Transient amplification enhances the persistence of tropicalising coral assemblages in marginal high-latitude environments
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Predicting the viability of species exposed to increasing climatic stress requires an appreciation for the mechanisms underpinning the success or failure of marginal populations. Rather than traditional metrics of long-term population performance, here we illustrate that short-term (i.e. transient) demographic characteristics, including measures of resistance, recovery and compensation, are fundamental in the poleward range expansion of hard corals, facilitating the establishment of coral populations at higher latitudes. Through the annual census of subtropical and temperate Acropora spp. colonies in Japan between 2017 and 2019, we show how enhanced transient amplification (i.e. short-term increases in population growth following disturbance) supports the persistence of coral assemblages within more variable high-latitude environments. The transient dynamics of both the subtropical and temperate assemblages were strongly influenced by their corresponding recruitment patterns. However, we demonstrate that variation in colony survival and fragmentation patterns between the two assemblages determines their relative capacities for transient amplification. This latitudinal variation in the transient dynamics of Acropora spp. assemblages emphasizes that coral populations can possess the demographic plasticity necessary for exploiting more variable, marginal conditions.
Cant , J , Cook , K M , Reimer , J D , Mezaki , T , Nakamura , M , O'Flaherty , C , Salguero-Gómez , R & Beger , M 2022 , ' Transient amplification enhances the persistence of tropicalising coral assemblages in marginal high-latitude environments ' , Ecography , vol. Early View , e06156 . https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.06156
Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Ecography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DescriptionJC was awarded a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Programme Scholarship. Grants were made by the British Ecological Society, UK; the Winifred Violet Scott Estate, Australia; and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska‐Curie grant agreement TRIM‐DLV‐747102 to MB. ORCHIDS project funding from the University of the Ryukyus was made to JDR. Recruitment surveys were supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant no. 16K07527 to MN. RS‐G was supported by a NERC Independent Research Grant (no. NE/M018458/1).
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