Global gradients of coral exposure to environmental stresses and implications for local management

Joseph Maina, Tim R. McClanahan, Valentijn Venus, Mebrahtu Ateweberhan, Joshua Madin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: The decline of coral reefs globally underscores the need for a spatial assessment of their exposure to multiple environmental stressors to estimate vulnerability and evaluate potential counter-measures. Methodology/Principal Findings: This study combined global spatial gradients of coral exposure to radiation stress factors (temperature, UV light and doldrums), stress-reinforcing factors (sedimentation and eutrophication), and stress-reducing factors (temperature variability and tidal amplitude) to produce a global map of coral exposure and identify areas where exposure depends on factors that can be locally managed. A systems analytical approach was used to define interactions between radiation stress variables, stress reinforcing variables and stress reducing variables. Fuzzy logic and spatial ordinations were employed to quantify coral exposure to these stressors. Globally, corals are exposed to radiation and reinforcing stress, albeit with high spatial variability within regions. Based on ordination of exposure grades, regions group into two clusters. The first cluster was composed of severely exposed regions with high radiation and low reducing stress scores (South East Asia, Micronesia, Eastern Pacific and the central Indian Ocean) or alternatively high reinforcing stress scores (the Middle East and the Western Australia). The second cluster was composed of moderately to highly exposed regions with moderate to high scores in both radiation and reducing factors (Caribbean, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Central Pacific, Polynesia and the western Indian Ocean) where the GBR was strongly associated with reinforcing stress. Conclusions/Significance: Despite radiation stress being the most dominant stressor, the exposure of coral reefs could be reduced by locally managing chronic human impacts that act to reinforce radiation stress. Future research and management efforts should focus on incorporating the factors that mitigate the effect of coral stressors until long-term carbon reductions are achieved through global negotiations.

LanguageEnglish
Article numbere23064
Pages1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Anthozoa
Environmental Exposure
corals
Radiation
Coral Reefs
Indian Ocean
Great Barrier Reef
Reefs
coral reefs
Polynesia
Micronesia
fuzzy logic
exposure assessment
Fuzzy Logic
Eutrophication
Middle East
Western Australia
Temperature
Far East
South East Asia

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2011. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Cite this

Maina, Joseph ; McClanahan, Tim R. ; Venus, Valentijn ; Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu ; Madin, Joshua. / Global gradients of coral exposure to environmental stresses and implications for local management. In: PLoS ONE. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 8. pp. 1-14.
@article{6ae566c3e76f46348257aeeb1109e311,
title = "Global gradients of coral exposure to environmental stresses and implications for local management",
abstract = "Background: The decline of coral reefs globally underscores the need for a spatial assessment of their exposure to multiple environmental stressors to estimate vulnerability and evaluate potential counter-measures. Methodology/Principal Findings: This study combined global spatial gradients of coral exposure to radiation stress factors (temperature, UV light and doldrums), stress-reinforcing factors (sedimentation and eutrophication), and stress-reducing factors (temperature variability and tidal amplitude) to produce a global map of coral exposure and identify areas where exposure depends on factors that can be locally managed. A systems analytical approach was used to define interactions between radiation stress variables, stress reinforcing variables and stress reducing variables. Fuzzy logic and spatial ordinations were employed to quantify coral exposure to these stressors. Globally, corals are exposed to radiation and reinforcing stress, albeit with high spatial variability within regions. Based on ordination of exposure grades, regions group into two clusters. The first cluster was composed of severely exposed regions with high radiation and low reducing stress scores (South East Asia, Micronesia, Eastern Pacific and the central Indian Ocean) or alternatively high reinforcing stress scores (the Middle East and the Western Australia). The second cluster was composed of moderately to highly exposed regions with moderate to high scores in both radiation and reducing factors (Caribbean, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Central Pacific, Polynesia and the western Indian Ocean) where the GBR was strongly associated with reinforcing stress. Conclusions/Significance: Despite radiation stress being the most dominant stressor, the exposure of coral reefs could be reduced by locally managing chronic human impacts that act to reinforce radiation stress. Future research and management efforts should focus on incorporating the factors that mitigate the effect of coral stressors until long-term carbon reductions are achieved through global negotiations.",
author = "Joseph Maina and McClanahan, {Tim R.} and Valentijn Venus and Mebrahtu Ateweberhan and Joshua Madin",
note = "Copyright the Author(s) 2011. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0023064",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "1--14",
journal = "PLoS ONE",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "8",

