Shifts in the abundance and location of species are restructuring life on the Earth, presenting the need to build resilience into natural systems.
This study tested if protection from fishing promotes community resilience in temperate reef communities undergoing rapid warming.
The obtained results show a significant difference between the responses in protected communities vs. exploited ones. The study found that under warming, some protected macroalgal communities display a lower rate of topicalization in comparison to fished locations. It is highlighted that by comparing long-term change in exploited and protected reefs, this study has empirically demonstrated the role of biological interactions in both facilitating and resisting climate-related biodiversity change.
The authors highlight the importance of multi-decadal time-series for teasing apart both the drivers for change in community structure and biodiversity.
Bates AE, Stuart-Smith RD, Barrett NS, Edgar GJ (2017) Biological interactions both facilitate and resist climate-related functional change in temperate reef communities. Proceedings. Biological Sciences 284: 20170484