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Assessing national biodiversity trends for rocky and coral reefs through the integration of citizen science and scientific monitoring programs


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Stuart-Smith, RD ORCID: 0000-0002-8874-0083, Edgar, GJ ORCID: 0000-0003-0833-9001, Barrett, NS ORCID: 0000-0002-6167-1356, Bates, AE, Baker, SC ORCID: 0000-0002-7593-0267, Bax, NJ, Becerro, MA, Berkhout, J ORCID: 0000-0002-1656-4535, Blanchard, JL ORCID: 0000-0003-0532-4824, Brock, DJ, Clark, GF, Cooper, AT, Davis, TR, Day, PB, Duffy, E, Holmes, TH, Howe, SA, Jordan, A, Kininmonth, S, Knott, NA, Lefcheck, JS, Ling, SD ORCID: 0000-0002-5544-8174, Parr, A, Strain, E, Sweatman, H and Thomson, R 2017 , 'Assessing national biodiversity trends for rocky and coral reefs through the integration of citizen science and scientific monitoring programs' , Bioscience, vol. 67, no. 2 , pp. 134-146 , doi: 10.1093/biosci/biw180.

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Reporting progress against targets for international biodiversity agreements is hindered by a shortage of suitable biodiversity data. We describe acost-effective system involving Reef Life Survey citizen scientists in the systematic collection of quantitative data covering multiple phyla that canunderpin numerous marine biodiversity indicators at high spatial and temporal resolution. We then summarize the findings of a continental- anddecadal-scale State of the Environment assessment for rocky and coral reefs based on indicators of ecosystem state relating to fishing,ocean warming, and invasive species and describing the distribution of threatened species. Fishing impacts are widespread, whereas substantialwarming-related change affected some regions between 2005 and 2015. Invasive species are concentrated near harbors in southeastern Australia,and the threatened-species index is highest for the Great Australian Bight and Tasman Sea. Our approach can be applied globally to improvereporting against biodiversity targets and enhance public and policymakers’ understanding of marine biodiversity trends.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Stuart-Smith, RD and Edgar, GJ and Barrett, NS and Bates, AE and Baker, SC and Bax, NJ and Becerro, MA and Berkhout, J and Blanchard, JL and Brock, DJ and Clark, GF and Cooper, AT and Davis, TR and Day, PB and Duffy, E and Holmes, TH and Howe, SA and Jordan, A and Kininmonth, S and Knott, NA and Lefcheck, JS and Ling, SD and Parr, A and Strain, E and Sweatman, H and Thomson, R
Keywords: Reef Life Survey, marine biodiversity, citizen science, Convention on Biological Diversity, state of the environment, ecological indicator, Marine Trophic Index, community temperature index
Journal or Publication Title: Bioscience
Publisher: Amer Inst Biological Sci
ISSN: 0006-3568
DOI / ID Number: 10.1093/biosci/biw180
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s) 2017. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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