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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

A DECISION FRAMEWORK FOR
INTERVENTIONS TO INCREASE
THE PERSISTENCE AND
RESILIENCE OF CORAL REEFS

Committee on Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs

Ocean Studies Board

Board on Life Sciences

Division on Earth and Life Studies

A Consensus Study Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Award Number WC133R17CQ0031 and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-49184-6
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-49184-3
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25424.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

COMMITTEE ON INTERVENTIONS TO INCREASE THE RESILIENCE OF CORAL REEFS

STEPHEN R. PALUMBI, Chair, Stanford University, California

KEN R. N. ANTHONY, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Queensland

ANDREW C. BAKER, University of Miami, Florida

MARISSA L. BASKETT, University of California, Davis

DEBASHISH BHATTACHARYA, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

DAVID G. BOURNE, James Cook University and Australian Institute of Marine Science, Queensland

NANCY KNOWLTON, Smithsonian Institution (retired), Washington, District of Columbia

CHERYL A. LOGAN, California State University, Monterey Bay

KERRY A. NAISH, University of Washington, Seattle

ROBERT H. RICHMOND, University of Hawaii at Manoa

TYLER B. SMITH, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas

KATHERINE VON STACKELBERG, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Staff

EMILY TWIGG, Program Officer, Ocean Studies Board

ANDREA HODGSON, Program Officer, Board on Life Sciences

TRENT CUMMINGS, Senior Program Assistant, Ocean Studies Board

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

OCEAN STUDIES BOARD

LARRY A. MAYER, Chair, University of New Hampshire, Durham

CAROL ARNOSTI, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

KEVIN R. ARRIGO, Stanford University, California

THOMAS R. CHANCE, ASV Global, LLC (retired), Broussard, Louisiana

PATRICK HEIMBACH, The University of Texas at Austin

SUSAN E. HUMPHRIS, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

NANCY KNOWLTON, Smithsonian Institution (retired), Washington, District of Columbia

ANTHONY MACDONALD, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey

THOMAS MILLER, University of Maryland, Solomons

S. BRADLEY MORAN, University of Alaska Fairbanks

RUTH M. PERRY, Shell Exploration & Production Company, Houston, Texas

JAMES SANCHIRICO, University of California, Davis

MARK H. SPALDING, The Ocean Foundation, Washington, District of Columbia

RICHARD SPINRAD, Oregon State University, Corvallis

MARGARET SPRING, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California

DOUGLAS WARTZOK, Florida International University, Miami

LISA D. WHITE, University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State University

ROBERT S. WINOKUR, Michigan Tech Research Institute, Silver Spring, Maryland

Staff

SUSAN ROBERTS, Director

STACEE KARRAS, Program Officer

EMILY TWIGG, Program Officer

TRENT CUMMINGS, Senior Program Assistant

SHELLY FREELAND, Finance Business Partner

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

BOARD ON LIFE SCIENCES

JAMES P. COLLINS, Chair, Arizona State University, Tempe

A. ALONSO AGUIRRE, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

ENRIQUETA C. BOND, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Marshall, Virginia

DOMINIQUE BROSSARD, University of Wisconsin–Madison

ROGER D. CONE, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

NANCY D. CONNELL, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Baltimore, Maryland

SEAN M. DECATUR, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio

JOSEPH R. ECKER, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California

SCOTT V. EDWARDS, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

GERALD EPSTEIN, National Defense University, Washington, District of Columbia

ROBERT J. FULL, University of California, Berkeley

ELIZABETH HEITMAN, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

MARY E. MAXON, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Emeryville, California

ROBERT NEWMAN, Independent Consultant, Washington, District of Columbia

STEPHEN J. O’BRIEN, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

CLAIRE POMEROY, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, New York, New York

MARY E. POWER, University of California, Berkeley

SUSAN RUNDELL SINGER, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida

LANA SKIRBOLL, Sanofi, Baltimore, Maryland

DAVID R. WALT, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Staff

FRANCES SHARPLES, Director

KATIE BOWMAN, Senior Program Officer

ANDREA HODGSON, Program Officer

JO HUSBANDS, Senior Scholar

KEEGAN SAWYER, Senior Program Officer

AUDREY THEVENON, Program Officer

JESSICA DE MOUY, Senior Program Assistant

KOSSANA YOUNG, Senior Program Assistant

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

Acknowledgments

This report was greatly enhanced by discussions with participants at the committee’s meetings and workshops as part of this study. The committee would like to acknowledge, especially, the efforts of those who gave presentations at the committee’s final open meeting since production of the first report: John Carriger, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; William Fisher, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Hugh Possingham, The Nature Conservancy and University of Queensland; Michael Runge, U.S. Geological Survey; Elizabeth Shaver, The Nature Conservancy; and Mitchell Small, Carnegie Mellon University.

