Elizabeth Mcleod

Elizabeth Mcleod
The Nature Conservancy

PhD

About

68
Publications
51,086
Reads
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7,069
Citations
Citations since 2017
19 Research Items
4948 Citations
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Introduction
Dr. Lizzie Mcleod leads The Nature Conservancy's global reef work. She is passionate about supporting local leadership to achieve global impact. She has spent two decades developing and implementing strategies to reduce the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems and coastal communities and developing tools to improve reef management. She has led collaborative research with more than 25 of the world’s top marine research institutions.

Publications

Publications (68)
Article
Full-text available
Escalating climate impacts on coral reefs are increasingly expanding management goals beyond preserving biodiversity to also maintaining ecosystem functions. Morphological and ecological species traits can help assess changes within reef communities beyond taxonomic identities alone. However, our limited understanding of trait interactions between...
Article
In coral reef systems, increasingly frequent, severe climate change-driven disturbances are responsible for declines in vulnerable species, and a reorganisation of assemblages. Whilst these changes will certainly elicit shifts in ecosystem functioning, how trait distributions and cross-taxon interactions are altered remains largely unmeasured, hamp...
Article
Full-text available
Recent warm temperatures driven by climate change have caused mass coral bleaching and mortality across the world, prompting managers, policymakers, and conservation practitioners to embrace restoration as a strategy to sustain coral reefs. Despite a proliferation of new coral reef restoration efforts globally and increasing scientific recognition...
Technical Report
Full-text available
To assess dual challenges and investigate opportunities to both improve reef health and support COVID-19 pandemic recovery across the tourism industry, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) conducted quantitative and qualitative public opinion research amo...
Chapter
Marine protected areas (MPAs) – clearly defined spaces dedicated to achieving long-term conservation of nature and nature’s values – have been identified as one of the most effective tools for safeguarding marine ecosystems. Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) are increasingly recognized as an additional tool to achieve global...
Article
Full-text available
To conserve global biodiversity, countries must forge equitable alliances that support sustainability in traditional pastoral lands, fisheries-management areas, Indigenous territories and more. To conserve global biodiversity, countries must forge equitable alliances that support sustainability in traditional pastoral lands, fisheries-management ar...
Article
Full-text available
Maintaining coral reef ecosystems is a social imperative, be cause so many people depend on coral reefs for food production, shoreline protection, and livelihoods. The survival of reefs this century, however, is threatened by the mounting effects of climate change. Climate mitigation is the foremost and essential action to prevent coral reef ecosys...
Article
Full-text available
For millennia, coastal and marine ecosystems have adapted and flourished in the Red Sea’s unique environment. Surrounded by deserts on all sides, the Red Sea is subjected to high dust inputs and receives very little freshwater input, and so harbors a high salinity. Coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangroves flourish in this environment and provid...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is causing the decline of coral reef ecosystems globally. Recent research highlights the importance of reducing CO 2 emissions in combination with implementing local management actions to support reef health and recovery, particularly actions that protect sites which are more resilient to extreme events. Resilience assessments quanti...
Article
Full-text available
Several ocean-based measures are available to reduce both climate change and its impacts on the open-ocean and coastal ecosystems, suggesting that the international community working on the ocean, from institutions to the private sector, can play a significant role in both adaptation and mitigation. All measures have limitations and tradeoffs. Desp...
Article
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The health of coastal human communities and marine ecosystems are at risk from a host of anthropogenic stressors, in particular, climate change. Because ecological health and human well-being are inextricably connected, effective and positive responses to current risks require multidisciplinary solutions. Yet, the complexity of coupled social–ecolo...
Article
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The impacts of climate change and the socioecological challenges they present are ubiquitous and increasingly severe. Practical efforts to operationalize climate-responsive design and management in the global network of marine protected areas (MPAs) are required to ensure long-term effectiveness for safeguarding marine biodiversity and ecosystem se...
Article
Full-text available
By necessity, Pacific Islands have become hubs of innovation, where climate strategies are piloted and refined to inform adaptation efforts globally. Pacific Island ecosystems are being degraded by pollution, overfishing, and unsustainable development. They also increasingly face severe climate impacts including sea-level rise, changing temperature...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience underpins the sustainability of both ecological and social systems. Extensive loss of reef corals following recent mass bleaching events have challenged the notion that support of system resilience is a viable reef management strategy. While resilience-based management (RBM) cannot prevent the damaging effects of major disturbances, such...
Article
Full-text available
The Paris Agreement target of limiting global surface warming to 1.5–2°C compared to pre-industrial levels by 2100 will still heavily impact the ocean. While ambitious mitigation and adaptation are both needed, the ocean provides major opportunities for action to reduce climate change globally and its impacts on vital ecosystems and ecosystem servi...
