Despite concerted efforts to address local threats to coral reefs, reef managers will continue to face the impacts of global warming for decades even if drastic measures are taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions now. Reef managers are increasingly adding coral reef restoration efforts to their existing management strategies in order to slow the loss of corals and species. However, the concept of resilience, while relatively mainstream now among reef managers, is often overlooked in restoration efforts, possibly due to a lack of practical guidance on how to incorporate resilience thinking into various steps in the process.
This paper offers a set of recommendations on how to incorporate resilience principles into restoration project planning and design, coral selection, site selection, and the broader ecosystem context such as how reefs interact with other nearshore habitats and the built environment. Recommendations include things like prioritizing techniques that promote resilience, engaging local communities, sourcing nursery corals from a variety of habitats, prioritizing restoration sites that serve as sources for other reefs, and conducting restoration as part of a larger management strategy. The information provided can help managers ensure that their restoration plans and projects are incorporating the most up-to-date resilience science.
Author: Shaver, E.C., E. McLeod, M.Y. Hein, S.R. Palumbi, K. Quigley, T. Vardi, P.J. Mumby, D. Smith, P. Montoya-Maya, E.M. Muller, A.T. Banaszak, I.M. McLeod, and D. Wachenfeld
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Global Change Biology 2022;00:1-14. doi: 10.1111/gcb.16212