|Title:||A functional approach to the structural complexity of coral assemblages based on colony morphological features||Authors:||VIANNEY DENIS
Chen, Chaolun Allen
|Keywords:||THOUSAND ISLANDS; EL-NINO; COMMUNITY RESPONSES; REEF SYSTEM; DIVERSITY; JAKARTA; STRATEGIES; DYNAMICS; RECOVERY; EXTINCTION||Issue Date:||29-Aug-2017||Publisher:||NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP||Journal Volume:||7||Journal Issue:||1||Source:||Scientific reports||Abstract:||
Colony morphological features is among the best predictor of the scleractinian coral's function in reef ecosystems. However, morphological traits are categorical and to convert this information into a quantitative value as well as estimate their influence on ecosystem process remain a challenge. Here, we propose a trait-based approach to quantify morphological diversity and assess the structural complexity of the habitat provided by corals. We used a previously published dataset that is related to a bleaching event that affected the coral reef off Tikus Island in Indonesia in 1983. We found clear signs of recovery of the coral assemblage's complexity toward pre El Niño conditions five years after the event. Independent of the change observed in species richness, this return in structural complexity was accompanied by a global decrease in species number associated with each particular morphological entity (Functional Redundancy) and an increase in the number of single-species entities (Functional Vulnerability). Together with species loss, we show an overall functional erosion of the coral assemblage and suggest that the role of the coral reef habitat could be strongly imperiled under repeated or synergistic disturbances. This approach offers an opportunity for a better understanding of coral responses to natural and anthropogenic disturbances.
|Appears in Collections:||海洋研究所|
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