Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 301 (5635), 955-8

Global Trajectories of the Long-Term Decline of Coral Reef Ecosystems


Global Trajectories of the Long-Term Decline of Coral Reef Ecosystems

John M Pandolfi et al. Science.


Degradation of coral reef ecosystems began centuries ago, but there is no global summary of the magnitude of change. We compiled records, extending back thousands of years, of the status and trends of seven major guilds of carnivores, herbivores, and architectural species from 14 regions. Large animals declined before small animals and architectural species, and Atlantic reefs declined before reefs in the Red Sea and Australia, but the trajectories of decline were markedly similar worldwide. All reefs were substantially degraded long before outbreaks of coral disease and bleaching. Regardless of these new threats, reefs will not survive without immediate protection from human exploitation over large spatial scales.

Comment in

  • Causes of coral reef degradation.
    Aronson RB, Bruno JF, Precht WF, Glynn PW, Harvell CD, Kaufman L, Rogers CS, Shinn EA, Valentine JF. Aronson RB, et al. Science. 2003 Nov 28;302(5650):1502-4; author reply 1502-4. doi: 10.1126/science.302.5650.1502b. Science. 2003. PMID: 14645826 No abstract available.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 213 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources