Research ArticleECOLOGY

Attenuating effects of ecosystem management on coral reefs

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Science Advances  09 May 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 5, eaao5493
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao5493
  • Fig. 1 Factors contributing to the attenuation of effect size attributable to fishing on coral reef ecosystems.

    Each tier has sources of variability that can reduce the signal-to-noise transmission of fishing effects to lower ecological levels such as fostering juvenile corals.

  • Fig. 2 Study sites and organism abundances along the eastern Caribbean archipelago.

    Study regions and setting (left) with mean abundance data for predatory fishes, parrotfishes, turf algal canopy heights, and juvenile corals (right). Variance is expressed as SEM. ND, no data; NTR, no-take reserve; Can, Canoan; TCMP, Tobago Cays Marine Park; U/PSV, Union and Petit St. Vincent; Carr, Carriacou.

  • Fig. 3 Three tiers of measured effects from human fishing activities to juvenile corals.

    Left: Ecological processes expected that result from managing fishing pressure (that is, “first tier”). Middle: Solid lines indicate statistically significant results with the proportion of variance explained between each tier. Dashed lines indicate significant correlations across the data set, but the clarity of these relationships was swamped by interregional variation in hierarchical models. Right: Aggregate attenuation of variance explained by fishing to juvenile corals.

  • Fig. 4 Species- and size-specific grazing pressure from parrotfish.

    Illustration of relative grazing area. (A to C) Differences in parrotfish biomass (A) relative to species-specific bite rates (B) were applied to the “grazable” surface of the reef (C).

  • Fig. 5 Mechanistic relationships between herivory and coral recruitment.

    (A) Proportion of variance explained by parrotfish grazing pressure for algal cover and juvenile coral density. Solid lines indicate statistical significance (α = 0.05), and the numbers represent the proportion of variance explained by each link. (B) Turf algal canopy height as a function of parrotfish grazing intensity (biomass). (C) Macroalgal cover as a function of grazing intensity. (D) Juvenile coral density as a function of parrotfish grazing frequency (bite rate). (E) Mean maximum juvenile coral density as a function of canopy height of algal turfs. (F) Photo illustrating reefs with low grazing pressure and high grazing pressure due to the scarcity of grazable (that is, noncoral) substrates (left and right, respectively). Variance is expressed as SEM. Photo credit: Peter Mumby.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • fig. S1. Abundance of adult and juvenile coral species from entire study.
    • table S1. Summary data averages pooled by family for fish and most benthic components at a 10-m depth (that is, Fig. 2).

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