James P. Gilmour's research while affiliated with Australian Institute of Marine Science and other places

Publications (70)

Article
An accurate representation of physical and biological processes is crucial to resolve larval dispersal pathways and characterize connectivity of coral reef ecosystems. We investigate how hydrodynamic forcings drive larval retention rates during the bi‐annual mass coral spawning of the coral genus Acropora within a coral reef atoll (Mermaid Reef), l...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic climate change has caused widespread loss of species biodiversity and ecosystem productivity across the globe, particularly on tropical coral reefs. Predicting the future vulnerability of reef‐building corals, the foundation species of coral reef ecosystems, is crucial for cost‐effective conservation planning in the Anthropocene. In t...
Article
Coastal cities and their natural environments are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially sea-level rise (SLR). Hard coastal defences play a key role in protecting at-risk urban coastal populations from flooding and erosion, but coastal ecosystems also play important roles in the overall sustainability and resilience of cities and u...
Article
Full-text available
At the Rowley Shoals in Western Australia, the prominent reef flat becomes exposed on low tide and the stagnant water in the shallow atoll lagoons heats up, creating a natural laboratory for characterizing the mechanisms of coral resilience to climate change. To explore these mechanisms in the reef coral Acropora tenuis, we collected samples from l...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ocean warming is increasing the incidence, scale, and severity of global-scale coral bleaching and mortality, culminating in the third global coral bleaching event that occurred during record marine heatwaves of 2014-2017. While local effects of these events have been widely reported, the global implications remain unknown. Analysis of 15,066 reef...
Preprint
Climate change threatens the survival of coral reefs on a global scale, primarily through mass bleaching and mortality as a result of marine heatwaves. While these short-term effects are clear, predicting the fate of coral reefs over the coming century is a major challenge. One way to understand the longer-term effects of rapid climate change is to...
Article
Full-text available
Waves and tides are often the two primary forcing mechanisms responsible for driving hydrodynamic processes within coral reefs worldwide. Although wave‐ and tide‐driven flows are individually well understood, there remain considerable gaps in our understanding of how their interactions control the reef circulation, and consequently how they shape a...
Article
Coral reefs have evolved over millennia to survive disturbances. Yet, in just a few decades chronic local pressures and the climate catastrophe have accelerated so quickly that most coral reefs are now threatened. Rising ocean temperatures and recurrent bleaching pose the biggest threat, affecting even remote and well‐managed reefs on global scales...
Article
A field experiment study of flow transport around a coral reef was conducted at Scott Reef, an offshore atoll in the Timor Sea. A drifter deployment was designed based on the insight derived from two Lagrangian data analysis approaches, the finite‐time Lyapunov exponent method and the optimized‐parameter spectral clustering method, which were used...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the mechanisms driving phenotypic variation in traits facing intensified selection from climate change is a crucial step in developing effective conservation and restoration initiatives. This is particularly true for reef-building corals, which are among the most vulnerable to climate change and are in dramatic decline globally. At th...
Article
Decision makers are calling for actionable science to protect coastal ecosystems from adverse impacts. Future sea level rise (SLR) is expected to alter the spatial configuration of coastal habitats and their services. Ensuring conservation efforts are in optimal areas can be achieved using systematic conservation planning, yet plans rarely address...
Article
Coastal habitats have faced decades of loss caused by urbanization. Global recognition of the ecosystem services that coastal habitats provide has led to an emphasis on cities to adopt nature-based solutions (NBS). However, a broad assessment of urban areas and their potential to conserve remaining coastal habitat has not been undertaken. Here we a...
Article
Full-text available
The need for efficient and more accurate ways of monitoring threatened ecosystems is becoming increasingly urgent as climate change intensifies. Coral reefs are an example of an ecosystem in crisis, with widespread declines in coral cover and diversity documented over recent decades. Novel molecular approaches such as biomonitoring using environmen...
