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Macroalgae exhibit diverse responses to human disturbances on coral reefs

Sara E. Cannon Orcid Logo, Simon D. Donner, Angela Liu, Pedro C. González Espinosa, Andrew H. Baird, Julia K. Baum, Andrew G. Bauman, Maria Beger, Cassandra E. Benkwitt, Matthew J. Birt, Yannick Chancerelle, Joshua E. Cinner, Nicole L. Crane, Vianney Denis, Martial Depczynski, Nur Fadli, Douglas Fenner, Christopher J. Fulton, Yimnang Golbuu, Nicholas A. J. Graham, James Guest, Hugo B. Harrison, Jean‐Paul A. Hobbs, Andrew S. Hoey, Thomas H. Holmes, Peter Houk, Fraser Januchowski-Hartley Orcid Logo, Jamaluddin Jompa, Chao‐Yang Kuo, Gino Valentino Limmon, Yuting V. Lin, Timothy R. McClanahan, Dominic Muenzel, Michelle J. Paddack, Serge Planes, Morgan S. Pratchett, Ben Radford, James Davis Reimer, Zoe T. Richards, Claire L. Ross, John Rulmal, Brigitte Sommer, Gareth J. Williams, Shaun K. Wilson

Global Change Biology, Volume: 29, Issue: 12, Pages: 3318 - 3330

Swansea University Author: Fraser Januchowski-Hartley Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1111/gcb.16694

Abstract

Scientists and managers rely on indicator taxa such as coral and macroalgal cover to evaluate the effects of human disturbance on coral reefs, often assuming a universally positive relationship between local human disturbance and macroalgae. Despite evidence that macroalgae respond to local stressor...

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Published in: Global Change Biology
ISSN: 1354-1013 1365-2486
Published: Wiley 2023
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa63165
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Abstract: Scientists and managers rely on indicator taxa such as coral and macroalgal cover to evaluate the effects of human disturbance on coral reefs, often assuming a universally positive relationship between local human disturbance and macroalgae. Despite evidence that macroalgae respond to local stressors in diverse ways, there have been few efforts to evaluate relationships between specific macroalgae taxa and local human-driven disturbance. Using genus-level monitoring data from 1205 sites in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, we assess whether macroalgae percent cover correlates with local human disturbance while accounting for factors that could obscure or confound relationships. Assessing macroalgae at genus level revealed that no genera were positively correlated with all human disturbance metrics. Instead, we found relationships between the division or genera of algae and specific human disturbances that were not detectable when pooling taxa into a single functional category, which is common to many analyses. The convention to use percent cover of macroalgae as an indication of local human disturbance therefore likely obscures signatures of local anthropogenic threats to reefs. Our limited understanding of relationships between human disturbance, macroalgae taxa, and their responses to human disturbances impedes the ability to diagnose and respond appropriately to these threats.
Keywords: coral reef health, coral reefs, Indian Ocean, local human disturbance, macroalgae, multiple stressors, Pacific Ocean
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación. Grant Number: 7/AMD/E1/KP.PTNBH/2020 ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Australian Institute of Marine Science Australian Research Council. Grant Numbers: ARC Linkage Project LP160101508, CE140100020, DP0877905, FT160100047, P110101540 AXA Research Fund. Grant Number: 154-000-649-507 Canadian Foundation for Innovation Canadian Network for Research and Innovation in Machining Technology, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Grant Numbers: Discovery Grant, RGPIN-2019-04056 Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, Australian Research Council. Grant Number: CE110001014 David and Lucile Packard Foundation Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Director of National Parks Australia European Regional Development Fund. Grant Number: 80761-SU-1365 Fondation Bertarelli French Minister for Ecology Government of Palau Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology INSU-CNRS IR ILICO Japan International Cooperation Agency Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Leverhulme Trust Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions. Grant Number: TRIM-DLV-747102 Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan. Grant Numbers: 104-2611-M-002-020-MY2, 106-2611-M-002-008, 107-2611-M-002-011, 108-2611-M-002-013, 109-2611-M-002-017 National Geographic Society. Grant Number: #7941-05 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Grant Number: NA15NMF4270336 National Research Foundation Singapore. Grant Number: Marine Science Research and Development Programme National Science Foundation. Grant Numbers: 1546374, 1622339 Natural Environment Research Council. Grant Number: NE/S006931/1 Newton Fund Ocean Affairs Council of Taiwan. Grant Number: OAC-UNIV-108-004 Office of Insular Affairs. Grant Number: CRI-Ulithi1-2 Pacific Rim Research Program Paul M. Angell Family Foundation Pew Charitable Trusts Royal Society. Grant Number: UF140691 Rufford Foundation The Isobel Bennett Fellowship Tiffany & Co Foundation University of Technology Sydney Welsh European Funding Office Western Australian Museum Western Indian Ocean Marine Science for Management Wildlife Conservation Society Woodside
Issue: 12
Start Page: 3318
End Page: 3330