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Regional-scale scenario analysis for the Meso-American Reef System: Modelling corel reef futures unders multiple stressors

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Melbourne-Thomas, J and Johnson, CR and Fulton, EA (2011) Regional-scale scenario analysis for the Meso-American Reef System: Modelling corel reef futures unders multiple stressors. Ecological Modelling, 222. pp. 1756-1770. ISSN 0304-3800

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Abstract

Coral reefs worldwide are under threat from a wide variety of stressors and disturbances, many of which act in a synergistic manner to affect reef health. The future of coral reef systems at local, regional and global
scales is highly uncertain, which poses a challenge to decision makers in designing appropriate strategies
for managing human activities that affect reef resilience.Scenario analysis using simulation models can
inform decision making by exploring possible futures under alternative management frameworks.Here,
we useaspatially explicit,regional-scales imulation model for coral reefs in the Meso-American Reef
system to explore the effects of multiple stressors and disturbances on reef state. Two complementary
approaches to scenario analysis help to characterize potential reef responses to the combined impacts of
climate and land-use change in the Meso-American Reef region. Sedimentation and nutrification emerge
as key factors in decreasing the resilience of reef systems to climate change effects. The average community composition of degraded reef systems exposed to high levels of stress and disturbance tends to be more predictable than community compositionon reefs that are subject to lower levels of stress and disturbance because degraded reefs tend to a common composition. This observation applies at both subregional (104–105 m) and regional(106 m) scales and reflects a finite bound to the effects of degradation
on coral reef communities.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Coral reefdynamics Ecosystem model Scenario analysis Multiple stressors Decision support Meso-American Reefsystem
Journal or Publication Title: Ecological Modelling
Page Range: pp. 1756-1770
ISSN: 0304-3800
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.03.008
Additional Information:

Copyright 2012 Elsevier

Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2013 01:03
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:49
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