Safeguarding Coastal Coral Communities on the Central Great Barrier Reef (Australia) Against Climate Change: Realizable Local and Global Actions

Full text for this resource is not available from the Research Repository.

Wooldridge, Scott Andrew, Done, Terence J, Thomas, Colette R, Gordon, Iain I, Marshall, Paul A and Jones, Roger ORCID: 0000-0001-6970-2797 (2012) Safeguarding Coastal Coral Communities on the Central Great Barrier Reef (Australia) Against Climate Change: Realizable Local and Global Actions. Climatic Change, 112 (3-4). pp. 945-961. ISSN 1573-1480


The threats of wide-scale coral bleaching and reef demise associated with anthropogenic (global) climate change are widely known. Less well considered is the contributing role of conditions local to the reef, in particular reef water quality, in codetermining the physiological tolerance of corals to increasing sea temperatures and declining pH. Here, the modelled benefit of reduced exposure to dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) in terrestrial runoff, which raises the thermal tolerance of coastal coral communities on the central Great Barrier Reef (Australia), is considered alongside alternative future warming scenarios. The simulations highlight that an 80% reduction in DIN ‘buys’ an additional ~50–60 years of reef-building capacity for No Mitigation (‘business-as-usual’) bleaching projections. Moreover, the integrated management benefits provided by: (i) local reductions of ~50% in DIN contained in river loads, and (ii) global stabilisation of atmospheric CO2 below 450 ppm can help ensure the persistence of hardcoral- dominated reefscapes beyond 2100. The simulations reinforce the message that beyond the global imperative to mitigate future atmospheric CO2 emissions there still remains the need for effective local management actions that enhance the resistance and resilience of coral reef communities to the impacts of climate change.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0229-z
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0502 Environmental Science and Management
Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > SEO Classification > 970114 Expanding Knowledge in Economics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Keywords ResPubID24421, ResPubID25528, coral bleaching, reef demise, anthropogenic climate change, reef water quality, increasing sea temperatures, dissolved inorganic nitrogen, DIN, terrestrial runoff, CO2 emissions
Citations in Scopus 24 - View on Scopus
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login