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Journal ArticleDOI

The Devil in the Deep: Expanding the Known Habitat of a Rare and Protected Fish

01 Jun 2018-European Journal of Ecology (Sciendo)-Vol. 4, Iss: 1, pp 22-29

TL;DR: It is suggested that the current depth range of eastern blue devil fish is being underestimated at 30 m, which potentially represents a large area of deep offshore reefs and micro-habitats out on the continental shelf that could contribute to the resilience of easternblue devil fish to extinction risk and contribute toThe resilience of many reef species to climate change.
Abstract: The accepted geographic range of a species is related to both opportunity and effort in sampling that range In deepwater ecosystems where human access is limited, the geographic ranges of many marine species are likely to be underestimated A chance recording from baited cameras deployed on deep uncharted reef revealed an eastern blue devil fish (Paraplesiops bleekeri) at a depth of 51 m and more than 2 km further down the continental shelf slope than previously observed This is the first verifiable observation of eastern blue devil fish, a protected and endemic southeastern Australian temperate reef species, at depths greater than the typically accepted depth range of 30 m Knowledge on the ecology of this and many other reef species is indeed often limited to shallow coastal reefs, which are easily accessible by divers and researchers Suitable habitat for many reef species appears to exist on deeper offshore reefs but is likely being overlooked due to the logistics of conducting research on these often uncharted habitats On the basis of our observation at a depth of 51 m and observations by recreational fishers catching eastern blue devil fishes on deep offshore reefs, we suggest that the current depth range of eastern blue devil fish is being underestimated at 30 m We also observed several common reef species well outside of their accepted depth range Notably, immaculate damsel (Mecaenichthys immaculatus), red morwong (Cheilodactylus fuscus), mado (Atypichthys strigatus), white-ear (Parma microlepis) and silver sweep (Scorpis lineolata) were abundant and recorded in a number of locations at up to a depth of at least 55 m This underestimation of depth potentially represents a large area of deep offshore reefs and micro habitats out on the continental shelf that could contribute to the resilience of eastern blue devil fish to extinction risk and contribute to the resilience of many reef species to climate change
Topics: Blue-devil (58%), Reef (58%), Red morwong (57%), Scorpis lineolata (55%), Range (biology) (51%)

Summary (1 min read)

Box 1: Extending our knowledge of deep reef assemblages

  • The eastern blue devil fish was not the only species that the authors recorded outside its known depth range.
  • It soon became clear that a number of more common species were also captured on camera outside their previously recorded depth range (Fig. 3 , Table 1 ).
  • The list of species that were recorded on BRUVS samples with each species habitat association, percentage of reef (n=18) and sand (n=56) samples that each species was recorded on, depth range listed in the scientific literature (depth range based on Kuiter 2000 , Gomon et al.
  • Species that were recorded >10 m deeper than in the literature are highlighted in bold.

Species

  • The list of species that were recorded on BRUVS samples with each species habitat association, percentage of reef (n=18) and sand (n=56) samples that each species was recorded on, depth range listed in the scientific literature (depth range based on Kuiter 2000 , Gomon et al.
  • Species that were recorded >10 m deeper than in the literature are highlighted in bold.
  • These observations further support their hypothesis that the depth range of eastern blue devil fish and also other coastal reef species is likely being underestimated.
  • Often the fishermen did not know what they were and posted a description or photos for identification on online fishing forums (L. Fetterplace, pers. obs.) .
  • This knowledge can help give conservation measures for this species the greatest chance of success, whilst also benefitting the management of deeper offshore reefs.

1. DATA AVAILABILITY

  • The site specific species presence or absence for each deep reef BRUVS sample (summarised in Table 1 ) and the accepted depth ranges for each species from all reference sources consulted, is available under a CC BY 4.0 licence as a dataset: Offshore Reef Fishes of South Coast NSW (Fetterplace and Knott 2018) .

