Organizers: Frédéric Bertucci1 & Aran Mooney2

Affiliations: 1/ CRIOBE – USR 3278 CNRS EPHE UPVD, PSL, Labex Corail, Moorea, French Polynesia; 2/ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA)

Email: fred.bertucci@gmail.com; amooney@whoi.edu

Lead contact: Frédéric Bertucci

Description : Coral reefs have always been under the spotlight of society due to their extremely high biodiversity and their services provided worldwide. They are remarkably complex socio-ecological systems and understanding these communities requires a multidisciplinary approach in order to quickly measure their degradation rate and/or their resilience, but also to model and anticipate changes on a broad scale across the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. This session aims to present the latest research performed at different levels quantifying the reef ecosystem from genes to biodiversity assessments, as well as the impacts of human activities. We will cover a wide range of disciplines from genetics to species ecology and to bio-geography and demonstrate how this information may be integrated in a restoration and long-term management perspective of coral reefs. For example, passive acoustics now allows monitoring at potentially large temporal and spatial scales. If this method has permitted the detection and identification of numerous species, it recently appeared to provide reliable information on biodiversity and on the health of coral reefs. The session will focus on fishes, but will also include measurements that address the broader community components, because a central and urgent task in conservation biology is holistically assessing the health of coral reef communities. Such evaluations would address not only how these systems function but would also evaluate how they react to the different forces acting on them.

Expected Audience : This session should be of interest to students and researchers from all the different fields of study evoked during the different talks and dealing with conservation biology. It should encourage future cooperation not only between scientists but also with managers and be of interest for regional authorities, national regulatory agencies and other authorities concerned with environmental monitoring across the Pacific and Indian oceans. The audience will therefore have the opportunity to judge the amazing complexity of this remarkable environment and how it is impacted by global change and anthropic activities. Moreover, this session would be a great opportunity for a non-professional audience to realize all the efforts and considerations that coral reef conservation requires today.