Ocean acidification is the newest climate related threat facing corals, and research gaps make it difficult to predict long-term effects of chemical processes and management activities. A major challenge facing the scientific, management, and policy communities is how to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.
In the face of rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the best option for preservation of coral reef communities is to monitor and protect resilient reefs and strengthen representative reef types at local levels.
The following pages provide possible management strategies, including policies, protecting reefs in different geographical and chemical environments, and improving marine protected area site selection to include areas that are likely to be less vulnerable to ocean acidification impacts.
The course of action taken to help combat the effects of climate change on coral reefs will depend on each reef’s environmental and geological surroundings and social capacity for protection, so an adaptive management framework is necessary to tackle future obstacles to conservation.