Ethical Note:

  • The sampling methods in this study were approved by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries animal care and ethics committee, ACEF Ref: 10/09.
  • Supported by the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships.
  • The authors thank Prof Andy Davis, members of the Davis Lab, staff at Jervis Bay Marine Park and Batemans Marine Park for their assistance in the field.
  • The authors also thank Margie Andréason and Cameron Fetterplace who provided valuable comments and suggestions that greatly improved the manuscript and Sascha Schulz, Sue Newson and Mark McGrouther for their assistance and helpful discussion of species identification and current range.
  • The authors also acknowledge the efforts of reviewer Dr Ladislav Pekarik and one other anonymous reviewer who helped to improve the initial manuscript.

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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
European Journal of Ecology
In October 2013, we were two months into undertaking video
sampling of sh communies on poorly studied marine so-
sediment environments, o the southeast coast of Australia.
We sampled around 3 km oshore using baited remote under-
water video staons (BRUVS; Fig. 1) in relavely deep water
(50–60 m), beyond the ability to eecvely sample using SCU-
BA. We dropped cameras on what we thought to be sand, but
that turned out to be uncharted low-prole patch reef, full of
overhangs and crevices.
For our purposes, samples on non-target habitat
(reefs) are considered ‘failed’, typically stored on hard drives
and le to gather dust at the back of a laboratory. This me
though, perhaps because the seascape was so interesng, we
went through the enre hour-long video sample from a deep
oshore reef. And there it was, the unmistakeable electric blue
colouring, white stripes and shy emergence of an eastern blue
devil sh (Paraplesiops bleekeri) from a crevice to invesgate a
baited camera. This observaon occurred at nearly triple their
previously recorded depth (at 51 m) and more than 2 km fur-
ther down the connental shelf slope than previously observed
(video here).
Eastern blue devil sh are protected o the coast of
eastern Australia under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
They are rare and endemic to eastern Australian coastal reefs
and considered vulnerable to extracon for the aquarium in-
dustry (NSW DPI 2006). Despite this, lile is known about them
beyond taxonomic and descripve informaon. In parcular,
lile is known about the full extent of their geographic and
depth range, informaon that is important to understanding
the exncon risk, crical habitat and management needs of
vulnerable and endemic species (Purcell et al. 2004).
The observaon of eastern blue devil sh, a demersal
(boom dwelling) coastal reef species, on deep oshore reefs
NATURAL HISTORY REPORT
The devil in the deep: expanding the
known habitat of a rare and protected sh
EJE 2018, 4(1): 22-29, doi: DOI 10.2478/eje-2018-0003
Lachlan C. Fetterplace
1,2
, John W. Turnbull
3
, Nathan A. Knott
4
, Natasha A. Hardy
5
1
School of Biological
Sciences, University
of Wollongong, NSW,
Australia.
Corresponding author,
E-mail: shthinkers@
gmail.com
2
Fish Thinkers Research
Group, 11 Riverleigh
Avenue, Gerroa, NSW
2534, Australia.
3
School of Biological,
Earth and Environmental
Science, University of
New South Wales, NSW
2052 Australia
4
Fisheries Research,
New South Wales
Department of Primary
Industries, 4 Woollamia
Road, Huskisson, NSW,
Australia
5
School of Life and
Environmental Sciences,
University of Sydney,
NSW 2006 Australia
The accepted geographic range of a species is related to both opportunity and effort in sampling that range.
In deepwater ecosystems where human access is limited, the geographic ranges of many marine species are
likely to be underestimated. A chance recording from baited cameras deployed on deep uncharted reef revealed
an eastern blue devil sh (
Paraplesiops bleekeri
) at a depth of 51 m and more than 2 km further down the
continental shelf slope than previously observed. This is the rst veriable observation of eastern blue devil
sh, a protected and endemic southeastern Australian temperate reef species, at depths greater than the typi-
cally accepted depth range of 30 m. Knowledge on the ecology of this and many other reef species is indeed
often limited to shallow coastal reefs, which are easily accessible by divers and researchers. Suitable habitat for
many reef species appears to exist on deeper offshore reefs but is likely being overlooked due to the logistics of
