Consensus Report

A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs (2019)

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Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

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Coral reef managers are faced with a crisis: deteriorating environmental conditions are reducing the health and functioning of coral reef ecosystems worldwide. These threats compound the persistent local stresses coral reefs have experienced for decades from pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction. Established approaches for managing coral reefs are neither sufficient, nor designed, to preserve corals in a changing climate.

A growing body of research on "coral interventions" aims to increase the ability of coral reefs to persist in rapidly degrading environmental conditions. Those interventions include activities that affect the genetics, reproduction, physiology, ecology, or local environment of corals or coral populations. A first report, released in November 2018, reviewed the current state of the science for 23 novel interventions. This report provides a decision framework to help managers assess and implement interventions that are suitable for their region and goals.