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Using multiple lines of evidence to assess the risk of ecosystem collapse

Bland, Lucie M, Regan, Tracey J, Dinh, Minh N, Ferrari, Renata, Keith, David A, Lester, Rebecca, Mouillot, David, Murray, Nicholas J, Nguyen, Hoang Anh and Nicholson, Emily 2017, Using multiple lines of evidence to assess the risk of ecosystem collapse, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: biological sciences, vol. 284, no. 1863, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0660.

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Title Using multiple lines of evidence to assess the risk of ecosystem collapse
Author(s) Bland, Lucie M
Regan, Tracey J
Dinh, Minh N
Ferrari, Renata
Keith, David A
Lester, RebeccaORCID iD for Lester, Rebecca orcid.org/0000-0003-2682-6495
Mouillot, David
Murray, Nicholas J
Nguyen, Hoang Anh
Nicholson, EmilyORCID iD for Nicholson, Emily orcid.org/0000-0003-2199-3446
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B: biological sciences
Volume number 284
Issue number 1863
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-09-27
ISSN 0962-8452
1471-2954
Keyword(s) IUCN Red List of Ecosystems
Meso-American Reef
coral reefs
ecosystem collapse
indicators
stochastic model
Summary Effective ecosystem risk assessment relies on a conceptual understanding of ecosystem dynamics and the synthesis of multiple lines of evidence. Risk assessment protocols and ecosystem models integrate limited observational data with threat scenarios, making them valuable tools for monitoring ecosystem status and diagnosing key mechanisms of decline to be addressed by management. We applied the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems criteria to quantify the risk of collapse of the Meso-American Reef, a unique ecosystem containing the second longest barrier reef in the world. We collated a wide array of empirical data (field and remotely sensed), and used a stochastic ecosystem model to backcast past ecosystem dynamics, as well as forecast future ecosystem dynamics under 11 scenarios of threat. The ecosystem is at high risk from mass bleaching in the coming decades, with compounding effects of ocean acidification, hurricanes, pollution and fishing. The overall status of the ecosystem is Critically Endangered (plausibly Vulnerable to Critically Endangered), with notable differences among Red List criteria and data types in detecting the most severe symptoms of risk. Our case study provides a template for assessing risks to coral reefs and for further application of ecosystem models in risk assessment.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2017.0660
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
050209 Natural Resource Management
06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical And Health Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 960805 Flora
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30102868

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.