conducting research on these often uncharted habitats. On the basis of our observation at a depth of 51 m and
observations by recreational shers catching eastern blue devil shes on deep offshore reefs, we suggest that
the current depth range of eastern blue devil sh is being underestimated at 30 m. We also observed several
common reef species well outside of their accepted depth range. Notably, immaculate damsel (
Mecaenichthys
immaculatus
), red morwong (
Cheilodactylus fuscus
), mado (
Atypichthys strigatus
), white-ear (
Parma microl-
epis
) and silver sweep (
Scorpis lineolata
) were abundant and recorded in a number of locations at up to a depth
of at least 55 m. This underestimation of depth potentially represents a large area of deep offshore reefs and
micro-habitats out on the continental shelf that could contribute to the resilience of eastern blue devil sh to
extinction risk and contribute to the resilience of many reef species to climate change.
INTRODUCTION
ABSTRACT
Natural history, Biogeography, Range expansion, Eastern blue devil sh, BRUV, SCUBA, Recreational shing, Temperate reef,
Depth range, Patch reef
KEYWORDS
© 2018 Lachlan C. Fetterplace et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
23
was unusual, primarily because of the observed depth and dis-
tance from the coast. Eastern blue devil sh are charismac yet
shy (Fig. 2) crypc sh previously recorded in shallow coastal
waters and on inshore rocky reefs of 1–17 m (Edgar and Stuart-
Smith 2018) where they are found in caves, crevices and un-
der ledges (Kuiter 2000, NSW DPI 2006). Eastern blue devil sh
are listed as having a possible range down to 30 m (e.g. Kuiter
2000, NSW DPI 2006, Gomon et al. 2008); however, there are
no records on Reef Life Survey (RLS), a global database for reef
biota, at depths below 17.2 m. In fact, most RLS records are
from much shallower depths, with an average depth recorded
on the RLS database of 9.1 m (Edgar and Stuart-Smith 2014,
Edgar and Stuart-Smith 2018).
We know of no historical records in Australian muse-
ums or databases of eastern blue devil sh from deeper than
30 m either. Owing to a combinaon of their protected status
and the complex terrain they inhabit, commercial shers are
unlikely to come across them, as trawling is avoided on these
areas because of the risk of damage to nets. The vast major-
ity of sighngs and records of eastern blue devil sh are re-
ported from divers and researchers. The accepted depth range
of eastern blue devil sh and many coastal reef sh coincides
with the recreaonal dive limits of ~30 m, despite the fact that
Figure 1: Baited remote under water video staons (BRUVS) are oen
used to sample sh communies (taken from Feerplace and Rees
2017, CC BY 4.0). BRUVS are lowered to the sea oor (or to the desired
depth if sampling pelagic shes e.g. Rees et al. 2015 for an interest-
ing example) and le to record vising species without the need for an
operator to be connuously present. This allows a number of samples
to be taken simultaneously by deploying numerous BRUVS at the same
me over a number of sites. Other advantages of BRUVS include that it
avoids potenal behavioural changes sh may have in the presence of
divers, provides a permanent record, is non-extracve, and can survey
at depths, mes and in weather condions that are dangerous for div-
ers. The use of newer paired camera stereo BRUVS also allows the ac-
curate measurement of sh size (for a detailed review of BRUVS meth-
odology see Whitmarsh et al. 2017).
.
Figure 2: The eastern blue devil (Paraplesiops bleekeri) is a temperate cave-associated species that would not look out of place on a tropical reef.
Brightly coloured and a prize sighng for divers; they are protected in New South Wales (Australia) waters because of their natural rarity and low
abundance. (Photographer: John Turnbull: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
24
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
Box 1: Extending our knowledge of deep reef assemblages
The eastern blue devil sh was not the only species that we re-
corded outside its known depth range. Aer the inial unexpect-
ed observaon of the eastern blue devil sh, we idened the
species present on another 17 addional ‘failed’ reef BRUVS sam-
ples collected across an approximately 75 km stretch of coastline
from Jervis Bay to Bawley Point, NSW, Australia (data available at
Feerplace and Kno 2018). It soon became clear that a number
of more common species were also captured on camera outside
