To make sure busy resource managers have access to the latest coral reef and reef fishery science and management strategies, the Reef Resilience Network compiles summaries and links to recent scientific publications. We select articles we think are relevant to resource managers working to address the impacts of global climate change and other stressors at local scales, and who are building resilience into daily management activities.


Explore the easily searchable summaries of journal articles about reef resilience science by scrolling through the list below or using the search feature on the left. Please contact us if you have an idea for an article summary or can’t seem to find an article you’d like access to.



No Reef is an Island: Integrating Coral Reef Connectivity Data into the Design of Regional-Scale Marine Protected Area Networks

Countries around the world are taking actions to promote coral reef conservation and management. For example, many countries are working to expand protection of coral reef habitat by designating Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), one of the most widely used methods for protecting coral reefs. It has been observed that coral reefs rely heavily on ocean […]

Locations: Caribbean


Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Managing exposure of corals to oxybenzone, a common ingredient found in sunscreen lotions, is critical for managing for coral reef resilience. A new study found that coral planulae exposed to oxybenzone became deformed and sessile, and had an increased rate of bleaching which increased with increasing concentrations, affecting coral recruitment and juvenile survival. Because oxybenzone […]


Environmental and Biotic Correlates to Lionfish Invasion Success in Bahamian Coral Reefs

Lionfish (Pterois volitans) from the Indo-Pacific have recently invaded the Caribbean and southeastern coast of North America. This study looked at lionfish abundances and the physical and environmental characteristics of the invasion process of reefs on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Lionfish abundance was significantly higher at sheltered sites compared to wave-exposed […]

Locations: Caribbean


Minimizing the Short-Term Impacts of Marine Reserves on Fisheries While Meeting Long-Term Goals for Recovery

No-take marine reserves are often proposed as management tools to recover small-scale fisheries, which, if enforced, can improve mid to long-term harvests and profits. However, the short-term losses may prevent fishers from supporting and implementing no-take reserves, resulting in a loss of recovery of fisheries. Trade-offs between short-term loss in profits and long-term benefits to […]


Coral Reef Disturbance and Recovery Dynamics Differ Across Gradients of Localized Stressors in the Mariana Islands

Disturbance and recovery patters of coral reefs in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands were studied over a 12-year period, including Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) densities, localized stressors, and natural disturbances such as tropical storms. COTS densities caused significant coral decline, however, the ability of reefs to recover was most influenced by localized […]

Locations: Pacific


The Micronesia Challenge: Assessing The Relative Contribution Of Stressors On Coral Reefs To Facilitate Science-To-Management Feedback

The Micronesia Challenge is an international conservation strategy initiated by the political leaders of 6 tropical island nations to conserve at least 30% of marine resources by 2020. Growing population and a shift towards cash-based economies have started to erode the traditional sources of sustainable reef management and have increased pressure upon marine resources. This […]

Locations: Pacific


Evaluating Taboo Trade-Offs In Ecosystems Services And Human Well-Being

In a new paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers analyzed the various trade-offs involved when fisheries managers in Kenya make decisions about the sustainability of coral reef fisheries. The authors suggest that resource managers typically focus on ‘win-wins’, such as the gains in profitability and conservation that can be […]


Evaluating The Relative Conservation Value Of Fully And Partially Protected Marine Areas

Marine protected areas (MPAs) offer various states of protection and are often viewed as a conflict between conservation and fishing. This study synthesized research that compared partially protected areas (PPAs), no-take reserves (NTRs) and open access areas (Open), to assess the potential benefits of different levels of protections of fish populations. Response to protection was […]

Locations: Global


The Influence Of Fisher Knowledge On The Susceptibility Of Reef Fish Aggregations To Fishing

Interview-based surveys were conducted with 16 fishers each from two fishing communities in Papua New Guinea, to examine how local context influenced heterogeneity in knowledge of reef fish aggregation behavior. The communities studied differed in geography, importance of fishing as an occupation, coastal geomorphology, fishing gear type and customary marine tenure. Difference between the 2 […]

Locations: Pacific


Density-Dependent Effects On Initial Growth Of A Branching Coral Under Restoration

Coral reef restoration is a process by which key habitat-forming species are reestablished in threatened coral ecosystems to help them recover from severe declines. However, alternative possible outcomes may result from out-planting coral fragments individually or in larger aggregations. It has been suggested that out-plants within aggregations might suffer from either negative interactions with neighbors […]

Locations: Caribbean