Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

Preparing for climate change in the western Indian Ocean – Identifying climate refugia, biodiversity responses, and preferred management. WIOMSA Book Series No 12

Preparing for climate change in the western Indian Ocean – Identifying climate refugia, biodiversity responses, and preferred management. WIOMSA Book Series No 12

The research presented in this report develops a synoptic view of the biodiversity and resilience of coral reefs to climate change in the western Indian Ocean. Studying reefs over a gradient of environmental variability, we tested for differences in the acclimatization and adaptation response of corals to climatic fluctuations and changes expected with global warming. The study had three major foci, one on the ecology of coral reefs, a second on the ecology of algal symbionts in corals, and finally an evaluation of the types of management restrictions that coral reef stakeholders in the region prefer and are likely to support. The combination of the ecological and management preference studies identified priority areas and conservation actions. Studies were undertaken throughout the western Indian Ocean and compared with all available published and unpublished data to develop the broadest view provided by the current science.

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