their previously recorded depth range (Fig. 3, Table 1). Notably,
several common reef species, such as immaculate damsel, red
morwong, mado, white-ear and silver sweep, are all listed as oc-
curring down to 30 m, yet were present on 50–89% of deepwater
reef samples (Fig. 3, Table 1). Other species were observed <15
m outside their accepted depth range, including crimson-banded
wrasse (Notolabrus gymnogenis) on 17% of samples (Fig. 3, Table
1). We also found evidence that the depth range of one species,
redbanded grubsh (Parapercis binivirgata), ), includes much
‘shallowerareas than listed in the scienc literature. This spe-
cies is listed as occurring in waters deeper than 86 m, however,
was present at a depth of 50 m on 39% of reef samples (Table 1).
These observaons further support our hypothesis that the depth
range of many other coastal reef species is likely underesmated.
Once o the reef edge, the sh communies found on
the surrounding sandy areas begin to change and are very dier-
ent to those on the reef (Schultz et al. 2012). Our study area is no
excepon; the patch reefs at a depth of 50 m tend to be domi-
nated by a range of more colourful or conspicuous species, whilst
the surrounding sand habitats sampled in Feerplace (2018) are
dominated by atheads (Platycephalidae), which use camouage
and burial in the sand to ambush prey. In contrast to the reef sam-
ples, none of the species encountered in comprehensive sampling
on so sediments at a depth of 50–60 m was outside its depth
range (Table 1). Species that occur on sand are much more likely
to have been caught in scienc or commercial trawling and the
capture depths then included in the scienc records.
Figure 3: Five species (photos from top to second from the boom are
red morwong, immaculate damsel, mado, white-ear and silver sweep)
that are common on shallow reefs and previously had an accepted
depth range of <30 m were observed regularly on deeper reefs in this
study (>50 m). Crimson-banded wrasse (boom photo) was also ob-
served outside their depth range on a small number of samples. (Pho-
tographer: John Turnbull: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
25
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
Table 1: The list of species that were recorded on BRUVS samples with each species habitat associaon, percentage of reef (n=18) and sand (n=56) samples that each species was recorded on, depth range listed in the scienc literature
(depth range based on Kuiter 2000, Gomon et al. 2008, Froese and Pauly 2017, Bray 2018, McGrouther 2018) and maximum depth recorded in our study if greater than listed in the literature. Species that were recorded >10 m deeper
than in the literature are highlighted in bold..
Family Species Common Name Habitat Associaon
Reef Samples
(%)
So sediments
(%)
Depth Range
in Scienc
Literature (m)
Max Depth
Recorded
Current
Study (m)
Aracanidae Anoplocapros inermis Eastern Boxsh Demersal
- 2* 2–300
Aulopiformes Latropiscis purpurissatus Sergeant Baker Reef associated
44 - 15–250
Berycidae Centroberyx anis Nannygai Reef associated
94 - 10–450
Callanthiidae Callanthias australis Splendid Perch Reef associated
22 - 10–365
Canthigaster Canthigaster callisterna Clown Toby Reef associated
11 - 10–250
Carangidae
Pseudocaranx georgianus Silver Trevally Benthopelagic
56 27 0–200
Seriola hippos Samsonsh Pelagic
6* - 1–100
Seriola lalandi Yellowtail Kingsh Pelagic
6* 2* 0–825
Trachurus novaezelandiae Yellowtail Scad Pelagic
- 23 0–500
Chaetodondae Chelmonops truncatus Eastern Talma Reef associated
6 - 5–70
Cheilodactylidae
Cheilodactylus fuscus Red Morwong Reef associated
56 - 0–30 55
Nemadactylus douglasii Grey Morwong Reef associated
89 5 0–200
Nemadactylus macropterus Jackass Morwong Reef associated
6* - 0–450
Clupeidae Sardinops sagax Australian Sardine Pelagic
- 2 0–200
Congridae Gorgasia spp. Garden Eels So sediments
- 2 NA
Dinolesdae Dinolestes lewini Longn Pike Benthopelagic
44 - 1–65
Enoplosidae Enoplosus armatus Old Wife Reef associated
22 - 0–90
Gemplidae Thyrsites atun Barracouta Benthopelagic
- 16 0–550
Heterodondae Heterodontus portusjacksoni Port Jackson Shark Reef/oceanodromous
22 16 1–275
Labridae
Achoerodus viridis Eastern Blue Groper Reef associated
50 - 0–60
Bodianus frenchii Foxsh Reef associated
6* - 10–80
Bodianus unimaculatus Eastern Pigsh Reef associated
89 - 0–60
Coris sandeyeri Eastern King Wrasse Reef associated
6* - 0–60
Notolabrus gymnogenis Crimson Banded Wrasse Reef associated
17 - 4–40 53
Ophthalmolepis lineolata Southern Maori Wrasse Reef associated
78 - 1–60

