Navigation Links
Caribbean coral reefs flattened
Date:6/9/2009

Coral reefs throughout the Caribbean have been comprehensively 'flattened' over the last 40 years, according to a disturbing new study by the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The collapse of reef structure has serious implications for biodiversity and coastal defences a double whammy for fragile coastal communities in the region.

It was already known that coral cover in the Caribbean was in decline, but this is the first large scale study showing exactly what this means for the architecture of the region's reefs.

Published online on Wednesday June 10 by the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers found that the vast majority of reefs have lost their complex structure and become significantly flatter and more uniform. The most complex reefs have been virtually wiped out.

The researchers, working with colleagues at Simon Fraser University in Canada, analysed changes in the structure of reefs using 500 surveys across 200 reefs conducted between 1969 and 2008. They found that 75 per cent of the reefs are now largely flat, compared with 20 per cent in the 1970s.

There have been two major periods of reef flattening. The first occurred when a widespread disease killed about 90 per cent of the Elkhorn and Staghorn corals in the late 1970s. The second period has been underway more recently and is thought to have been caused by an increase in the intensity and frequency of coral bleaching events, as a consequence of human-induced climate change increasing sea surface temperatures.

Lead researcher Lorenzo Alvarez-Filip, of UEA's School of Biological Sciences, said: "For many organisms, the complex structure of reefs provides refuge from predators. This drastic loss of architectural complexity is clearly driving substantial declines in biodiversity, which will in turn affect coastal fishing communities.

"The loss of structure also vastly reduces the Caribbean's natural coastal defences, significantly increasing the risk of coastal erosion and flooding."

Reversing declines in reef architecture now poses a major challenge for scientists and policy-makers concerned with maintaining reef ecosystems and the security and well-being of Caribbean coastal communities.


'/>"/>

Contact: Simon Dunford
s.dunford@uea.ac.uk
44-160-359-2203
University of East Anglia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Searching for pollution in the Caribbean
2. The University of Miami receives grants from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.s Ocean Fund
3. NTDs burden in Latin America and the Caribbean may exceed that of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria
4. Spanish researchers discover significant leatherback turtle nesting beaches in the Caribbean
5. New NOAA coral bleaching prediction system calls for low level of bleaching in Caribbean this year
6. From Canada to the Caribbean: Tree leaves control their own temperature, Penn study reveals
7. Humans have caused profound changes in Caribbean coral reefs
8. Canadian-based UN coral reef expert honored at world meeting in Australia
9. In the turf war against seaweed, coral reefs more resilient than expected
10. Studies shed light on collapse of coral reefs
11. Stanford scientists find heat-tolerant coral reefs that may resist climate change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion ... Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing ... applications are expected to drive the market growth. ... , The development of advanced multimodal ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 2016 Das DOTM ... Nepal hat ein 44 Millionen ... Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, an ... und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte internationale ... teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste und ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to ... display is the latest premium product recently added to the range of products distributed ... ... ... Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 ... trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which ... with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... --  Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design ... awarded as one of the World Economic Forum,s ... innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to ... in the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. ... including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers ... the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are ... to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or ... of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for ... as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, ... medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been ...
Breaking Biology Technology: