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Scientists highlight the importance of nutrients for coral reefs
Date:2/27/2014

A new publication from researchers at the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton highlights the importance of nutrients for coral reef survival.

Despite the comparably small footprint they take on the ocean floor, tropical coral reefs are home to a substantial part of all marine life forms. Coral reefs also provide numerous benefits for human populations, providing food for millions and protecting coastal areas from erosion. Moreover, they are a treasure chest of potential pharmaceuticals and coral reef tourism provides recreation and income for many.

Unfortunately, coral reefs are declining at an alarming rate. To promote management activities that can help coral reef survival, an international group of world renowned scientists have summarised the present knowledge about the challenges that coral reefs are facing now and in the future in a special issue of the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

The contribution of scientists from the University of Southampton to this special issue, which highlights the crucial role of nutrients for the functioning of coral reefs, can be freely downloaded from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877343513001917

The University of Southampton researchers who are based at the Coral Reef Laboratory in the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, explain that "too many" nutrients can be as bad for corals as "not enough".

Professor Jrg Wiedenmann, Professor of Biological Oceanography at the University of Southampton and Head of the Coral Reef Laboratory, says: "The nutrient biology of coral reefs is immensely complex. It is important to distinguish between the different direct and indirect effects that a disturbance of the natural nutrient environment can have on a coral reef ecosystem."

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Contact: Glenn Harris
G.Harris@soton.ac.uk
44-023-805-93212
University of Southampton
Source:Eurekalert  

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