Science for sustainable reefs

Further reading

Australian Academy of Science

August 2010
The Science of Climate change: Questions and Answers.
A document summarising the current understanding of climate change science for non-specialist readers.

Australasian Science

July 2009, pages 32-34
Tropical fish follow Nemo south (by Peter Pockley)
Reports that tropical fish are successfully migrating to temperate waters in response to global warming.

March 2008, p 14
Traditional reef protection
Explains that coral reefs can be effectively protected using traditional management practices of small local communities.


7 January 2009
Marine reserves proliferate worldwide (by Christopher Pala)
Reports on the creation of large marine reserves around the world.

December 2008/January 2009, pages 76-83
Oceans of acid (by John Pickrell)
Describes the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs.

22 October 2008
Corals hybridizing to survive (by Melanie McFarlane)
Suggests that threatened reefs may be able to adapt to changing conditions.

June/July 2008, pages 82-85
An ocean wilderness (by Christopher Pala)
Announces the creation of the world’s largest marine protected area in Micronesia.

5 December 2006
Sharks fighting for life
Compares the effectiveness of different types of marine zones on shark populations on the Great Barrier Reef.

June/July 2006, pages 32-35
The late Great Barrier Reef (by Jeni Payne)
Details the threats facing the Great Barrier Reef.

Current Biology (Note: subscription required)

20 February 2007, pages 360-365
Phase shifts, herbivory, and the resilience of coral reefs to climate change (by Terry Hughes et al.)
A scientific report that shows overfishing compromises the capacity of coral reefs to cope with climate change.

Decision Point

February 2008, page 10
New initiative to protect the coral triangle
Describes threats to the Coral Triangle and proposed strategies to protect the region’s resources.


No. 146, 2009, page 5
Taking a chemical load off the Great Barrier Reef
Announces strategies to reduce chemical use in agriculture and improve runoff from reef catchments.

No. 144, 2008, page 5
Species recovers in no-take zones
A brief report on the recovery of coral trout numbers on the Great Barrier Reef after fishing was banned in some areas.

No. 115, 2003, page 37-41
Do sediments sully the reef? (by Steve Davidson)
Explains the sources and impacts of run-off from catchment areas on the Great Barrier Reef and strategies to improve water quality.


24 June 2004, pages 827-833
Confronting the coral reef crisis (by D Bellwood, T Hughes, C Folke and M Nyström)
A scientific review of the ecological roles of functional groups that are important to reef resilience.

New Scientist

2 February 2009
Acid oceans no laughing matter for clownfish (by Rachel Nowak)
Reports that when exposed to raised water acidity levels, clownfish larvae can’t discriminate between ‘smells’ that they normally use to find a suitable reef habitat.


2008, pages 115-118
Preserving the world’s coral reefs (by Terence Hughes, Gary Russ and Robert Pressey)
Describes the role of Australian scientists in protecting coral reefs through management of reef resilience, fisheries management and conservation planning.

Science (Note: subscription required)

14 December 2007, pages 1737-1742
Coral reefs under rapid climate change (by Ove Hoegh-Guldberg et al.)
A scientific review of the effects of climate change on coral reefs and possible future changes to reefs.

15 August 2003, pages 929-933
Climate change, human impacts, and the resilience of coral reefs (by Terry Hughes et al.)
A scientific review of the impacts of human activities on coral reefs and research to improve reef resilience.


10 December 2008
Socioeconomic study on coral reefs points to challenges of coastal resource management
Reports on a study discussing the impacts of reef health and management on local communities.

16 May 2007
Marine reserves could save coral reefs
Explains that marine reserves allow better survival of young corals.

Scientific American

21 July 2008
Fishing bans may save corals from killer starfish (by Adam Hadhazy)
Reports that fishing bans on coral reefs result in fewer predatory starfish.

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Posted September 2009, edited August 2012.