Quantifying spatial resilience

Anthropogenic stressors affect the ecosystems upon which humanity relies. In some cases when resilience is exceeded, relatively small linear changes in stressors can cause relatively abrupt and nonlinear changes in ecosystems. 2. Ecological regime shifts occur when resilience is exceeded and ecosystems enter a new local equilibrium that differs in its structure and function from the previous state. Ecological resilience, the amount of disturbance that…

Alternative states on coral reefs: beyond coral–macroalgal phase shifts

Degradation of coral reefs is often associated with changes in community structure where macroalgae become the dominant benthic life form. These phase shifts can be difficult to reverse. The debate on coral reef phase shifts has not focused on reports of coral reefs becoming dominated by other life forms following disturbance. A review of the primary and grey literature indicates that reefs dominated by corallimorpharia,…

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