Spatio-temporal variability of coral reefs at the global scale: causalities, idiosyncrasies and implications for ecological indicators
Coral reefs host the highest biodiversity in the marine realm and provide crucial services (e.g. edible biomass) that sustain 500 million people worldwide. However, reefs are rapidly degrading due to climate-induced disturbance events and a backdrop of chronic stress (e.g. overfishing, increased nutrient loads). With reefs still recovering from the most prolonged global coral die-off on record (2015-2016), disentangling the individual effects of multiple stressors is a necessary step to help managers and conservation practitioners making decisions. This requires a set of complementary indicators evaluating the multi-faceted status of reefs in both terms of taxonomic and functional diversity.
SCORE-REEF aims for this, by merging global-scale spatial databases on coral reef benthic and fish assemblages and long -term datasets derived from monitoring programs running in the French Territories and other regions. The project:
- evaluates the quality, relevance and the consistency of available datasets and systematically evaluate existing indicators;
- assess the temporal dynamics of coral reef benthic and fish assemblages using taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic approaches to define ecoregions;
- develop region-specific indicators of coral reef health and resilience accounting for both taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic facets of biodiversity with regard to human impacts and to environmental variability;
- test for the relevance and temporal stability of indicators used within the context of the European Water Framework Directive, GCRMN and MPA monitoring.
SCORE-REEF plans to directly meet managers and stakeholders (representing MPAs, IFRECOR and WFD) during the project to jointly evaluate environmental policies and propose co-defined indicators and metrics.
© CESAB Score-Reef 2019
Mehdi ADJEROUD – IRD (France);
Valeriano PARRAVICCINI – EPHE (France)
Jérémy CARLOT – FRB-CESAB (France)
Lionel BIGOT – University of La Réunion (France); Yolande BOUCHON-NAVARO – Antilles University (France); Emily DARLING – Wildlife Conservation Society (USA); Mary DONOVAN – University of Hawaii (USA); François GUILHAUMON – IRD (France); Sandrine JOB – CORTEX (France); Sally KEITH – University of Lancaster (UK); Jean-Philippe MARECHAL – Nova Blue Environment (France), Rick STUART-SMITH – University of Tasmania (Australia); Giovanni STRONA – European Commission Joint Research Centre; Julian WICKEL – MAREX (France); Ivor WILLIAMS – NOAA (USA).
SCORE-REEF brings together specialists in macroecology, conservation, coral reef corals and fish, indicators and data analysis.
SCORE-REEF was selected from the 2018 call for proposals. The project selection process was carried out by a committee of independent experts.
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