The main objectives of this study are to determine the potential for relative resilience, identify the drivers of potential resilience and priority locations for resilience-based coral reef management in Wakatobi. Data collection locations are spread across four major Wakatobi islands: Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko at 5 m depth respectively. Coral reefs resilience assessment in Wakatobi consists of several stages: selecting indicators, collecting and compiling data, analyzing data, and identifying management targets. The highest potential for relative resilience in Wakatobi are station 15 with a value of 1.00 and the lowest is station 8 with a value of 0.69. Relative resilience in high category is 2 stations, med-high 7 stations, med-low 2 stations, and low 4 stations. Relative resilience in high category is able to be distinguished by the high values of bleaching resistant, herbivore biomass, coral cover, and supported by a high diversity of coral. The mid-high category is grouped by the contribution of indicator values coming from coral recruitment and coral diversity, as well as followed by two other indicators such as coral cover and alga cover. Last, the mid-low category and low category tend to be pushed by the low values of coral disease and followed by some other indicators like algae cover. Resilience approach to identify prioritizing stations for management actions is conservation (2 station), fishery management and enforcement (5 station), bleaching monitoring and supporting recovery (3 station), coral reef restoration (2 tation), tourism structuring (10 station), and Land-based sources of pollution reduction (5 station).
Rising atmospheric CO2 is causing a progressive decrease of seawater pH, termed ocean acidification. Predicting its impact on marine invertebrate reproduction is essential to anticipate the consequences of future climate change on species fitness and survival. Ocean acidification may affect reproductive success either in terms of gamete or progeny quality threating species survival. Despite an increasing number of studies focusing on the effects of ocean acidification on the early life history of marine organisms, very few have investigated the effects on invertebrate gamete quality. In this study, we set up two experimental approaches simulating the ocean conditions predicted for the end of this century, in situ transplant experiments at a naturally acidified volcanic vent area along the Ischia island coast and microcosm experiments, to evaluate the short-term effects of the predicted near-future levels of ocean acidification on sperm quality of the ascidian Ciona robusta after parental exposure. In the first days of exposure to acidified conditions, we detected alteration of sperm motility, morphology and physiology, followed by a rapid recovery of physiological conditions that provide a new evidence of resilience of ascidian spermatozoa in response to ocean acidification. Overall, the short-term tolerance to adverse conditions opens a new scenario on the marine species capacity to continue to reproduce and persist in changing oceans.
Marine spatial planning (MSP) has been put forward as a way to more comprehensively manage marine environments by balancing human demands and protecting areas that support ecosystem function. Given the recent motivations for countries to adopt large-scale marine spatial planning approaches, ensuring these plans are grounded in social-ecological resilience theories is essential for long-term success. Drawing upon recent academic attention from a range of disciplinary areas, this review explores current practices and applied examples of published case studies from around the world that have integrated social and ecological spatial information using GIS techniques. This review intended to use these case studies to guide directions of future MSP research that considers social-ecological resilience theories. Five overall themes were uncovered. First, extractive uses, such as fisheries, were often given priority in MSP processes, which even though important, may undermine the social resilience of coastal communities by not supporting the diversity of non-extractive economies. Second, the quality of ecological spatial data used in the studies varied greatly, often with little consideration of how ongoing human demands may influence long-term ecological resilience. Thrid, many GIS techniques were used to integrate social and ecological data including: descriptive maps, site prioritisation techniques, and predictive modelling. Lastly, only a small number of studies considered cross-ecosystem influences and only two incorporated potential climate change impacts on social institutions and marine ecosystems. Overall, there is a need for progressing GIS predictive modelling techniques to assess and link the responses of social and ecological systems to MSP solutions in order to support long-term social-ecological resilience.
