacks, how different feedbacks interact and at what scales they operate, is crucial for successful implementation of marine ecosystem management. We advocate a critical-feedback management approach that ventures beyond traditionally discipline boundaries, as an essential element of marine ecosystem management.

  • 31.
    Nyström, Magnus
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Baltic Nest Institute.
    Norström, Albert V.
    Blenckner, Thorsten
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Baltic Nest Institute.
    de la Torre-Castro, Maricela
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Eklöf, Johan S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Folke, Carl
    Österblom, Henrik
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Baltic Nest Institute.
    Steneck, Robert S.
    Thyresson, Matilda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Troell, Max
    Confronting Feedbacks of Degraded Marine Ecosystems2012In: Ecosystems (New York. Print), ISSN 1432-9840, E-ISSN 1435-0629, Vol. 15, no 5, p. 695-710Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In many coastal areas, marine ecosystems have shifted into contrasting states having reduced ecosystem services (hereafter called degraded). Such degraded ecosystems may be slow to revert to their original state due to new ecological feedbacks that reinforce the degraded state. A better understanding of the way human actions influence the strength and direction of feedbacks, how different feedbacks could interact, and at what scales they operate, may be necessary in some cases for successful management of marine ecosystems. Here we synthesize interactions of critical feedbacks of the degraded states from six globally distinct biomes: coral reefs, kelp forests, seagrass beds, shallow soft sediments, oyster reefs, and coastal pelagic food webs. We explore to what extent current management captures these feedbacks and propose strategies for how and when (that is, windows of opportunity) to influence feedbacks in ways to break the resilience of the degraded ecosystem states. We conclude by proposing some challenges for future research that could improve our understanding of these issues and emphasize that management of degraded marine states will require a broad social-ecological approach to succeed.

  • 32.
    Thyresson, Matilda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Crona, Beatrice
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    de la Torre-Castro, Maricela
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Jiddawi, N.
    Tracing value chains to understand effects of trade on coral reef fish in ZanzibarArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Thyresson, Matilda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Crona, Beatrice
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    de la Torre-Castro, Maricela
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Jiddawi, N.
    Tracing value chains to understand effects of trade on coral reef fish in Zanzibar, Tanzania2013In: Marine Policy, ISSN 0308-597X, E-ISSN 1872-9460, Vol. 38, p. 246-256Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Coral reef fish are an important source of food security and income for human coastal populations. They also underpin ecosystem processes vital for the future ability of coral reefs to generate ecological goods and services. Identifying socio-economic drivers behind the exploitation of fish that uphold these key ecosystem processes and the scales at which they operate is therefore critical for successful management. This study addresses this issue by examining the reef-associated fish value chain in Zanzibar, and how it links to functional groups of fish and maturity stage of fish within these groups. Semi-structured interviews with 188 respondents (fishers, traders and hotel staff) involved in the fisheries and trade with reef-associated fish in Zanzibar and participatory observations were used. The trade with reef fish in Zanzibar is a complex structure involving many different agents and this study shows that these different agents exhibit differential preferences regarding fish functional groups and/or maturity stages within these groups. Consequently, both high and low trophic species, as well as small and large fishes are fished and sold, which leaves no refuge for the fish assemblage to escape fishing. When other market agents than fishers have so much influence and there are few alternative income generating activities, it is not possible to put all burden on fishers. Management measures that extend down the value chain to include all market agents as well as their links to ecosystem processes are thus likely to be needed to reach the target of sustainable fisheries.

  • 34.
    Thyresson, Matilda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Crona, Beatrice
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Trading with resilience: parrotfish trade and the exploitation of key-ecosystem processes 2011In: Coastal Management, ISSN 0892-0753, E-ISSN 1521-0421, Vol. 39, no 4, p. 396-411Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Parrotfish play two important roles in coral reef social–ecological systems; first as important sources of food for reef dependent people, and second by underpinning the ecological function of herbivory (i.e., grazing of algae) on coral reefs. Overfishing of herbivores can be detrimental to coral reef ecosystems because their removal may allow algae to outcompete corals. However, little is known about the drivers behind the exploitation of parrotfish. We describe the trade of parrotfish in Zanzibar with the aim to visualize the linkages between ecological function, market price, and socioeconomic drivers behind their exploitation. Three interesting findings emerge. First, parrotfish are an important part of the fish trade in Zanzibar and are traded at all market scales (from local consumers to international tourists). Second, size is an important determinant of price, with larger fish generating much higher values. Third, size determines which market parrotfish are sold to. Overall the study shows that all sizes of parrotfish are exposed to exploitation, leaving no size-refuge for escaping harvest. In light of an increasing global demand and high market prices, we thus propose that traditional fisheries management be complemented with assessments of both ecological understanding and socioeconomic dynamics to take into account of global market drivers behind parrotfish exploitation at local scales.

