Environmental drivers of coral reef carbonate production and bioerosion: a multi-scale analysis

The resilience of coral reefs depends on the balance between reef growth and reef breakdown, and their responses to changing environmental conditions. Across the 2500-km Hawaiian Archipelago, we quantified rates of carbonate production, bioerosion, and net accretion at regional, island, site, and within-site spatial scales and tested how these rates respond to environmental conditions across different spatial scales. Overall, there were four major outcomes from this study: (1) bioerosion rates were generally higher in the populated Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) than the remote, protected Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), while carbonate production rates did not vary significantly between the two regions; (2) variability in carbonate production, bioerosion, and net accretion rates was greatest at the smallest within-reef spatial scale; (3) carbonate production and bioerosion rates were associated with distinct sets of environmental parameters; and (4) the strongest correlates of carbonate production, bioerosion, and net accretion rates were different between the MHI region and the NWHI region: in the MHI, the dominant correlates were percent cover of macroalgae and herbivorous fish biomass for carbonate production and bioerosion, respectively, whereas in the NWHI, the top correlates were total alkalinity and benthic cover. This study highlights the need to understand accretion and erosion processes as well as local environmental conditions to predict net coral reef responses to future environmental changes.

Silbiger N. J., Donahue M. J. & Brainard R. E., 2017. Environmental drivers of coral reef carbonate production and bioerosion: a multi-scale analysis. Ecology 98(10): 2547–2560. Article (subscription required).

0 Responses to “Environmental drivers of coral reef carbonate production and bioerosion: a multi-scale analysis”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,041,154 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book