Alternative stable states and phase shifts in coral reefs under anthropogenic stress.

@article{Fung2011AlternativeSS,
  title={Alternative stable states and phase shifts in coral reefs under anthropogenic stress.},
  author={T. -Y. Fung and Robert M. Seymour and Craig R. Johnson},
  journal={Ecology},
  year={2011},
  volume={92 4},
  pages={967-82}
}
Ecosystems with alternative stable states (ASS) may shift discontinuously from one stable state to another as environmental parameters cross a threshold. Reversal can then be difficult due to hysteresis effects. This contrasts with continuous state changes in response to changing environmental parameters, which are less difficult to reverse. Worldwide degradation of coral reefs, involving "phase shifts" from coral to algal dominance, highlights the pressing need to determine the likelihood of… CONTINUE READING
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