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Coral reefs underpin a range of ecosystem goods and services that contribute to the well‐being of millions of people. However, tropical coral reefs in the Anthropocene are likely to be functionally different from reefs in the past. In this perspective piece, we ask, what does the Anthropocene mean for the provision of ecosystem services from coral reefs? This synthesis of the coral reef ecosystem services literature suggests the field is poorly prepared to understand the changing service provision anticipated in the Anthropocene. A new research agenda is needed that better connects reef functional ecology to ecosystem service provision. This research agenda should embrace more holistic approaches to ecosystem service research, recognizing them as co‐produced by ecosystems and society.

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