NESP TWQ Round 4 - Project 4.6 - Recommendations to maintain functioning of the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is experiencing increased environmental stress which threatens its functioning. Yet a subset of species are often disproportionately important in maintaining a functioning ecosystem. This project harnesses Queensland’s breadth of reef expertise to deliver timely recommendations on what can be done to strengthen and protect key supportive species. Specifically we ask which species – or functional groups of species – drive processes that maintain a healthy reef. We provide a scientific consensus in support of (1) species’ rankings and recommendations for enhanced protection, (2) informed scenarios for what’s at stake: the consequences of not taking further action, and (3) make recommendations for targeted R&D. We will also suggest activities that can be undertaken by citizen science organisations to help monitor the status of priority species or identify areas of either
outstanding value or threat.