Comment on “Modelling susceptibility of coral reefs to environmental stress-using remote sensing data and GIS models”, authors Maina, Venus, McClanahan, and Ateweberhan

The analysis by Maina et al. is a nice example of applied modeling which could result in real conservation gains for coral reef ecosystems. Models of this type are a critical component for planning future marine protected areas (MPAs) in an age of growing environmental uncertainty. Modeling climate change variables at various spatial and temporal scales is essential if we hope to create future MPAs where corals have the best possible chance of survival. While coral bleaching is a serious and immediate threat to corals globally, the authors did not incorporate one of the most ominous environmental threats coral reefs face in a changing climate. The omitted threat is ocean acidification, a process whereby the oceans are absorbing anthropogenic CO2 at an unprecedented rate, which reduces the pH of seawater and most importantly the concentration of carbonate ions in seawater.



Guinotte, J.M., Buddemeier, R.W., 2008. Comment on “Modelling susceptibility of coral reefs to environmental stress using remotesensing data and GIS models”, authors Maina, Venus, McClanahan, and Ateweberhan. Ecological Modelling. Article (subscription required).

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