Resilience of marine ecosystems to climatic disturbances

O'Leary, Jennifer and Micheli, Fiorenza and Airoldi, Laura and Boch, Charles and De Leo, Giulio and Elahi, Robin and Ferretti, Francesco and Graham, Nicholas Anthony James and Litvin, Steven Y. and Low, Natalie H. and Lummis, Sarah and Nickols, Kerry J. and Wong, Joanne (2017) Resilience of marine ecosystems to climatic disturbances. Bioscience, 67 (3). pp. 208-220. ISSN 0006-3568

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The intensity and frequency of climate-driven disturbances are increasing in coastal marine ecosystems. Understanding the factors that enhance or inhibit ecosystem resilience to climatic disturbance is essential. We surveyed 97 experts in six major coastal biogenic ecosystem types to identify “bright spots” of resilience in the face of climate change. We also evaluated literature that was recommended by the experts that addresses the responses of habitat-forming species to climatic disturbance. Resilience was commonly reported in the expert surveys (80% of experts). Resilience was observed in all ecosystem types and at multiple locations worldwide. The experts and literature cited remaining biogenic habitat, recruitment/connectivity, physical setting, and management of local-scale stressors as most important for resilience. These findings suggest that coastal ecosystems may still hold great potential to persist in the face of climate change and that local- to regional-scale management can help buffer global climatic impacts.

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This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Bioscience following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Jennifer K. O'Leary, Fiorenza Micheli, Laura Airoldi, Charles Boch, Giulio De Leo, Robin Elahi, Francesco Ferretti, Nicholas A. J. Graham, Steven Y. Litvin, Natalie H. Low, Sarah Lummis, Kerry J. Nickols, Joanne Wong; The Resilience of Marine Ecosystems to Climatic Disturbances. BioScience 2017; 67 (3): 208-220. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biw161 is available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? resistancerecoverypersistencebiogenic habitatconservation and managementagricultural and biological sciences(all) ??
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08 Dec 2016 15:18
Last Modified:
11 Nov 2023 00:19