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
26
Family Species Common Name Habitat Associaon
Reef Samples
(%)
So sediments
(%)
Depth Range
in Scienc
Literature (m)
Max Depth
Recorded
Current
Study (m)
Latrididae Latridopsis forsteri Bastard Trumpeter Reef associated
33 - 2–160
Microcanthidae Atypichthys strigatus Mado Reef associated
89 - 0–30 55
Monacanthidae
Eubalichthys bucephalus Black Reef Leatherjacket Reef associated
22 5 0–250
Eubalichthys mosaicus Mosaic Leatherjacket Reef associated
17 - 6–150
Meuschenia avolineata Yellowstriped Leatherjacket Reef associated
11 2* 1–50 52
Meuschenia freycine Sixspine Leatherjacket Reef associated
72 38 1–100
Meuschenia scaber Velvet Leatherjacket Reef associated
94 30 5–200
Meuschenia venusta Stars & stripes Leatherjacket Reef associated
6* - 5–100
Nelusea ayraudi Ocean Jacket Demersal
50 63 0–360
Mullidae Upeneichthys sp.† Goaish Demersal
39 2* 5–200
Muraenidae Gymnothorax prasinus Australian Green Moray Reef associated
6* - 0–40 46
Myliobadae Myliobas tenuicaudatus Southern Eagle Ray So seds/seagrass
6* 5 0–240
Odontaspididae Carcharias taurus Greynurse Shark Reef/oceanodromous
- 2* 0–190
#
Orectolobidae Orectolobus sp.‡ Wobbegong Reef associated
6* - 0–280
Paralichthyidae Pseudorhombus jenynsii Smalltooth Flounder So sediments
- 4 ? –150
Parascylliidae Parascyllium collare Collar Carpetshark Reef associated
6* - 20–230
Pempheridae Pempheris mulradiata Bigscale Bullseye Reef associated
6* - 2–70
Pinguipedidae Parapercis binivirgata Redbanded Grubsh Demersal
39 - 86–404 50
Platycephalidae
Platycephalus caeruleopunctatus Bluespoed Flathead So sediments
- 73 5–100
Platycephalus grandispinis Longspine Flathead So sediments - 88 3–75
Platycephalus richardsoni Tiger Flathead So sediments - 32 10–430
Plesiopidae Paraplesiops bleekeri Eastern Blue Devil Reef associated 6* - 3–30 51
Pomacentridae
Mecaenichthys immaculatus Immaculate Damsel Reef associated 56 - 0–30 55
Parma microlepis White-ear Reef associated 83 - 1–30 55
Table 1 connued: The list of species that were recorded on BRUVS samples with each species habitat associaon, percentage of reef (n=18) and sand (n=56) samples that each species was recorded on, depth range listed in the scienc
literature (depth range based on Kuiter 2000, Gomon et al. 2008, Froese and Pauly 2017, Bray 2018, McGrouther 2018) and maximum depth recorded in our study if greater than listed in the literature. Species that were recorded >10 m
deeper than in the literature are highlighted in bold.

