Global tropical reef fish richness could decline by around half if corals are lost

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Strona , G , Lafferty , K D , Fattorini , S , Beck , P S A , Guilhaumon , F , Arrigoni , R , Montano , S , Seveso , D , Galli , P , Planes , S & Parravicini , V 2021 , ' Global tropical reef fish richness could decline by around half if corals are lost ' , Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences , vol. 288 , no. 1953 , 20210274 . https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.0274

Title: Global tropical reef fish richness could decline by around half if corals are lost
Author: Strona, Giovanni; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Fattorini, Simone; Beck, Pieter S. A.; Guilhaumon, Francois; Arrigoni, Roberto; Montano, Simone; Seveso, Davide; Galli, Paolo; Planes, Serge; Parravicini, Valeriano
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Ecological Data Science
Date: 2021-06-30
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences
ISSN: 0962-8452
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/333560
Abstract: Reef fishes are a treasured part of marine biodiversity, and also provide needed protein for many millions of people. Although most reef fishes might survive projected increases in ocean temperatures, corals are less tolerant. A few fish species strictly depend on corals for food and shelter, suggesting that coral extinctions could lead to some secondary fish extinctions. However, secondary extinctions could extend far beyond those few coral-dependent species. Furthermore, it is yet unknown how such fish declines might vary around the world. Current coral mass mortalities led us to ask how fish communities would respond to coral loss within and across oceans. We mapped 6964 coral-reef-fish species and 119 coral genera, and then regressed reef-fish species richness against coral generic richness at the 1 degrees scale (after controlling for biogeographic factors that drive species diversification). Consistent with small-scale studies, statistical extrapolations suggested that local fish richness across the globe would be around half its current value in a hypothetical world without coral, leading to more areas with low or intermediate fish species richness and fewer fish diversity hotspots.
Subject: bleaching
co-extinctions
ocean warming
structural equation modelling
STRUCTURAL COMPLEXITY
COMMUNITY STRUCTURE
HABITAT COMPLEXITY
BIODIVERSITY
RESISTANCE
DIVERSITY
PATTERNS
1172 Environmental sciences
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