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Title: Conserving threatened species during rapid environmental change: Using biological responses to inform management strategies of giant clams
Authors: Watson, Sue-Ann
Neo, Mei Lin 
Keywords: carbon dioxide
climate change
ocean acidification
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2021
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Watson, Sue-Ann, Neo, Mei Lin (2021-01-01). Conserving threatened species during rapid environmental change: Using biological responses to inform management strategies of giant clams. Conservation Physiology 9 (1) : coab082. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Giant clams are threatened by overexploitation for human consumption, their valuable shells and the aquarium trade. Consequently, these iconic coral reef megafauna are extinct in some former areas of their range and are included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Now, giant clams are also threatened by rapid environmental change from both a suite of local and regional scale stressors and global change, including climate change, global warming, marine heatwaves and ocean acidification. The interplay between local- to regional-scale and global-scale drivers is likely to cause an array of lethal and sub-lethal effects on giant clams, potentially limiting their depth distribution on coral reefs and decreasing suitable habitat area within natural ranges of species. Global change stressors, pervasive both in unprotected and protected areas, threaten to diminish conservation efforts to date. International efforts urgently need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to avoid lethal and sub-lethal effects of global change on giant clams. Meanwhile, knowledge of giant clam physiological and ecological responses to local-regional and global stressors could play a critical role in conservation strategies of these threatened species through rapid environmental change. Further work on how biological responses translate into habitat requirements as global change progresses, selective breeding for resilience, the capacity for rapid adaptive responses of the giant clam holobiont and valuing tourism potential, including recognizing giant clams as a flagship species for coral reefs, may help improve the prospects of these charismatic megafauna over the coming decades. © 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for Experimental Biology.
Source Title: Conservation Physiology
ISSN: 2051-1434
DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coab082
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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