Ecological resilience, broadly defined as the magnitude of the disturbance a system needs to shift to an alternative stable state, is becoming a critical trait in the Anthropocene era. However, we are far from having baseline resilience data to guide decision makers toward more resilient ecological systems. In the last decade, the resilience assessment framework has taken a sum of products approach to obtain a resilience indicator based on the relevance and the intensity of multiple factors. While factor intensity relies on quantitative data, estimates of factor relevance rely on ordinal data with a lesser understanding of their relative importance to resilience, which may have consequences in the value of the resilience indicator. Here, we computed three resilience indicators to test for the quantitative impact that changes in factor relevance might cause to the resilience indicator. We defined the Inclusive Resilience Indicator of a Site (IRIS) as a relevance-free indicator based exclusively on factor intensity. We also computed the Relative Resilience Potential (RRP) and an RRP with random relevance values (RRPrrv) as indicators based on both intensity and relevance. To calculate these three indicators in rocky reefs of the Alboran Sea, we quantified 17 biological, environmental, and human-related factors known to influence resilience. We used correlation analyses, Linear Mixed Models, and Generalized Additive Models to compare the three resilience indicators and to examine their spatial patterns. We found highly significant positive correlations between the RRP, RRPrrv, and IRISindicators (r > 0.9, p < 0.001 for all comparisons). All three indicators had equivalent resilience values (p = 0.440), provided non-significant differences in their predictions (p = 0.097), and exposed the same resilience gradients in the Alboran Sea (p < 0.001 for all indicators). IRISaccounted for 94% and 99% of the variance associated with RRP and RRPrrv, respectively, suggesting that the intensity-based IRIS can estimate resilience without the uncertainties associated with factor relevance. The new IRIS indicator proposed in our study may facilitate the acquisition of baseline data needed to further advance in the ecological and management implications of marine resilience.
The structures, functions, and services provided by coral reef ecosystems are deteriorating worldwide. However, not all coral reefs are affected the same way, with some showing signs of resistance and/or recovery from disturbances. Understanding the drivers and feedbacks that contribute to shifts in community structure is valuable to support resilience-based management. In this study, key community variables that influence the resilience of coral reef ecosystems were examined in 64 sites of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) monitored in both 2006 and 2016, as part of the Healthy Reef Initiative (HRI), using the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) monitoring protocol. Based on benthic cover thresholds, sites were classified into three different states: coral state (CS) with >10% live coral and <5% fleshy macroalgae; stressed coral state (SCS) with >10% live coral and >5% fleshy macroalgae and; depauperate coral state (DCS) <10% live coral. The associations between site states and the density of different fish functional groups were analyzed to determine their effects on coral reef resilience. The results highlight that territorial herbivores (algal-gardening damselfish) may play a key role in maintaining feedbacks toward macroalgae-stressed states. This supports the recommendation of reinforcing Marine Replenishment Zones (MRZ) in order to promote healthy populations of resident predator fish (like groupers and snappers), which could potentially regulate algal-gardening damselfish populations and diminish negative cascade effects on coral reefs. Collaborative and resilience-based management will continue to be promoted by the HRI partners, supporting the establishment of additional MRZs along with ongoing efforts to directly protect herbivorous fish (surgeonfish and parrotfish) and to improve water quality, through better wastewater treatment, watershed management, and coastal development plans, with the purpose of continuing to build coral reef resilience in the MAR.
In post-disaster recovery phases, many communities reduce their vulnerabilities to future disasters by implementing community-based approaches. However, since these processes impact resource allocation, access to natural resources, and benefit distributions, these efforts have changed the environment and altered social relations. Therefore, this research explores how disaster empowers or disempowers stakeholders by investigating the interdependence of social relations in post-disaster natural resource management. After the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the island of Koh Klang demonstrated resilience in restoring its ecosystem. We have used this as a case study featuring a community-based project. Interviews and participant observations were conducted in the field in 2014 to collect firsthand information from local residents, NGOs, and the public sector. Text and discourse analyses were conducted based on interview data, government documents, and field notes. The findings show that after a disaster, natural resources and embedded social norms form the basis for a resilient community. Using community- and ecosystem-based methods fosters a community's environmental and social resilience and prepares it to respond to future disasters. However, such methods can also transform local politics, especially when residents' inequitable vulnerabilities and access to power are coupled with jurisdictional and land tenure issues. This research recommends that disaster recovery and mitigation policies are scaled to local levels.
In search for sustainability of the oceans, the concept of resilience arises as a necessary perspective from which to analyse what course of action to take. Resilience refers to the capacity of a system to absorb change, but also to adapt and develop in face of those changes. Resilience thinking has recently permeated the sphere of legal studies, and the two fields have been interested in exploring the impact they have on one another. To explore this interaction further in the context of the management of the oceans, the present paper looks at areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) as a socio-ecological system. It argues that the law can be a tool for improving the resilience of a system, but that it must, for that purpose, be able to ensure at least some adaptive capacity. In light of the upcoming, consolidated regime for the sustainable management of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) through the development of an internationally legally binding agreement on the topic, and considering the uncertainty surrounding our knowledge of ABNJ, this paper suggests to look at the BBNJ agreement from the perspective of resilience thinking. The paper explores how this perspective could bring new insights to the development of the BBNJ agreement, as well as the emerging literature linking law and resilience.