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  • ...…et al. 2017; Roberson et al. 2017; Wellington, Wakefield & White 2017; Alós et al. 2018; Benjamins et al. 2018; Devine, Wheeland & Fisher 2018; Fetterplace et al. 2018; Hammerschlag et al. 2018; Harasti et al. 2018b; Irigoyen et al. 2018; Jabado et al. 2018; Mensinger, Putland & Radford 2018;…...

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Abstract: Citizen science initiatives and the data they produce are increasingly common in ecology, conservation and biodiversity monitoring. Although the quality of citizen science data has historically been questioned, biases can be detected and corrected for, allowing these data to become comparable in quality to professionally collected data. Consequently, citizen science is increasingly being integrated with professional science, allowing the collection of data at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales. iNaturalist is one of the most popular biodiversity citizen science platforms globally, with more than 1.4 million users having contributed over 54 million observations. Australia is the top contributing nation in the southern hemisphere, and in the top four contributing nations globally, with over 1.6 million observations of over 36 000 identified species contributed by almost 27 000 users. Despite the platform’s success, there are few holistic syntheses of contributions to iNaturalist, especially for Australia. Here, we outline the history of iNaturalist from an Australian perspective, and summarise, taxonomically, temporally and spatially, Australian biodiversity data contributed to the platform. We conclude by discussing important future directions to maximise the usefulness of these data for ecological research, conservation and policy.

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31 Mar 2017-Science
TL;DR: The negative effects of climate change cannot be adequately anticipated or prepared for unless species responses are explicitly included in decision-making and global strategic frameworks, and feedbacks on climate itself are documented.
Abstract: Distributions of Earth’s species are changing at accelerating rates, increasingly driven by human-mediated climate change. Such changes are already altering the composition of ecological communities, but beyond conservation of natural systems, how and why does this matter? We review evidence that climate-driven species redistribution at regional to global scales affects ecosystem functioning, human well-being, and the dynamics of climate change itself. Production of natural resources required for food security, patterns of disease transmission, and processes of carbon sequestration are all altered by changes in species distribution. Consideration of these effects of biodiversity redistribution is critical yet lacking in most mitigation and adaptation strategies, including the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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"The Devil in the Deep: Expanding th..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Numerous climate-driven range shifts have been documented globally (Figueira and Booth 2010, Poloczanska et al. 2013, Pecl et al. 2017), and it is feasible that eastern blue devil fishes and other reef fishes may be shifting their range both in latitude and depth....

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Abstract: Research that combines all available studies of biological responses to regional and global climate change shows that 81–83% of all observations were consistent with the expected impacts of climate change These findings were replicated across taxa and oceanic basins Past meta-analyses of the response of marine organisms to climate change have examined a limited range of locations1,2, taxonomic groups2,3,4 and/or biological responses5,6 This has precluded a robust overview of the effect of climate change in the global ocean Here, we synthesized all available studies of the consistency of marine ecological observations with expectations under climate change This yielded a meta-database of 1,735 marine biological responses for which either regional or global climate change was considered as a driver Included were instances of marine taxa responding as expected, in a manner inconsistent with expectations, and taxa demonstrating no response From this database, 81–83% of all observations for distribution, phenology, community composition, abundance, demography and calcification across taxa and ocean basins were consistent with the expected impacts of climate change Of the species responding to climate change, rates of distribution shifts were, on average, consistent with those required to track ocean surface temperature changes Conversely, we did not find a relationship between regional shifts in spring phenology and the seasonality of temperature Rates of observed shifts in species’ distributions and phenology are comparable to, or greater, than those for terrestrial systems

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"The Devil in the Deep: Expanding th..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Numerous climate-driven range shifts have been documented globally (Figueira and Booth 2010, Poloczanska et al. 2013, Pecl et al. 2017), and it is feasible that eastern blue devil fishes and other reef fishes may be shifting their range both in latitude and depth....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Coral reefs are found in a wide range of environments, where they provide food and habitat to a large range of organisms as well as other ecological goods and services. Warm-water coral reefs, for example, occupy shallow sunlit, warm and alkaline waters in order to grow and calcify at the high rates necessary to build and maintain their calcium carbonate structures. At deeper locations (40 – 150 m), “mesophotic” (low light) coral reefs accumulate calcium carbonate at much lower rates (if at all in some cases) yet remain important as habitat for a wide range of organisms, including those important for fisheries. Finally, even deeper, down to 2000 m or more, the so-called ‘cold-water’ coral reefs are found in the dark depths. Despite their importance, coral reefs are facing significant challenges from human activities including pollution, over-harvesting, physical destruction, and climate change. In the latter case, even lower greenhouse gas emission scenarios (such as Representative Concentration Pathway RCP 4.5) are likely drive the elimination of most warm-water coral reefs by 2040-2050. Cold-water corals are also threatened by warming temperatures and ocean acidification although evidence of the direct effect of climate change is less clear. Evidence that coral reefs can adapt at rates which are sufficient for them to keep up with rapid ocean warming and acidification is minimal, especially given that corals are long-lived and hence have slow rates of evolution. Conclusions that coral reefs will migrate to higher latitudes as they warm are equally unfounded, with the observations of tropical species appearing at high latitudes ‘necessary but not sufficient’ evidence that entire coral reef ecosystems are shifting. On the contrary, coral reefs are likely to degrade rapidly over the next 20 years, presenting fundamental challenges for the 500 million people who derive food, income, coastal protection, and a range of other services from coral reefs. Unless rapid advances to the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement occur over the next decade, hundreds of millions of people are likely to face increasing amounts of poverty and social disruption, and, in some cases, regional insecurity.

