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Reef boom beats doom
Date:4/23/2009

are increasingly being damaged by mass bleaching and climate change, and their capacity to recovery from that damage is critical to their future," explains Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of CoECRS and The University of Queensland. "Our study suggests that managing local stresses that affect reefs such as overfishing and declining water quality can have a big influence on the trajectory of reefs under rapid global change."

"Clearly, we need to urgently deal with the problem of rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but managing reefs to reduce the impact of local factors can buy important time while we do this," he says.

Understanding the different mechanisms of resilience is critical for reef management under climate change. "Diversity in processes may well be critical to the overall resilience and persistence of coral reef ecosystems globally," Dr Laurence McCook, from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, says.

The research was partially funded by a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation awarded to Dr McCook, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as well as the ARC Centre of Excellence program.

"This combination of circumstances provided a lucky escape for the coral reefs in Keppel Islands, but is also a clear warning for the Great Barrier Reef. As climate change and other human impacts intensify, we need to do everything we possibly can to protect the resilience of coral reefs," he adds.


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Contact: Guillermo Diaz-Pulido
g.diazpulido@uq.edu.au
61-733-653-378
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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