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 Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>