Jamaican coral reefs
The archetypical example of a coral reef regime shift is the dramatic transition from coral dominance (52% coral cover, 4% algal cover) to macroalgal dominance (2% coral cover, 92% algal cover) which occurred on Jamaican reefs in the 1980s as a result of the synergistic impacts of overfishing, hurricane damage and disease. Similar examples of coral-macroalgae shifts have been observed across the Caribbean region, throughout the Eastern-Pacific, Indian Ocean and on the Great Barrier Reef.
Type of regime shift
- Marine & coastal
- Large-scale commercial crop cultivation
Spatial scale of the case study
- Local/landscape (e.g. lake, catchment, community)
Continent or Ocean
- North America
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Hughes TP. 1994. Catastrophes, phase-shifts, and large-scale degradation of a Caribbean coral reef. Science 265, 1547-1551.
Albert Norström. Jamaican coral reefs. In: Regime Shifts Database, www.regimeshifts.org. Last revised 2011-03-03 10:08:25 GMT.