Historical coral reef declines featured in this week's Science

No coral reef system in the world can be considered pristine, concludes an exhaustive historical analysis of human exploitation of reef ecosystems in the August 15 issue of the journal Science. The hunting of big turtles, fish, manatees and crocodiles began a process of reef decline exacerbated in the modern era by continued overfishing and global warming.

Coral reef research evolved after the invention of SCUBA, only about 50 years ago. But humans have fished highly productive and biodiverse coral reefs for thousands of years.

John Pandolfi, paleoecologist at the Smithsonians National Museum of Natural History and collaborators examine the question of global reef degradation beginning before human presence was felt. "These historical analyses provide us with a glimpse of what reefs were like in the absence of human influence. We have a baseline that doesn't shift, helping to put the current crises into perspective," said Pandolfi.

"In the absence of a time machine, few have the skills to illuminate our understanding of marine ecosystems with historical perspective. John makes a career of delving into the past to understand reef ecosystems," said Bruce Hatcher, professor of biology at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The team rated groups of reef organisms (large carnivores, large herbivores, small carnivores, small herbivores, corals, suspension feeders and seagrass) from 14 reef ecosystems on a scale from pristine to extinct for each of seven different periods of human culture: prehuman, hunter-gatherer, agricultural, colonial occupation, colonial development, early modern, late modern, to present.

Richard Cooke, archaeologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Reseach Institute (STRI) in Panama and coauthor emphasizes: "Long historical records, often ignored by scientists and planners, are powerful tools for understanding the relationship between present and pristine states of ecosystems. Humans have never been

Contact: John Pandolfi
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Historical information available on Taq polymerase findings at the University of Cincinnati
2. Historically black and research-intensive universities partner under grants aimed at broadening U.S. science base
3. Florida Tech earns $50,000 grant to create coral database
4. Algal contact as a trigger for coral disease
5. New study to investigate demise of coral reef ecosystems
6. Scientists call for better protection for coral reefs
7. Traditional fishing destroys corals - new research
8. Fishing kills Fijian coral reefs
9. Isolated corals reefs are at risk from global climate change
10. Researchers discover new family of Atlantic corals in groundbreaking study
11. 1,136 scientists call for protection of deep-sea corals

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/6/2019)... ... June 05, 2019 , ... Ziegler, ... financial advisor to Pathologists Bio-Medical Laboratories (PBM) on its recent acquisition by PathGroup. ... platform that provides services to more than one dozen hospitals and surgery centers ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... ... June 04, 2019 , ... Harper was three years old when ... severe elbow dysplasia, which caused painful osteoarthritis in the joints. She was referred ... were heartbroken. , The surgical specialist, Dr. Christopher Eich of Southern California Veterinary ...
(Date:6/3/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Stay on top of current hot topics through free webinars ... all webinars is free, so be sure to register today to save your place! ... to see our upcoming webinars: , CLINICAL TRIALS , June 10 – A ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 11, 2019 , ... A study ... stem cells (MSC-EV) are able to incorporate into human CD34+ cells, modifying their ... mice, MSC-EVs also increased the cells’ ability to lodge into bone marrow. This ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... Object Pharma, ... the strategic acquisition of Metabiologics, Inc., a globally recognized leader in the production ... and commercialization rights to a full spectrum of botulinum neurotoxins, as well as ...
(Date:5/15/2019)... ... 16, 2019 , ... Emulsifiers are the magic bullet when ... rely on these ingredients to create stable quality food that can withstand shelf-life ... triggers food formulators to seek out alternatives for starches, gums and chemical emulsifiers. ...
(Date:5/4/2019)... ... May 03, 2019 , ... More than three thousand ... Association, the scientist and ufologist Urandir Fernandes de Oliveira, last Thursday (25), during ... results of some research carried out by the association, in partnership with scientists ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: