February 12, 2016

In a world where fish biodiversity is on the decline, highly vulnerable species have been given a major boost after scientists identified why some species are absent from reefs in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Incorporating this knowledge into conservation strategies will help to reduce human impact on species loss.

The findings are the result of an international collaboration involving the Australian Institute of Marine Science, NERP Marine Hub researcher Camille Mellin, and a large team of scientists who together produced one of the world’s most extensive datasets of reef fishes.  By analysing almost 10,000 records from more than 900 locations, the team was able to identify specific types of fishes that are most vulnerable to direct human impacts and climate change.

  • Journal article - Mellin C, Mouillot D, Kulbicki M, McClanahan TR, Vigliola L, Bradshaw CJA, Brainard RE, Chabanet P, Edgar GJ, Fordham DA, et al. Humans and seasonal climate variability threaten large-bodied coral reef fish with small ranges. Nature Communications. 2016 ;7:10491. DOI:10.1038/ncomms10491
  • Media release - Most vulnerable tropical reef fish identified in new study, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), 3 February 2016
  • Image: The steephead parrotfish is one of many large-bodied reef fish species under increasing pressure from human impacts and climate change. Copyright: AIMS