Restricting human activities through Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is assumed to create more resilient biological communities with a greater capacity to resist and recover following climate events. Here we review the evidence linking protection from local pressures (e.g., fishing and habitat destruction) with increased resilience. Despite strong theoretical underpinnings, studies have only rarely attributed resilience responses to the recovery of food webs and habitats, and increases in the diversity of communities and populations. When detected, resistance to ocean warming and recovery after extreme events in MPAs have small effect sizes against a backdrop of natural variability. By contrast, large die-offs are well described from MPAs following climate stress events. This may be in part because protection from one set of pressures or drivers (such as fishing) can select for species that are highly sensitive to others (such as warming), creating a ‘Protection Paradox’. Given that climate change is overwhelming the resilience capacity of marine ecosystems, the only primary solution is to reduce carbon emissions. High-quality monitoring data in both space and time can also identify emergent resilience signals that do exist, in combination with adequate reference data to quantify the initial system state. This knowledge will allow networks of diverse protected areas to incorporate spatial refugiaagainst climate change, and identify resilient biological components of natural systems. Sufficient spatial replication further offers insurance against losses in any given MPA, and the possibility for many weak signals of resilience to accumulate.
Coral reefs are among the world’s most endangered ecosystems. Coral mortality can result from ocean warming or other climate-related events such as coral bleaching and intense hurricanes. While resilient coral reefs can recover from these impacts as has been documented in coral reefs throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific, no similar reef-wide recovery has ever been reported for the Caribbean. Climate change-related coral mortality is unavoidable, but local management actions can improve conditions for regrowth and for the establishment of juvenile corals thereby enhancing the recovery resilience of these ecosystems. Previous research has determined that coral reefs with sufficient herbivory limit macroalgae and improve conditions for coral recruitment and regrowth. Management that reduces algal abundance increases the recovery potential for both juvenile and adult corals on reefs. Every other year on the island of Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean, we quantified patterns of distribution and abundance of reef fish, coral, algae, and juvenile corals along replicate fixed transects at 10 m depth at multiple sites from 2003 to 2017. Beginning with our first exploratory study in 2002 until 2007 coral was abundant (45% cover) and macroalgae were rare (6% cover). Consecutive disturbances, beginning with Hurricane Omar in October 2008 and a coral bleaching event in October 2010, resulted in a 22% decline in coral cover and a sharp threefold increase in macroalgal cover to 18%. Juvenile coral densities declined to about half of their previous abundance. Herbivorous parrotfishes had been declining in abundance but stabilized around 2010, the year fish traps were phased out and fishing for parrotfish was banned. The average parrotfish biomass from 2010 to 2017 was more than twice that reported for coral reefs of the Eastern Caribbean. During this same period, macroalgae declined and both juvenile coral density and total adult coral cover returned to pre-hurricane and bleaching levels. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a resilient Caribbean coral reef ecosystem that fully recovered from severe climate-related mortality events.
We used high-resolution fisheries-dependent data and a quantitative modeling approach to examine resilience of a commercial reef fish fleet after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH) emergency closures in 2010. Our results indicate that the fleet was largely resilient to the closures, although there were spatially-varying differences in attrition, and concomitant management changes and emergency payouts that likely influenced resilience. Five percent of previously active vessels exited the fleet after DWH (compared to the background annual attrition rate of ˜20%). The predicted probability of exiting after DWH was lower for vessels with a pre-closure history of high catch-per-unit-effort, low snapper revenue variability, or low grouper revenue. There was ˜80% overlap in pre- to post-DWH effort distribution, although vessels that exited concentrated effort in the north-central and eastern Gulf of Mexico. The Vessels of Opportunity program and other emergency compensation likely ameliorated some of the negative economic impactsfrom DWH, allowing more vessels to remain in the fleet than may have otherwise. Implementation of gear restrictions and individual fishing quotas leading up to DWH may have also ‘primed’ the fleet for resilience by removing marginal fishers. This work is novel in its use of high-resolution spatial data, coupled with trip logbooks, to construct quantitative models identifying drivers of fisher resilience after significant and sudden perturbations to fishery resources in the Gulf of Mexico. This work also highlights the need to better understand fisher response to disturbance for long-term fishery sustainability and management.