Acclimatization: Acclimatization refers to phenotypic changes by an organism to stresses in the natural environment that result in the readjustment of the organism's tolerance.
Agent: The term disease causative agent usually refers to a living, biological organism that causes a disease.
Bathymetry: Measurement of the depth of the sea floor below sea level.
Biodiversity: The number of different species present in a given environment (species diversity). Or, the number of different ecosystems present in a given environment (ecological diversity).
Bioerosion: Erosion caused by living organisms; removal of material from the reef by biological processes.
Biogeographic: Refers to the distribution of biodiversity over space. A biogeographic region is a geographic area with similar dominant plants, organisms and prevailing climate conditions.
Biota: Living organisms.
Biotic: Relating to, produced by, or caused by living organisms.
BOFFF: The abbreviation for Big Old Fat Fertile Female. BOFFFs are more biologically valuable due to their age and reproductive abilities, and removing them from the system is more detrimental than removing younger, non-reproductive fish.
Clades: A clade is a term used to distinguish a taxonomic group that consists of a common ancestor and all descendents (cladograms are graphical depictions of these relationships; see Phylogenetic).
Colony Integration: Influences the degree to which a whole colony responds to thermal stress. Characteristics of colony integration include polyp dimorphism, intra-tentacular budding and complex colony morphology. Species with high colony integration are predicted to result in a greater whole-colony response to increased temperatures than species with low colony integration.
Co-management: A process by which institutional arrangements and ecological knowledge are tested and revised in a dynamic, ongoing self-organized process of learning-by-doing (Folke et al. 2002). Through this process, different resource management bodies collaborate in order to reach a shared goal of managing resources.
Compensatory Mitigation: Within the United States, mitigation (see) is essentially a three part process. If a proposed project will impact marine resources, Federal agencies first attempt to modify the proposal to avoid impacts. If, after avoidance measures have been implemented, project-related impacts still exist, Federal agencies then attempt to minimize impacts. Finally, if unavoidable impacts still exist after all attempts at avoidance and minimization, then the Federal agencies must replace the resource's lost functions and services through compensatory mitigation.
Connectivity: Describes the extent to which populations in different parts of a species’ range are linked by the exchange of eggs, larval recruits or other propagules, juveniles, or adults; as well as the ecological linkages associate with adjacent and distant habitats.
Contiguous: Touching area.
Contiguous Habitats: Habitats that share a boundary.
Cooling: Oceanographic conditions that cause mixing of heated surface waters with cooler deeper water that can reduce temperature stress.
Coral Bleaching: The process by which the symbiotic algae in a coral leaves its host, resulting in a loss of color.
Coral Recruit: Settlement of a coral larvae to a permanent location.
Corallivorous: Organisms that consume coral.
Cryptic: Hidden or difficult to see.
Degree Heating Weeks: A combination of temperature anomalies and duration of exposure to quantify the accumulated thermal stress in a particular region. One degree heating week is equivalent to one week of sea surface temperature one degree Celsius warmer than the expected summer-time maximum.
Demographic Connectivity: Connectivity is much more than the biophysical coupling of larvae from reproductive populations to recruitment sites. To sustain and grow, populations require an unbroken nexus among reproductive populations called “demographic connectivity” (Steneck et al. 2009).
Ecoregion: An area that contains a distinct assemblage of communities and species.
Ecosystem Resilience: The ability of an ecosystem to maintain key functions and processes in the face of stresses or pressures by either resisting or adapting to change.
Ecotourism: Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people. (The International Ecotourism Society).
Eddy: A current, as of water or air, moving contrary to the direction of the main current, especially in a circular motion.
Energy Regime: Refers to the level of energy that characterizes a location. For example, a site on the leeward side of an island would have a lower energy regime because the influences of the wind on a daily basis is minimal.
Exposure: Describes the level of being exposed to physical forces such as high wave energy, wind, and strong currents. If an area is surrounded by islands with limited influence from waves, wind, and currents, its level of exposure is minimal.
Functional Group : A collection of species that perform similar function, irrespective of their taxonomic affinities.
Genetic Diversity: Genetic variation within a species.
Holobiont: The collective community of coral host and its microbial symbionts
Larval Duration: Pelagic larval duration refers to the amount of time the larvae spend in the open ocean before settlement on the reef.
Local Extinction: The complete loss of an organism in a specific part of its range.
Marine Protected Area (MPA): Any area of intertidal or subtidal terrain, together with its overlying water and associated flora, fauna, historical and cultural features, which has been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment (IUCN definition).
Marine Protected Area Network: An MPA network can include zones that are designed for different levels of use and extraction. For example, within the MPA network, no-take zones can be strategically placed to prohibit harvest. Multiple-use MPA zoning, including no-take areas, provides a way to accommodate multiple uses (e.g., recreational fishing, commercial fishing, tourism, etc.) and balances the trade-offs between sustainable use and conservation.
Marine Tenure: Locally specified entitlements to marine territories and resources claimed and exercised by the ‘guardians’ of those territories and resources.
MARXAN: Computer software available at no charge that provides decision support for those designing marine reserves or networks of reserves. It has become the most utilized conservation planning tool in the world.
Mass Bleaching (or Regional Bleaching): Events in which entire reef tracts or regions are completely bleached (see Coral Bleaching).
Microbial Community: An assemblage or population of microbes (Bacteria, Archaea, viruses, fungi and protists).
