Novel Tools for the Evaluation of the Health Status of Coral Reefs Ecosystems and for the Prediction of Their Biodiversity in the Face of Climatic Changes - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Book Sections Year : 2013

Novel Tools for the Evaluation of the Health Status of Coral Reefs Ecosystems and for the Prediction of Their Biodiversity in the Face of Climatic Changes

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Stéphane La Barre
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Abstract

Tropical reefs concentrate between one quarter and one third of the total marine biodiversity, though they only cover about 0.1% of the global oceanic surface and are confined to warmer latitudes. Half a billion humans depend partly or totally on the goods and services provided by coral reef ecosystems. However, coral reefs are now recognized as being among the most fragile of all environments in the face of localized anthropic pressures and of their climatic consequences of planetary dimensions. Today less than 20% can still be regarded as unharmed. Research scientists continue to explore natural biodiversity in remote pristine environments (especially biodiversity hotspots, a very useful conservation-promoting concept) and to observe its lossesin degrading habitats. Programs on bioremediation of impacted sites are attracting funds, and classification of natural habitats as protected sites is gaining public support. Yet the scientific community has very little leverage on the decision-making of potentially impacting industrial, commercial and urban development projects, and on the say-so broadcast by their promoters in the media. In this chapter, a holistic concept is proposed that (i) integrates cutting-edge molecular research and standard technologies with field sampling and laboratory simulations of natural habitats (ii) using holobiont-based sentinel systems, (iii) into a single tool that "shows evidence" of ongoing degradation rather than aftermath "score loss". Corrective action can then be taken in specific directions before no-return limits have been reached and total ecosystem collapse is on the way.
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hal-00982666 , version 1 (24-04-2014)

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Stéphane La Barre. Novel Tools for the Evaluation of the Health Status of Coral Reefs Ecosystems and for the Prediction of Their Biodiversity in the Face of Climatic Changes. Enrico Zambianchi. Topics in Oceanography, InTech, pp.127-155, 2013, 978-953-51-1179-5. ⟨10.5772/55824⟩. ⟨hal-00982666⟩
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