Article
Full-text available
Novel tools and methods for monitoring marine environments can improve efficiency but must not compromise long-term data records. Quantitative comparisons between new and existing methods are therefore required to assess their compatibility for monitoring. Monitoring of shallow water coral reefs is typically conducted using diver-based collection o...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic impacts at isolated and inaccessible reefs are often minimal, offering rare opportunities to observe fish assemblages in a relatively undisturbed state. The remote Rowley Shoals are regarded as one of the healthiest reef systems in the Indian Ocean with demonstrated resilience to natural disturbance, no permanent human population near...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Management strategies designed to conserve coral reefs threatened by climate change need to incorporate knowledge of the spatial distribution of inter‐ and intra‐specific genetic diversity. We characterized patterns of genetic diversity and connectivity using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in two reef‐building corals to explore the...
Article
Full-text available
Egg size and fecundity are often used as proxies for coral reproductive success and health. The amount of energy a coral invests in reproduction reflects its environmental conditions during gametogenesis. Additionally, assuming resources for reproduction are limited, it is thought that an increase in egg size should result in a decrease in the numb...
Article
Full-text available
Management strategies designed to conserve coral reefs threatened by climate change need to incorporate knowledge of the spatial distribution of inter- and intraspecific genetic diversity. We characterized patterns of genetic diversity and connectivity using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in two reef-building corals to explore the eco-evolu...
Article
Tropical cyclones generate extreme waves that can damage coral reef communities. Recovery typically requires up to a decade, driving the trajectory of coral community structure. Coral reefs have evolved over millennia with cyclones. Increasingly, however, processes of recovery are interrupted and compromised by additional pressures (thermal stress,...
Article
Full-text available
An understanding of larval dispersal and connectivity in corals provides valuable insight into the processes of population maintenance and replenishment and is vital for effective management. Here, we used a genotyping by sequencing approach to explore patterns of genetic connectivity in two species of coral with different reproductive modes (brood...
Article
Coral reefs have been heavily affected by elevated sea-surface temperature (SST) and coral bleaching since the late 1980s; however, until recently coastal reefs of north-western Australia have been relatively unaffected compared to Timor Sea and eastern Australian reefs. We compare SST time series with changes in coral cover spanning a period of up...
Article
Full-text available
Without drastic efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate globalized stressors, tropical coral reefs are in jeopardy. Strategic conservation and management requires identification of the environmental and socioeconomic factors driving the persistence of scleractinian coral assemblages—the foundation species of coral reef ecosystems. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
Western Australia’s coral reefs have largely escaped the chronic pressures affecting other reefs around the world, but are regularly affected by seasonal storms and cyclones, and increasingly by heat stress and coral bleaching. Reef systems north of 18°S have been impacted by heat stress and coral bleaching during strong El Niño phases and those fu...
Article
Interactions between oceanic and atmospheric processes within coral reefs can significantly alter local-scale (< km) water temperatures, and consequently drive variations in heat stress and bleaching severity. The Scott Reef atoll system was one of many reefs affected by the 2015–2016 mass coral bleaching event across tropical Australia, and specif...
Article
In 2017, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and its partners commenced the North West Shoals to Shore Research Program. The program is designed to address significant scientific and environmental knowledge gaps pertinent to the management of the offshore petroleum industry, a key stakeholder in this ecologically and commercially important r...
Article
The predominance of self‐recruitment in many reef‐building corals has fundamental and complex consequences for their genetic diversity, population persistence and responses to climate change. Knowledge of genetic structure over local scales needs to be placed within a broad spatial context, and also integrated with genetic monitoring through time t...
Article
Full-text available
Split spawning in coral populations occurs when gamete maturation and mass spawning are split over two consecutive months. While split spawning has been observed at many reefs, little is known about the frequency and significance of these events. Here we show that split spawning occurred frequently and predictably over a decade at Scott Reef. Split...
Article
Full-text available
To describe, model and assess the relative importance of environmental and climatic factors likely influencing the regional distribution of coral cover and assemblages with contrasting life histories and susceptibilities to bleaching.
Article
Tropical reef systems are transitioning to a new era in which the interval between recurrent bouts of coral bleaching is too short for a full recovery of mature assemblages. We analyzed bleaching records at 100 globally distributed reef locations from 1980 to 2016. The median return time between pairs of severe bleaching events has diminished stead...
Article
The North West Shoals to Shore Research Program began in July 2017 and encompasses four themes, each of which addresses major gaps in scientific knowledge relevant to the environmental management of the offshore petroleum industry in north-west Australia. The themes are: 1. Marine Noise Monitoring and Impacts: investigate selected potential impacts...
