Local management actions can increase coral resilience to thermally-induced bleaching

Last modified: 
August 7, 2018 - 1:42pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2018
Date published: 06/2018
Authors: Elizabeth Shaver, Deron Burkepile, Brian Silliman
Journal title: Nature Ecology & Evolution

Recent large-scale analyses suggest that local management actions may not protect coral reefs from climate change, yet most local threat-reduction strategies have not been tested experimentally. We show that removing coral predators is a common local action used by managers across the world, and that removing the corallivorous snail Coralliophila abbreviata from Caribbean brain corals (Pseudodiploria and Diploriaspecies) before a major warming event increased coral resilience by reducing bleaching severity (resistance) and post-bleaching tissue mortality (recovery). Our results highlight the need for increased evaluation and identification of local interventions that improve coral reef resilience.

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