REEF SERVICES is a research project led by the CRIOBE (France) – Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement – together with other research institutions – the University of Lancaster (UK), the Smithsonian Institution (USA), the University of Montpellier (France), the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Australia) and the James Cook University (Australia)
Our goal is to collect important ecological data to understand how climate change is impacting ecosystem processes and key services (e.g. food provisioning, coastal protection) to humans.
Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystem on Earth. To most of us, this diversity invokes images of bright blue waters and colorful coral reefs, teeming with life. For Pacific Islanders, coral reefs represent life itself. In 2016 and 2017 climate change decimated coral reefs around the globe.
Coral reefs provide services, including food and shoreline protection, to more than 500 million people worldwide. The ability of coral reefs to deliver these services is largely attributed to a healthy relationship between the corals and the fish that live on these reefs and today, this relationship is under threat. Researchers have shown that the ability of reefs to provide these important services is already being impacted by climate change. Now, more than ever, politicians, resource managers and the scientific community need to work together to find solutions to ensure the persistence of human and ecological populations into the future.
The REEF Services project
How will climate change impact ecosystem services? Are these services resilient to coral bleaching? What services are directly derived from fish, and the fish-coral relationship? Can we accurately predict the impact of climate change on ecosystem service? These are the questions that REEF SERVICES will answer in the next three years