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Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales(More)
Implementing systematically designed reserve systems is crucial to slowing the global decline of coral reef health and diversity. Yet, the paucity of spatial data for most coral reef taxa often requires conservation planners to design reserve systems based only on a subset of taxonomic groups as surrogates for all other taxa. In terrestrial systems the(More)
Surrogate concepts are used in all sub-disciplines of environmental science. However, controversy remains regarding the extent to which surrogates are useful for resolving environmental problems. Here, we argue that conflicts about the utility of surrogates (and the related concepts of indicators and proxies) often reflect context-specific differences in(More)
Managing coral reefs for resilience to climate change is a popular concept but has been difficult to implement because the empirical scientific evidence has either not been evaluated or is sometimes unsupportive of theory, which leads to uncertainty when considering methods and identifying priority reefs. We asked experts and reviewed the scientific(More)
BACKGROUND Coral reefs have exceptional biodiversity, support the livelihoods of millions of people, and are threatened by multiple human activities on land (e.g. farming) and in the sea (e.g. overfishing). Most conservation efforts occur at local scales and, when effective, can increase the resilience of coral reefs to global threats such as climate change(More)
Triple-bottom-line outcomes from resource management and conservation, where conservation goals and equity in social outcomes are maximized while overall costs are minimized, remain a highly sought-after ideal. However, despite widespread recognition of the importance that equitable distribution of benefits or costs across society can play in conservation(More)
The accumulation of debris is an insidious problem throughout the world's oceans. Here we document 234.24 items of macro-debris/km2 in the shallow populated parts of Majuro lagoon (Republic of the Marshall Islands) which is the second highest standing stock of macro-debris recorded to date in any benthic marine habitat in the world. The majority of(More)
Five decades after a series of nuclear tests began, we provide evidence that 70% of the Bikini Atoll zooxanthellate coral assemblage is resilient to large-scale anthropogenic disturbance. Species composition in 2002 was assessed and compared to that seen prior to nuclear testing. A total of 183 scleractinian coral species was recorded, compared to 126(More)
Abiotic filtering is a major driver of gradients in the structure and functioning of ecosystems from the tropics to the poles. It is thus likely that environmental filtering is an important assembly process at the transition of biogeographical zones where many species occur at their range limits. Shifts in species abundances and association patterns along(More)