Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Caribbean corals decline 80% in 25 years

18.07.2003


Coral reefs across the Caribbean have suffered a phenomenal 80% decline in their coral cover during the past three decades, reveals new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, published this week in the international online journal Science Express.



The amount of reef covered by hard corals, the main builders of reef framework, has decreased on average from 50% to just 10% in the last 25 years. Although the majority of the loss occurred in the 1980s, there is no evidence that the rate of coral loss is slowing.

“The feeling among scientists and tourists has long been that Caribbean corals are doing badly, since many people have seen reefs degrade over the years. We are the first to pull information together from across the region and put a hard figure on coral decline. The end result has surprised us. The rate of decline we found exceeds by far the well-publicised rates of loss for tropical forests”, said Toby Gardner, the lead author who compiled the data, and Dr Isabelle Côté, a specialist in tropical marine ecology in UEA’s School of Biological Sciences.


The causes of coral decline are thought to include natural factors, such as hurricanes and disease, and man-made ones, like over-fishing, pollution, and sedimentation caused by deforestation, which smothers the coral. The consequences of disappearing coral can be far-reaching, from the collapse of reef-associated fisheries, to dwindling tourism, to increased coastal damage sustained during hurricanes.

“The good news is that there are some areas in the Caribbean that appear to be recovering. The bad news, however, is that the new coral communities seem to be different from the old ones. We don’t know how well these new ones will be able to face the challenges of rising sea levels and temperatures, that result from global warming”, warns Dr Côté.

“Caribbean reefs host extraordinary biodiversity, provide a livelihood to millions of people, and essential physical protection from tropical storms” said Professor Andrew Watkinson, leader of the Tyndall Centre’s research into climate change and the coastal zone. “Now that the extent of the plight of Caribbean corals has been measured, there is renewed urgency for conservation action to restore this unique and important ecosystem”.

The research paper, Long-term region-wide declines in Caribbean coral, was written by Toby Gardner, Isabelle Côté, Jennifer Gill, Alastair Grant and Andrew Watkinson.

Mary Pallister | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uea.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht When corals eat plastics
24.05.2018 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>