Fig. 2. A heuristic framework describing the human dimensions of coral reef ecosystems, their proximate and underlying hierarchical structure, and the directionality of primary linkages. Coral reefs provide ecosystem services and benefits to coastal communities (1–5), which in turn mediate dimensions of human well-being (A–E). Social system structural traits (F–I) modulate human interactions with coral reef ecosystems and their associated impacts and modifying actions (6–10). A complex and poorly understood portfolio of interactions and feedbacks characterize the social-ecological interactions between ecosystem services, human stressors of reefs, community well-being, and underlying social system structural traits.