Climate Change, Coral Loss, and the Curious Case of the Parrotfish Paradigm: Why Don't Marine Protected Areas Improve Reef Resilience?

Last modified: 
January 8, 2019 - 3:24pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2019
Date published: 01/2019
Authors: John Bruno, Isabelle Côté, Lauren Toth
Journal title: Annual Review of Marine Science
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Pages: 307 - 334
ISSN: 1941-1405

Scientists have advocated for local interventions, such as creating marine protected areas and implementing fishery restrictions, as ways to mitigate local stressors to limit the effects of climate change on reef-building corals. However, in a literature review, we find little empirical support for the notion of managed resilience. We outline some reasons for why marine protected areas and the protection of herbivorous fish (especially parrotfish) have had little effect on coral resilience. One key explanation is that the impacts of local stressors (e.g., pollution and fishing) are often swamped by the much greater effect of ocean warming on corals. Another is the sheer complexity (including numerous context dependencies) of the five cascading links assumed by the managed-resilience hypothesis. If reefs cannot be saved by local actions alone, then it is time to face reef degradation head-on, by directly addressing anthropogenic climate change—the root cause of global coral decline.

Freely available?: 
Yes
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: US $32.00

(Links to preprints and postprints are checked for validity at the time of publication. If this link does not work, please let us know in the comments below. Additionally, you may use the Google Scholar link below to search for alternative freely-available versions of this resource.)

Summary available?: 
No

Report an error or inaccuracy

Notice an error in the Literature item above? Please let us know in the comments section below. Thank you for helping us keep the Literature Library up-to-date!

Add new comment