May 8 2019

12:00 LSB 2320

Simon Brandl
Simon Fraser University

Fishes, Functions, and the Future of Coral Reefs


Coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive ecosystem's worldwide, but their future is threatened by a host of anthropogenic disturbances. To protect reefs and their services to humanity, calls for the management of "coral reef ecosystem functioning" have strengthened. However, despite many decades of excellent research, our understanding of what makes a reef "functional" or not is still remarkably limited. In my talk, I highlight the surprising role of a thus far overlooked, but highly diverse group of coral reef animals for coral reef ecosystem functioning. Specifically, by investigating the ecology of 'cryptobenthic’ reef fishes from species' niches to energy fluxes throughout ecosystems, I show that the world's smallest marine vertebrates may play a fundamental part in the recycling of energy and nutrients on chronically nutrient-poor coral reefs. In doing so, I offer a new perspective on conservation challenges in the 21st century and our potential avenues for the management of coral reefs.













































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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