OceanObs09

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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.09

An International Network of Coral Reef Ecosystem Observing Systems (I-CREOS)

Russell E. Brainard(1), Scott Bainbridge(2), Richard Brinkman(2), C. Mark Eakin(3), Michael Field(4), Jean-Pierre Gattuso(5), Dwight Gledhill(6), Lew Gramer(6), Alison Green(7), Jim Hendee(6), Ronald K. Hoeke(8), Sally J. Holbrook(9), Ove Hoegh-Guldberg(10), Marc Lammers(11), Derek Manzello(6), Margaret McManus(12), Russell Moffitt(13), Mark Monaco(14), Jessica A. Morgan(15), David Obura(16), Serge Planes(17), Russell J. Schmitt(18), Craig Steinberg(2), Hugh Sweatman(2), Oliver J. Vetter(8), Clive Wilkinson(19), Kevin B. Wong(20)

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Coral reefs are complex, biologically diverse, and highly-valued ecosystems that are declining worldwide due to climate change and ocean acidification, overfishing, land-based sources of pollution, and other anthropogenic threats. To assist policy makers and resource managers at international, national, and local levels in effectively implementing ecosystem approaches to sustainable management and conservation of coral reefs and their biodiversity, it is necessary to have timely, unbiased integrated ecosystem observations about the conditions of coral reefs and the complex physical and biogeochemical processes supporting them. To provide these interdisciplinary ecosystem observations, an International network of Coral Reef Ecosystem Observing Systems (I-CREOS) is proposed that will organize and build upon existing coral reef observation systems being developed around the globe. This paper uses examples of some developing observation systems to demonstrate some of the approaches and technologies available for acquiring biological, physical, and geochemical observations using combinations of: visual surveys, moored instrument arrays, spatial hydrographic and water quality surveys, satellite remote sensing, and hydrodynamic and ecosystem modeling. This fledgling, and hopefully expanding, network of observing systems represents the early stages of an integrated ecosystem observing system for coral reefs capable of providing policy makers, resource managers, researchers, and other stakeholders with essential information products needed to assess various responses of coral reef ecosystems to natural variability and anthropogenic perturbations. While significant challenges and gaps in the I-CREOS network remain, it demonstrably fulfills the requirements of an operational, integrated, inter-disciplinary, coastal component of GOOS (Global Ocean Observing System). Continued support, further development, and open expansion of this emerging network are encouraged and needed to ensure the continually increasing value of the network's observational and predictive capacity. With common goals to maximize versatility, accessibility, and robustness, the existing infrastructure and capacity provide a foundation by which increased global cooperation and coordination could naturally lead to a globally comprehensive I-CREOS.

1NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, 1125B Ala Moana Boulvard, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814, USA
2Australian Institute of Marine Science, Cape Cleveland Road, Cape Ferguson, Townsville, Queensland 4810 Australia
3NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)/Coral Reef Watch, Silver Spring MD 20910-3282. USA.
4United State Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, California 94025 USA
5CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), UniversitÚ Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6, Laboratoire d'Oceanographie, Chemin du Lazaret, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
6NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
7The Nature Conservancy, Asia Pacific Resource Center, 51 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane, Queensland 4101 Australia
8Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii (UH) ; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, 1125-B Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
9University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6150 USA
10University of Queensland, Brisbane St Lucia, QLD 4072 Australia
11Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii; NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division; Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii (HU), P.O. Box 1346, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744 USA; 1125-B Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
12HU (University of Hawaii), School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, 1680 East West Road, POST Bldg. #401, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
13Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii (HU); NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, 1125-B Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
14NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment, 1305 East West Highway, Rm. 8419, Silver Spring, MD 20910
15National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Coral Reef Watch, Silver Spring MD 20910-3282. USA
16Coastal Ocean Research and Development in the Indian Ocean, International Union for the Conservation of Nature - Climate Change and Coral Reefs Marine Working Group, 99, Lamu (80500), Kenya
17Le Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l'Environnement de Polynesie Francaise, BP 1013, Papetoai, Moorea, PolynÚsie Franšaise
18University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA
19Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, PO Box 772, Townsville 4810 Australia
20National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, 1125-B Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: rusty.brainard@noaa.gov

This paper shall be cited as:

Brainard, R. & Co-Authors (2010). "An International Network of Coral Reef Ecosystem Observing Systems (I-CREOS)" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.09

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