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One-third of reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts
Carpenter, K.E.; Abrar, M.; Aeby, G.; Aronson, R.B.; Banks, S.; Bruckner, A.; Chiriboga, A.; Cortés, J.; Delbeek, J.C.; DeVantier, L.; Edgar, G.J.; Edwards, T.M.; Fenner, D.; Guzmán, H.M.; Hoeksema, B.W.; Hodgson, G.; Johan, O.; Licuanan, W.Y.; Livingstone, S.R.; Lovell, E.R.; Moore, J.A.; Obura, D.O.; Ochavillo, D.; Polidoro, B.A.; Precht, W.F.; Quibilan, M.C.; Reboton, C.; Richards, Z.T.; Rogers, A.D.; Sanciango, J.; Sheppard, A.; Sheppard, C.; Smith, J.; Stuart, S.; Turak, E.; Veron, J.E.N.; Wallace, C.; Weil, E.; Wood, E. (2008). One-third of reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts. Science (Wash.) 321(5888): 560-563
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Climatic changes; Coral reefs; Species extinction; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Carpenter, K.E.
  • Abrar, M.
  • Aeby, G.
  • Aronson, R.B.
  • Banks, S.
  • Bruckner, A.
  • Chiriboga, A.
  • Cortés, J.
  • Delbeek, J.C.
  • DeVantier, L.
  • Edgar, G.J.
  • Edwards, T.M.
  • Fenner, D.
  • Guzmán, H.M.
  • Hoeksema, B.W., more
  • Hodgson, G.
  • Johan, O.
  • Licuanan, W.Y.
  • Livingstone, S.R.
  • Lovell, E.R.
  • Moore, J.A.
  • Obura, D.O.
  • Ochavillo, D.
  • Polidoro, B.A.
  • Precht, W.F.
  • Quibilan, M.C.
  • Reboton, C.
  • Richards, Z.T.
  • Rogers, A.D., more
  • Sanciango, J.
  • Sheppard, A.
  • Sheppard, C.
  • Smith, J.
  • Stuart, S.
  • Turak, E.
  • Veron, J.E.N.
  • Wallace, C.
  • Weil, E.
  • Wood, E.

Abstract
    The conservation status of 845 zooxanthellate reef-building coral species was assessed by using International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Criteria. Of the 704 species that could be assigned conservation status, 32.8% are in categories with elevated risk of extinction. Declines in abundance are associated with bleaching and diseases driven by elevated sea surface temperatures, with extinction risk further exacerbated by local-scale anthropogenic disturbances. The proportion of corals threatened with extinction has increased dramatically in recent decades and exceeds that of most terrestrial groups. The Caribbean has the largest proportion of corals in high extinction risk categories, whereas the Coral Triangle (western Pacific) has the highest proportion of species in all categories of elevated extinction risk. Our results emphasize the widespread plight of coral reefs and the urgent need to enact conservation measures.

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