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Science. 2001 May 25;292(5521):1532-5.

Regional-scale assembly rules and biodiversity of coral reefs.

Author information

1
Centre for Coral Reef Biodiversity, Department of Marine Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia. david.bellwood@jcu.edu.au

Abstract

Tropical reef fishes and corals exhibit highly predictable patterns of taxonomic composition across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Despite steep longitudinal and latitudinal gradients in total species richness, the composition of these key taxa is constrained within a remarkably narrow range of values. Regional-scale variation in reef biodiversity is best explained by large-scale patterns in the availability of shallow-water habitat. Once habitat area is accounted for, there is surprisingly little residual effect of latitude or longitude. Low-diversity regions are most vulnerable to human impacts such as global warming, underscoring the urgent need for integrated management at multinational scales.

PMID:
11375488
DOI:
10.1126/science.1058635
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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