F. Javier González Barrios
Javier is interested in understanding how coral reef ecosystems are changing due to human pressures and climate change. His work seeks to contribute to the management and conservation of coral reefs by using different approaches such as biological, ecological and social.
Javier’s current research tests how the predictive ability of classic theories of latitudinal diversity gradients have changed, and then develop new theory by embedding social and environmental characteristics at the heart of ecological prediction. Specifically, his project asks: Have classic latitudinal diversity patterns changed? How ubiquitous are altered latitudinal diversity gradients in coastal marine systems? How well do existing theories of latitudinal diversity gradients capture current patterns? Can new theories better capture contemporary diversity patterns using a social-ecological lens?
In previous studies, Javier has worked in developing tools that allow for the assessment of coral reef condition through a functional ecology approach to help in the management and decision making of coral reefs. For this, he developed a framework for measuring coral species-specific contributions to reef functionality by using coral life-history traits, which determine the capacity of coral communities to create complex three-dimensional structures through calcium carbonate precipitation. He applied this approach to test whether, after a 13-year period, impaired coral reefs in the Caribbean could recover their functionality in the absence of acute disturbance events. He found that reefs’ functionality increased at a markedly lower rate than coral cover, which was explained by the life-history traits of the species that recovered.
- Alvarez-Filip, L., González-Barrios, F. J., Pérez-Cervantes, E., Molina-Hernandez, A., & Estrada-Saldívar, N. (in press). Stony coral tissue loss disease decimated Caribbean coral populations and reshaped reef functionality. Communications Biology.
- Melo‐Merino, S. M., Lira‐Noriega, A., González‐Barrios, F. J., Reyes‐Bonilla, H., & Álvarez‐Filip, L. (2022). Functional divergence from ecological baselines on Caribbean coral reefs. Ecography, 2022(3), e05811.
- González‐Barrios, F. J., Cabral‐Tena, R. A., & Alvarez‐Filip, L. (2021). Recovery disparity between coral cover and the physical functionality of reefs with impaired coral assemblages. Global Change Biology, 27(3), 640-651.
- Molina-Hernández, A., González-Barrios, F. J., Perry, C. T., & Álvarez-Filip, L. (2020). Two decades of carbonate budget change on shifted coral reef assemblages: are these reefs being locked into low net budget states?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287(1940), 20202305.
- Cabral-Tena, R. A., López-Pérez, A., Alvarez-Filip, L., González-Barrios, F. J., Calderon-Aguilera, L. E., & Aparicio-Cid, C. (2020). Functional potential of coral assemblages along a typical Eastern Tropical Pacific reef tract. Ecological Indicators, 119, 106795.
- Estrada-Saldívar, N., Molina-Hernández, A., Pérez-Cervantes, E., Medellín-Maldonado, F., González-Barrios, F. J., & Alvarez-Filip, L. (2020). Reef-scale impacts of the stony coral tissue loss disease outbreak. Coral Reefs, 39(4), 861-866.
- Alvarez-Filip, L., Estrada-Saldívar, N., Pérez-Cervantes, E., Molina-Hernández, A., & González-Barrios, F. J. (2019). A rapid spread of the stony coral tissue loss disease outbreak in the Mexican Caribbean. PeerJ, 7, e8069.
- González-Barrios, F. J., & Álvarez-Filip, L. (2018). A framework for measuring coral species-specific contribution to reef functioning in the Caribbean. Ecological Indicators, 95, 877-886.