Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems
Ecological extinction caused by overfishing precedes all other pervasive human disturbance to coastal ecosystems, including pollution, degradation of water quality, and anthropogenic climate change.…
Climate Change, Human Impacts, and the Resilience of Coral Reefs
International integration of management strategies that support reef resilience need to be vigorously implemented, and complemented by strong policy decisions to reduce the rate of global warming.
Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth
This empirical work supports long-standing theory about the role of top-down forcing in ecosystems but also highlights the unanticipated impacts of trophic cascades on processes as diverse as the dynamics of disease, wildfire, carbon sequestration, invasive species, and biogeochemical cycles.
Closure of the Isthmus of Panama: The near-shore marine record of Costa Rica and western Panama
The final closure of the Isthmus of Panama at ∼3.5 Ma divided the American tropical ocean into two separate and different oceanographic regions. Consequences for the marine biota were profound, but,…
Depletion, Degradation, and Recovery Potential of Estuaries and Coastal Seas
Reconstructed time lines, causes, and consequences of change in 12 once diverse and productive estuaries and coastal seas worldwide show similar patterns: Human impacts have depleted >90% of formerly important species, destroyed >65% of seagrass and wetland habitat, degraded water quality, and accelerated species invasions.
Global Trajectories of the Long-Term Decline of Coral Reef Ecosystems
Records are compiled, extending back thousands of years, of the status and trends of seven major guilds of carnivores, herbivores, and architectural species from 14 regions that indicate reefs will not survive without immediate protection from human exploitation over large spatial scales.
Baselines and Degradation of Coral Reefs in the Northern Line Islands
Protection from overfishing and pollution appears to increase the resilience of reef ecosystems to the effects of global warming, and reefs without people exhibited less coral disease and greater coral recruitment relative to more inhabited reefs.
Status and trends of Caribbean coral reefs : 1970-2012
With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to this latest…
Impacts of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services
Human-dominated marine ecosystems are experiencing accelerating loss of populations and species, with largely unknown consequences. We analyzed local experiments, long-term regional time series, and…
Coral reefs in the Anthropocene
The global challenge is to steer reefs through the Anthropocene era in a way that maintains their biological functions and will require radical changes in the science, management and governance of coral reefs.