Research
Full-text available
This Policy Brief summarises the main findings of The Ocean Solutions Initiative (http://www.obs-vlfr.fr/~gattuso/tosi_products.php) that assessed the potential of 13 ocean-based measures. The Ocean Solutions Initiative is an endeavour by a group of 18 ocean experts across natural and social sciences to assess the potential of 13 ocean-based measur...
Article
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Policymakers and natural resource managers are increasingly recognizing the importance of broader geographic and gender participation in assessing climate vulnerability and developing effective adaptation policies. When such participation is limited, climate mitigation and adaptation polices may miss key opportunities to support vulnerable communit...
Article
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Oceans and coasts provide a wide array of services to humans, including climate regulation, food security, and livelihoods. Managing them well is vital to human well-being as well as the maintenance of marine biodiversity and ocean-dependent economies. Carbon sequestration and storage is increasingly recognized as a valuable service provided by coa...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological resilience assessments are an important part of resilience-based management (RBM) and can help prioritize and target management actions. Use of such assessments has been limited due to a lack of clear guidance on the assessment process. This study builds on the latest scientific advances in RBM to provide that guidance from a resilience...
Article
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Conservation organizations are increasingly applying adaptive capacity assessments in response to escalating climate change impacts. These assessments are essential to identify climate risks to ecosystems, prioritize management interventions, maximize the effectiveness of conservation actions, and ensure conservation resources are allocated appropr...
Article
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Climate change threatens tropical coastal communities and ecosystems. Governments, resource managers, and communities recognize the value of assessing the social and ecological impacts of climate change, but there is little consensus on the most effective framework to support vulnerability and adaptation assessments. The framework presented in this...
Article
Full-text available
Conservationists have been criticized for failing to protect nature in the face of mounting threats including overexploitation, species loss, habitat destruction, and climate change. Resource managers and scientists have yet to fully engage a major segment of the global population in their outreach efforts to protect the environment: religious comm...
Article
The Coral Triangle encompasses an extensive region of coral reefs in the western tropical Pacific with marine resources that support millions of people. As in all other reef regions, coral reefs in the Coral Triangle have been impacted by anomalously high ocean temperature. The vast majority of bleaching observations to date have been associated wi...
Article
Full-text available
Cumulative pressures from global climate and ocean change combined with multiple regional and local-scale stressors pose fundamental challenges to coral reef managers worldwide. Understanding how cumulative stressors affect coral reef vulnerability is critical for successful reef conservation now and in the future. In this review, we present the ca...
Article
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Conservation and development organizations conduct vulnerability and adaptation assessments to assess the vulnerability of coastal communities and ecosystems to climate change and to identify adaptation strategies to address these impacts. Local assessments are needed to provide this information at the scale of communities and critical habitats. Ov...
Article
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Overfishing and habitat destruction due to local and global threats are undermining fisheries, biodiversity, and the long-term sustainability of tropical marine ecosystems worldwide, including in the Coral Triangle. Well-designed and effectively managed marine reserve networks can reduce local threats, and contribute to achieving multiple objective...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been identified as one of the most effective tools for conserving marine ecosystems. While the ecological benefits of MPAs are well established, less emphasis has been placed on assessing socioeconomic benefits. Despite these benefits, a majority of existing MPAs are not meeting their objectives. MPAs must be desi...
Article
Conservation managers and policy makers need tools to identify coastal habitats and human communities that are vulnerable to sea-level rise. Coastal impact models can help determine the vulnerability of areas and populations to changes in sea level. Model outputs may be used to guide decisions about the location and design of future protected areas...
Article
Ocean acidification is a direct consequence of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and is expected to compromise the structure and function of coral reefs within this century. Research into the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs has focused primarily on measuring and predicting changes in seawater carbon (C) chemistry an...
Thesis
Full-text available
Climate change, and particularly sea-level rise, threatens tropical coastal communities and ecosystems. Governments, resource managers, and communities recognize the value of assessing the social and ecological impacts of climate change, but there has been little consensus on assessment frameworks that are capable of supporting vulnerability and ad...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical coastal and marine ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to ocean warming, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise. Yet these projected climate and ocean change impacts are rarely considered in conservation planning due to the lack of guidance on how existing climate and ocean change models, tools, and data can be applied. Here, we addres...
Article
Full-text available
