In the Caribbean Sea, coral reefs -- those gorgeous, eye-popping, fish-nourishing, ship-scraping biological wonders that are among the regions crown jewels -- continue to die rapidly, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill biologist says. Their future looks bleak.
Dr. John Bruno, assistant professor of marine sciences at UNC, and colleagues at other U.S. universities, believe they have identified one reason why. Results of field experiments they conducted off Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula suggested that chemical nutrients washed and dumped into the sea can increase the severity of coral diseases.
A report on the findings appears in the December issue of the journal Ecology Letters, which is expected to be posted online Nov. 26. Besides Bruno, authors are Drs. Laura E. Petes of Oregon State University, C. Drew Harvell of Cornell University and Annaliese Hettinger of California State University in Northridge.
David Williamson | EurekAlert!
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