Peter Lynton Harrison

Peter Lynton Harrison
Southern Cross University · School of Environment, Science and Engineering

PhD

About

184
Publications
66,835
Reads
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11,163
Citations
Citations since 2016
55 Research Items
5746 Citations
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Introduction
I’m a marine ecologist with a key focus on coral and coral reefs, as well as marine conservation and management. I’m passionate about discovery science research and applying knowledge to improving conservation outcomes for biodiversity.
Additional affiliations
January 1991 - present
Southern Cross University
Position
  • Director, Marine Ecology Research Centre

Publications

Publications (184)
Article
Full-text available
Coral larvae usually settle as solitary individuals but sometimes also in aggregations, especially when settlement sites are limited. Fusion of coral individuals can consist of different group sizes with varying numbers of adjacent coral spat. However, little is known about the performance of coral individuals in different group sizes, especially d...
Article
Full-text available
Nha Trang Bay is located in the south-central waters of Vietnam and forms part of the most diverse region within the western South China Sea. Oceanographic studies indicate that this coastal area is not influenced by cold water masses from the north in winter but is subjected to summer upwelling. Coral spawning patterns of four species were monitor...
Article
Full-text available
Intensifying anthropogenic stressors have contributed to declines in reef-building corals in many regions. These disturbances result in reduced live coral cover, impacting key population-level processes such as coral larval settlement and recruitment that are essential for reef recovery. Reef restoration efforts that rely on enhanced larval supply...
Article
Declining coral cover on tropical coral reefs often results in a concomitant increase in macroalgae. When proliferation of macroalgae persists outside of regular seasonal growth, it can shift the ecosystem dominance away from corals into a permanently altered system. Such an altered system is unlikely to recover naturally, despite ample supply of c...
Article
Full-text available
Agonistic competitive social behaviour in humpback whales [ Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)] has been extensively studied and reported in previous research. However, non-agonistic social behaviour in humpback whale pods has not been systematically studied. We investigated the social behaviour of 3,949 humpback whale pods over a period of 14...
Article
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Loss of foundation reef-corals is eroding the viability of reef communities and ecosystem function in many regions globally. Coral populations are naturally resilient but when breeding corals decline, larval supply becomes limiting and natural recruitment is insufficient for maintaining or restoring depleted populations. Passive management approach...
Preprint
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Humans have long sought to restore species, but little attention has been directed at how to best select a subset of foundation species for maintaining rich assemblages that support ecosystems, like coral reefs and rainforests that are increasingly threatened by environmental change. We propose a two-part hedging approach that selects optimized set...
Article
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Ocean deoxygenation events are intensifying worldwide and can rapidly drive adult corals into a state of metabolic crisis and bleaching-induced mortality, but whether coral larvae are subject to similar stress remains untested. We experimentally exposed apo-symbiotic coral larvae of Acropora selago to deoxygenation stress with subsequent reoxygenat...
Article
Assisting the natural recovery of coral reefs through local management actions is needed in response to increasing ecosystem disturbances in the Anthropocene. There is growing evidence that commonly used resilience-based passive management approaches may not be sufficient to maintain coral reef key functions. We synthesize and discuss advances in c...
Article
It is hypothesized that spatio-temporal variability in larval supply is caused by multiple biophysical drivers which correlate with the occurrence of recruitment pulses, influencing the recovery potential of coral reefs following large-scale disturbances. Here, we used a larval dispersal model to explore coral larvae dispersal patterns under variab...
Article
Full-text available
The discovery of multi-species synchronous spawning of scleractinian corals on the Great Barrier Reef in the 1980s stimulated an extraordinary effort to document spawning times in other parts of the globe. Unfortunately, most of these data remain unpublished which limits our understanding of regional and global reproductive patterns. The Coral Spaw...
Technical Report
Full-text available
As coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) continues to degrade, pressure is growing for direct interventions to assist the recovery of corals. A range of coral restoration and assisted recovery techniques have been trialed overseas and in Australia, however there has not to date been an evaluation of what will work best in GBR conditions. This...
Article
Full-text available
The escalating rate at which coral communities are declining globally requires urgent intervention and new approaches to reef management to reduce and halt further coral loss. For reef systems with limited natural larval supply, the introduction of large numbers of competent coral larvae directly to natural reef substrata provides a potentially use...
Article
Full-text available
Misidentification errors in capture-mark recapture studies of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) related to poor quality of photographs as well as changes in natural marks can seriously affect population dynamics parameter estimates and derived estimates of population size when using sophisticated modelling techniques. In this study we used a...
Article
Antarctic marine environments are at risk from petroleum fuel spills as shipping activities in the Southern Ocean increase. Knowledge of the sensitivity of Antarctic species to fuels under environmentally realistic exposure conditions is lacking. In this study, the toxicity of three fuels, Special Antarctic Blend diesel (SAB), marine gas oil (MGO)...
Article
Full-text available
