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New study links dredging to diseased corals
Date:7/16/2014

nger well after the completion of dredging operations.

Dr Britta Schaffelke from AIMS, a co-author on the study, says numerous environmental stressors have been suggested as potential drivers of coral disease.

"Turbidity and sedimentation are critical pressures on the health of coral reefs and are affected by many human activities, especially in the coastal zone," Schaffelke says.

"What this study does is highlight a direct link of coral disease to sedimentation and turbidity."

Coastal industries provide economic stability, food security and reliable energy to billions of people around the world. As the pace of coastal development and demand for larger harbours escalates, the impact of elevated sediment and turbidity on the health of marine species is now a worldwide concern.

"Dredging is a pressing issue on many coral reefs throughout the world, including the Great Barrier Reef," says Pollock.

"A solid understanding of the impacts of dredging, sediment and turbidity on coral health will be indispensable in the development of well-informed management and monitoring strategies for vulnerable coral reef ecosystems," he concludes.


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Contact: Joe Pollock
Frederic.Pollock1@jcu.edu.au
61-756-412-342
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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