Managing coral reefs for resilience to climate change is a popular concept but has been difficult to implement because the empirical scientific evidence has either not been evaluated or is sometimes unsupportive of theory, which leads to uncertainty when considering methods and identifying priority reefs. We asked experts and reviewed the scientifi...
Data
Multi-dimensional scaling of the responses to the (a) 31 and (b) top 8 factors evaluated for perceived effects of the factors on coral reef resilience. (TIF)
Data
Pair-wise matrix of the Pearson product correlation coefficients for comparisons of the resilience rankings produced for the study sites in Karimunjawa. Scores for individual factors were not scaled in the method highlighted in the first (our study of 31 factors) and 5th [16] columns and rows. Scaling for the others is continuous, based on the perc...
Data
Map of Karimunjawa Islands and associated coral reefs and the 43 sites studied for resilience to climate change disturbances. Sites were split evenly into three groups based on the 11 key evidence-based factors and colored green for high, yellow for medium, and red for low climate resilience. Values next to sites are the rankings based on the 11 ke...
Data
Empirical evidence for factors relating to resistance and the evidence score (−5 to +5) based on evaluations from 28 coral reef experts. (DOC)
Data
Empirical evidence for factors relating to recovery and the evidence score (−5 to +5) based on evaluations from 28 coral reef experts. (DOC)
Article
Full-text available
The historically unprecedented threats to the marine environment posed by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide will probably require the use of unconventional, non-passive methods to conserve marine ecosystems. Soliciting such approaches and evaluating their cost, safety and effectiveness must be part of a robust ocean conservation and management...
Article
Full-text available
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution humans have released ~500 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere through fossil-fuel burning, cement production and land-use changes. About 30% has been taken up by the oceans. The oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide leads to changes in marine carbonate chemistry resulting in a decrease of seaw...
Article
Full-text available
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution humans have released, similar to 500 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere through fossil-fuel burning, cement production and land-use changes(1,2). About 30% has been taken up by the oceans(3). The oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide leads to changes in marine carbonate chemistry resulting in...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has highlighted the valuable role that coastal and marine ecosystems play in sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2). The carbon (C) sequestered in vegetated coastal ecosystems, specifically mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes, has been termed "blue carbon". Although their global area is one to two orders of magnitude smalle...
Article
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Tropical Oceania, including Melanesia, Polynesia, Micronesia and northern Australia, is one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. Climate change impacts have already occurred in the region and will become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and people. Climate projections indicate that sea levels will rise in many places but not unif...
Article
Much of our understanding of the impact of ocean acidification on coral calcification comes from laboratory manipulation experiments in which corals are reared under a range of seawater pH and aragonite saturation states (μar) equivalent to those projected for the next hundred years. In general, experiments show a consistently negative impact of ac...
Article
The highest diversity coral reefs in the world, located in the Coral Triangle, are threatened by a variety of local stresses including pollution, overfishing, and destructive fishing in addition to climate change impacts, such as increasing sea surface temperatures (SSTs), and ocean acidification. As climate change impacts increase, coral reef vuln...
Article
Full-text available
Sea-level rise is a major threat facing the Coral Triangle countries in the twenty-first century. Assessments of vulnerability and adaptation that consider the interactions among natural and social systems are critical to identifying habitats and communities vulnerable to sea-level rise and for supporting the development of adaptation strategies. T...
Article
Principles for designing marine protected area (MPA) networks that address social, economic, and biological criteria are well established in the scientific literature. Climate change represents a new and serious threat to marine ecosystems, but, to date, few studies have specifically considered how to design MPA networks to be resilient to this eme...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direc...
Article
Full-text available
Raja Ampat, Indonesia, possesses the greatest diversity of corals and reef fishes on the planet. The area is a priority for marine conservation for the provincial government, local communities, and major international nongovernmental organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International. Traditional marine resource management...
Chapter
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direc...
Article
Full-text available
The establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) has become an important part of society's approach to conserving coral reefs. Protected area managers now must attempt to take account of climate change in the design and implementation of MPAs. A network of MPAs provides a logical way to distribute their benefits to the wider reef system of which...
Article
Full-text available
The available literature related to designing and implementing networks of marine protected areas is increasing as more governments and institutions are scaling up their marine conservation efforts. Overall, the main elements that are critical to designing ecologically-functional and socially-sustainable MPA networks include: representation and rep...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
I'm working with three international groups of creative thinkers. One develops new ideas to support the resilience of reefs and people, one develops a new business strategy and one explores new ways to improve reef recovery and restoration.