Climate change: underwater forest decline

Bates A. E., Barrett N. S., Stuart-Smith R. D., Holbrook N. J., Thompson P. A. & Edgar G. J. (2014) Resilience and signatures of tropicalization in protected reef fish communities. Nature Clim. Change 4, 62-7.

Aim: 
Analyse the species richness, diversity and functional traits of temperate reef fish communities over 20 years in a global warming hotspot and compare patterns in a marine reserve with nearby sites open to fishing
Type of Study: 
Comparative experiment (reserve vs no-reserve contrast) over a temporal gradient in warming
Key Results: 
In response to 20 years warming: increasing functional trait richness and functional diversity, driven in part by a general increase in herbivores. Fished areas more susceptible to change than reserve areas
Treatments: 
Contrast reserve vs no-reserve with annual samples over 20 years
Response: 
Authors conclude protection form fishing provides resistance to tropicalisation
Models: 
Regressions. Fixed and mixed effects models fitted using maximum likelihood.
Reviewer: 
Thomas Wernberg
Locations: 
Tasmania (Maria Island Reserve; Australia)
Response variable : 
Fish species (identity, size, abundance), community metrics (richness, functional diversity)
Replication: 
6 reserve and 6 non-reserve sites (1 transect per site), 20 annual time points
Full Reference: 
Bates A. E., Barrett N. S., Stuart-Smith R. D., Holbrook N. J., Thompson P. A. & Edgar G. J. (2014) Resilience and signatures of tropicalization in protected reef fish communities. Nature Clim. Change 4, 62-7.