  • 35.
    Thyresson, Matilda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Dilasser, Q.
    The influence of different fishing gear on ecosystem processes in artisanal coral reef fisheriesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 36. Tittensor, DP
    et al.
    Micheli, F
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Worm, B
    Human impacts on the species-area relationship in reef fish assemblages2007In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 10, p. 760-772Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 37. Wedding, Lisa M.
    et al.
    Lecky, Joey
    Gove, Jamison M.
    Walecka, Hilary R.
    Donovan, Mary K.
    Williams, Gareth J.
    Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Crowder, Larry B.
    Erickson, Ashley
    Falinski, Kim
    Friedlander, Alan M.
    Kappel, Carrie V.
    Kittinger, John N.
    McCoy, Kaylyn
    Norström, Albert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden .
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden .
    Oleson, Kirsten L. L.
    Stamoulis, Kostantinos A.
    White, Crow
    Selkoe, Kimberly A.
    Advancing the integration of spatial data to map human and natural drivers on coral reefs2018In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 13, no 3, article id e0189792Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A major challenge for coral reef conservation and management is understanding how a wide range of interacting human and natural drivers cumulatively impact and shape these ecosystems. Despite the importance of understanding these interactions, a methodological framework to synthesize spatially explicit data of such drivers is lacking. To fill this gap, we established a transferable data synthesis methodology to integrate spatial data on environmental and anthropogenic drivers of coral reefs, and applied this methodology to a case study location-the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). Environmental drivers were derived from time series (2002-2013) of climatological ranges and anomalies of remotely sensed sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a, irradiance, and wave power. Anthropogenic drivers were characterized using empirically derived and modeled datasets of spatial fisheries catch, sedimentation, nutrient input, new development, habitat modification, and invasive species. Within our case study system, resulting driver maps showed high spatial heterogeneity across the MHI, with anthropogenic drivers generally greatest and most widespread on O'ahu, where 70% of the state's population resides, while sedimentation and nutrients were dominant in less populated islands. Together, the spatial integration of environmental and anthropogenic driver data described here provides a first-ever synthetic approach to visualize how the drivers of coral reef state vary in space and demonstrates a methodological framework for implementation of this approach in other regions of the world. By quantifying and synthesizing spatial drivers of change on coral reefs, we provide an avenue for further research to understand how drivers determine reef diversity and resilience, which can ultimately inform policies to protect coral reefs.

  • 38. Williams, Gareth J.
    et al.
    Graham, Nicholas A. J.
    Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Norström, Albert V.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Gove, Jamison M.
    Heenan, Adel
    Wedding, Lisa M.
    Coral reef ecology in the Anthropocene2019In: Functional Ecology, ISSN 0269-8463, E-ISSN 1365-2435, Vol. 33, no 6, p. 1014-1022Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We are in the Anthropocene-an epoch where humans are the dominant force of planetary change. Ecosystems increasingly reflect rapid human-induced, socioeconomic and cultural selection rather than being a product of their surrounding natural biophysical setting. This poses the intriguing question: To what extent do existing ecological paradigms capture and explain the current ecological patterns and processes we observe? We argue that, although biophysical drivers still influence ecosystem structure and function at particular scales, their ability to offer predictive capacity over coupled social-ecological systems is increasingly compromised as we move further into the Anthropocene. Traditionally, the dynamics of coral reefs have been studied in response to their proximate drivers of change rather than their underlying socioeconomic and cultural drivers. We hypothesise this is limiting our ability to accurately predict spatial and temporal changes in coral reef ecosystem structure and function. We propose social-ecological macroecology as a novel approach within the field of coral reef ecology to a) identify the interactive effects of biophysical and socioeconomic and cultural drivers of coral reef ecosystems across spatial and temporal scales; b) test the robustness of existing coral reef paradigms; c) explore whether existing paradigms can be adapted to capture the dynamics of contemporary coral reefs; and d) if they cannot, develop novel coral reef social-ecological paradigms, where human dynamics are part of the paradigms rather than the drivers of them. Human socioeconomic and cultural processes must become embedded in coral reef ecological theory and practice as much as biophysical processes are today if we are to predict and manage these systems successfully in this era of rapid change. This necessary shift in our approach to coral reef ecology will be challenging and will require truly interdisciplinary collaborations between the natural and social sciences. A plain language summary is available for this article.

  • 39.
    Österblom, Henrik
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Crona, Beatrice I.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Folke, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Nyström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Troell, Max
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden.
    Marine Ecosystem Science on an Intertwined Planet2017In: Ecosystems (New York. Print), ISSN 1432-9840, E-ISSN 1435-0629, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 54-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Marine ecosystem science has developed since the 1940s, when humans obtained the ability to spend substantial time underneath the surface of the ocean. Since then, and drawing on several decades of scientific advances, a number of exciting research frontiers have emerged. We find: Understanding interacting drivers of change, Identifying thresholds in ecosystems, and Investigating social-ecological dynamics to represent particularly interesting frontiers, which we speculate will soon emerge as new mainstreams in marine ecosystem science. However, increasing human impacts on ecosystems everywhere and a new level of global connectivity are shifting the context for studying, understanding, and managing marine ecosystems. As a consequence, we argue that ecosystem scientists today also need to address a number of critical challenges and devote new energy and expertise to Modeling the Anthropocene, Operationalizing resilience, and Understanding social-ecological dynamics across scales. This new deep dive into unknown waters requires a number of strategies to be successful. We suggest that marine ecosystem scientists need to actively: Prepare for the unexpected, cross boundaries, and understand our cognitive limitations to further develop the exciting field of marine ecosystem science.

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