Article
During 2015-2016, record temperatures triggered a pan-tropical episode of coral bleaching, the third global-scale event since mass bleaching was first documented in the 1980s. Here we examine how and why the severity of recurrent major bleaching events has varied at multiple scales, using aerial and underwater surveys of Australian reefs combined w...
Article
Full-text available
Larval production and recruitment underpin the maintenance of coral populations, but these early life history stages are vulnerable to extreme variation in physical conditions. Environmental managers aim to minimise human impacts during significant periods of larval production and recruitment on reefs, but doing so requires knowledge of the modes a...
Data
Sources of coral reproductive data for regions across Western Australia.
Data
Reproductive output at a hypothetical oceanic and inshore reef of Western Australia.
Data
Regional variation in spawning for coral species on Western Australian reefs.
Data
Regional variation in environmental conditions on Western Australian reefs.
Data
Variation in habitat conditions among sites. (PDF)
Data
Details of the five microsatellite markers in Acropora tenuis colonies that spawned in autumn or spring. Given are the sample sizes (in brackets after season name), number of alleles (A), the proportion of expected (HE) heterozygotes, and the fixation index (FIS) calculated for each locus and averaged across loci (All loci) for each reproductive se...
Article
Full-text available
Coral spawning on the oceanic reef systems of north-western Australia was recently discovered during autumn and spring, but the degree to which species and particularly colonies participated in one or both of these spawnings was unknown. At the largest of the oceanic reef systems, the participation by colonies in the two discrete spawning events wa...
Data
Variation in environmental conditions among sites through the study period. Current speed, chlorophyll concentrations, turbidity, and wave heights were quantified only at the Lagoon, Inner East and Inner West sites. Cover (%) of sand is and annual average for the period (2008–2010) of this study. Other parameter values are daily averages divided be...
Data
Clustering analysis of Acropora tenuis colonies with no prior information calculated in STRUCTURE v2.3. Upper panel shows Delta K as a function of K. Lower panel is the assignment probabilities of colonies at K = 2, with colonies that were identified in the reproductive surveys as autumn or spring spawners, and colonies that spawned in both seasons...
Article
Full-text available
Larval production and recruitment underpin the maintenance of coral populations, but these early life history stages are vulnerable to extreme variation in physical conditions. Environmental managers aim to minimise human impacts during significant periods of larval production and recruitment on reefs, but doing so requires knowledge of the modes a...
Article
Full-text available
Larval production and recruitment underpin the maintenance of coral populations, but these early life history stages are vulnerable to extreme variation in physical conditions. Environmental managers aim to minimise human impacts during significant periods of larval production and recruitment on reefs, but doing so requires knowledge of the modes a...
Article
The characterization of distance decay in similarity among plant or animal communities both extends ecosystem description and provides insights into formative ecological events and processes. Here, we examine distance decay among coral communities in a common habitat on northwestern Australian reefs, seeking to better understand the roles of distur...
Data
Correlograms of time-series coral cover data for Ningaloo Reef: A) before inclusion of correlation structure in mixed-effects model, and B) after inclusion of correlation structure. (DOCX)
Data
List of documents and sources where data were derived for meta-analysis. Note: Analysis of photo and video transects were done in the lab, as opposed to visual assessments, quadrats and in-situ point or line intercept methods, which were done in the field at the time of sampling. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring changes in coral cover and composition through space and time can provide insights to reef health and assist the focus of management and conservation efforts. We used a meta-analytical approach to assess coral cover data across latitudes 10-35°S along the west Australian coast, including 25 years of data from the Ningaloo region. Current...
Data
Checklist of items done during the meta-analysis process. (DOCX)
Data
Results of linear regression to assess relationship between latitude and coral cover by dominant families of corals off the Western Australian coast. (DOCX)
Data
Results of linear regression to assess relationship between coral cover of dominant families through time at each sub-region of Ningaloo Reef. (DOCX)
Article
Coral reef recovery from major disturbance is hypothesized to depend on the arrival of propagules from nearby undisturbed reefs. Therefore, reefs isolated by distance or current patterns are thought to be highly vulnerable to catastrophic disturbance. We found that on an isolated reef system in north Western Australia, coral cover increased from 9%...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, coral bleaching has been responsible for a significant decline in both coral cover and diversity over the past two decades. During the summer of 2010-11, anomalous large-scale ocean warming induced unprecedented levels of coral bleaching accompanied by substantial storminess across more than 12° of latitude and 1200 kilometers of coastlin...
