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The world's coral reefs are in decline, with many exhibiting a phase shift from coral to macroalgal dominance . This change is often associated with habitat loss and overharvesting of herbivorous fishes, particularly parrotfishes and surgeonfishes . The challenge is to reverse this decline and enhance the resilience of coral-reef ecosystems . We(More)
Coral reefs, one of the world's most complex and vulnerable ecosystems, face an uncertain future in coming decades as they continue to respond to anthropogenic climate change, overfishing, pollution, and other human impacts [1, 2]. Traditionally, marine macroecology is based on presence/absence data from taxonomic checklists or geographic ranges, providing(More)
Two facets of climate change--increased tropical storm intensity and ocean acidification--are expected to detrimentally affect reef-building organisms by increasing their mortality rates and decreasing their calcification rates. Our current understanding of these effects is largely based on individual organisms' short-term responses to experimental(More)
Coral reefs are critically important ecosystems that support the food security and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people in maritime tropical countries, yet they are increasingly threatened by overfishing, coastal pollution, climate change, and other anthropogenic impacts, leading to concerns that some species may be threatened with local or even(More)
The prevalence of alternate stable states on coral reefs has been disputed, although there is universal agreement that many reefs have experienced substantial losses of coral cover. Alternate stable states require a strong positive feedback that causes self-reinforcing runaway change when a threshold is passed. Here we use a simple model of the dynamics of(More)
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