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by David Karl, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Holly Greening, CoastWise Partners. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

Preface

Ecosystems around the world face increasing stress from human populations, and this is just as true in the oceans as on land. Coral reefs in particular are damaged by a wide range of factors, including overfishing, sediment, pollution, and habitat destruction. Added to these local stresses are a new range of deleterious impacts from climate change, which increases ocean temperature, storm damage, ocean acidity, and sea level. Because coral reefs directly provide food, living area, storm protection, and tourism income to hundreds of millions of people, maintaining their stability in the face of local and climate stressors is a key goal for supporting human well-being around the world.

We are not powerless to slow the decay of coral ecosystems in the face of climate change. But any successful effort requires careful application of a range of management tools at a regional scale, which needs time, effort, and often international cooperation. The Committee on Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs was asked to review the state of research on methods that have been used, tested, or proposed to increase the resilience of coral reefs. In our first report, we described and summarized 23 different interventions in four broad categories. The interventions differ widely in readiness and none are ready to be used at a global scale. In all cases, use of any of these interventions demands simultaneous efforts to reduce local stressors and reduce the impact of global greenhouse gas emissions on the world’s climate.

To navigate the sets of management choices that these many interventions provide, the committee turned to current methods of making

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
×

complex management decisions when there are many possible avenues of action. In this report, we follow the best practices for decision analysis, emphasizing the need for community involvement and detailed modeling in goal setting and risk analysis. The committee strived to lay out a framework that includes a range of methods for evaluating interventions, while emphasizing the primary role of localized goals and preferences based on local environmental monitoring. The Caribbean is a notably stressed region, depauperate of corals and plagued by disease, and provided the committee with a key case study for directing the use of a decision framework.

The group that together accomplished this effort—from the members of the committee to many levels of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine staff—dedicated themselves to a long journey through many different kinds of information and many different ways of thinking, from genomics to decision science. Throughout, it has been a pleasure to work with, and sometimes just sit back and watch, the dedicated action, attention to detail, commitment to deadlines, and creativity of this thoughtful group. A sense of common resolve—that the world we live in, especially the beautiful reefs that we love, needs a different kind of immediate help—has pervaded our efforts. Last, our National Academies staff leaders Emily Twigg and Andrea Hodgson could not have been more effective at facilitating the balance between the practical and the audacious, which is the pivot point on which efforts to sustain all of Earth’s ecosystems balances.

Stephen R. Palumbi, Chair
Committee on Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25424.
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Coral reefs are critical to ocean and human life because they provide food, living area, storm protection, tourism income, and more. However, human-induced stressors, such as overfishing, sediment, pollution, and habitat destruction have threatened ocean ecosystems globally for decades. In the face of climate change, these ecosystems now face an array of unfamiliar challenges due to destructive rises in ocean temperature, acidity and sea level. These factors lead to an increased frequency of bleaching events, hindered growth, and a decreasing rate of calcification. Research on interventions to combat these relatively new stressors and a reevaluation of longstanding interventions is necessary to understand and protect coral reefs in this changing climate. Previous research on these methods prompts further questions regarding the decision making process for site-specific interventions.

A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs builds upon a previous report that reviews the state of research on methods that have been used, tested, or proposed to increase the resilience of coral reefs. This new report aims to help coral managers evaluate the specific needs of their site and navigate the 23 different interventions described in the previous report. A case study of the Caribbean, a region with low coral population plagued by disease, serves as an example for coral intervention decision making. This report provides complex coral management decision making tools, identifies gaps in coral biology and conservation research, and provides examples to help individuals and communities tailor a decision strategy to a local area.

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