Migration Corridors: Many large marine animals (i.e., whales, predatory fish, turtles, etc.) follow set routes when they migrate (for feeding, nesting, birthing, or breeding purposes) from one area to another. These routes are referred to as migration corridors.
Mitigation: The reduction or control of adverse environmental effects of a project, including restitution for any damage to the environment through replacement, restoration, or creation of habitat in one area to compensate for loss in another.
Mortality: The rate at which a particular species or population dies.
Mutualistic Relationships: Biological interaction between two species where each derives a benefit from the other.
Ocean Acidification: The declining pH (increased acidification) of the oceans due to increased CO2 emissions globally.
Ocean Neighborhood: The area centered on a set of parents that is large enough to retain most of the offspring of those parents.
Ontogeny: The origin and development of an organism from the fertilized egg to the mature form.
pH: A measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution. pH provides an approximation of the concentration of dissolved hydrogen ions (H+).
Phenotypic Plasticity: Refers to non-genetic variation in organisms in response to environmental factors.
Photosynthetically Active Radiation: Electromagnetic radiation in the wavelengths λ = 400-700 nm (the visible wavelengths and the spectrum used by plants for photosynthesis) that is absorbed by the chlorophyll molecule.
Pigment: A compound that gives color to tissue.
Planktivorous: Organisms that consume plankton.
Recoverability: The ability of a habitat or community to remedy damage sustained as a result of an external factor. Recoverability depends on the stressor, the impacted species/community and the temporal and spatial intensities of the stressor.
Recovery: The term recovery implies that a system will return to a previous condition after being in a degraded or disrupted condition, one which is often interpreted as being in poor ecological health. Recovery may occur naturally but can be accelerated by human intervention, implying that recovery will occur in the system once the stressor is removed; it can be encouraged by or is the response to management actions. If recovery is truly successful, then the community established will be similar in species composition, population density and size and biomass structure to that previously present or present at a comparable site.
Refugia: Secure areas that are protected by natural factors and/or human intervention from a variety of stresses. They are meant to function as reliable sources of seed over time.
Rehabilitation: The act of partially or fully replacing structural or functional characteristics of an ecosystem that have been diminished or lost, or the substitution of alternative qualities or characteristics than those originally present, with the provision that they have more social, economic or ecological value than existed in the disturbed or degraded state.
Relief (High or Low, Mapped): The differences between elevation and slope of higher and lower parts of a given surface.
Remediation: The act or process of remedying or repairing damage to an ecosystem.
Replication: The process by which multiple samples of any habitat types are secured in a network of protected areas. Replication helps to spread the risk of any large-scale event destroying all protected examples of any habitat type.
Representation: The inclusion of a full range of habitat types into a protected area system. Representation of all habitat types helps to ensure that the full complement of species for that habitat type is protected.
Resilience: The ability of a system to maintain key functions and processes in the face of stresses or pressures by either resisting or adapting to change.
Resistance: The capacity of an organism or a tissue to withstand the effects of a harmful environmental agent. Resistance to bleaching is exhibited when coral colonies do not bleach, or bleach but don’t die. This may vary among different parts of a reef and between different reef communities.
Restoration: The process of re-establishing, following degradation by human activities, a sustainable habitat or ecosystem with natural structure and functioning. Restoration can accelerate recovery although this could lead to an alternative state.
Screening: Screening by naturally occurring suspended or dissolved matter reduces sunlight penetration and may reduce bleaching.
Sediment: Soil or particulate organic and inorganic matter carried in the water.
Sedimentation: The settling of particulate matter.
Shading: Reduced exposure to the harmful effects of sunlight. Examples include high island shadow or overhanging vegetation.
Site Conservation Planning: Planning methodology which places sites in their larger ecological context; setting conservation priorities and strategies to conserve both single and multiple conservation areas, taking direct conservation action; and measuring conservation success.
Social Resilience: The resilience of communities to adapt to and withstand institutional, environmental and economic changes in their particular geography. Often these changes take the form of policies or regulations, with more resilient communities more likely to comply and sustain change.
Species Diversity: The number of different species present in a given environment.
Spillover: Spillover from an MPA accounts for two types of movements outside the MPA: (1) adults and juvenile animals swim into adjacent areas, and (2) young animals and eggs can drift out from the MPA into the surrounding waters.
Stakeholder: Any person with a vested interest in the natural resources of concern (e.g., coral reefs).
Stress Tolerance: The response of organisms to stressful conditions that have been repeatedly exposed to a stress, such as an exposed reef flat exposed to warm waters that may result in a natural tolerance against bleaching.
Susceptible (Susceptibility): Easily influenced or affected.
Thermohaline Circulation (THC): Large-scale ocean circulation patterns that are driven by global density gradients that result from both temperature (thermo) and freshwater inputs that alters the salinity of the water (haline).
Tolerance (Thermal, Stress): The ability to survive and grow in the presence of normally toxic conditions (i.e., Heat).
Topographical: The characteristics describing the physical features of the environment
Trophic Structure: The relationship of an organism to other organisms in the context of a food web (trophic refers to an organisms assignment to different trophic levels, i.e., consumers, producers, decomposers, etc.).
Turbid (or Turbidity): Limited visibility due to particulate matter suspended in the water; murky.
Vector: An organism that transmits a pathogen from reservoir to host.
Virulence: Ability to overcome defensive mechanisms; destructiveness.
Zooxanthellae: Symbiotic algae (in the dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium) that lives in the tissues of coral polyps and other host animals. The tiny photosynthetic organisms provide both nutrients and oxygen to the corals and other host animals in which they live.