The coral conservation crisis: interacting local and global stressors reduce reef resiliency and create challenges for conservation solutions

Coral reefs are one of the most productive and biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Humans rely on these coral reef ecosystems to provide significant ecological and economic resources; however, coral reefs are threatened by numerous local and global anthropogenic factors that cause significant environmental change. The interactions of these local and global human impacts may increase the rate of coral reef degradation. For example, there are many local influences (i.e., sedimentation and submarine groundwater discharge) that may exacerbate coral bleaching and mortality. Therefore, researchers and resource managers cannot limit their narratives and actions to mitigating a sole stressor. With the continued increase in greenhouse gas emissions, management strategies and restoration techniques need to account for the scale at which environmental change occurs. This review aims to outline the various local and global anthropogenic stressors threatening reef resiliency and address the recent disagreements surrounding present-day conservation practices. Unfortunately, there is no one solution to preserve and restore all coral reefs. Each coral reef region is challenged by numerous interactive stressors that affect its ecosystem response, recovery, and services in various ways. This review discusses, while global reef degradation occurs, local solutions should be implemented to efficiently protect the coral reef ecosystem services that are valuable to marine and terrestrial environments.

Good A. M. & Bahr K. D., 2021. The coral conservation crisis: interacting local and global stressors reduce reef resiliency and create challenges for conservation solutions. SN Applied Science 3: 312. doi: 10.1007/s42452-021-04319-8. Article.

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