Crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes
S. Wilson, M. Adjeroud, D. Bellwood, M. Berumen, D. Booth, Y.-M. Bozec, P. Chabanet, A. Cheal, J. Cinner, M. Depczynski, D. Feary, M. Gagliano, N. Graham, A. Halford, B. Halpern, A. Harborne, A. Hoey, S. Holbrook, G. Jones, M. Kulbicki, Y. Letourneur, T.
The Journal of Experimental Biology, 213, pp. 894-900, (2010)
Eosystem management, Fiheries, Coal reef ecology, Phsiology, Beaviour, Coservation, Global warming, Ocean acidification, Coral bleaching
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.
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