}

Global gradients of coral exposure to environmental stresses and implications for local management. / Maina, Joseph; McClanahan, Tim R.; Venus, Valentijn; Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu; Madin, Joshua.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 6, No. 8, e23064, 2011, p. 1-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Global gradients of coral exposure to environmental stresses and implications for local management

AU - Maina, Joseph

AU - McClanahan, Tim R.

AU - Venus, Valentijn

AU - Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu

AU - Madin, Joshua

N1 - Copyright the Author(s) 2011. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Background: The decline of coral reefs globally underscores the need for a spatial assessment of their exposure to multiple environmental stressors to estimate vulnerability and evaluate potential counter-measures. Methodology/Principal Findings: This study combined global spatial gradients of coral exposure to radiation stress factors (temperature, UV light and doldrums), stress-reinforcing factors (sedimentation and eutrophication), and stress-reducing factors (temperature variability and tidal amplitude) to produce a global map of coral exposure and identify areas where exposure depends on factors that can be locally managed. A systems analytical approach was used to define interactions between radiation stress variables, stress reinforcing variables and stress reducing variables. Fuzzy logic and spatial ordinations were employed to quantify coral exposure to these stressors. Globally, corals are exposed to radiation and reinforcing stress, albeit with high spatial variability within regions. Based on ordination of exposure grades, regions group into two clusters. The first cluster was composed of severely exposed regions with high radiation and low reducing stress scores (South East Asia, Micronesia, Eastern Pacific and the central Indian Ocean) or alternatively high reinforcing stress scores (the Middle East and the Western Australia). The second cluster was composed of moderately to highly exposed regions with moderate to high scores in both radiation and reducing factors (Caribbean, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Central Pacific, Polynesia and the western Indian Ocean) where the GBR was strongly associated with reinforcing stress. Conclusions/Significance: Despite radiation stress being the most dominant stressor, the exposure of coral reefs could be reduced by locally managing chronic human impacts that act to reinforce radiation stress. Future research and management efforts should focus on incorporating the factors that mitigate the effect of coral stressors until long-term carbon reductions are achieved through global negotiations.

AB - Background: The decline of coral reefs globally underscores the need for a spatial assessment of their exposure to multiple environmental stressors to estimate vulnerability and evaluate potential counter-measures. Methodology/Principal Findings: This study combined global spatial gradients of coral exposure to radiation stress factors (temperature, UV light and doldrums), stress-reinforcing factors (sedimentation and eutrophication), and stress-reducing factors (temperature variability and tidal amplitude) to produce a global map of coral exposure and identify areas where exposure depends on factors that can be locally managed. A systems analytical approach was used to define interactions between radiation stress variables, stress reinforcing variables and stress reducing variables. Fuzzy logic and spatial ordinations were employed to quantify coral exposure to these stressors. Globally, corals are exposed to radiation and reinforcing stress, albeit with high spatial variability within regions. Based on ordination of exposure grades, regions group into two clusters. The first cluster was composed of severely exposed regions with high radiation and low reducing stress scores (South East Asia, Micronesia, Eastern Pacific and the central Indian Ocean) or alternatively high reinforcing stress scores (the Middle East and the Western Australia). The second cluster was composed of moderately to highly exposed regions with moderate to high scores in both radiation and reducing factors (Caribbean, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Central Pacific, Polynesia and the western Indian Ocean) where the GBR was strongly associated with reinforcing stress. Conclusions/Significance: Despite radiation stress being the most dominant stressor, the exposure of coral reefs could be reduced by locally managing chronic human impacts that act to reinforce radiation stress. Future research and management efforts should focus on incorporating the factors that mitigate the effect of coral stressors until long-term carbon reductions are achieved through global negotiations.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80051485728&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0023064

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0023064

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 1

EP - 14

JO - PLoS ONE

T2 - PLoS ONE

JF - PLoS ONE

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 8

M1 - e23064

ER -