Mapped coral mortality and refugia in an archipelago-scale marine heat wave

Gregory P. Asner, Nicholas R. Vaughn, Roberta Martin, Shawna A. Foo, Joseph Heckler, Brian J. Neilson, Jamison M. Gove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

SignificanceCorals exhibit highly variable responses to marine heat waves as well as to local biological and ecological circumstances that moderate them across reef seascapes. This variability makes identifying refugia-reefs possessing conditions that increase coral resilience-nearly impossible with traditional surveys. We developed and applied an airborne coral mortality mapping approach to identify reef refugia in a major marine heat wave across the Hawaiian Islands. A combination of human and environmental factors, including reduced coastal development and lower sedimentation levels, advantaged the majority of refugia over neighboring reefs. High-resolution monitoring of coral mortality reveals a reef geography of both resilience and vulnerability to climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e2123331119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume119
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - May 10 2022

Keywords

  • coral bleaching
  • coral mortality
  • coral reef
  • Hawaiian Islands
  • reef resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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