Transient demographic approaches can drastically expand the toolbox of coral reef science

James Cant, Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Maria Beger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Coral communities are threatened by an increasing plethora of abiotic and biotic disturbances. Preventing the ensuing loss of coral coverage and diversity calls for a mechanistic understanding of resilience across coral species and populations that is currently lacking in coral reef science. Assessments into the dynamics of coral populations typically focus on their long-term (i.e. asymptotic) characteristics, tacitly assuming stable environments in which populations can attain their long-term characteristics. Instead, we argue that greater focus is needed on investigating the transient (i.e. short-term) dynamics of coral populations to describe and predict their characteristics and trajectories within unstable environments. Applying transient demographic approaches to evaluating and forecasting the responses of coral populations to disturbance holds promise for expediting our capacity to predict and manage the resilience of coral populations, species, and communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-896
Number of pages12
JournalCoral Reefs
Early online date23 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Asymptotic dynamics
  • Disturbances
  • Population dynamics
  • Reef conservation
  • Resilience


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