Modelling Resilience and Phase Shifts in Coral Reefs: Application of Different Modelling Approaches
Tropical coral reefs are among the most diverse habitats with great ecological and economic importance. These highly dynamic ecosystems are frequently subject to natural disturbance events (e.g. hurricanes) which can lead to dramatic changes in reef properties if the systems’ resilience is already reduced by anthropogenic impacts such as increased levels of nutrients or over-fishing. Due to their high complexity many relations in coral reef dynamics are still poorly understood and ecological modelling becomes increasingly prominent as a tool to close these knowledge gaps. This article gives an overview on different modelling techniques that address the investigation of coral reef dynamics and discusses advantages and disadvantages of respective applications.