• Climate change and tropical marine agriculture

      Crabbe, M. James C. (Oxford University Press, 2009)
      The coral reef ecosystem forms part of a ‘seascape’ that includes land-based ecosystems such as mangroves and forests, and ideally should form a complete system for conservation and management. Aquaculture, including artisanal fishing for fish and invertebrates, shrimp farming, and seaweed farming, is a major part of the farming and gleaning practices of many tropical communities, particularly on small islands, and depends upon the integrity of the reefs. Climate change is making major impacts on these communities, not least through global warming and high CO2 concentrations. Corals grow within very narrow limits of temperature, provide livelihoods for millions of people in tropical areas, and are under serious threat from a variety of environmental and climate extremes. Corals survive and grow through a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae: zooxanthellae. Such systems apply highly cooperative regulation to minimize the fluctuation of metabolite concentration profiles in the face of transient perturbations. This review will discuss research on how climate influences reef ecosystems, and how science can lead to conservation actions, with benefits for the human populations reliant on the reefs for their survival.