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The persistence of most coastal marine species depends on larvae finding suitable adult habitat at the end of an offshore dispersive stage that can last weeks or months. We tested the effects that ocean acidification from elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO(2)) could have on the ability of larvae to detect olfactory cues from adult habitats.(More)
Coral reef recovery from major disturbance is hypothesized to depend on the arrival of propagules from nearby undisturbed reefs. Therefore, reefs isolated by distance or current patterns are thought to be highly vulnerable to catastrophic disturbance. We found that on an isolated reef system in north Western Australia, coral cover increased from 9% to 44%(More)
Many coral reefs worldwide have undergone phase shifts to alternate, degraded assemblages because of the combined effects of over-fishing, declining water quality, and the direct and indirect impacts of climate change. Here, we experimentally manipulated the density of large herbivorous fishes to test their influence on the resilience of coral assemblages(More)
Of the 5000 fish species on coral reefs, corals dominate the diet of just 41 species. Most (61%) belong to a single family, the butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae). We examine the evolutionary origins of chaetodontid corallivory using a new molecular phylogeny incorporating all 11 genera. A 1759-bp sequence of nuclear (S7I1 and ETS2) and mitochondrial(More)
Accumulative disturbances can erode a coral reef's resilience, often leading to replacement of scleractinian corals by macroalgae or other non-coral organisms. These degraded reef systems have been mostly described based on changes in the composition of the reef benthos, and there is little understanding of how such changes are influenced by, and in turn(More)
Large-bodied fish are critical for sustaining coral reef fisheries, but little is known about the vulnerability of these fish to global warming. This study examined the effects of elevated temperatures on the movement and activity patterns of the common coral trout Plectropomus leopardus (Serranidae), which is an important fishery species in tropical(More)
Recent studies have shown that some coral reef fish larvae return to natal reefs, while others disperse to distant reefs. However, the sensory mechanisms used to find settlement sites are poorly understood. One hypothesis is that larvae use olfactory cues to navigate home or find other suitable reef habitats. Here we show a strong association between the(More)
Population outbreaks of crown-of-thorns sea star (Acanthaster planci L.) remain one of the most significant biological disturbances on tropical coral reefs although the increasing attention given to other threats has greatly limited recent progress in understanding the cause and consequences of this phenomenon. In September 2005 dramatic increases in the(More)
Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes.(More)
The vulnerability of ecologically specialised species to environmental fluctuations has been well documented. However, population genetic structure can influence vulnerability to environmental change and recent studies have indicated that specialised species may have lower genetic diversity and greater population structuring compared to their generalist(More)