The Ecology of Coral Reef Ecosystems

Coral reefs are highly diverse and valuable marine ecosystems that are under threat worldwide from myriad stressors. They provide the literal foundation for atoll ecosystems and atoll societies. Providing for the future health of coral reefs and the people that depend on these reefs in a changing world requires accurately addressing the threats to coral reefs and developing solutions that mitigate these threats. In this project we have assembled a uniquely diverse collaboration of scientists to study interactions between humans and coral reefs in the Central Pacific. In this work we aim to generate information that will improve the way we think about the ecology of coral reefs and will increase what we know about the role that humans play in these ecosystems. We hope that some of the products we produce will aid local and global managers to develop new tools and strategies to safeguard the long-term health of coral reefs and reef dependent communities.

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Coral Reef Health

Addressing the factors that threaten the health of coral reefs is a complex problem. To effectively address this problem we have assembled a group of Stanford researchers with expertise that crosses traditional research boundaries.  This novel research partnership includes anthropologists, biogeochemists, and ecologists.  By combining the strengths of these different disciplines in a focused research effort, we can hope to make a real contribution to improving the ways we understand and manage coral reefs.

Coral Reef Ecosystem Research