Scleractinian corals often reproduce in synchronized spawning events to maximize gamete fertilization and coral larval production. The extent of spawning synchrony and its timing vary among coral taxa and among biogeographic regions. Information is, however, limited, especially for equatorial reefs, hindering the identification of environmental cue...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we used a 10-year (2007-2016) mark-recapture dataset to investigate the potential effects of flooding and port development on the population dynamics of Australian humpback dolphins (Sousa sahulensis), inhabiting the Fitzroy River and Port Curtis, within the southern Great Barrier Reef region. A Multisite Capture-Recapture model was...
Article
The frequency and intensity of marine heatwaves that result in coral bleaching events have increased over recent decades and led to catastrophic losses of reef-building corals in many regions. The high-latitude coral assemblages at Lord Howe Island, which is a UNESCO listed site is the world southernmost coral community, were exposed to successive...
Article
Full-text available
Successful recruitment of new individuals is essential for recovery of degraded coral reefs. Enhancing supply of coral larvae increases initial settlement, however post-settlement survival can be influenced by density-dependent processes. We investigated the influence of larval density on settlement, colony abundance and growth to 24 months for Acr...
Article
Full-text available
Fertilization is a critical life history event and important to population dynamics. Successful fertilization relies on encounters of compatible and viable sperm and eggs. Scleractinian corals that spawn their gametes directly into the water column may experience limitations from sperm dilution and delays in initial sperm-egg encounters that can im...
Article
Full-text available
Following disturbances, corals recolonize space through the process of recruitment consisting of the three phases of propagule supply, settlement, and post-settlement survival. Yet, each phase is influenced by biophysical factors, leading to recruitment success variability through space. To resolve the relative contributions of biophysical factors...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef ecosystems have suffered an unprecedented loss of habitat-forming hard corals in recent decades. While marine conservation has historically focused on passive habitat protection, demand for and interest in active restoration has been growing in recent decades. However, a disconnect between coral restoration practitioners, coral reef mana...
Article
It is hypothesized that spatio-temporal variability in larval supply is caused by multiple biophysical drivers which correlate with the occurrence of recruitment pulses, influencing the recovery potential of coral reefs following large-scale disturbances. Here, we used a larval dispersal model to explore coral larvae dispersal patterns under variab...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding processes that drive community recovery are needed to predict ecosystem trajectories and manage for impacts under increasing global threats. Yet, the quantification of community recovery in coral reefs has been challenging owing to a paucity of long-term ecological data and high frequency of disturbances. Here we investigate community...
Article
Full-text available
Coral-reef ecosystems are experiencing frequent and severe disturbance events that are reducing global coral abundance and potentially overwhelming the natural capacity for reefs to recover. While mitigation strategies for climate warming and other anthropogenic disturbances are implemented, coral restoration programmes are being established worldw...
Article
Full-text available
Coral tissues control growth and calcification processes that ultimately build coral reefs but relatively little information is available on the effects of nutrients on polyp tissues. The structure and organization of coral tissues were investigated using thin (0.5–1 μm) sections of young (<3 months) radial polyps of the reef-building coral Acropor...
Article
Previous research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)), in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, has reported site-specific male-biased sex ratios in breeding grounds and along migratory corridors. However, one recent Southern Hemisphere study reported a female-biased sex ratio in a feeding area within a coastal migrat...
Article
Full-text available
Early ‘Discovery mark’ data together with recent photo-identification, acoustic, genetic and satellite-radio tag data revealed linkages between humpback whales migrating from breeding grounds (C) off East Africa and the Area III feeding area, from Western Australian breeding grounds (D) and the Antarctic Area IV feeding area and the East Australian...
Article
The mining and production of nickel in tropical regions have the potential to impact on ecologically valuable tropical marine ecosystems. Currently, few data exist to assess the risks of nickel exposure to tropical ecosystems and to derive ecologically relevant water quality guidelines. In particular, data are lacking for keystone species such as s...
Article
Full-text available
Reef-building corals have essential roles in reef ecosystems but are highly susceptible to disturbances. Increasing anthropogenic disturbances are eroding coral community resilience, leading to declining reef ecosystem function and status globally. Successful reproduction and recruitment are essential for restoring coral populations but recruitment...
Article
p>We anticipate that conventional management approaches will be insufficient to protect coral reefs, even if global warming is limited to 1.5 °C. Emerging technologies are needed to stem the decline of these natural assets.</p
Article
Understanding how range-edge populations will respond to climate change is an urgent research priority. Here, we used a phylogenetic community ecology approach to examine how ecological and evolutionary processes shape biodiversity patterns of scleractinian corals at their high-latitude range limits in eastern Australia. We estimated phylogenetic s...
Article
Full-text available
As the world's human population increases along the coastal zone, with major alteration of coastal embayments, increased on-water activities and a plethora of other intrusions into the coastal zone, there is a simultaneous increase in pressures on marine mammals. Growing evidence indicates that many marine mammals are highly susceptible to declines...
Article
