Title

Crucial Knowledge Gaps in Current Understanding of Climate Change Impacts on Coral Reef Fishes

Authors

S. K. Wilson, Department of Environment and Conservation - Kensington, Australia
M. Adjeroud, Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - Perpignan, France
D. R. Bellwood, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia
M. L. Berumen, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology - Thuwal, Saudi Arabia; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
D. Booth, Univerity of Technology - Sydney, Australia
Y.-Marie Bozec, Laboratory of Computer Science - Rennes, France
P. Chabanet, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - Marseille, France
A. Cheal, Australian Institute of Marine Science - Townsville
J. Cinner, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia
M. Depczynski, University of Western Australia - Crawley
David A. Feary, United Nations University International Network on Water, Environment and Health - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
M. Gaglliano, University of Western Australia - Crawley
N. A. J. Graham, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia
A. R. Halford, Australian Institute of Marine Science - Townsville; University of Guam
B. S. Halpern, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
A. R. Harborne, University of Exeter - United Kingdom
Andrew S. Hoey, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia
S. J. Holbrook, University of California - Santa Barbara
G. P. Jones, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia
M. Kulbiki, Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - Perpignan, France
Y. Letourneur, Université de la Méditerranée - Marseille, France
T. L. De Loma, Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l'Environnement - Moorea, France
T. McClanahan, Wildlife Conservation Society
M. I. McCormick, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia
M. G. Meekan, University of Western Australia - Crawley
Peter J. Mumby, University of Exeter - United Kingdom
P. L. Munday, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia
M. C. Ohman, Stockholm University - Sweden
Morgan S. Pratchett, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia
Bernhard Riegl, Nova Southeastern UniversityFollow
M. Sano, The University of Tokyo - Japan
R. J. Schmitt, University of California - Santa Barbara
C. Syms, University of Technology, Sydney

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-15-2010

Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Biology

Keywords

Ecosystem management, Fisheries, Coral reef ecology, Physiology, Behaviour, Conservation, Global warming, Ocean acidification, Coral bleaching

ISSN

0022-0949

Volume

213

Issue/No.

6

First Page

894

Last Page

900

Abstract

Expert opinion was canvassed to identify crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes. Scientists that had published three or more papers on the effects of climate and environmental factors on reef fishes were invited to submit five questions that, if addressed, would improve our understanding of climate change effects on coral reef fishes. Thirty-three scientists provided 155 questions, and 32 scientists scored these questions in terms of: (i) identifying a knowledge gap, (ii) achievability, (iii) applicability to a broad spectrum of species and reef habitats, and (iv) priority. Forty-two per cent of the questions related to habitat associations and community dynamics of fish, reflecting the established effects and immediate concern relating to climate-induced coral loss and habitat degradation. However, there were also questions on fish demographics, physiology, behaviour and management, all of which could be potentially affected by climate change. Irrespective of their individual expertise and background, scientists scored questions from different topics similarly, suggesting limited bias and recognition of a need for greater interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Presented here are the 53 highest-scoring unique questions. These questions should act as a guide for future research, providing a basis for better assessment and management of climate change impacts on coral reefs and associated fish communities.

Comments

©2010. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd

Additional Comments

Supplemental Material included.

ORCID ID

0000-0002-6003-9324

ResearcherID

F-8807-2011

DOI

10.1242/jeb.037895

Peer Reviewed

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