Article
Full-text available
We utilized a spatial and temporal analyses of genetic structure, supplemented with ecological and oceanographic analysis, to assess patterns of population connectivity in a coral reef fish Chromis margaritifer among the unique and remote atolls in the eastern Indian Ocean. A subtle, but significant genetic discontinuity at 10 microsatellite DNA lo...
Article
Full-text available
Effective environmental management requires monitoring programmes that provide specific links between changes in environmental conditions and ecosystem health. This article reviews the suitability of a range of bioindicators for use in monitoring programmes that link changes in water quality to changes in the condition of coral-reef ecosystems. Fro...
Article
Some of the most important demographic parameters underlying the resilience of coral communities are determined by their patterns of reproduction. In this study, a variety of methods were used to investigate the patterns of spawning, larval development and dispersal for scleractinian corals at an isolated reef system off northwestern Australia. Two...
Article
Coral reefs are in decline worldwide, and marine reserve networks have been advocated as a powerful management tool for maximizing the resilience of coral communities to an increasing variety, number, and severity of disturbances. However, the effective design of reserves must account for the spatial scales of larval dispersal that affect the demog...
Article
As a result of climate change, sea-water temperatures around the world are expected to increase, potentially causing more frequent and severe episodes of coral bleaching. In this study, the impact of elevated water temperatures at an isolated system of reefs was assessed by quantifying the changes in benthic communities over almost 10 years. Mass-c...
Article
Understanding the pattern of connectivity among populations is crucial for the development of realistic and spatially explicit population models in marine systems. Here we analysed variation at eight microsatellite loci to assess the genetic structure and to infer patterns of larval dispersal for a brooding coral, Seriatopora hystrix, at an isolate...
Article
Understanding the pattern of connectivity among populations is crucial for the development of realistic and spatially explicit population models in marine systems. Here we analysed variation at eight microsatellite loci to assess the genetic structure and to infer patterns of larval dispersal for a brooding coral, Seriatopora hystrix, at an isolate...
Article
Inshore coral reefs adjacent to the wet tropics in North Queensland, Australia, are regularly exposed to flood plumes from coastal river systems. Changes in the nature of these plumes have been linked to the declining health of coral reefs in the region. The effect of flood plumes on the health of inshore corals was investigated by quantifying aspe...

Citations

... However, with the exception of stimulated endolithic photosynthesis during coral bleaching, the response of the endolithic communities to heat stress in terms of community structure, functional potential, and nutrient cycling is currently unknown. Since 2015, more than 75% of reefs worldwide have been affected by mass bleaching events [36], and nearly half of the coral cover has been lost since the mid-80s on the largest reef system in the world, the iconic Great Barrier Reef [37,38]. Given the escalating impact of marine heatwaves and rising sea surface temperature on coral reef assemblages [39], understanding the microbial processes underpinning coral health, including the overlooked endolithic communities, constitutes an important research priority. ...
... Such low values have been observed in different Porites species (Huang et al., 2011;Xu et al., 2016;Ying et al., 2021). Nevertheless, studies have indicated that corals living in higher stress environments (high temperatures or rapid thermal fluctuations) may be capable of acclimatization and/or adaptation for resisting stress and be more thermally tolerant (Berkelmans and van Oppen, 2006;Oliver and Palumbi, 2011;Bay and Palumbi, 2015;Thomas et al., 2022). On the other hand, the presence of the nuclear power plant may influence the biological activities (Hung et al., 2006) of the organisms in the vicinity, and studies (Fan, 1992;Jan et al., 2001;Hung et al., 2006;Richards et al., 2008;Teixeira et al., 2012;Keshavmurthy et al., 2014;Dong et al., 2018) have shown a restructuring of benthic and fish communities due to construction of the nuclear power plant. ...
... The sediment budget determines the availability of sediment that is able to be deposited and trapped by mangroves (Adame et al., 2010). Sea-level rise increases accommodation space, providing opportunities for enhanced sediment accretion, as well as mangrove expansion to higher elevations landward Nguyen et al., 2022), and seaward progradation if sediment supply is adequate (Woodroffe et al., 2016). ...