In this study, investigators develop and present a framework for responding to coral disease outbreaks with implications for reef ecosystem health. The framework contains four components, including an early warning system, a tiered impact assessment program, scaled management actions, and a communication plan.
A combination of predictive tools with in situ observations of areas at risk for disease outbreak constitute the early warning system, while reports of increasing disease prevalence triggers a tiered response of assessment, research, or management actions. Response to the disease outbreak risk is scaled based on the severity and spatial extent of impacts incurred by a disease outbreak to coral species.
Additionally, the study reviews potential management actions to mitigate coral disease impacts and facilitate recovery of the reef ecosystem, and considers coral disease-specific strategies as well as strategies already used in reef resilience.
Author: Beeden R., J.A. Maynard, P.A. Marshall, S.F. Heron, and B.L. Willis
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Environmental Management 49:1–13. doi:10.1007/s00267-011-9770-9