Comparative Analyses of Natural and Human Influences on Coral Reef Community Structure, Diversity, and Resilience

The Pacific Islands region is NOAA's largest geographical management area, and includes many of the nation's most biologically diverse and pristine coral reef ecosystems. In this project, scientists analyzed coral reef community structure, diversity, and ecosystem resilience with the interrelated objectives of: (i) documenting the current status and variability of U.S. Pacific coral reef community structure; (ii) advancing our understanding of the complex natural and anthropogenic dynamics controlling coral reef ecosystem dynamics; and (iii) developing effective density- and diversity-based indicators of reef ecosystem health. These comparative analyses can address questions of significant intellectual merit including those specific to U.S. reefs, as well as those that elucidate general principles in coral reef ecology.

The project integrates existing interdisciplinary ecosystem observations, including habitat, biological, physical, and biogeochemical data, with available socioeconomic data using a tailored suite of statistical approaches. Results can be used by resource managers to facilitate implementation of ecosystem approaches in regional management plans, and to most effectively leverage resources to sustain reef health while maximizing benefits to society.

This project was conducted in collaboration with investigators at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and PIFSC Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED).


Grace-McCaskey CA
2012. Comparing the Human Dimensions of Reefs and Atolls across the Central Pacific. Paper presented at the First JIMAR/PIFSC Symposium. February: Honolulu, Hawaii
Grace-McCaskey CA
2012. Development of Indicators for Measuring Effects of Human Activities on Central Pacific Coral Reefs. Paper presented at the 12th Annual Coral Reef Symposium. July: Cairns, Australia


Grace-McCaskey CA
2012. Development of Indicators for Measuring Effects of Human Activities on U.S. Pacific Coral Reefs. Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, Australia, July 9 - 13.
Grace-McCaskey CA
2014. Examining the Potential of Using Secondary Data to Better Understand Human-Reef Relationships across the Pacific. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Administrative Report H-14-01, 69 p.