Toxicity testing with Antarctic species is required for risk assessment of fuel spills in Antarctic coastal waters. The lethal and sub-lethal (movement behaviour) sensitivity of adults and juveniles of the Antarctic amphipod Paramoera walkeri to the water accommodated fractions (WAF) of three fuels were estimated in extended duration tests at -1°C...
Article
Understanding range limits is critical to predicting species responses to climate change. Subtropical environments, where many species overlap at their range margins, are cooler, more light-limited and variable than tropical environments. It is thus likely that species respond variably to these multi-stressor regimes and that factors other than mea...
Article
Many ecosystems around the world are rapidly deteriorating due to both local and global pressures, and perhaps none so precipitously as coral reefs. Management of coral reefs through maintenance (e.g., marine-protected areas, catchment management to improve water quality), restoration, as well as global and national governmental agreements to reduc...
Article
Full-text available
Life history information for many commercially important cuttlefish is lacking, and thus the effects of long-term harvest remain unknown. The present study investigated the reproductive mode and seasonality of three small-bodied cuttlefish (Sepia opipara, S. plangon and S. rozella) in subtropical eastern Australia. Monthly samples were collected ov...
Article
Significant amounts of trace metals have been released into both nearshore and deep sea environments in recent years, resulting in increased concentrations that can be toxic to marine organisms. Trace metals can negatively affect external fertilization processes in marine broadcast spawners and may cause a reduction in fertilization success at elev...
Article
The risk of a major marine fuel spill in Antarctic waters is increasing, yet there are currently no standard or suitable response methods under extreme Antarctic conditions. Fuel dispersants may present a possible solution, however little data exist on the toxicity of dispersants or fuels to Antarctic species, thereby preventing informed management...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Full report available at: http://www.frdc.com.au/research/final-reports/Pages/2015-035-DLD.aspx
Article
As part of risk assessment of fuel oil spills in Antarctic and subantarctic waters, this study describes partitioning of hydrocarbons from three fuels (Special Antarctic Blend diesel, SAB; marine gas oil, MGO; and intermediate grade fuel oil, IFO 180) into seawater at 0 and 5 °C and subsequent depletion over 7 days. Initial total hydrocarbon conten...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Coral reefs are among the most globally important marine ecosystems, having immense economic and ecological values and supplying fisheries and other essential resources to millions of people. The key problem is that coral reefs are facing intensifying anthropogenic impacts, and the crucial reef-building coral populations that provide the foundation...
Article
Full-text available
Reef-building corals possess a range of acclimatisation and adaptation mechanisms to respond to seawater temperature increases. In some corals, thermal tolerance increases through community composition changes of their dinoflagellate endosymbionts (Symbiodinium spp.), but this mechanism is believed to be limited to the Symbiodinium types already pr...
Article
Full-text available
Changing oceanic conditions, particularly ocean warming and altered currents, can affect the reproductive success of corals. Improving the knowledge of coral reproductive processes at the marginal range limits of coral reefs is important for understanding the ecology of subtropical coral communities and the potential for coral species to expand the...
Research
Full-text available
Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC) submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the management of sharks in NSW waters.
Article
Full-text available
In 2002, bleaching was reported throughout many Indo-Pacific coral-reef regions, including French Polynesia. Bleaching occurred again in French Polynesia in 2003, providing an opportunity to compare the effects of successive bleaching events on coral susceptibility. During 2002 and 2003, underwater video surveys were completed in stations at four d...
Poster
Full-text available
This study identified core areas of use, community structure and potential critical habitats for the southernmost population of the recently reclassified Australian humpback dolphin, Sousa sahulensis, in Moreton Bay, Queensland. Vessel based surveys and photo identification were completed from July 2014 – January 2015. A total of 66 individuals wer...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The pressures on coastal marine mammals are increasing as the world’s human population rises and with it the consequential expansion in world trade and port developments, and the continued movement of people to the coastal zone. Monitoring the effect of coastal development on marine mammals is challenging because: (1) the impacts of coastal develop...
Article
Full-text available
The gammarid Paramoera walkeri is one of the most abundant amphipods in near-shore Antarctic waters. There has been increasing interest in P. walkeri as a test species for ecotoxicology studies and bio-monitoring for contaminants in Antarctica, but further information is needed to improve understanding of its biology including reproduction, growth...
Article
AimTo understand the evolutionary history and local adaptation of marginal, subtropical populations of a common reef-building coral (genus Pocillopora) and their Symbiodinium endosymbionts.LocationSubtropical coastal (Solitary Islands, Flinders Reef) and offshore (Lord Howe Island, Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef) eastern Australia and the southern...
Article
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Significance The island continent of Australia harbors much of the world’s most distinctive biodiversity, but this review describes an extent of recent and ongoing loss of its mammal fauna that is exceptionally high and appreciably greater than previously recognized. The causes of loss are dissimilar to those responsible for most biodiversity decli...
Article
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INTRODUCTION This paper provides a summary of results from a recent comprehensive review of the conservation status of all Australian land and marine mammal species and subspecies. Since the landmark date of European settlement of Australia (1788), at least 28 of the ca. 272 Australian endemic land mammal species have been rendered extinct. RESULT...