Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0174855
Title: A coral-algal phase shift in Mesoamerica not driven by changes in herbivorous fish abundance
Authors: Arias-González J.E.
Fung T. 
Seymour R.M.
Garza-Pérez J.R.
Acosta-González G.
Bozec Y.-M.
Johnson C.R.
Keywords: algal growth
biomass
coastal waters
coral reef
herbivore
herbivory
human
Mexico
model
nonhuman
nutrient
precipitation
sediment
tourism
watershed
animal
Anthozoa
coral reef
ecosystem
fish
growth, development and aging
microalga
physiology
population dynamics
Animals
Anthozoa
Biomass
Coral Reefs
Ecosystem
Fishes
Mexico
Microalgae
Population Dynamics
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Arias-González J.E., Fung T., Seymour R.M., Garza-Pérez J.R., Acosta-González G., Bozec Y.-M., Johnson C.R. (2017). A coral-algal phase shift in Mesoamerica not driven by changes in herbivorous fish abundance. PLoS ONE 12 (4) : e0174855. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0174855
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Coral-algal phase shifts in which coral cover declines to low levels and is replaced by algae have often been documented on coral reefs worldwide. This has motivated coral reef management responses that include restriction and regulation of fishing, e.g. herbivorous fish species. However, there is evidence that eutrophication and sedimentation can be at least as important as a reduction in herbivory in causing phase shifts. These threats arise from coastal development leading to increased nutrient and sediment loads, which stimulate algal growth and negatively impact corals respectively. Here, we first present results of a dynamic process-based model demonstrating that in addition to overharvesting of herbivorous fish, bottom-up processes have the potential to precipitate coral-algal phase shifts on Mesoamerican reefs. We then provide an empirical example that exemplifies this on coral reefs off Mahahual in Mexico, where a shift from coral to algal dominance occurred over 14 years, during which there was little change in herbivore biomass but considerable development of tourist infrastructure. Our results indicate that coastal development can compromise the resilience of coral reefs and that watershed and coastal zone management together with the maintenance of functional levels of fish herbivory are critical for the persistence of coral reefs in Mesoamerica. © 2017 Arias-Gonzaalez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Source Title: PLoS ONE
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/161196
ISSN: 19326203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174855
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:Elements
Staff Publications

Show full item record
Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormatAccess SettingsVersion 
10_1371_journal_pone_0174855.pdf1.73 MBAdobe PDF

OPEN

NoneView/Download

SCOPUSTM   
Citations

51
checked on Jun 26, 2022

Page view(s)

239
checked on Jun 23, 2022

Download(s)

1
checked on Jun 23, 2022

Google ScholarTM

Check

Altmetric


This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons