|Data Set General Information:|
||knb-lter-mcr.1041.1 (in the knb Catalog System)
These data were generated from two long-term time series (knb-lter-mcr.4 and knb-lter-mcr.6) in order to analyze the relationship between the cover of live and dead branching corals and changes in the abundance of different functional groups of fishes following the loss of coral on the fore reef of Moorea due to an outbreak of corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster planci) and a tropical cylcone. Analyses were conducted in support of an ecological manuscript published in Oecologia
Adam, T. C., Brooks, A. J., Holbrook, S. J., Schmitt, R. J., Washburn, L., Bernardi, G. How will coral reef fish communities respond to climate-driven disturbances? Insight from landscape-scale perturbations.
Global climate change is rapidly altering disturbance regimes in many ecosystems including coral reefs, yet the long-term impacts of these changes on ecosystem structure and function are difficult to predict. A major ecosystem service provided by coral reefs is the provisioning of physical habitat for other organisms, and consequently, many of the effects of climate change on coral reefs will be mediated by their impacts on habitat structure. Therefore, there is urgent need to understand the independent and combined effects of coral mortality and loss of physical habitat on reef-associated biota. Here, we use a unique series of events affecting the coral reefs around the Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia to differentiate between the impacts of coral mortality and the degradation of physical habitat on the structure of reef fish communities. We found that by removing large amounts of physical habitat, a tropical cyclone had larger impacts on reef fish communities than an outbreak of coral-eating sea stars that caused widespread coral mortality but left the physical structure intact. In addition, the impacts of declining structural complexity on reef fish assemblages accelerated as structure became increasingly rare. Structure provided by dead coral colonies can take up to decades to erode following coral mortality, and consequently our results suggest that predictions based on short-term studies are likely to grossly underestimate the long-term impacts of coral decline on reef fish communities.
||Oecologica Fish and Coral Change
|People and Organizations:|
|View complete information for all parties
||Information Manager (Moorea Coral Reef LTER) [
||Moorea Coral Reef LTER
||Adam, Tom (Moorea Coral Reef LTER) [
||Brooks, Andrew (Moorea Coral Reef LTER) [
||Edmunds, Peter (Moorea Coral Reef LTER) [
Data Set Citation
Key Words and Terms
||Abundance, branching corals, Corallivores, Detritivores, Invertivores, Long-term Time Series, LTER, MCR, Moorea Coral Reef, Pescivores, Planktivores, Primary Consumers, Secondary Consumers
|Institute, Organization, or Funding Agency
||California State University Northridge, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, NSF, Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station, University of California Santa Barbara
||Community, Marine, Trophic Dynamics
|NBII Biocomplexity Thesaurus
||Abundance (organisms), Biodiversity, Biomass, Coral Reefs, Detritus feeders, Fishes, Herbivores, Omnivores, Plankton feeders, Species Richness, Trophic levels, Tropical Fishes
|LTER Network Controlled Vocabulary
||abundance, biodiversity, consumers, corals, species interactions
|LTER Core Research Area
|MCR Core Activity
||Time Series Program
|MCR Research Theme
||Reef Resistance and Resilience
|MCR-LTER Working Group
||Population and Community Dynamics
Data Set Usage Rights
Data collected under the auspices of the MCR LTER are available to the public
after primary publication, or at most two years after the completion of the study
unless proprietary restrictions are warranted. Use of MCR LTER data is subject to
acceptance of the following conditions:
- 1. The user agrees to provide valid name and contact information prior
to downloading online data. This information will be used to contact the
user in case of changes to the data, and may also be used by data set
authors and MCR LTER project administrators to document data
- 2. The user agrees to cite the data set author and MCR LTER in all
publications in which the data are used, as per the instructions in the
data documentation. If no specific instructions are provided in the data
documentation, the user is requested to include the following statement:
"Data sets were provided by the Moorea Coral Reef Ecosystem LTER,
funded by the US National Science Foundation (OCE-0417412)."
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LTER data to the data set author prior to submitting it for
- 4. The user agrees to send two hard copies of any published manuscript
based on MCR LTER data to the following address: Dr. Andrew J. Brooks
Deputy Program Director, MCR LTER Marine Science Institute University of
California Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6150 The user also agrees to send one
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and up to date, but the authors and the MCR LTER will not take
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- 8. Any violation of the terms of this agreement will result in
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