WCS 3-Sentence Science
September 6, 2019
Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.
Here we present work by WCS’s Emily Darling on determining a measure of coral reef functionality.
- Reversing the global decline of coral reefs is a primary management objective for conservationists, but doing so depends on understanding what keeps reefs “functioning.”
- Researchers propose a practical definition of coral reef functioning, centered on eight complementary ecological processes: calcium carbonate production and bioerosion, primary production and herbivory, secondary production and predation, and nutrient uptake and release.
- Connecting research on species niches, functional diversity of communities, and rates of the eight key processes can provide a quantitative understanding of reef functioning and its dependence on coral reef communities that will contribute urgently needed guidance for the management of these important ecosystems.
Study and Journal: “Coral reef ecosystem functioning: Eight core processes and the role of biodiversity” from Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
WCS Co-Author(s): Emily Darling, WCS Conservation Scientist
For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, email@example.com.