273 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that small-ranging species are in double jeopardy, with limited ability to escape warming and greater intrinsic vulnerability to stochastic disturbances, and independent support for the hypothesis that species with narrow latitudinal ranges are limited by factors other than climate.
Abstract: Species' ranges are shifting globally in response to climate warming, with substantial variability among taxa, even within regions. Relationships between range dynamics and intrinsic species traits may be particularly apparent in the ocean, where temperature more directly shapes species' distributions. Here, we test for a role of species traits and climate velocity in driving range extensions in the ocean-warming hotspot of southeast Australia. Climate velocity explained some variation in range shifts, however, including species traits more than doubled the variation explained. Swimming ability, omnivory and latitudinal range size all had positive relationships with range extension rate, supporting hypotheses that increased dispersal capacity and ecological generalism promote extensions. We find independent support for the hypothesis that species with narrow latitudinal ranges are limited by factors other than climate. Our findings suggest that small-ranging species are in double jeopardy, with limited ability to escape warming and greater intrinsic vulnerability to stochastic disturbances.

263 citations


"The Devil in the Deep: Expanding th..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Without further sampling of deeper reefs on the continental shelf, we will not know the extent and range of the deeper populations of eastern blue devil fish, and how they and other reef fishes are being affected by climatic changes in an ocean warming hotspot (Sunday et al. 2015)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Matthew R. Chapman1, Donald L. Kramer1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Movement of coral reef fishes across marine reserve boundaries subsequent to their initial settlement from the plankton will affect the ability of no-take reserves to conserve stocks and to benefit adjacent fisheries. However, the mobility of most exploited reef species is poorly known. We tagged 1443 individuals of 35 reef fish species captured in Antillean fish traps in the Barbados Marine Reserve and adjacent non-reserve over a two-month period. Trapping and visual surveys were used to monitor the movements of these fish during the trapping period and the subsequent two months. Estimates of distances moved were corrected for the spatial distribution of sampling effort and for the number of recaptures of individual fish. Recapture rates for individual species ranged from 0–100% (median=38%). Species mobility estimated by recapture and resighting were highly correlated. Most species were strongly site attached, with the majority of recaptures and resightings occurring at the site of tagging. However, only one of 59 tagged jacks (Caranx latus, C. ruber) was ever resighted, suggesting emigration from the study area. All species were occasionally recorded away from the sites where they had been tagged (20–500 m), and several species, including surgeonfish, Acanthurus bahianus, A. coeruleus, filefish, Cantherhines pullus, butterflyfish, Chaetodon striatus, angelfish Holocanthus tricolor and parrotfish, Sparisoma viride, ranged widely within reefs. In contrast, few movements were observed between reefs separated by more than 20 m of sand and rubble, and no emigration from the Reserve was recorded. Most reef fishes vulnerable to Antillean traps appear sufficiently site-attached to benefit from reserves. However, many species move over a wide enough area to take them out of small reserves on continuous reef. Use of natural home range boundaries could minimize exposure of fishes in reserves to mortality from adjacent fisheries.

211 citations


"The Devil in the Deep: Expanding th..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Adults of many demersal reef-attached species do not move across large areas of sand (Chapman and Kramer 2000, Turgeon et al. 2010), and for these species, sandy areas can effectively form barriers to adult movement....

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