Navigation Links
Coral reefs will be permanently damaged without urgent action
Date:10/31/2007

Coral reefs could be damaged beyond repair, unless we change the way we manage the marine environment. New research by the Universities of Exeter and California Davis, published today (1 November 2007) in Nature, shows how damaged Caribbean reefs will continue to decline over the next 50 years.

Coral reefs conjure up images of rich, colourful ecosystems yet an increasing number of reefs are becoming unhealthy and overrun by seaweed. The research team wanted to test whether reefs that are overgrown with algae could return to good health if the original causes of the problem, such as fishing or pollution, were addressed. This could mean, for example, reducing fishing or introducing better sewage management. The study revealed that the answer is no because coral reefs can become permanently unhealthy.

In the 1980s, reefs in the Caribbean were hit by the devastating impact of the near-extinction of the herbivorous urchin, Diadema antillarum, with devastating results. Along with parrotfish, this grazing urchin kept seaweed levels down, creating space for coral to grow. Parrotfish are now the sole grazers of seaweed on many Caribbean reefs, but fishing has limited their numbers. With insufficient parrotfish grazing, corals are unable to recover after major disturbances like hurricanes and become much less healthy as a result. The team discovered this result by creating and testing a computer model that simulates the effects of many factors on the health of Caribbean reefs.

Professor Peter Mumby of the University of Exeter, lead author on the paper said: The future of some Caribbean reefs is in the balance and if we carry on the way we are then reefs will change forever. This will be devastating for the Caribbeans rich marine environment, which is home to a huge range of species as well as being central to the livelihood of millions of people.

The paper argues that in order to secure a future for coral reefs, particularly in light of the predicted impact of climate change, parrotfish need to be protected. Parrotfish are frequently caught in fish traps that are widely used in the Caribbean, with many ending up on restaurant diners plates.

Professor Peter Mumby continued: The good news is that we can take practical steps to protect parrotfish and help reef regeneration. We recommend a change in policy to establish controls over the use of fish traps, which parrotfish are particularly vulnerable to. We also call on anyone who visits the Caribbean and sees parrotfish on a restaurant menu to voice their concern to the management.


'/>"/>

Contact: Esther White
pressoffice@exeter.ac.uk
01-392-262-307
University of Exeter  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New Species of Coral Discovered Off Southern California
2. Tsunami-damaged coral reefs should be left to recover naturally, say scientists
3. Researchers appeal for new regulations to save coral reefs from live fish trade
4. Hidden sponges determine coral reefs nutrient cycle
5. Marine conservation organizations team up to conduct Indonesia coral reefs assessment
6. Health of coral reefs detected from orbit
7. Scientists look to the Bahamas as a model for coral reef conservation
8. Tiny polyps gorge themselves to survive coral bleaching
9. Too much sugar not good for coral reefs
10. Sea corals trick helps scientists tag proteins
11. How marine reserves are giving coral reefs a helping hand
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Coral reefs will be permanently damaged without urgent action
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution ... the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with ... of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of ... ID readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... DUBLIN , April 15, 2016 ... of the,  "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,The global gait ... CAGR of 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. ... movement angles, which can be used to compute ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... This unique "Fertility Happy Hour" event will be held ... to get the lowdown on female fertility and the reproductive technologies that are empowering ... of Boston IVF - The Arizona Center, will give a short presentation and ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... Seattle based non-profit, The Institute ... 1Plus12 Corporation. The grant will be used to further the scientific research goals ... website http://www.ivsci.org , In accounting the grant to the IVS, Mr. ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... uBiome, the leading microbial genomics ... on the company’s Advisory Board. Prior to co-founding Plum in 2007, Neil Grimmer was ... at IDEO. , A renowned, innovative designer of ideas, products, and brands, Grimmer has ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 genae, a Contract Research ... announced today the appointment of Prof. Dr. Jörn Balzer ... responsibilities will include all clinical, safety and risk management ... privileged and honored with the acceptance of Prof. Balzer ... CEO at genae. "Prof. Balzer,s impressive and extensive background ...
Breaking Biology Technology: