Baselines and Degradation of Coral Reefs in the Northern Line Islands

  title={Baselines and Degradation of Coral Reefs in the Northern Line Islands},
  author={Stuart A. Sandin and JENNIFER E. Smith and Edward E. DeMartini and Elizabeth A. Dinsdale and Simon D. Donner and Alan M. Friedlander and Talina Konotchick and Machel Malay and James E. Maragos and David O Obura and Olga Pantos and Gustav Paulay and Morgan Richie and Forest L Rohwer and Robert E. Schroeder and Sheila M. Walsh and Jeremy B. C. Jackson and Nancy Knowlton and Enric Sala},
  journal={PLoS ONE},
Effective conservation requires rigorous baselines of pristine conditions to assess the impacts of human activities and to evaluate the efficacy of management. Most coral reefs are moderately to severely degraded by local human activities such as fishing and pollution as well as global change, hence it is difficult to separate local from global effects. To this end, we surveyed coral reefs on uninhabited atolls in the northern Line Islands to provide a baseline of reef community structure, and… 

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