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Coral Reef Decline - Not Just Overfishing

Date:
August 31, 2005
Source:
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Summary:
Scientists widely agree that coral reefs are in declining. As featured in Geology in its September 2005 issue, a team led by Richard Aronson of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab took cores of reefs in Belize that reconstructed their history over the past several thousand years and found that they were healthy and vibrant until the 1980's when they were killed by disease and high sea temperatures. This dictates a different strategy for policymakers intent on saving reef ecosystems than just focusing on overfishing.

Coral reefs, the rainforests of the sea, feed a large portion of the world's population, protect tropical shorelines from erosion, and harbor animals and plants with great potential to provide new therapeutic drugs. Unfortunately, reefs are now beset by problems ranging from local pollution and overfishing to outbreaks of coral disease and global warming. Although most scientists agree that reefs are in desperate trouble, they disagree strongly over the timing and causes of the coral reef crisis. This is not just an academic exercise, because different answers dictate different strategies for managers and policymakers intent on saving reef ecosystems. The cover story published this month in Geology helps focus the debate.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Dauphin Island Sea Lab. "Coral Reef Decline - Not Just Overfishing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050830072609.htm>.
Dauphin Island Sea Lab. (2005, August 31). Coral Reef Decline - Not Just Overfishing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050830072609.htm
Dauphin Island Sea Lab. "Coral Reef Decline - Not Just Overfishing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050830072609.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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