The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "Parsing human and biophysical drivers of coral reef regimes"

Posted on 2019-01-23 - 16:47
Coral reefs worldwide face unprecedented cumulative anthropogenic effects of interacting local human pressures, global climate change and distal social processes. Reefs are also bound by the natural biophysical environment within which they exist. In this context, a key challenge for effective management understands how anthropogenic and biophysical conditions interact with drive distinct coral reef configurations. Here, we use machine learning to conduct explanatory predictions on reef ecosystems defined by both fish and benthic communities. Drawing on the most spatially extensive dataset available across the Hawaiian archipelago—20 anthropogenic and biophysical predictors over 620 survey sites—we model the occurrence of four distinct reef regimes and provide a novel approach to quantify the relative influence of human and environmental variables in shaping reef ecosystems. Our findings highlight the nuances of what underpins different coral reef regimes, the overwhelming importance of biophysical predictors, and how a reef's natural setting may either expand or narrow the opportunity space for management interventions. The methods developed through this study can help inform reef practitioners and hold promises for replication across a broad range of ecosystems.


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Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences


Jean-Baptiste Jouffray
Lisa M. Wedding
Albert V. Norström
Mary K. Donovan
Gareth J. Williams
Larry B. Crowder
Ashley L. Erickson
Alan M. Friedlander
Nicholas A. J. Graham
Jamison M. Gove
Carrie V. Kappel
John N. Kittinger
Joey Lecky
Kirsten L. L. Oleson
Kimberly A. Selkoe
Crow White
Ivor D. Williams
Magnus Nyström
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