Abstract: Recent large-scale analyses suggest that local management actions may not protect coral reefs from climate change, yet most local threat-reduction strategies have not been tested experimentally. We show that removing coral predators is a common local action used by managers across the world, and that removing the corallivorous snail Coralliophila abbreviata from Caribbean brain corals (Pseudodiploria and Diploria species) before a major warming event increased coral resilience by reducing bleaching severity (resistance) and post-bleaching tissue mortality (recovery). Our results highlight the need for increased evaluation and identification of local interventions that improve coral reef resilience.
Authors: Shaver, E.C., D.E. Burkepile, and B.R. Silliman
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Nature Ecology & Evolution 2: doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0589-0