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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)
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)
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a primary policy instrument for managing and protecting coral reefs. Successful MPAs ultimately depend on knowledge-based decision making, where scientific research is integrated into management actions. Fourteen coral reef MPA managers and sixteen academics from eleven research, state and federal government institutions(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)
Preventing the loss of biodiversity is a major challenge in mega-diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs where there is a critical shortage of baseline demographic data. Threatened species assessments play a valuable role in guiding conservation action to manage and mitigate biodiversity loss, but they must be undertaken with precise information at an(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)
During 2015-2016, record temperatures triggered a pan-tropical episode of coral bleaching, the third global-scale event since mass bleaching was first documented in the 1980s. Here we examine how and why the severity of recurrent major bleaching events has varied at multiple scales, using aerial and underwater surveys of Australian reefs combined with(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)